NYC Concert Calendar
by nycgo.com staff
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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.
Prefer your live music free? Click the image below for a rundown of no-cost concerts taking place this summer in New York City.
Free Performances at David Rubinstein Atrium, Lincoln Center
Local and national artists perform free shows every week at one of the City’s preeminent venues. It’s first-come, first-served—so arrive early. For more info, visit lincolncenter.org.
May 22–September 4
Today Concert Series at Rockefeller Center
Just how much do you like James Taylor, Carly Rae Jepsen and Keith Urban? The true test of fandom is whether you’re willing to arrive as early as 5am for a good spot at this televised concert series, full of big names. The sets are short, but the shows are free. For more info, visit today.com.
May 22–September 4
Good Morning America Summer Concert Series at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park
Hop out of bed for free early-morning concerts at Rumsey Playfield. Dierks Bentley, Nicki Minaj and Hozier are a few of the acts scheduled to perform. Set your alarm and grab a latte—"doors" open at 6am. For more info, visit gma.yahoo.com.
June 13, June 27, July 10 and August 7
The Nuyorican Poets Café at various locations
The Nuyorican Poets Café—the famous East Village arts space—hosts a series of free outdoor shows this summer in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. The August 7 show features Tony Award–winning writer and actress Sarah Jones. For more info, visit nuyorican.org.
June 15, 17, 24, 26, 28 and 30
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series at Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Queensbridge Park, Jackie Robinson Park, Crotona Park and Clove Lakes Park
Experience the music of The Metropolitan Opera for free in City parks. The series features shows in all five boroughs. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
June 16 and 22
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 tour of 2015 (so far) for the genre's fans. The June 16 concert was rescheduled from the original date of January 27; if you had tickets for that show, they're still good. For more info, visit axs.com.
Damien Rice at Celebrate Brooklyn
This Irish singer-songwriter will stop at the Prospect Park Bandshell to perform songs from My Favourite Faded Fantasy, his first new album in eight years. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
June 20, July 1, August 20, September 25, October 21, November 19, December 17 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.
J Mascis at Pioneer Works
Although the Dinosaur Jr. frontman is best known for songs like "Freak Scene," "The Wagon" and that unforgettable cover of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven," indie rock's gray-bearded eminence has enjoyed a long and fruitful solo career. Dead Moon, Borbetomagus and Das Audit join him for a night of live performances. For more info, visit issueprojectroom.org.
D'Angelo and the Vanguard at Forest Hills Stadium
This R&B singer's latest album, Black Messiah, is his first since 2000's Voodoo. Like most of his funk-tinged music, it seems out of time yet totally fresh; despite (or thanks to?) releasing just a few dozen songs in 20 years—making him in some way the anti-Prince—he's cultivated quite the legacy, fan base and mystique. Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is also on the bill. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
New Kids on the Block, Nelly and TLC at Madison Square Garden
This lineup may not seem cohesive at first glance, but all three of these acts have some connection to R&B. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
CJ Ramone and Shonen Knife at Le Poisson Rouge
Late-'80s and '90s Ramones bassist-vocalist CJ Ramone joins all-female Japanese pop-punk outfit Shonen Knife for a night of hard, fast, catchy tunes. For tickets, visit ticketprophet.com.
John Fogerty at Radio City Music Hall
Bryan Adams might claim to have bought his first real six string in the summer of '69, but John Fogerty was busy releasing Green River, the second of three classic Creedence Clearwater Revival albums to hit that same year (Bayou Country and Willie and the Poor Boys were the others). His "1969" tour celebrates CCR's flurry of activity, making us the fortunate ones. 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.
Richard Thompson Trio at The Town Hall
Known in equal measures for fierce guitar solos, delicate ballads and dark-edged folk rock, Thompson has accumulated a fervent fan base over a nearly 50-year career (he started young). That includes his teen years in Fairport Convention; his albums with his former wife, Linda; his 1,000 Years of Music ventures, which start in the 13th century and move on up to Britney Spears; and his latest, Still, produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Farmborough Country Music Festival at Randall’s Island
Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and a barnful of other country music acts turn New York City into Nashville East. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Freestyle and Old School Extravaganza at Radio City Music Hall
Listen to Lisa Lisa, TKA, Chaka Demus & Pliers and George Lamond, who are among the freestyle masters set to spit rhymes like it’s 1989 at this show. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Catalan Sounds On Tour at Rumsey Playfied, Central Park
Barcelona comes to Central Park as Oques Grasses, La iaia, Silvia Perez Cruz and DJ Guillamino perform an open-air show. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Rush at Madison Square Garden
No fly-by-night, the quintessential prog-rock band (and 2013 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) celebrates 40 years of living in the limelight together on the "R40 Live Tour." For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Ingrid Michaelson, Jukebox the Ghost and Secret Someones at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Staten Island–born indie-pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson takes the Central Park stage with piano-drums-guitar trio Jukebox the Ghost and Weezer-y female-fronted pop-rockers Secret Someones. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Melvins at Santos Party House
The heaviest band in showbiz returned last fall with their eleventy-billionth full-length record, Hold It In, which features contributions from Jeff Pinkus and Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers. See Pinkus play bass, supporting Melvins stalwarts King Buzzo (vocals, guitar) and Dale Crover (drums). For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Bebel Gilberto at Blue Note
This singer spent her childhood shuffling between Rio de Janeiro and New York, so there could be no more fitting performer to belt out Bossa Nova in Greenwich Village. For tickets, visit bluenote.net.
