Country acts will play stadiums, sheds this summer

As cold as it is right now, it’s hard not to look forward to those warm summer nights when you can sit outside and listen to music.

It’s still early, but a few dates are starting to trickle in at the major outdoor venues. And, as is usually the case, the country acts are the early birds when it comes to announcing their schedules.

According to Miranda Lambert’s website, she is booked to play Cleveland’s Progressive Field on July 18 with Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line (ticket information will be announced soon, it says). While Cleveland Browns Stadium has been used for the occasional concert, the home of the Cleveland Indians has hosted only a couple shows in its 20-year history.

Luke Bryan, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, announced a stadium show last week for Pittsburgh, where he’ll be joined by Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Cole Swindell on June 21 at Heinz Field. Bentley won’t be on the bill when the tour comes to Ohio, but Bryan, Swindell and Brice are booked for two nights at Blossom Music Center on Aug. 21-22.

Sheryl Crow made a bid for country fans with her last album, and she’ll continue to court that audience this summer, touring with Rascal Flatts and Gloriana. According to the itinerary announced this week, the trio plays Blossom on Aug. 1 and First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa., on Sept. 6.

Lady Antebellum, winner of seven Grammy Awards, will play Blossom on May 31 with Kip Moore and Kasey Musgraves and play First Niagara on Aug. 23 (no opening act have been announced yet).

Tim McGraw has announced the cities, but not dates, for his “Sundown Heaven Town” tour, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh are on it – could be indoors (Quicken Loans Arena, Consol Energy Center), could be outdoors (Blossom, First Niagara).

Also planning full-scale summer tours are Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Toby Keith. Don’t be surprised if some or all of them play Blossom and/or First Niagara this summer.

There’s not as much to report yet for rock fans. A triple bill featuring Journey, Steve Miller and Tower of Power already is on sale for First Niagara (June 27) and Blossom (July 8). Tickets will go on sale next month for the Dave Matthews Band (June 27 at Blossom, June 28 at First Niagara).

And the Pittsburgh Pirates have three post-game concerts planned as part of its 2014 promotional schedule – Goo Goo Dolls (June 7), Gavin DeGraw (Aug. 30) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sept. 13).

Fall Out Boy and Paramore will play First Niagara Pavilion on July 3, and nearly 30 acts already are booked for the 2014 edition of the Vans Warped Tour, which plays First Niagara on July 15 and Blossom on July 17. Some of the bands on the Warped lineup include: Mayday Parade, The Devil Wears Prada, The Maine, Beartooth, Air Dubai, Teenage Bottlerocket, Anberlin, Cute Is What We Aim For, A Skylit Drive, The Ready Set and The Ghost Inside.

After that, it’s largely speculation.

Foo Fighters is playing a concert Super Bowl weekend and will be one of the headliners for the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware in June. Could that date be part of a full summer tour?

The only U.S. appearance announced so far by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The announcement has fans speculating that more shows are to come.

It’s a thought that warms the heart on a cold winter night.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at agray@tribtoday.com