Jay-Z and Beyoncé
Yes yes I know. These two shows sold out in minutes or whatever. And it’s highly likely that to get your hands on a ticket you’ll have to sell all your worldly possessions or something. But mark my words, it will be worth it. Of course, Jay-Z I could really give or take. But Beyonce! An icon for our modern times and one that really just continues to evolve and amaze. Having endured constantly being told about and witnessing on YouTube her sheer brilliant live performances, I truly believe when I do finally get to see her bae-ness up close I will probably reach a whole new level of happiness that only few people ever attain. Or at least be very happy.
Jun 19 & 20, Amsterdam ArenA
Capable of crafting glorious pop songs out of truly weird and wonderful parts, Animal Collective continue to bewitch nearly two decades after they first formed. The genre-hopping experimentation that’s come to define them is put on hold for the Baltimore County band’s latest tour, however, as they play their beloved album ‘Sung Tongs’ in full. Duo Avey Tare and Panda Bear – who wrote the 2004 record together – stop by Amsterdam as part of a tour which takes them all around Europe and America. See it while you can.
Jun 13, Paradiso Noord
Nine Inch Nails
He’s the man who arguably helped make industrial mainstream (or sort-of mainstream) and inspired a multitude of alternative rock artists both good and bad (hello Limp Bizkit). But listening to NIN’s back catalogue – starting with the still near-perfect Pretty Hate Machine – you remember just how good they were. Ferocious, distasteful, angry and discordant at times, but at the heart of NIN’s music you’ll find melody and song writing where there isn’t a single note out of place. Anyone that’s been keeping up with Reznor’s work writing soundtracks for major motion pictures will know he’s still as confident and prolific as ever, and with the release of new music later this year this tour promises the chance to see NIN perform some new tracks.
June 27, AFAS Live
Amsterdam has many great festivals, but if you’re looking for one that offers an incredible line-up AND an amazing chance of being able to witness some of the most forward-thinking and eclectic dance music artists on awe-inspiring outdoor stages basked in sunshine, then Awakenings is probably it. Saturday tickets have now sold out, but at the time of typing you can still get your hands on Sunday tickets, where the roster includes bona fide legends behind the decks including Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, Richie Hawtin and Sven Vath.
Jun 30 & July 1 (don't @ me about that, I know it's technically July as well), Spaarnwoude
The Mouse Outfit
Yes the fact that they're from Manchester (my hometown) might have had a little something to do with my choice to include The Mouse Outfit in this month's gig guide. But in fact that's probably more to do with the fact that they're better known there than anywhere else. And The Mouse Outfit are certainly worthy of your attention, crafting hazy melodies into songs that span funk, jazz and grime. With collaboration being the key to The Mouse Outfit's ethos and ever evolving line-up of performers and friends, their live show promises an evening of laid-back grooves, soulful melodies and rapping that would easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the finest acts from the Nederhop scene.
Jun 29, Paradiso