01/24/2012 12:19 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2012

Hollywood Bowl 2012 Season: Our Picks For A Good Night Out

Whether you sit in the grass or in a box, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl unite Angelenos under a canopy of starry lights and a light blanket of pot smoke -- in other words, a perfect summer night. With Tuesday's release of the 2012 season, now's the time to start rounding up friends and family to set the dates for your favorite performances.

The historic concert venue benefits richly from friends in high places; LA Phil director Gustavo Dudamel, creative jazz director Herbie Hancock and long-time Phil performer John Williams are calling in favors from all over the world for this season's shows, notes the Los Angeles Times.

Dudamel is pulling in Latin-American performers like Juanes, a rock star from Colombia, and Placido Domingo, the "superstar Spanish tenor" for stints at the Bowl. Hancock is performing with Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter, and Williams is bringing in violinist Gil Shaham for "John Williams: Maestro of the Movies."

Summer might seem really far away right now, but having Hollywood Bowl tickets in hand will bring you just a little bit closer to the finish line. Currently, tickets are only available for purchase by Hollywood Bowl subscribers, and new subscriptions go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday. On March 13, tickets go on sale for people buying 5 or more, while single tickets are available in early May.

Below are our top picks for this year's season, and check out the Hollywood Bowl for the entire line up. Because it isn't really summer in Los Angeles until the Bowl lights up.

Hollywood Bowl 2012 Lineup