It's shaping up to be an incredibly busy and diversely appealing summer of music by the bay.
Looking to attend one of the nation's top rock festivals? Outside Lands returns to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in August. Prefer boy bands? The triple-header of New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men lands July 7 and 12 at HP Pavilion in San Jose; One Direction plays July 30 at HP and July 31 at Oracle Arena in Oakland; and the Jonas Brothers play Aug. 13 at America's Cup Pavilion in San Francisco.
In the pop and R&B realms, John Mayer plays July 26 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, and Bruno Mars plays July 25 at HP.
Some of the biggest acts, like Beyoncé and Bieber, have long been sold out. But tickets remain for so many other hot summer shows: Here five of the biggest and most tantalizing.
I love a good doubleheader, and this Legends of Summer tour has the look of a great one. Jay-Z has more stadium-sized anthems than anyone else in hip-hop. Timberlake is one of the most charismatic pop stars on the planet. He's also got something to prove on this tour, having only recently returned to the music game after focusing on his acting career for years.
Expect a true pop music spectacle, with production elements, theatrics and special effects that are every bit as bright as the stars themselves. Jay-Z and J.T. are sure to share the stage during the hit single "Suit & Tie," but it's hard to imagine that the collaboration will end there. Details: 7:30 p.m. July 26; Candlestick Park, San Francisco. $39.50-$250; www.ticketmaster.com.
What a lineup! LL Cool J is a terrific entertainer, and Public Enemy is nothing less than the greatest hip-hop group of all time. Ice Cube remains one of the most powerful rappers on the planet, and De La Soul is groovy beyond compare. I'd pay to see any one of these acts. The thought of seeing the whole lot on one bill makes my hip-hop heart skip a beat. Details: 7 p.m. May 25; Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View. $20-$105.50; www.livenation.com.
The tour features three-fourths of the original lineup -- vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler. Osbourne (a substance abuse relapse) and Iommi (cancer) have health issues, and I'm disappointed that drummer Bill Ward won't be there (contractual issues). Still, there's no way I'm missing the chance to see Iommi rip through "Iron Man" and "War Pigs." Details: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26; Shoreline. $31-$131.00; www.livenation.com.
Follow Jim Harrington at Twitter.com/jimthecritic, Facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.