Welp, Hot Vax Summer didn't quite pan out.
After a few hopeful weeks of declining COVID-19 infection numbers, the Delta variant's surge dashed Floridians' dreams of returning to pre-pandemic normalcy anytime soon. But the live-music industry — by far one of the worst affected by the pandemic — is taking a trial-and-error approach to keeping the shows going, as the reality sets in that many venues, artists, and road crews are one more shutdown away from financial devastation.
Many musicians managed to hit the road this summer through a patchwork of mitigation efforts, including regular testing for staff and crews and varying vaccine, testing, and masking requirements for audiences. Though there have been some tour cancellations lately as artists reassess the ever-changing conditions, the ten artists listed below are bringing hotly anticipated tours to South Florida during the final months of 2021. Though this fall concert season will certainly look different, there are plenty of exciting shows on the horizon — from Steely Dan's four-night residency at the Fillmore Miami Beach to Harry Styles' long-deferred return to a South Florida stage.
Be sure to check each host venue's COVID-19 safety protocols and requirements before heading to a show — and mask up to do your part to keep the music playing.
TLC's T-Boz and Chilli perform at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair in 2018.
Photo by Nestor Calixto
Last time the surviving members of TLC performed in Miami, they turned what could have been a rote nostalgia act into a compelling set
filled with record-setting hits alongside newer songs that could have been just as big if they'd been released during the group's prime. Still, theirs is a damn great classic catalog worth celebrating, and T-Boz and Chilli are hitting the road to commemorate the album that cemented their legendary status, CrazySexyCool
. The timing is a bit odd, as the album's next landmark anniversary — its 30th — is still three years away. Still, if ever there was a time to dispense with formalities and celebrate for the hell of it, it would be after a year-and-a-half of pandemic-induced uncertainty. If "Waterfalls" and "Red Light Special" don't offer enough of a nostalgic comfort boost, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will open the show to round out the '90s flashbacks. 7:30 p.m. Monday, September 27, at the FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550. Tickets cost $29.50 to $99.50 via livenation.com.
Puerto Rican singer iLe is slated to perform at the North Beach Bandshell in September as part of the Escala Sonora concert series.
Photo by Steph Segarra
Miami is, in many ways, the center of gravity for the Latin music world within the United States. Many Latin music superstars call the Magic City home, and the biggest hits on the Latin charts are often recorded here. Now production company Mishu Music — the team behind House of Creatives Festival — is building on that momentum with Escala Sonora, a concert series spotlighting Latin American indie music acts
. Mexican band Little Jesus kicked off the series in mid-August, and the season closer is an equally impressive get. Puerto Rican singer Ile got her start singing with seminal hip-hop group Calle 13 before winning a Grammy Award for her debut solo album, 2016's iLevitable
. Her second album, Almadura
, was released in 2019. The North Beach Bandshell show is part of a 13-date U.S. tour supporting her latest projects, including recent single "No Es Importante." 7 p.m. Thursday, September 30, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5202. Tickets cost $25 to $390 via northbeachbandshell.com.
Steely Dan's four-night residency at the Fillmore Miami Beach kicks off October 5.
Photo by John Vettese
Steely Dan are best known as studio sleuths, but fans have been clamoring to see the latest live iteration of the band for some time (sadly, without founding member Walter Becker, who died in 2017). That anticipation will finally come to an end in early October when surviving founding member Donald Fagen takes the stage with his band for four nights of shows at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Fagen will play one of the band's classic albums each night: Aja
on October 5, The Royal Scam
on October 6, Gaucho
on October 8, and a mix of songs spanning the band's lauded studio output on the final night. The concerts will follow on the heels of Steely Dan's new live album, Northeast Corridor
, due out September 24. Tuesday, October 5; Wednesday, October 6; Friday, October 8; and Saturday, October 9; at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets cost $41.50 to $265.50 livenation.com.
Harry Styles is long overdue for a visit to South Florida.
Photo by Helene Pambrun
South Florida's been waiting a hell of a long time to see Harry Styles live in concert. During Super Bowl weekend 2020 (unbeknownst to us, Earth's closing ceremony
and the last time any of us felt pure, unadulterated joy), Styles was set to perform at the pop-up Meridian at Island Gardens venue alongside Mark Ronson and Lizzo. While Ronson and Lizzo hit the stage that night, a torrential downpour forced the late cancellation of Styles' set
. Fans were slightly consoled by the fact that Styles was set to return to South Florida just a few months later with his Love On Tour, in support of his second album, Fine Line
. Of course, that show was postponed indefinitely when the pandemic hit. Let's hope the third time's the charm for Styles and his stan army — he's set to finally take the stage at BB&T Center in October with indie rock goddess Jenny Lewis. The venue has already announced that all guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the concert, and facemasks will be required. 8 p.m. Friday, October 8, at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets cost $35 to $165 via ticketmaster.com.
