Your ultimate shore guide 2018
Concerts at the Shore
Country, classic rock, comedy...
By Dan Deluca
Music Critic

Summer is the season when music moves outdoors, and while that's true at the South Jersey and Delaware beaches, there will also be plenty of acts playing enclosed, air-conditioned spaces.

In Atlantic City, there are a couple new venues, with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the nearby Bourbon Room at the former House of Blues. The latter's schedule bears watching; at press time, it was heavy on magicians and cover bands.

The biggest pop event that's on the way to, but not exactly at, the beach is the Firefly Music Festival June 14-17, featuring Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. On a smaller scale, the Somers Point Beach Concert Series features Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers on Aug. 3 and The Cowsills on Sept. 2. And the glorious Darlene Love sings at Cape May Convention Hall on July 11.

Kevin Hart

Atlantic City doesn't pull in as many top-draw music acts as it did before six casinos shut down between 2014 and 2016. The big names in comedy are still regulars, though. Philly's Kevin Hart kicks off the season with a Memorial Day weekend stop on his Irresponsible Tour. Hart is at Boardwalk Hall on May 26. Other comic highlights include Michael Che at the Borgata on June 29 and Amy Schumer at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock on Sept. 1.

Aimee Mann

The former 'Til Tuesday pop star has been carrying on an uncommonly consistent career, singing always intelligent, usually disconsolate, songs for a quarter-century now. She plays June 18 at the Ocean City Music Pier, and the Hooters, Philly's own, are there the next two nights.

Britney Spears
Courtesy of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

She's hitting us, baby, one more time. Britney Spears hasn't toured the U.S. in seven years, opting instead to stay put in Las Vegas, where she's held down a "Piece Of Me" residency. This summer, she stops at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem on July 17 before three shows in Atlantic City July 19-21 at the Borgata Event Center. Halsey plays the Event Center on July 14, and Kings of Leon are there on Aug. 5.

Atlantic City Beach Concerts

"Body Like A Back Road" young country star Sam Hunt is mostly doing stadium dates with Luke Bryan this summer, but the R&B-flavored crooner is hopping off that gravy train to kick off the outdoor concert series in Atlantic City, with Kane Brown and Conner Smith July 1 on the Atlantic City Beach. The beach concert series will continue with electronic pop duo The Chainsmokers on July 29.

Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper

The aging roue's early 1970s output was one of the great runs in the history of rock-and-roll. Rod Stewart has since settled in as an affable, endearing entertainer, as has Cyndi Lauper since her Philly-connected 1980s She's So Unusual success. They play Aug. 4 at Boardwalk Hall.

Mark G. Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

The new player in Atlantic City takes over the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal in hopes of kick-starting a revival on the north end of the Boardwalk. The music-focused hotel is keeping the name of the arena, whose capacity of about 5,000 fits nicely between the 2,500-cap Borgata Event Center and the 10,000-sized Boardwalk Hall. So far, the lineup leans toward veteran, far-from-cutting-edge acts: country pop band Rascal Flatts on July 26; Stone Temple Pilots (with new lead singer Jeff Gutt filling the shoes of the late Scott Weiland), Bush and the Cult on Aug. 1; Counting Crows with Live on Aug. 23; and, looking ahead to the fall, Steely Dan (without the late Walter Becker) on Oct. 13.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

The blues-rock big band co-fronted by the wife-and-husband hot-shot-guitarist team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks rolls into the Tropicana in Atlantic City June 2. They kick off a Trop schedule that also includes Brian Setzer (June 22), Stephen Stills and Judy Collins (June 23), Yes (July 14), and Alice Cooper (Sept. 8).

Hop Sauce Festival

The second year of a festival that adds music to the holy trinity of food, beer and hot sauce. The four-band bill is headlined by Sudanese electronic funk rocker Sinkane. June 2 on the Beach in Beach Haven.

Asbury Lanes

This year's good news in the boardwalk town that gave birth to Bruce Springsteen is the renovation of Asbury Lanes, the bowling alley music venue that shuttered in 2015. The solid lineup includes Philadelphia's Kurt Vile & the Violators on June 12, Lupe Fiasco on July 1, Tyler Childers on July 29, Phoebe Bridgers on July 31, and Ted Leo with Frankie Rose on Aug. 8.

Delaware beaches

There's a solid section of barroom rock going on in the 302 area code. Highlights of the busy Bottle & Cork schedule in Dewey Beach include Brothers Osborne on May 29, Matthew Sweet on June 19, Maxi Priest on July 1, ZZ Ward on July 26, and Old Crow Medicine Show on July 27. Down the road at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth, Austin, Texas, rockers White Denim hold forth on June 22.

© Copyright 2018 Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC