Electric Daisy Carnival (June 8-10, Las Vegas Motor Speedway) If you sat out last year’s first Vegas edition, pick out some crazy clothes, grab a few glow sticks and hop onboard. If you’ve ever been remotely interested in electronic dance music—or if you just wanna be at 2012’s most massive all-night party—pick up an EDC pass. The Speedway is sold out, but at press time Craigslist was full of reasonable offers.
Warped Tour (June 20, Luxor Festival Grounds) Never heard of Impending Doom, Mod Sun or The Silver Comet? Maybe your kids have. With more than 75 acts on the bill, Warped can feel like Christmas for young music fans ready to go exploring. After making its Las Vegas return last summer, the event takes to the Strip for 2012, with Anti-Flag, Falling in Reverse, Pierce the Veil, Streetlight Manifesto, The Used and Yellowcard among the lineup’s bigger names.
Tenacious D (July 28, House of Blues) If Jack Black showed up and made faces at us for an hour, it would probably feel like a night well spent. Fortunately, he’ll do a lot more when he and Kyle Gass hit Mandalay Bay. They’re touring behind new album Rize of the Fenix, but we’re thinking D fans are less interested in the setlist than in laughing, rocking out and watching Black go places only he’s willing to go.
Beck (August 8, the Pearl) It has been almost seven years since the alt-rock icon played Las Vegas, but even if he’d stopped by last year we’d have this one circled on the calendar. Beck is consistently unpredictable; his catalog speaks for itself, and even when he isn’t 100 percent on, he’s far more interesting than most.
Cee Lo presents Loberace (begins August 29, Planet Hollywood) Strip residencies can feel a bit stodgy, but something tells us this one won’t. The voice behind “Crazy” and “F*ck You” has emerged as a cult of personality in his own right, with the fashion sense to match. We’re not certain what he’s got planned for Las Vegas, but we’re hoping he brings the cat along.
Also: Scissor Sisters (June 15, HOB); Weezer (June 15, Mandalay Beach); Deathfest (June 15-16, Cheyenne Saloon); The Jesus and Mary Chain (June 16, HOB); Reggae in the Desert (June 16, Clark County Amphitheater); Primus (June 22, the Joint); The Growlers (June 23, Artifice); Def Leppard & Poison (June 23, Red Rock); Foster the People (July 7, Cosmopolitan); Aretha Franklin (July 15, Caesars Colosseum); Willie Nelson & Family (July 21, Sunset Station); Kelly Clarkson (July 27, Cosmopolitan); Nicki Minaj (August 4, Planet Hollywood); Bloc Party & Santigold (August 11, Cosmopolitan); Kiss & Mötley Crüe (August 11, Mandalay Bay); Fun. (August 16, Cosmopolitan); The Mad Caps & Dude City (August 30, Cosmopolitan); Neil Diamond (September 1, MGM Grand); Sugarland (September 2, Mandalay Beach).