Photo by FujifilmGirl
Pacific Northwest royalty Modest Mouse may live at the opposite end of the country, but they play in South Florida much more than your average touring act. The band last performed in the area in 2019, with The Black Keys, and in 2017 they famously played one of the last gigs in town before the city shut down
ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma. Couple that fact with their ability to survive nearly three decades in the music industry with their fair share of lineup changes, and it's clear Modest Mouse is ready to make the best of touring in the midst of a pandemic. 8 p.m. Friday, October 15, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets cost $38.50 to $49.50 via livenation.com.
Photo by Rob Rusling / RCA Records
Singer Wizkid was already considered one of the most successful Nigerian artists of all time when he got a big boost from a kingmaker: Queen Bey. In 2019, Beyoncé featured Wizkid on "Brown Skin Girl," for which they won a Grammy earlier this year. That came three years after Wizkid garnered attention in the States after collaborating with Drake on "One Dance." Now, he's poised to take over The Oasis Wynwood with back-to-back concerts in October, the first of which is already sold out. 8 p.m. Saturday, October 16, Sunday, October 17, at the Oasis, 2335 N. Miami Ave., Miami; oasiswynwood.com. Tickets cost $45 to $100 via tixr.com.
Photo by Spencer Sease/Warner Records
Kendrick Lamar's forthcoming album wasn't the only hotly anticipated release from dominant hip-hop label TDE this year. And, no, we're not talking about SZA's long-awaited sophomore record. Released in late July, Isaiah Rashad's latest album, The House Is Burning
, was five years in the making and well worth the wait. The album was well-received by critics and fans alike, becoming Rashad's first album to make it into the top ten of the Billboard
200 chart. In November, Rashad will play Revolution Live in support of the record. The tour flyer promises "special guests," but Rashad has not yet announced who'll join him on tour — here's hoping labelmates SZA or Jay Rock are on the list. 7 p.m. Thursday, November 4, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; jointherevolution.net. Tickets cost $28.50 via ticketmaster.com.
Photo by Becky Fluke
Country singer Chris Stapleton enjoys a level of artistic goodwill that is hard to come by these days. He's as big on country radio and among the bro-country set as he is in the independent Americana songwriting space. He's collaborated with everyone from Justin Timberlake to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench in recent years, and in November, he'll appear on the re-release of Taylor Swift's 2012 album, Red
. Needless to say, he'll have plenty to draw from when he takes the stage in West Palm Beach a few days before Thanksgiving, including his four acclaimed studio albums. He's bringing another prolific, shape-shifting songwriter with him — Sheryl Crow — as well as in-demand Nashville-songwriter-turned-solo artist Kendell Marvel. 7 p.m. Saturday, November 20, at iThink Financial Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $39 to $266 via livenation.com.
Karol G's collaboration with Nicki Minaj expanded her audience this year.
Photo by Andres Flores
Like most of the world these days, Karol G has had a tough couple of years. In early 2021, she and Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA called off their engagement, ending one of the most high-profile relationships in the Latin music world. She also courted controversy last summer when her cringey, uninformed social-media post about the Black Lives Matter movement went viral for all the wrong reasons — an incident she later admitted cost her some professional opportunities
. Things started looking up professionally in March; however, when the Colombian singer released her third studio album, KG0516,
right around the time she split with Anuel. The record became Karol G's first album to top the Billboard
Top Latin Albums chart, and it included "Tusa," her collaboration with Nicky Minaj, which introduced her to a wider audience and became the first song by two lead female artists to debut at number one on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart in late 2019. 8 p.m. Friday, November 26, at FTX Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; ftxarena.com. Tickets cost $36 to $96 via ticketmaster.com.
Photo by George Martinez
After more than a year without concerts, we are all starving for live music. Why not make up for lost time by seeing over a dozen of Latin music's biggest artists under one roof in one night? Hosted by Alex Sensation, Miami Bash offers fans that exact opportunity. This year's lineup is one of the best ever for the multi-artist concert series, featuring headliner Ozuna alongside reggaeton pioneers Ivy Queen and Wisin, leaders of the new school including Sech and Natti Natasha, and up-and-comers such as Mariah and Lunay. Bonus: If this lineup piques your interest, you might also want to check out Uforia Mix Live, another multi-artist concert taking place at FTX Arena on Friday, October 1. That show's lineup features J Balvin, Wisin y Yandel, Nicky Jam, and Anitta. 8 p.m. Friday, December 17, at FTX Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; ftxarena.com. Tickets cost $44 to $500 via ticketmaster.com.