Music Speaks

These four concerts cuts through the summer heat.

By August, your tan is your part-time job and the kids may be off to summer camp, or are perhaps vacationing with you in the Big Apple. It’s also National Romance Awareness Month and National Family Fun month, so if you’re in the mood to celebrate with big music acts in NYC, there’s something here for everyone.

Nearly a decade after being named the Best New Artist at the Grammys, John Legend scored the biggest hit of his career with “All Of Me,” sure to be the new centerpiece of his live show at Barclays on August 6. John Legend’s magic comes from emoting via his smooth baritone and delicate piano, and it will be no less powerful as the crowd hushes for the big notes and raw emotion unleashed during his moving performance. Over the years, Legend has collaborated with many artists including Kanye West, Andre 3000, and The Roots, so surprise guests are not out of the question. He has come a long way since earlier favorite “Ordinary People” proved an extraordinary hit, placing Legend in a ubiquitous space that few other neo soul artists can fill so effectively.

If you’re looking for the biggest boy band in the world, One Direction is the way to go, and the fivesome’s worldwide Where We Are 2014 Tour has two stops at MetLife Stadium, August 4 and 5. Expect to hear the hits “Best Night Ever,” “Story of My Life” and “Live While We’re Young” as well as their breakthrough song “What Makes You Beautiful.” The boys’ third album “Midnight Memories” hit #1 in 97 countries last year, including the U.S., where they’ve released every album at the top of the charts. The 1D momentum continues this summer with the heartfelt ballad “You & I.” Editor’s note: Kids, save your voices; parents, get yourself some earplugs.

Those looking to venture outside will be delighted to experience Passenger’s first-ever headlining show August 10 at Central Park’s Summer Stage. The British singer-songwriter Passenger (AKA Mike Rosenberg) has had a sleeper success story with 2012 stand-out ballad “Let Her Go,” which went to #1 in over 15 countries globally and gave the artist a Top 10 in the U.S. The memorable Superbowl XLVIII commercial “Puppy Love” which featured this smash was ranked as one of the best spots for the 2014 showdown. What makes a Passenger show powerful is his ability to capture the attention of his crowd with just his acoustic guitar and folksy vocals. A VH1 You Oughta Know artist, Passenger sold out his 2013 North American tour and he has already appeared on the Today ShowThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Live! With Kelly and Michael.

However, the indie-rock show of the summer is most definitely Arcade Fire, who light up Barclays Center for three nights, August 22-24 for the Reflektor Tour. The multi-instrumentalist sextet from Montreal recently headlined Glastonbury in the U.K., which has hosted previous headlining alumni that range from Oasis and Muse to Chemical Brothers, Beyonce and Jay Z. The band’s quirky, colorful choices of costumes combined with some trippy visuals will add to the excitement around their brief August residency. Fans can expect to hear favorites from previous albums “The Suburbs,” “Neon Bible” and breakthrough “Funeral” as well as newer material from “Reflektor.” Brooklyn audiences may be in luck for some Gotham-friendly covers, as Arcade Fire is known for covering songs based on the show location; at recent UK shows they performed Echo and the Bunnymen’s 1983 hit “The Cutter,” The Smiths’ “London” and The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” which was accompanied by a mariachi band.