ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Concerts are back, but for now, music fans can only enjoy a live show outside. One of Albuquerque’s biggest concert venues already has some big names lined up for summer. People say live music is something they’ve been missing and they are excited to have some options this year. “There’s an energy, just really a connection that people feel to the artists that they like,” says James Bongard, Owner of We Buy Music.

It won’t be long before New Mexicans can once again experience the thrill of a big concert in person. “I’d love to see more artists live. You don’t get that same experience from Instagram live or Zoom or anything like that,” says Nicholas Duron.

Bernalillo County is still in the yellow phase, so concerts can only happen outdoors. As of now, the Isleta Amphitheater is the only game in town. They can have 25% of their maximum capacity which is at least 3,000 people. “I would go, I would definitely go,” Bongard says.

So far the venue has 10 bands already lined up from June to December. KRQE News 13 checked and there are still hundreds of tickets available for acts like the Backstreet Boys, Maroon 5, Chris Stapleton, and the Dave Matthews Band. “War! I’d like to see War,” says Steve Schroeder.

Music lovers say this is a moment they’ve been waiting for since live shows were first canceled last year. “You’re there with people and you’re all sort of sharing this experience together and so to not have that anymore is a little difficult,” Duron says.

Fans believe music will help many people regain some sense of normalcy. “The vaccine takes care of your body but music takes care of your soul,” Schroeder says.

If Bernalillo County gets to the green phase, Isleta could open up more seats as the capacity limit would go up to 50%. KRQE News 13 reached out to Live Nation, the California-based company that runs the amphitheater and schedules concerts, to see if more bands are expected to be added to this year’s lineup and to see how ticket sales are going. They say as the health order changes, they will adjust their lineup and seating plans.