NYC Concert Calendar
by nycgo.com staff
- events in nyc/
- more in arts & entertainment/
If you love live music, there's no better place than NYC—home to countless venerated concert halls that host both superstars and rising stars every night of the week. Below, find a sampling of upcoming shows.
December 18, January 9, February 18, March 9, April 3, May 28, June 20 and more
Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden
Perhaps emboldened by near-instant sellouts of the area gigs he'd already announced, living legend and New York icon Billy Joel will play what used to be called a residency at Madison Square Garden (they're saying they've turned the man into a "franchise"), performing a show a month as long as people keep showing up. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
December 14 and 20
Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg
"Basher," as Lowe was once known, bashed out a Christmas album in 2013 (soon, there will be fewer artists who haven't made a holiday album than those who have). Expect some tunes from that, some chestnuts like "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," and rollicking backup by Los Straitjackets. Ticketmaster.com has tickets for the Bowery and MHOW shows.
Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden
Your parents' favorite tenor brings his pipes to MSG to celebrate the holiday season. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Rufus and Martha Wainwright's Noel Nights at The Town Hall
The special guests—Emmylou Harris, Cibo Matto, Loudon Wainwright (the dad), unspecified others—provide as compelling a draw as do the siblings who headline this Christmastime family tradition. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Soulside at Saint Vitus
These recently reunited '80s post-hardcore vets (three of whom went on to move to New York City, get all sexy-sleazy and found Girls Against Boys) play two sold-out shows at Saint Vitus. For those who'd like to rock, we direct your attention to stubhub.com.
Opeth and In Flames at Terminal 5
Swedish death-metal purveyors Opeth seem to have made a complete transition to prog with their latest album, Pale Communion. In Flames, another Swedish pioneer of melodic death metal, released Siren Charms this year. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
December 19, 26–27 and January 2
A Darlene Love Christmas at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
The singer of the timeless "He’s a Rebel" has a few seasonal tricks in her bag. For one, she’s sung "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on Letterman’s Late Show come holiday time for nearly 30 years. And, yes, she’s the voice of SNL’s comic song "Christmastime for the Jews." For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Bob Seger and the J. Geils Band at Madison Square Garden
Seger's "Fire Down Below" references the streets of Boston; J. Geils Band recorded a song called "Detroit Breakdown." So they know each other's territory. They're linked in other ways, too: as hard-working live acts who produced loads of hits in the 1970s and '80s. If you can't remember every word, don't worry; rock 'n' roll never forgets. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
RL Grime at Terminal 5
Electronic wunderkind—and pride of Los Angeles—RL Grime (aka Harry Steinway) brings danceable energy to the Midtown West superclub. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Run DMC and LL Cool J at Barclays Center
For Christmas in Brooklyn—though we're sure Hollis will still get its due—these old-school rappers will have their beats, rhymes and initials in (mistle) tow. Bells will be rocked; Adidas will do the illest things; a merry time will be had by all. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The Front Bottoms, Kevin Devine, So So Glos, Chris Gethard and Many More at Webster Hall
The so-called Champagne Jam is a very large holiday concert headlined by the Front Bottoms, a New Jersey band whose dancey folk-punk with quirky-yet-relatable lyrics has quickly amassed a zealous fan base. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Tyler, the Creator at Terminal 5
The rapper and leader of LA's Odd Future collective continues to tour on the strength of his second solo album, Wolf. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Willie Nile at Highline Ballroom
Buffalo-born, NYC-bred singer-songwriter Willie Nile has spent the last decade producing some of the most compelling music of his 35-year career. His latest, American Ride, dropped in June 2013. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Fishbone at The Gramercy Theatre
These ska-punk, funk and rock legends are known for toe-tapping fare like "Ma and Pa" and a truly bombastic live show (look out—the singer might stage dive straight at you). Put on your dancin' shoes. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Television at Irving Plaza
Headed by Tom Verlaine (his onetime foil, Richard Lloyd, is no longer with the group, but Lloyd’s fill-in seems quite capable), the seminal punk band may try to see just how long a version of "Marquee Moon" it can play before the song wears out its welcome. The answer is: it never does. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Patti Smith at Webster Hall
The living legend—singer-songwriter, poet, artist, memoirist, the list goes on—plays her usual holiday shows at this East Village concert hall. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
December 29–30 and January 1–4
The Temptations and the Four Tops at the Palace Theatre
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” “Bernadette.” The Temptations and the Four Tops are responsible for some of the 20th century's most memorable melodies. Though only one original member survives in each band, the songs live on. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Erasure. Photo: Joe Dilworth
Erasure at Terminal 5
This synth-pop duo is still going strong after three decades of cranking out dance-floor earworms. So please, a little respect. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
December 30 and January 2
Detroit Cobras at Bowery Electric and Baby's All Right
The fast-and-furious garage-rockin' cover band gets loud in Brooklyn and Manhattan at these two area shows. Consider these sets a fine and noisy way to finish your 2014—or start '15. For tickets to the Bowery Electric show, visit ticketweb.com; for tickets to the Baby's All Right show, visit ticketfly.com.
