We present a computational model, which combines interface debonding and frictional contact, in order to investigate the response of concrete specimens subjected to dynamic tensile and compressive loading. Concrete is modeled using a meso-mechanical approach in which aggregates and mortar are represented explicitly, thus allowing all material parameters to be physically identified. The material phases are considered to behave elastically, while initiation, coalescence and propagation of cracks are modeled by dynamically inserted cohesive elements. The impenetrability condition is enforced by a contact algorithm that resorts to the classical law of Coulomb friction. We show that the proposed model is able to capture the general increase in strength with increasing rate of loading and the tension/compression asymmetry. Moreover, we simulate compression with lateral confinement showing that the model reproduces the increase in peak strength with increasing confinement level. We also quantify the increase in the ratio between dissipated frictional energy and dissipated fracture energy as the confining pressure is augmented. Our results demonstrate the fundamental importance of capturing frictional mechanisms, which appear to dissipate a similar amount of energy when compared to cracking under compressive loading.