Fo' Sizzle!

Summer concerts/festivals to heat the beat

After conducting an unscientific poll to determine the hottest shows of the summer, we present them to you below, in all their debatable glory. Don't forget: Hydrate, wear sun block and beware of cheap corn dogs.

WHO: Gwen Stefani, Akon, Lady Sovereign
WHAT: Sassy R&B and rap, in cute, user-friendly packages.
WHEN: June 22-23, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095; www.livenation.com.
HOW MUCH: $20.75-$75.25
WHY: You will definitely put your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care—and that is incredibly therapeutic in these stressful times. Squeaky-clean, cuddly, fun times are guaranteed—if you've yet to reach voting age.

WHO: The Police, Fiction Plane
WHAT: One of the most popular "new wave" acts of the '70s and '80s, the Police were renowned for their superb musicianship; streamlined, memorable melodies; dubious reggae inclinations; and blond hair.
WHEN: June 21, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; www.hondacenter.com.
HOW MUCH: $53-$253
WHY: Back catalog stacked with tight, sweet, smart songwriting; baby boomers' insatiable nostalgia must be sated; non-Sting Police members can use the dough.

WHO: Powerhouse 2007: Ludacris, T.I., the Game, Mims, Bow Wow, Lil Wayne, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
WHAT: A grip of mainstream hip-hoppers both in peak form and over the hill. It's gonna get thugly.
WHEN: June 23. Check website for show times.
WHERE: Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; www.hondacenter.com.
HOW MUCH: $45-$95
WHY: Because you can't get enough of hearing millionaires in sagging jeans and wifebeaters drawl in boastful tones about their possessions and violent proclivities while they grab their nut sacks.

WHO: Skinny Puppy, Otto Von Schirach, Silver Daggers
WHAT: Industrial-music deities Skinny Puppy roll out their latest plate of sinister sonic sadism—Mythmaker—for the hell of it (literally), with support from mad IDM maverick Von Schirach, whose tracks bear such titles as "Satanic Unicorn Orgy" and "Sliced Mucus Farts"—and sound like them, too. Fun for the whole damned family.
WHEN: June 24, 9 p.m.
WHERE: Anaheim Fillmore, 7521 Fillmore Dr., Buena Park, (714) 228-0200.
HOW MUCH: $25
WHY: Everyone can use a little macabre music in his or her summer, and this lineup delivers the weird in heaping shovels-full.

WHO: Vans Warped Tour
WHAT: The annual, venerable traveling punk fest, featuring Bad Religion, Coheed and Cambria, New Years Day, Pennywise, the Vandals, and many more.
WHEN: June 29, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
WHERE: Pomona Fairgrounds, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, (323) 930-7100; www.warpedtour.com.
HOW MUCH: $29.75
WHY: Every generation needs to experience loads of mediocre-to-good punk and hip-hop bands in sweltering heat with thousands of other inked/pierced/faux-hawked peers; it's a blessed rite of passage for North American youth. Remember: Sid Vicious died so you may help perpetuate the Vans brand.

WHO: Electric Daisy Carnival
WHAT: Insomniac's 11th-annual massive party, with peaceful vibes and sternum-caving beats provided by rave/club mainstays Deep Dish, Goldie, Paul Oakenfold, DJ Heather, Sandra Collins, Mark Farina, Stanton Warriors, Kaskade, Hernan Cattaneo, Infected Mushroom, Krafty Kuts, Marcus Intalex and others. Twelve hours, five stages, more than 100 performers, 25,000 attendees and countless kids asking if you have any pills.
WHEN: June 30, 4 p.m.-4 a.m.
WHERE: Exposition Park, 3939 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles; www.insomniacevents.com.
HOW MUCH: Check website for ticket pricing.
WHY: It's a lovely way to catch some of the world's most popular house, trance, drum-and-bass, and breakbeat DJs and producers under the sun and stars while establishing life-long bonds with fellow dancers—some of whom will consent to have sex with you in the not-too-distant future.

WHO: Lee "Scratch" Perry
WHAT: A wizened, slightly demented Jamaican dude whose talent's largely ganja with the wind. However, we cut legends like Perry much slack, as he's produced more dub-reggae classics than you've had hot feels.
WHEN: July 27, 8 p.m.
WHERE: House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 705-2583; www.hob.com.
HOW MUCH: $22.50
WHY: Scratch's between-song banter is sure to be nutty, and if he brings DJ Spooky or some other ringers along, it could put a vital bounce into Perry's creaky later productions.

WHO: Violent Femmes
WHAT: American folk-punk trio who released one of the greatest debut albums of all time, reuniting to rake in the cash. (Holy shit! Check those ticket prices!)
WHEN: Aug. 1, 8 p.m.
WHERE: House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 705-2583; www.hob.com.
HOW MUCH: $57-$71
WHY: Passion, intelligence, killer hooks, fat-free song dynamics, emotionally resonant lyrics, superb vibraphone playing . . . Violent Femmes deserve this lucrative victory lap. Ask Gnarls Barkley.

WHO: Rock the Bells Festival
WHAT: The best damned hip-hop extravaganza . . . ever, maybe. Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, MF Doom, Nas, Rakim, Roots, Sage Francis, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Mos Def, Kalib Tweli and, uh, Rage Against the Machine. Damn! Somebody laid out a lot of Cheddar for this thing.
WHEN: Aug. 11, 11 a.m.
WHERE: National Orange Show Events Center, 689 S. E St., San Bernardino; www.rockthebells.net.
HOW MUCH: $76-$151
WHY: You may never have the chance to witness so much rap talent, both fading and up-and-coming, in one place in your beats-and-rhyme-lovin' life.

 
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