Elton John. Photo: Joseph Guay
#Lastlands, with special guests at Glasslands
#Lastlands is not the name of a band (though it wouldn’t be a bad one, come to think of it), but rather a hashtag commemorating the closing of Glasslands in Williamsburg. The venue is going out with a New Year’s Eve bash featuring four mystery artists who have rocked the house before—your guess is as good as ours. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com
January 5, 12, 19 and 26
Steve Earle at City Winery
The hard-rockin', hard-livin' country singer has morphed into an actor, novelist, activist and all-around sage. Among the performances in his annual winter residency at City Winery will be a shared-stage concert with Shawn Colvin (January 12). For tickets, visit citywinery.com.
Aaradhna at Apollo Music Café
When you're bopping along to a song titled "Lorena Bobbitt" without a second thought, you know the artist has done something right. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Peanut Butter Wolf at Brooklyn Bowl
Chris Manak, better known as Peanut Butter Wolf, has been spinning for decades—deejaying for the likes of Bill Clinton, the Beastie Boys and Gwen Stefani. He's also the founder of LA-based underground hip-hop label Stones Throw Records. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
January 9–12, 14–17
Dr. Dog at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom
Psychedelic indie rockers Dr. Dog—who proudly wear their 1960s and '70s influences on their sleeves—play four nights each in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Their latest album is called B-Room. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Lydia Lunch at Rough Trade
This reinvented self-help guru (and spoken-word artist) has come a long way from stealing food for her friends and starring in provocative underground movies. Her music still plumbs dark depths, though. She fronts the band Retrovirus for this show. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
RJD2 at Brooklyn Bowl
The wildly inventive DJ-producer brings his special brand of party funk to the only Williamsburg party palace that's also a bowling alley. The show is sold out—naturally—but limited tickets will be available at the door. For more info, visit brooklynbowl.com.
The Vaselines at The Bell House
This Scottish duo was beloved by Nirvana, who covered a handful of their bright pop songs. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Sufjan Stevens at Brooklyn Academy of Music
These performances will have Stevens and Yarn/Wire, a piano and percussion ensemble, providing a live electronic score for a rodeo documentary titled Round-Up. Sounds...interesting? For tickets, visit bam.org.
Reverend Horton Heat at The Gramercy Theatre
If you're in the market for sped-up rockabilly, songs about zombies and all-around fun, you've come to the right show. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Motion City Soundtrack at Irving Plaza
These Rentals-meet-Fall Out Boy synth-pop punks are set to play sophomore album (and fan favorite) Commit This to Memory in its entirety, 10 years after the record's initial release. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake at Best Buy Theater
Reel Big Fish had a gold record during the ska-punk boom of the 1990s, and the band has held on to a loyal fan base through relentless touring and a highly caffeinated live show. Plus, lead singer-guitarist Aaron Barrett can shred with the best of 'em. Fellow hardened ska-punk vets Less Than Jake co-headline what has to be the show of 2015 (so far) for the genre's fans. For tickets, visit axs.com.
Spandau Ballet at Beacon Theatre
This much is true: these dapper New Romantics briefly ruled the MTV roost back in the early 1980s. If you're not ready to buy a ticket to the world, consider buying a ticket to their show; do so at ticketmaster.com.
Jay Farrar at City Winery
One half of the songwriting genius (along with future Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy) behind alt-country heroes Uncle Tupelo, Farrar has gone on to front Son Volt, release a few solo albums and set lyrics by Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac to music. Expect heartfelt, well-crafted Americana, if not too much of the early stuff you might yearn for. For tickets, visit citywinery.com.
