Music is an enduring cycle. While many big musical names are eyeing retirement checks this year, there are plenty of eager upstarts with guitars in hand ready to step into a vacated spotlight. Here are some veterans and newer recruits making the scene this fall.
Childish Gambino. It’s gotten to the point where we have to wonder, what can’t Donald Glover do? Though he announced after winning a Grammy Award in January that he was retiring his musical alter ego, Glover changed his mind in a notable way with the provocative “This is America” video. The Stone Mountain native, seen earlier this year as the best part of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” is working on season three of his award-winning FX series, “Atlanta.” With Rae Sremmurd. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6. Infinite Energy Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, 770-626-2464, www.infiniteenergycenter.com
Paul Simon. It’s understandable to be skeptical about “final” tours (see: Cher, Kiss). But Simon’s claim seems legit. The folk-pop superstar turns 77 this fall, and he’s established a truly final show in his hometown of Queens, N.Y., 10 days after saying goodbye to Atlanta and many, many “Old Friends.” 8 p.m. Sept. 12. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. 1-800-745-3000, www.livenation.com
Music Midtown. Five years ago, Imagine Dragons was on the cusp of arena stardom when they played the second stage at Music Midtown. This year, the “Whatever it Takes” hitmakers will headline along with Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone and Fall Out Boy. The weekend festival, which returned in 2011, boasts a diverse lineup that includes Janelle Monae, Khalid, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Kacey Musgraves, Gucci Mane, Portugal. The Man and The Revivalists. Sept. 15-16. Piedmont Park. 1-888-512-7469, www.musicmidtown.com
Chris Stapleton. The hirsute country-roots-rocker is pulling off a rare feat with his “Chris Stapleton All-American Road Show” — playing two different venues in the same market on consecutive nights. But that’s testament to the swift rise of Stapleton’s star, which, refreshingly, isn’t based on social media followers or trends, just honest, fulfilling music. With Marty Stuart and Brent Cobb. 7 p.m. Oct. 19,Verizon Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 7 p.m. Oct. 20, Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
Ed Sheeran. It’s almost unbelievable that this unassuming, shaggy-haired guy can command tens of thousands in a stadium with merely his guitar, some foot pedals and, as showcased on his last arena tour, majorly upgraded video production. But with a song arsenal including “Thinking Out Loud,” “Perfect” and “Shape of You,” Sheeran keeps proving the simple power of well-written songs. With Snow Patrol and Lauv. 7 p.m. Nov. 10. Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
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