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Whether indoors or outdoors, Milwaukee is offering some impressive concerts this summer. Both the likes of legends like Bob Dylan and breaking singer/songwriter Lykke Li will be coming to town, and one venue is even holding a show for free (hello student budgets).

The Soul of John Black

Monday, May 11

Turner Hall Ballroom, 1032 N. 4th St.


A night of electric funk and 1960s style soul is completely free at Turner Hall Ballroom on May 11 with the second No Buck Show featuring the Soul of John Black. Critics have compared the unique sounds of John Bingham to the likes of blues greats like Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. Those are some big compliments. Unlike some other "free concert" scams around town, this one is legitimate — there's no drink minimum or cover charge.

The National

Friday, July 17

The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St.


It's tough to find the words to describe The National. Lead singer Matt Berninger's deep baritone voice is haunting, even on the band's less brooding tracks, and he's an intensely emotional performer. Their 2007 album Boxer landed on the Billboard charts and was hailed in various music reviews as one of the top albums of the year, propelling this Brooklyn-based indie rock group into the spotlight.

Lupe Fiasco

June 29

Summerfest, 200 N. Harbor Dr.


It's a good time for Lupe to grace Milwaukee, not only because Summerfest is unbelievably fun, but the Chicago hip hop phenomenon has a new album scheduled for release in June. He just announced last week that he'll be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Justin Timberlake this fall to raise funds for charity, so check him out to wish him luck and hear his hits like "Kick, Push" and "Superstar."

Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson

July 1

Summerfest, 200 N. Harbor Dr.


Announced last week, Dylan will be headlining the fest, so save up if you have to — tickets are between $37 and $60 and go on sale May 2. With his recently released 33rd studio album Together Through Life, Dylan will have new material to perform in addition to an insanely wide catalog. Plus, seeing the legend outdoors on Lake Michigan in warm weather will probably top many concert experiences.

Buddy Guy, Guster, Booker T. and the Drive By Truckers

July 4

Taste of Chicago, Grant Park


This is a huge lineup considering it's free at the Taste. Take a summer road trip and celebrate the Fourth of July with blues legend and Chicago's own Buddy Guy during a free show at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. College and cult-favorite Guster will also join the bill with their beloved multi-instrumental hits. With the Drive By Truckers backing, Booker T. shook his MG's from the '60s but still knows how to wail on the organ for some Fourth of July funk and soul.

Lykke Li

Thursday August 6

The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St.


The danceable, young-love themed songs of the Swedish indie rock singer have been earning nods from critics who appreciate the unique combination of her doll-like vocals and electro beats paired with steel drums and Spanish guitars. She's been known to perform energetic shows and just told Coachella-goers that she'd wake them up with "techno coffee," her hit song "Little Bit."

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