If you’re in Santa Fe and seeing a touring act do its thing, chances are the folks at AMP Concerts (ampconcerts.org) are behind it. A regional powerhouse of ongoing genre-defying live music madness, the nonprofit does it here, there and everywhere, and its upcoming summertime lineup is looking mighty fine. Mark your calendars for these highlights, and please know these aren’t even close to everything AMP is working on this year—not even close at all.
Belle & Sebastian
7:30 pm Wednesday, June 8. $40. The Bridge @Santa Fe Brewing Co., 37 Fire Place, (505) 557-6182
Though you’re likely of a certain age if news of this legendary Scottish band’s upcoming Santa Fe show thrills you, it’s fun to think of a new generation of kids getting in on the emotional indie rock sounds of yesteryear. Make no mistake, though—Belle & Sebastian are as relevant as ever, and a trailblazing band of emotive songwriting champs.
Santa Fe Bandstand
Thursday, June 9-Thursday, Sept. 1
Things kick off with Texas’ Shinyribs and wend through weeks on weeks of free shows featuring the likes of Crash Test Dummies, Metalachi and so many locals.
Railyard Concert Series
Friday, June 10-Friday, Aug. 26
Yet another cavalcade of free shows, this series in the Railyard features acts like Heartless Bastards, Calexico and, like the Plaza, oh-so-many more.
7 pm Saturday, June 11. $40. The Bridge @Santa Fe Brewing Co., 37 Fire Place, (505) 557-6182
Grammy-winning rock act Gov’t Mule has been packing in folks forever, and we don’t think it’s flip to say that now cannabis is legal in the state, this might be one of those truly special shows, man.
7 pm Saturday, June 18. $66-$88. Kit Carson Park, 211 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, (575) 751-2001
The legends of rock just keep on coming this summer, this time with the “Sharp Dressed Man” band themselves, ZZ Top. That’s right, buds—Billy Gibbons and the boys have kept it going following original bassist Dusty Hill’s 2021 death, and one can’t help but think that’s how Dusty would have wanted it. They’ll likely play the riffy hits, plus the deeper cuts. You’ve been warned, guitar fans.
Love and Happiness Juneteenth Celebration
6 pm Sunday, June 19. The Plaza, 63 Old Santa Fe Trail
If you caught last year’s Juneteenth celebration on the Plaza, you know that it was one of the better dance parties Santa Fe has ever seen. This year, AMP partners with the Earthseed Black Arts Alliance to celebrate the holiday dedicated to the emancipation of enslaved Black people circa 1865, and hip-hop legend Chali 2na joins forces with Cut Chemist, Raashan Ahmad and other locals to make it happen.
Off the Rails Benefit with Kurt Vile and Terry Allen
7:30 pm Thursday, June 23. $20-$1,000. Railyard Park, Market and Alcaldesa Streets
Catch two of the most revered songwriters of our time while helping out the future of progressive arts museum SITE Santa Fe. We’re already thrilled with returning director Louis Grachos’ new vision, and if you can catch some killer tunes while helping to ensure bigger and better things in the future, there’s literally no downside.
Lyle Lovett and his Large Band and Chris Isaak
7 pm Sunday, July. $66 (free for kids 12 and under). Kit Carson Park, 211 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, (575) 751-2001
Ummm…two of the most enjoyable musicians ever on one bill? Yes, please. Lovett’s Texas-style swing ‘n rock ‘n such hits all the right notes, and crooner Isaak’s much-beloved tunes like “Wicked Game” seal the deal with sexiness. We never dreamed that we’d meet a concert like you. God, what a dumb joke. Anyway, the show should be good, and it’s outside, too!
7:30 pm Sunday, July 10. $39. The Bridge @Santa Fe Brewing Co., 37 Fire Place, (505) 557-6182
Alejandro Rose-Garcia brings his bluesy rock style to Santa Fe once again, and believe us when we say you’ll have a killer time with memorable songs, plus you’ll also get heady with a risk-taking songwriter who pushes the boundaries of rock, blues, folk and more pretty much always.
Michael Franti & Spearhead
7:30 pm Friday, Aug. 5. $41-$76, kids 12 and under free. Fort Marcy Park, 490 Bishop’s Lodge Road
MC, poet and activist Michael Franti is doing it for the Española Humane and its 30th anniversary. Expect a lot of positivity and sick beats while you help out dogs and cats. Expect to feel like that was a super-easy way to do something good.
7:30 pm Thursday, Aug. 11. $20. Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, 2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 393-5135
Folks have been going wild for this up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Oklahoma, and we think it has something to do with raw vulnerability—and the voice of an angel. Get in on the ground floor before his new record, Birds in the Ceiling, goes viral or wide or whatever way you’re supposed to say something is popular these days.
My Morning Jacket
7 pm Friday, Aug. 19. $62-$234 (free for kids 12 and under). Kit Carson Park, 211 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, (575) 751-2001
Think of the act Jim James and crew built like a tolerable jam band featuring song lengths you can actually endure. Or, like, a Coheed and Cambria kind of thing that wasn’t full of nonsense you couldn’t follow. My Morning Jacket’s a little bit psych, a pinch of jam and a whole lot of rocking. Weed probably won’t hurt this one, either.
Ladder to the Moon
All day Friday, Sept. 9-Sunday, Sept. 11. $60-$263. Ghost Ranch, 280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, (505) 685-1021
AMP Concerts gets in the three-day festival game with this camping-friendly weekend of super-sweet live music featuring Patti Smith, The Head and the Heart, Devendra Banhart, Indigo Girls and many more. You can camp and rock and sleep to the sound of the same winds and birds and stuff that made Georgia O’Keeffe decide she was never ever gonna leave New Mexico.
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