From Elton John to Rod Stewart: our pick of the best summer gigs coming to Scotland

Sir Elton John in action. <i>(Image: Getty Images)</i>
Sir Elton John in action. (Image: Getty Images)

Elton John

Sandwiched between dates in Birmingham and Paris, the piano-playing rock legend fits in four Scottish performances, two each in and Glasgow. It’s part of his ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour and a week after the final Scottish date he headlines Glastonbury in a star-studded line-up which also includes Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses. He can’t quite match Taylor Swift’s marathon 44-song set but he has been managing 20 plus songs a night, among them Bennie And The Jets, Rocket Man, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Candle In The Wind (how could he not?) and everyone’s favourite singalong number, Tiny Dancer.

P&J Live arena, Aberdeen (June 13 and 15); OVO Hydro, Glasgow (June 17 and 18)

Guns N’ Roses

The LA rock legends kicked off their We’re F’N’Back tour in Pennsylvania in 2021 and, having landed briefly in the UK last summer, arrive with a bang this month when they settle down in Glasgow three days after their Saturday night headlining slot at Glastonbury. The line-up has changed – nay, churned – over the years, but all you really need to know is that frontman Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and original bassist Duff McKagan are all present and correct. OK, maybe not correct exactly.

Bellahouston Park, Glasgow (June 27)

HeraldScotland: Guns N' Roses on stage
HeraldScotland: Guns N' Roses on stage

Guns N' Roses on stage (Image: PA)


In September it will be a decade since the release of Chvrches’ acclaimed debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, so the Scottish electro-pop trio can qualify now for veteran status. Fourth album Screen Violence came out in 2021, they picked up a gong at the NME Awards last year for their single How Not To Drown (a collaboration with Robert Smith of The Cure, no less) and they’re on tour this year with Coldplay, opening for them in Brazil (where they also played two headline shows) and returning at the end of June for dates in Italy. Ahead of that there’s the inevitable Glastonbury slot and – we’ll get there eventually – the not-so-small matter of three Scottish dates, including two homecoming shows at Glasgow’s Barrowland.

Barrowland, Glasgow (June 10 and 11); Fat Sams, Dundee (June 12)

HeraldScotland: Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry
HeraldScotland: Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry

Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry (Image: Getty Images)

Pet Shop Boys

With a new album out on June 16 – sort of anyway: it’s called Smash and features all their singles in chronological order – the envelope-pushing electronic duo bring their pandemic-delayed Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits Live tour to Aberdeen following their Edinburgh show at Hogmanay. It’s the pair’s first ever greatest hits tour, testament to a band never likely to want to rest on its laurels. The title comes from a single on their most recent album, 2020’s Hotspot, on which they collaborated with Years & Years, aka electropop producer Olly Alexander.

P&J Live arena, Aberdeen (June 21)

HeraldScotland: Pet Shop Boys
HeraldScotland: Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys (Image: Pelle Crépin)


Everyone’s favourite glam-rock-prog trio arrives in Scotland on their Will Of The People World Tour, performing here with support from Twin Atlantic and The Warning. They’re promoting last year’s Will Of The People album – described by frontman Matt Bellamy as “a greatest hits album of new songs” – but expect them to dip into their (now extensive) back catalogue and wheel out with fan favourites such as Knights Of Cydonia and Supermassive Black Hole. Are they turning into Hawkwind? Let’s hope so. One thing’s for sure, they always put on a good show.

Bellahouston Park, Glasgow (June 23)

Rod Stewart

With half a century of hit-making behind him the iconic singer brings his inimitable stage presence and unforgettable voice to a stage which is almost as handsome and craggy as he is – Edinburgh Castle. He’s doing two nights as part of his Global Hits Tour, which will do pretty much what it says on the tin. Support comes from Johnny Mac And The Faithful, the Scottish band whose music Sir Rod first heard when he was watching Celtic TV and who he invited on tour with him in 2019.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh (July 6 and 7)

HeraldScotland: Rod Stewart on stage in the US
HeraldScotland: Rod Stewart on stage in the US

Rod Stewart on stage in the US (Image: Getty Images)

The Who

It’s the first performance in Edinburgh for over 40 years for the guitar-smashing rock legends who, along with the Rolling Stones, really are the last great 1960s band standing. Ever restless and forward-looking, they’re appearing in the capital with a full orchestra for their Who Hits Back! Tour, and setlists so far have been peppered with mid-period favourites such as You Better You Bet, The Seeker, Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Reilly and the equally epic Won’t Get Fooled Again. Songs from Quadrophenia abound too, including I’m One, Love, Reign O’er Me, 5.15 and The Real Me. Genuine rock royalty at a historic building which has seen its fair share of kings and queens.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh (July 8 and 9)

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

The funk-metal gods notched up their 40th anniversary last year and, with guitarist extraordinaire John Frusciante now back in the fold alongside vocalist Anthony Kiedis, hyperactive bassist Flea, and drummer Chad Smith, celebrated with not one but two new, Rick Rubin-produced albums, Unlimited Love and Return Of The Dream Canteen. Hampden welcomes the livewire rockers next month on the wittily named Global Stadium Tour, though whether Scotland has forgiven the band remains to be seen: a show scheduled for last summer in Glasgow was cancelled at very short notice. Support here comes from The Roots and King Princess.

Hampden Park, Glasgow (July 23)