Mapping Out Summer Sounds

5 metro Detroit music venues to visit this season


Once summer rolls in, the best place to catch a concert is in the warm evening breeze. Kick back at one of these five outdoor venues, which play host to a diverse range of talent. From the Detroit Riverfront north to Clarkston, here’s where to go and a few of the people to see.

West Riverfront Park: Situated along the picturesque Detroit River, West Riverfront Park is a perfect summer getaway within the confines of the city. Purchased from the Detroit Free Press in 2007, the newspaper printing facility property was transformed into a 20-acre green space by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. Home of the MoPop Festival, the two-day event takes place July 29-30 and leans indie rock and hip-hop with Foster the People, alt-J, and Solange on this year’s roster.

Meadow Brook Amphitheatre: Rochester’s Meadow Brook Amphitheatre was revamped in 1994 after being acquired by Palace Sports & Entertainment, including improved staging, sound, and seating. Among the acts to visit the 7,700-capacity venue this summer include alternative rock band Wilco (June 7), piano icon-singer John Legend (June 16), blues guitar virtuosos Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang (July 8), Country Music Hall of Famer Kenny Rogers (July 14), and ’90s alt-rockers the Goo Goo Dolls (Aug. 3).

Chene Park Ampitheatre: At east-side Detroit’s Chene Park, boats float by while the riverfront-situated venue kicks into gear during summer concert season. As neighboring Windsor, Canada’s red-tinged lights illuminate the water, the unique, white dome-like structure reflects the cityscapes of both sides of the Detroit River. Coming up, Chene Park will play host to soul singers Joss Stone and Charles Bradley (June 22), R&B singers Monica and Ashanti (June 23), and Motley Crue’s Vince Neil (July 22). 

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill: Upping the ante with bigger-name bookings the last two years, Sterling Heights’ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill was built in 2000 where the 120-acre Freedom Hill County Park at Metropolitan Parkway once stood. Last year, it saw the likes of rockers Jane’s Addiction and alternative metal band Deftones. Coming up, Deftones return (June 10), country musician Hank Williams Jr. appears (July 3), and alternative funk group Primus will play a roaring set (July 20).

DTE Energy Music Theatre: Arguably the granddaddy of all outdoor Detroit music venues, Clarkson’s DTE Energy Music Theatre — formerly Pine Knob — is the pit stop for major touring acts. Throughout its history, it’s seen the likes of Black Sabbath (and Ozzfest), Nine Inch Nails, and Drake. Opened each Memorial Day weekend with a trademark performance by Eddie Money, DTE will see rare performances by rockers Tool (June 7) and iconic synth pop band Depeche Mode (Aug. 27).

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