In many parts of Iowa, one can hardly throw a pebble in any direction during the summer months without hitting a corn crop.
This year, however, the same could be said about concerts.
Live music events are not quite as ubiquitous as corn mazes in Iowa, but the state has quietly emerged as a burgeoning summer concert scene. Perhaps more than ever before, this summer in Iowa projects to attract a record number of out of state visitors looking to take in concerts from an increasingly eclectic group of artists.
Fans of hard rock (Tesla), pop stars (Shawn Mendes), iconic metal music (KISS) and country music new (Kane Brown; Dan and Shay) and old (Thomas Rhett) can all circle their calendars and begin scheduling a trip to Iowa to enjoy the state's robust concert offerings this summer.
Here's a breakdown of some of the top concerts across Iowa throughout the summer.
Tesla - Stir Cove at Harrahs Council Bluffs (June 1) Heavy metal rockers Tesla will take over Stir Cove on June 1 for what figures to be one of the top hard show shows in the Midwest this year. While it might not be as well known as some other acts, Tesla is an electrifying hair metal act befitting of its name.
New Kids on the Block - Wells Fargo Arena (June 9) New Kids on the Block, affectionately known by millions of adoring fans as "NKOTB", remain one of the most successful boy bands of all time, paving the way for future successes like Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. The gang is reuniting for a 2019 reunion tour, and the band's tour stop at Wells Fargo Arena is a can't-miss show for any fans who grew up listening to the band in the early-'90s, as well as those who discovered Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and others in the years since the group's historic rise.
Sublime with Rome - McGrath Amphitheatre (June 2) After establishing itself as a top ska/punk act in the '90s, Sublime disbanded in 1996, to the chagrin of millions of fans. However, former band member Eric Wilson has linked up with guitarist Rome Ramirez and drummer Carlos Verdugo to a form Sublime-inspired act that remains top-notch.
KISS - Wells Fargo Arena (Sept. 3) Sure, technically it takes place after Labor Day Weekend, but KISS warrants a mention on the list. The End of the Road World Tour is serving as the band's formal farewell to the rock world after nearly 50 years. The band isn't making many stops in the Midwest, but it will perform at Wells Fargo Arena. Grab some facepaint and get your tickets.
Zac Brown Band - Iowa State Fair (Aug. 11) The Iowa State Fair always plays host to concerts that attract music fans from near and far, but this year is no different. Zac Brown Band will perform in front of fans from numerous states around the country. A great band plus a great venue makes this show hugely popular.
Tim McGraw/Chris Stapleton - Great Jones County Fair (mid-July) Some venues would love to have Tim McGraw and Chris Stapleton booked together in the same year. In July, they'll be performing in the same week at the Great Jones County Fair. Throw in TobyMac and Hootie and the Blowfish, and Monticello, Iowa could be the biggest mecca for country music this side of Nashville this summer.
Kane Brown - Q Casino (July 14) Kane Brown is one of the top emerging artists on the country music scene. Dubuque's Q Casino is an intimate venue to check out one of the industry's brightest young stars.
Wu-Tang Clan - Stir Cove at Harrahs Council Bluffs (Aug. 1) Nelly is performing at Five Flags Center in June, but the Wu-Tang Clan concert at Stir Cove/Harrahs is the can't-miss rap concert in Iowa this summer. More than 25 years after Enter the 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Clan is still one of the most celebrated rap groups of all time.
There are countless other concerts spanning May through September throughout Iowa, including Diana Ross, The Chainsmokers, Melissa Etheridge, Jason Mraz, Luke Bryan and more. Out of state concertgoers are quickly learning what residents have known for some time: Iowa has quietly become a go-to destination for some of the most exciting concerts anywhere.
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