BY MELISSA RUGGIERI
Who says summer is prime time for concerts?
The choices are so vast that culling a list of 20 shows worth checking out was a heady challenge. But whether you’re into rock or Rihanna, metal or Macklemore, here are some suggestions.
Make sure to check out Hot Tickets in Go Guide (and here) every week for a full listing of upcoming concerts.
Unless otherwise noted, all tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and by calling 1-800-745-3000.
Lamb of God. With Anthrax, Deafheaven and Power Trip. The Richmond, Va.-based metal band has endured its share of “sturm und drang” the past few years (Google singer Randy Blythe and Prague for the full story), so it’s no wonder it named its seventh studio album, released last summer, “VII: Sturm und Drang.” 7 p.m. Jan. 19. $35. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta.
Madonna. Atlanta originally was one of the first dates on the “Rebel Heart” tour, until production issues bumped back the launch date. Now, we’re at the tail end of the North American jaunt. Fans will hear many selections from her underrated “Rebel Heart” album, but those who still prefer old-school Madonna should have plenty of reason to get into the groove. Her set list, which doesn’t vary much between shows, has included “Holiday,” “Who’s That Girl” and a medley featuring “Lucky Star” and “Dress You Up.” 8 p.m. Jan. 20. $44-$359. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta.
Billy Gibbons and the BFGs. Last year, the ZZ Top axe man was slated to kick off his tour in Atlanta. A few scheduling changes bumped him to 2016, but no worries — he and his BFGs will still perform plenty from his new solo album, “Perfectamundo.” With Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown. 8 p.m. Jan. 23. $40. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta.
Tool. The metal band isn’t known for releasing albums — in a 25-year career, fans have received exactly four studio efforts. There is talk of a new release, but with nothing confirmed, breath holding is not advised. This is Tool’s first Atlanta-area appearance since 2012. With Primus and 3Teeth. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25. $59.50-$79.50. Infinite Energy Center (formerly the Arena at Gwinnett Center), 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 1-888-929-7849, www.infiniteenergycenter.com/.
Art Garfunkel. “The live show allows me to be the sensitive singer that I like to be. I can drop the notion that I have to have upbeat numbers.” So said the legendary Garfunkel in a lengthy interview with Salon.com a few months ago. His show is titled “In Close-Up,” so expect an intimate evening of stories and songs. 8 p.m. Jan. 29. $60-$125. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It’s not easy living up to the days of “Thrift Shop,” as the Seattle-based duo is finding out. They reappeared in a grandiose manner at the MTV Video Music Awards in August to perform the then-new song “Downtown,” and have since released a second single, “Kevin,” from their next album. 8 p.m. Jan. 29. $36.50-$66.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, www.foxtheatre.org.
Carrie Underwood. She belts, she hosts, she parents — and she looks flawless while doing all of it. Considering this is the final season of “American Idol,” it seems like a good time to thank the “Idol” gods for bestowing us with one of the most enjoyable country songstresses in years — and who might still be an unknown in Oklahoma if not for Simon Cowell and Co. With Easton Corbin and the Swon Brothers. 7 p.m. Feb. 1. $46-$76. Infinite Energy Center.
Colin Hay. Credit actor/director Zach Braff for showcasing the work of the former Men at Work frontman and helping spur his career revival in the mid-2000s. Hay has steadily toured as a solo act for more than 15 years, and ’80s fans will still hear hits such as “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under,” in a slightly less glossy style. 8 p.m. Feb. 5. $30. Variety Playhouse.
Europe. As irritating as that Geico ad became, you’ve got to admit it was rather genius to rescue the Swedish pop-rockers from ’80s kitsch and launch them into mainstream recognizability. This 30th anniversary tour of “The Final Countdown” album features the lineup that played on it, including singer Joey Tempest and guitarist John Norum. 7 p.m. Feb. 6. $26. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta.
Winter Jam with For King & Country, Matthew West, Crowder, Lauren Daigle, Red, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, Stars Go Dim, We Are Messengers and Trip Lee. As usual, Atlanta is the rare stadium stop on a tour that routinely attracts tens of thousands of Christian music fans. Jam Nation members will receive early entry starting at 3:30 p.m., and doors to the Dome will open at 5 p.m. for other attendees. 5:45 p.m. Feb 6. $10 at the door only. Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive N.W., Atlanta.
Wilco. Chicago’s alt-country stars rocked Atlanta last year with a blistering set at the Shaky Knees Music Festival and will return to Atlanta for a pair of more intimate shows. The band released its ninth studio album, the un-ironically titled “Star Wars,” in July. With Girlpool. 8 p.m. Feb. 10-11. $39.50-$49.50. The Tabernacle.
Tom Rush. The revered folk-blues singer has forged a 40-year career with chestnuts such as “Circle Game” and “No Regrets.” Rush was instrumental in the folk revival of the 1960s and has influenced everyone from James Taylor to Garth Brooks. 7 p.m. Feb. 13. $45 (advance) and $55 (at the door). Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 1-877-435-9849,www.ticketfly.com.
Carly Rae Jepsen. In August, Jepsen, best known for her breakthrough smash, “Call Me Maybe,” released her third studio album, “Emotion.” In addition to her music career, the 30-year-old Canadian singer is edging into acting. She’ll play Frenchy in “Grease Live,” which will air Jan. 31 on Fox. 8 p.m. Feb. 14. $28. Variety Playhouse.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Touring behind the recently released box set “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection,” Springsteen will pay homage to his 1980 classic album, “The River,” during this nine-week outing. Each concert on the tour will be mixed for release on Live.BruceSpringsteen.net as high-quality downloads and CDs. Recordings will be available within days of each performance. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. $35-$150. Philips Arena.
Vince Gill and Lyle Lovett. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these two ace songwriters and musicians as they perform an informal acoustic show — one of only 13 on their winter tour. No backing band, just Gill and Lovett swapping stories and songs. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20. $42-$146. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.
Experience Hendrix with Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Chris Layton, Mato Nanji, Noah Hunt and Henri Brown. Talk about a genre-spanning affair. This is the ultimate for guitar aficionados — or even casual music fans who can appreciate the virtuosity of this lineup as they pay homage to Hendrix. 8 p.m. Feb. 27. $36.50-$66.50. Fox Theatre.
Rachel Platten. Her “Fight Song” was sort of the “Brave” or “Roar” of 2015 — which was fine with us for a few thousand spins. And it’s always inspirational to see a talent who has toiled in the business for more than a decade finally break through. With Eric Hutchinson. 8 p.m. March 2. $20 (advance) and $25 (day of show). The Loft at Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, www.ticketalternative.com.
Future. You have to wonder what Prince thinks of the Atlanta rapper dubbing his road run the “Purple Reign” tour. The past year was good to Future, who landed at the top of the Billboard 200 chart twice — with his third studio album, “DS2,” and his collaboration with Drake, “What a Time to Be Alive.” With Ty Dolla Sign and Lil Donald. 8 p.m. March 4. $49.50-$65. The Tabernacle.
AC/DC. It’s been seven years since the Aussie legends played Atlanta, and they’ll be primed to “Rock or Bust” when they roll through in March. Malcolm Young has been replaced by his and Angus Young’s nephew, Stevie Young, while drummer Chris Slade will take the place of Phil Rudd. 8 p.m. March 8. $75-$125. Philips Arena.
Rihanna. We still don’t know what’s going on with her new album, “Anti” (Drake? Lady Gaga? Florence Welch?), but we know she’s kicking off a tour Feb. 26 in San Diego. Rihanna last visited Atlanta in 2013. With Travis Scott. 7:30 p.m. March 9. $40-$165. Philips Arena.