The summer music season has arrived, which means lots of bands touring, plenty of outdoor concerts and festivals and day-long parking lot gatherings. Loads of events are going on around town — or if you're feeling a little adventurous, you can make the trip out to Manchester, Tenn., for the four-day Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Here's a quick glimpse at a handful of shows that will be stopping through the Queen City:
June 4: Tift Merritt returns to her home state today with her tour in support of her latest album, See You on the Moon. The new album, which is being released on June 1, features Jim James of My Morning Jacket and pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz. Visulite Theatre.
June 11, 15: If it's hip-hop that you're looking for, this is your week. On June 11, Reflection Eternal hits Charlotte -- the duo, comprised of Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, released its first album back in 2000, and the follow-up hit streets this month. A few days later, Wiz Kahlifa will be gracing the same stage. His second album came out last fall, but he's making bigger waves with his recent mixtape, Kush and Orange Juice. Amos' Southend.
June 26: This May, the third annual FemmeFest was held in NoDa ... now it's time for the guys. The inaugural DudeFest will be held in the same neighborhood and at multiple venues, as well. So far, Transmission Fields, Truckstop Preachers, Lou Ford, Leslie, gogo Pilot, Damsel Down, Lucky 5 and Breaking Laces have signed on to perform. NoDa.
June 26: The smoother side of jazz takes the spotlight at the Uptown Jazz Fest, featuring music by The Rippingtons, Norman Brown, Mike Phillips, Maysa, Alex Bugnon and more. Uptown Amphitheatre.
July 14: Last year, Counting Crows put on a different kind of show with its Traveling Circus and Medicine Show at the Uptown Amphitheatre. This year, the band's coming back -- and bringing along Augustana. And we'll recommend you get there early because last year Adam Duritz and the guys were on stage all night long. Uptown Amphitheatre.
July 27: If the name Tweak Bird sounds familiar, you must have been at the Tool concert at Bojangles' Coliseum last year. The band opened up that show and drew people in with its quirky brand of metal. Playing a small room like The Milestone is going to be much more suited to its style though. The Milestone.
Aug. 6: Lilith Fair returns to the road this summer and they're bringing plenty of big names with them. Sarah McLachlan will welcome Kelly Clarkson, Court Yard Hounds (2/3 of the Dixie Chicks), Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Indigo Girls and others. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.
Aug. 31: Michael Franti & Spearhead will definitely find out "how ya feelin'?!" during their concert. The reggae-infused rock band is all about good vibes and building up positive energy. Once you hear the music, it's pretty damn hard to sit still. Neighborhood Theatre.
These shows are only the tip of the iceberg, but space is limited. Keep an eye on all of the venues -- such as The Evening Muse, Double Door Inn, Snug Harbor, Tremont Music Hall and The Fillmore -- for regularly updated schedules.