It may well be the obvious choice, but all things considered, the Hollywood Bowl has to be the best venue in Los Angeles for live music. Its outdoor setting near the Hollywood Hills is glorious, the grounds are the perfect place for a pre-concert meal or drink, and the shows themselves are aided by some of the best acoustics you’re likely to hear anywhere.

Now that the venue has announced its program for 2015, I picked out a variety of highlights for this season that you may want to get yourself on board with:

Underworld – Sunday, June 21st

Following the EDM explosion of the last few years, it’s great to see two of its leading lights from earlier years making headline appearances at the Bowl in 2015. Basement Jaxx will follow later in June, but the real draw is Underworld. The veteran dance act is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut, dubnobasswithmyheadman, and as a result its allegedly astounding live show will be making a rare Los Angeles appearance. Of all the contemporary acts playing this summer at the Bowl, this one has to be filed under truly unmissable.


Back To The Future In Concert – Tuesday, June 30th

I almost feel like there’s no point writing anything for this one. It kind of sells itself. The film is 30 years old this year. We still don’t have hoverboards, but the love for this still-wonderful time-travel action-comedy has not dissipated over the decades. One of its most memorable aspects is its heroic score from Alan Silvestri, and that exhilarating music will be performed live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for this special screening.


Carmina Burana with Dudamel – Tuesday, July 21st

Classical music is a tough sell to a younger crowd these days (myself included), but the Bowl really is the place to hear this kind of thing as its classical amphitheater setting is ideal for the nuances of orchestral music. On the other hand, the legendary Carmina Burana (you know it even if you don’t think you do) is less about nuance and more about pure thunderous power. The number of people playing this piece is likely to be over 100, and far from being polite dinner music, this is the kind of stuff that could singe your eyebrows.


Monty Python’s SPAMALOT – Friday, July 31st

They do this kind of show — a one-off Broadway performance — once a year at the Bowl, and for those of us who were raised on Monty Python, the appearance of this show on the schedule only results in grins all ’round. Expect a raucous show. Expect a cast containing plenty of people you know. Expect some absolutely ridiculous songs, and remember that without the pioneers behind Monty Python, there might never have been a Flight Of The Conchords, not to mention the host of other comedians/musicians inspired by this gifted crew.


Grace Jones/Future Islands – Sunday, September 27th

I always rank Grace Jones alongside the likes of David Bowie and Prince: unique beings of questionable interplanetary origin whose star wattage makes most other performers look crushingly dull by comparison. Her live shows are apparently phenomenal, and this is a rare opportunity to catch a singular artist doing her thing. As an added bonus, support comes from the much-loved Future Islands. That’s about as fine a warm-up act as you could ask for.