For music lovers, the best season is concert season.

Late spring and summer, when the region’s open-air venues provide music under the night sky, brings out the best live concert events of the year. Over the next four months, fans can catch legendary performer Neil Diamond, master entertainers such as Future and Bruno Mars and the visual spectacle of the Flaming Lips.

The only problem is figuring out which ones to see.

As one of the major music markets in the country, Indianapolis is a prime stop for nearly all of the must-see acts hitting the road this year. At the same time, the region’s smaller venues have lined up an impressive slate of up-and-comers to catch in more intimate settings.

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To help you create your calendar, and ensure your wallet makes it through the summer intact, here are some of the highlights coming up

Major acts

Red Hot Chili Peppers

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis

Cost: $49 to $99

Why: The surf-funk-punk rockers from Southern California come back to Indianapolis in support of their most recent album, “The Getaway.” Even after performing for 30-plus years, lead singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea and the rest of the band bring unabashed energy on stage. They’ve been on the road since January and have drawn rave reviews for their enthusiasm and punch.

Neil Diamond

When: 8 p.m. May 26

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Cost: $29.50 and up

Why: Another anniversary tour hits the Circle City, this time featuring Neil Diamond as he celebrates 50 years of music greatness. Scream along to “Sweet Caroline,” “Red Red Wine” and the rest of the seemingly unending catalog of hits, as he shows why Billboard bestowed on him their highest award for touring musicians, the Legend of Live honor.


When: 7 p.m. June 3

Where: Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $30 and up

Why: Future has had quite a year so far. In back-to-back weeks, he released new albums, first the self-titled “FUTURE,” followed by “HNDRXX.” And in back-to-back weeks, the Atlanta rapper claimed the No. 1 album in the land. On the back of this success, Future will be touring with a host of emerging hip-hop artists, including Migos and Tony Lanez.


When: 7:30 p.m. June 13

Where: Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

Cost: $29.50 and up

Why: Few bands have had as strange of a career arc as Wilco. Born as an alt-country outfit from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, it slowly morphed to a more experimental indie rock band. Their most recent release, “Schmilco,” features lead singer Jeff Tweedy and company as more introspective and reserved, yet crisp as ever.

Bruno Mars

When: 8 p.m. Aug. 13

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Cost: Available seats start at $143 and go up.

Why: The king of modern funk, Bruno Mars has specialized in bombastic R&B hits while at the same time transitioning to more easy-crooning ballads. His “24K Magic” album released in late 2016 has spun off two Top 10 Billboard hits, adding to his already supremely danceable catalog.

Green Day

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 16

Where: Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $29 and up

Why: From their youthful punk days in the early ‘90s to the more mature and socially conscious rock of the past decade, Green Day’s evolution has mirrored that of a whole generation of listeners. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will be supporting their most recent album, 2016’s politically charged “Revolution Radio.”

Zac Brown Band

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 25

Where: Klipsch Music Center

Cost: $28 and up

Why: Under the stars on a hot late-summer night with a cold drink in hand is the right way to see Zac Brown Band, whose blend of country twang and tropical themes takes the baton from Jimmy Buffett for the coming decades. With their “Welcome Home” album coming out Friday, expect a healthy dash of new material to supplement classics such as “Toes” and “Knee Deep.”

The Flaming Lips

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 19

Where: Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn

Cost: $39.50 and up

Why: The Flaming Lips have built a reputation for live shows that are wildly weird and visually stunning. It’s not uncommon for lead singer Wayne Coyne to roll out into the crowd in a massive plastic ball, or to ride a light up robot unicorn. But the spectacle doesn’t overshadow the band’s free-flowing psychedelic rock; it only serves to enhance it.

Don’t-Break-the-Bank alternatives


When: 8:30 p.m. Monday

Where: The Hi-Fi, 1043 Virginia Ave. Suite 4, Indianapolis

Cost: $20

Why: Summer was made for surf-punk prodigy Nathan Williams, who brings his band to Indy to perform songs such as “King of the Beach” and “Demon to Lean On.”

Future Islands

When: 8 p.m. June 9

Where: Egyptian Room at Old National Centre

Cost: $22

Why: Known for their whirlwind live shows, see the Baltimore-based band as it tours in support of a new album, “The Far Field,” released on April 7.

Greensky Bluegrass

When: 6 p.m. June 10

Where: MacAllister Amphitheater at Garfield Park, 2450 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis

Cost: $25

Why: Jammy bluegrass and improvised riffs with guitar, mandolin and banjo are the perfect complement to sitting under the evening sky at Garfield Park’s historic bandstand.

The Revivalists with Robert Randolph and the Family Band

When: 7 p.m. June 23

Where: Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn

Cost: $27.50 and up

Why: The roots-rock band from New Orleans headlines this year’s WTTS Rock on the River, a benefit for the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. Don’t miss Randolph, a wizard on the pedal steel guitar.

Turquoise Jeep

When: 9 p.m. June 23

Where: The Hi-Fi

Cost: $15

Why: The hip-hop record label founded by rappers Flynt Flossy and Whatchyamacallit has become a force in the indie music scene, choosing to release new music via YouTube videos that garner millions of hits.

Eagles of Death Metal

When: 9 p.m. June 29

Where: The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave., Indianapolis

Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Why: Don’t let the name fool you. Eagles of Death Metal may excel at pounding rhythms and blistering guitar licks, but the “death metal” portion of their moniker is a joke. Still, expect to rock.

Clayton Anderson

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 5

Where: Mallow Run Winery, 6964 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville

Cost: $15 advance, $20 day of

Why: Anderson, a Bedford native, has been establishing himself as one of country’s most unique voices. His new six-song EP “Only To Borrow” is out now.