Robert Earl Keen at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Along with kindred types Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith, Keen was part of a hyperliterate group of Texas singer-songwriters elbowing their way onto the 1980s country scene. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
New York Blues Hall of Fame Concert at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Did you know that New York had its own blues hall of fame? Inductees may not be the big names you'd recognize, but they’ve all paid their dues on the local scene. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Living Colour at Brooklyn Bowl
They ain't no glamour boys—they're fierce! (Though look away from their outfits in this video if you want to maintain that impression.) They're also back, releasing a new album and playing some dates along the East Coast, including this Valentine’s soiree. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
If dialing into P-Funk's mothership connection doesn't make you want to get off your you-know-what and jam, well, there may be no hope. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Helmet at Bowery Ballroom and Saint Vitus
Somewhere between metal, math rock and post-punk, Helmet stood poised in the 1990s to be the, or at least a, next big thing. Despite commercial success, they never quite hit the top and disbanded at the end of the decade (to be revived about five years later). At these sold-out shows, they'll be performing songs from 1994's Betty; for tickets, visit stubhub.com.
Jukebox the Ghost and Secret Someones at Irving Plaza
Jukebox the Ghost started as a poppy rock band that sounded like a hyperactive cross between Ben Folds Five, Queen and They Might Be Giants. On their most recent album, they went full force on the pop production and sometimes sounded a little bit like Fun (the "We Are Young" folks). If there's one thing the old stuff and the new stuff have in common, though, it's that the songs are super-catchy. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Gang of Four at Irving Plaza
It’s more like a Gang of Three…or, if you’re just counting original members, a Gang of One. But hey, we won’t argue if it means we get to hear the likes of "Damaged Goods" and "I Love a Man in a Uniform." For tickets, visit livenation.com.
G. Love and Special Sauce at Irving Plaza
These funky Philadelphians made a splash on the 1990s alternative hip-hop scene. They reunited for a spring 2014 release, Sugar, which marked the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Kindness at Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade
British singer-songwriter Adam Bainbridge has been performing his blend of electronica and synth-pop since 2007. His sophomore album, Otherness—released this past October—brought touches of jazz, disco and R&B into the mix. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Neil Diamond at Barclays Center
He may be known and loved all around the world (even, to some New Yorkers' chagrin, at Fenway Park), but Neil Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn—so the hometown crowd should sing along extra loud on hits like "Sweet Caroline" and "Cracklin' Rosie." For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Swervedriver at Music Hall of Williamsburg
This British band helped define the shoegaze genre of the 1990s before dissolving at the end of that decade. They've hardly looked up since. (But seriously, they've reunited, are releasing a new album and are out on tour.) For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
alt-J at Madison Square Garden
Fun fact: this English band chose its name because pressing the keyboard combination "alt+J" calls up the delta symbol, which represents change—an important theme in their work. Speaking of alt, the band's distinctive alternative-pop sound incorporates folk and hip-hop. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The Decemberists at The Beacon Theatre
If you crave an infusion of whimsical grandiloquence about vengeful mariners, homeless waifs and loves lost to tragedy, these hyper-literate indie folk rockers from Portland, Oregon, may be the act for you. The show is sold out, but you can still find tickets on stubhub.com.
April 20–21 and 23–24
John Mellencamp at Carnegie Hall and Apollo Theater
His latest release, the largely acoustic Plain Spoken, has drawn raves, but we suspect that most folks will be happy enough just to hear him fight authority and sing a little ditty about two American kids from the heartland. For tickets, visit carnegiehall.org and ticketmaster.com.
Belle & Sebastian at Radio City Music Hall
The world's foremost practitioners of precious indie pop return with a new album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, and a tour that sees them touching down before an appreciative area audience. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Bette Midler at Madison Square Garden
The woman who set countless mothers weeping with her soundtrack to Beaches recently released her 25th album, It’s the Girls!, in which she covers classic songs from girl groups like the Supremes and the Andrews Sisters. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com
Reverend Vince Anderson and the Love Choir at Union Pool
The band, which defines its style as “dirty gospel,” busts out trumpets, guitars and a keyboard every week for lively performances in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. An actual ordained reverend, Anderson studied to be a Methodist minister in the ’90s—but dropped out to pursue music full time. For more info, visit union-pool.com.
Fridays and Saturdays
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
This Greenpoint space hosts a parade of hip artists who play free shows. While you're there, you can buy food, clothes, accessories and records from local vendors, take a gander at art and play table tennis. All in all, it's a fun night out. For more info, visit bkbazaar.com.
Historic Richmond Town Tavern Concerts at Historic Richmond Town
Cozy up at Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town for this Saturday-evening series featuring folk and acoustic acts. For more info, visit historicrichmondtown.org.