By Jennifer Levesque
For the Valley Advocate

Jennifer Levesque photo
Alanis Morisette at Xfinity Music Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut, in August 2021. She returns July 6.

Everyone should have a bucket list of concerts they want to go to before, ya know, the end —  artists you’ve been in love with since you can remember, or just for the ‘Wow, I can’t believe I saw them’ factor. If live music makes you happy, then live music is self care, and self care is wellness, so take care of yourself and go to a concert.

There are so many huge names coming to the region within the next six months, how do you choose which one or two or more to go to? Maybe I can help. I’ve narrowed the list down to eight.

Alanis Morissette

My very first concert was Alanis Morissette in 1996, around the time she released “Jagged Little Pill.” I was 12 and in awe of her raw, never-apologetic lyrics. Radiohead opened that night and until I heard the song “Creep” performed, I had no idea who they were. Now, they are one of my favorite bands. (Fun fact: the cover of Radiohead’s 1997 “OK Computer” is a graphic design of an image of the highway in Hartford from the hotel room they stayed in during that show.)

Next month, 28 years later, Morissette will return to that same venue as part of her Triple Moon Tour, and you can experience her badassery for yourself. Also on the bill is rock and roll legend Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (bucke list check!) and country musician Morgan Wade.

They will be at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut on July 6, and at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on July 9.

Jennifer Levesque photo
Alanis Morisette at Xfinity Music Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut, in August 2021. She returns July 6.


Lawrence “Kris” Parker, better known as KRS-One, is a rapper from the Bronx that came to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s and  has 17 studio albums under his name and about a dozen more in other collaborations. In addition to being a legendary hip hop artist, he also lends his voice sharing his knowledge of hip hop culture through lectures worldwide. On July 12, he will be performing at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. Don’t get mad at me if by publication date the tickets are sold out!

Green Day

Veteran punk rock band Green Day are widely known for popularizing punk rock music in the U.S. in the 1990s and also for their wild antics on stage. They are also one of the best-selling bands worldwide with over 75 million records sold as of this year. The Saviors Tour will present them playing their debut album “Dookie” and also “American Idiot” in their entirety! Also on the bill are The Smashing Pumpkins (bucket list check!), Rancid (bucket list check!) and The Linda Lindas. The super-charged lineup comes to Fenway Park on Aug. 7, and will definitely be more energetic than what normally goes on at that place, sorry sport lovers.

Missy Elliott

It’s been 27 years since we were first introduced to the woman dancing in a black trash bag through a fisheye lens for the music video of debut single “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” Rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Missy Elliott has made a name for herself in the mainstream music industry with her catchy lyrics, danceable beats and let’s not forget her fashion sense. The lineup for her Out of This World Tour is also a pretty noticeable list: Ciara, Busta Rhymes (one of the fastest rappers of all time, bucket list, check!) and Elliott’s longtime collaborator Timbaland (who was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame) will join her. Catch them Aug. 10 at TD Garden in Boston.

Jennifer Levesque photo
Busta Rhymes performing with the Wu-Tang Clan at Xfinity Music Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut, in September 2022. He is currently on tour with Missy Elliott and will be at TD Garden in Boston on August 10.

Bikini Kill

Bikini Kill, the feminist punk rock band from Olympia, Washington, who in the 1990s were pioneers of the “riot grrrl” movement, are on a reunion tour. They formally broke up in 1997, and have had only a handful of reunion shows over the years. So going to one of their shows is definitely bucket list worthy. It’s a bit of a trek to see them this time around, but worth it. They will be at the Paramount Theater at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 7 and 8. Night one will have Birthday Girl opening, and night two will have Sweeping Promises opening.

PJ Harvey

By far one of my absolute favorite musicians is alternative/indie rocker PJ Harvey. She is a musical genius and multi-instrumentalist with an incredible vocal range and poetic songwriting skills. She intertwines art and theater in her live shows, creating a truly immersive experience for her audience. Her latest album, “I Inside the Old Year Dying,” was released last summer and this year she’s on tour in the U.S. to promote it. She will be at MGM Music Hall at Fenway in Boston, Sept. 18.

Cyndi Lauper

Pop-icon Cyndi Lauper’s career has spanned over four decades, and many of her songs have become synonymous with iconic movies. Am I the only one who thinks of her first when I hear a reference to “The Goonies?” Lauper is also an LGBTQ+ activist, and founded the True Colors Fund, a nonprofit that educates people on LGBTQ+ issues and helps end homelessness for LGBTQ+ youth. And now is your chance to see her perform before it’s too late. Her Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Farewell Tour comes to MGM Music Hall at Fenway on Oct. 26.

David Gilmour

I’m not a religious person, but I do consider David Gilmour — legendary guitarist and vocalist of Pink Floyd — to be God. One note from his guitar and you know it’s true. His delicate voice over his hypnotizing and sometimes anthropomorphic guitar definitely puts me in a trance, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This year, during election week, you can have a chance to see the legend himself with five dates at the also legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City: Nov. 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10.

Some other upcoming bucket list shows:

Blink-182: July 23 at at Fenway Park, and July 24 at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford.

M. Ward: July 29 at the Iron Horse in Northampton.

RPM Fest: Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague.

Weezer: Sept. 10 at TD Garden in Boston.

Lisa Loeb: Sept. 27 at the Big E in West Springfield.