Is it too early to look ahead to the biggest concerts in Dallas in the next six months? Considering how quickly tickets for Adele’s two November shows at the American Airlines Center sold out, the answer is no. No, it is not too early to anticipate the biggest acts coming to town in 2016.
It might even be too late. These aren’t necessarily the best concerts, or the most important, but they are — like the headline says — the biggest. This list is a PSA: Snag tickets while you can.
Barry Manilow at American Airlines Center | Feb. 18
The 72-year-old crooner is billing this tour as his final bow. This may indeed be your last chance to hear “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Copacabana (At the Copa),” and “Mandy” done as Manilow intended.
Carly Rae Jepsen at House of Blues | Feb. 19
One would think the artist behind a single that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts just three years ago would be able to pack an even bigger venue, but we’re not complaining. Nothing on Jepsen’s 2015 album, the excellent Emotion, became as ubiquitous as “Call Me Maybe,” but the record is chock-full of similarly infectious, major league pop songs.
Rihanna at American Airlines Center | Mar. 6
It’s been nearly four years since Rihanna released a new album, and her fans are getting antsy. Even if Anti is never released, we still have a discography that’s thoroughly stacked with hits. We’ll also have this performance. We won’t have The Weeknd, who is joining Rihanna for the European leg of this tour. Opener Travis Scott is the consolation prize.
Robert Plant at The Bomb Factory | Mar. 15
It’s not a Led Zeppelin reunion, and anyone going to this show expecting a hard-rocking hammer-of-the-gods style concert is going to be disappointed. What you will find, though, is a legendary performer rambling on as his own artist.
Justin Bieber at American Airlines Center | Apr. 10
Has critical mass reached a tipping point in regards to Bieber? Is Purpose his Justified moment — the record that turns him from roundly mocked teen star into critically acclaimed pop master? I’m not sold on the idea that Bieber is the next Timberlake, but there’s no denying that the singer has expanded his sonic palette, and his audiences are now a more diverse bunch than the screaming teenage girls one used to expect. Whatever the consensus on the new album’s artistic value, this show is going to be absolutely packed.
The Cure at American Airlines Center | May 15
The Cure’s look came to epitomize “goth,” but the sound and emotion in the band’s music — romantic, anguished, playful, epic — don’t have much to do with the commodified gloominess of Hot Topic. The Cure is, in no uncertain terms, one of our favorite bands of all time. Robert Smith and co. return to town for the first time in too long (since 2008) with the Twilight Sad opening.
Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert at AT&T Stadium | Jun. 4
Two of the biggest country stars around (and some of their similarly popular friends, including Jake Owen and Old Dominion) will “spread the love” on this massive tour.
Janet Jackson at American Airlines Center | Jul. 15
Here’s what we wrote for the January issue of D Magazine, alongside a nearly full-page illustration of Janet Jackson, before Ms. Jackson postponed her tour to this July date (the perils of print deadlines):
With last year’s Unbreakable, Janet Jackson triumphantly came back after a decade of cold-shouldering from the media following her infamous Super Bowl performance. She reunited with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the songwriting-production team that made her (more) famous, and returned to the music everyone fell in love with in the ’80s and ’90s. Her world tour promoting the album promises all of her dance-pop classics—no short list—as well as fresh hits for the more recent converts. And she is still capable of surprises: audience members might hear a political appeal or witness a guest appearance from beyond the grave. Miss Jackson is back to reclaim her throne.
That will hold true in July as well as January.
Just missed the “first half” of 2016, but tickets are going to sell out in short order: The Dixie Chicks at Gexa Energy Pavilion on Aug. 5. Same goes for Black Sabbath (with Ozzy and Tony Iommi) at Gexa in September.
To start planning out the rest of your 2016 concert calendar, go here.