Latin Alternative Music Conference at St. Mary's Park, Prospect Park Bandshell and Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
The Latin Alternative Music Conference, now in its 16th year, brings free concerts to the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. This year's acts include DJ Afro, Systema Solar, Helado Negro, Compass, Vicentico, Ximena Sariñana and No Te Va Gustar. For more info, visit latinalternative.com.
Punch Brothers at Prospect Park Bandshell
Take in a set of Brooklyn bluegrass from the fellows who brought you this memorable cover of the Cars' "Just What I Needed." For more info, visit bricartsmedia.org.
Dispatch at Madison Square Garden
The rootsy, jam-y rock band performs a pair of shows called "Dispatch: Hunger," intended to raise awareness of hunger and related issues in the United States. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The New Pornographers at Prospect Park
A.C. Newman’s power-pop colossus from up north released a new album, Brill Bruisers, last summer, and their set lists still incorporate old favorites going back to Mass Romantic and The Electric Version. The show is free. For more info, visit bricartsmedia.org.
Mister G at St. Mary's Park
This one's for the kids, but you'll probably bop along and leave singing about Mr. Bigsby's brown tuxedo or some other lyrical flight of fancy. The bilingual singer-songwriter employs Latin and ska rhythms to ramp up the catchiness. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at Queensbridge Park
Even as he approaches his 74th birthday, George Clinton can still get a crowd moving. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Webster Hall
It's the 20th anniversary of Clueless, and part of that movie's '90s flavor came from the Bosstones' live performances of "Where'd You Go?" and "Someday I Suppose." Make like Cher and bring a crush along to hear the ska-punk veterans for yourself. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Interpol at Prospect Park Bandshell
Interpol has sold a lot of albums and garnered much critical acclaim, but in our book their work won't be done until they outrank their eponymous international police organization as Wikipedia's primary Interpol. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Shuggie Otis at Brooklyn Bowl and B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
It's two nights of rhythm and blues from the man who brought you "Inspiration Information." For tickets, visit ticketyfly.com or ticketmaster.com.
Rock Steady Crew 38th Anniversary Show at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Begun in the Bronx in 1977, the Rock Steady Crew established the standard for B-boying (breakdancing, that is). They'll host the festivities and likely do some popping and locking; rappers Big Daddy Kane and Whodini will also perform. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
George Ezra at Terminal 5
He's leading the latest British Invasion of American pop airwaves—alongside Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith—but George Ezra has also garnered comparisons to American folk icon Bob Dylan. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Dr. John at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Known for his New Orleans rhythms and the skull atop his piano, Dr. John has been at it for nearly 60 years. Expect plenty of old favorites, along with selections from last year's tribute to Louis Armstrong, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Bowery Ballroom
The loudest blog buzz died down years ago, but Brooklyn’s own Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is still cranking out quirky, nervous indie rock. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Songs in Concert at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Cast members perform songs from the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical about the life of Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter Carole King. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
James Taylor at Forest Hills Stadium
The king of mellow '70s rock comes to Queens, where he has promised to shower the people with new songs for the first time in more than a decade—said numbers come from new album Before This World. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Prospect Park
Alex Ebert’s 12-person indie-folk band heads to Prospect Park, where their good vibes (and the rich live vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements they're known for) will doubtless resonate in the open air. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Buckwheat Zydeco at City Winery
A little bit of Louisiana comes to New York City in Buckwheat Zydeco's accordion case. Though the zydeco genre isn't exactly mainstream these days, this gentleman and his band have nevertheless performed at the Olympics, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and on the Late Show with David Letterman. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Father John Misty at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
J. Tillman, aka Father John Misty, performs songs from his new album, I Love You, Honeybear (and, presumably, old favorites). Tickets are sold out, but you can try your luck at stubhub.com.
New York Pops with Sutton Foster at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
America's largest pop brings its talents to the open air. Joining the 78-piece orchestra in Queens—where the organization plans a series of performances—is Tony-award winning Sutton Foster. Here’s your chance to watch her belt numbers from the likes of Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Desaparecidos and So So Glos at Webster Hall
Connor Oberst's political screamo band is back with a new album, Payola, and ready to fight the man live onstage. Bay Ridge punks the So So Glos are also on the bill. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
30th Anniversary DJ Celebration: Quantic / Gilles Peterson / Afrika Bambaataa at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Afrika Bambaataa—one of the godfathers of hip-hop—joins forces with British DJs Quantic and Gilles Peterson for a five-hour dance party. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Tune-Yards at Prospect Park Bandshell
Tune-Yards (often styled tUnE-yArDs) goes heavy on the whimsy; resistance is futile. This show is the last in the 2015 Celebrate Brooklyn season. For more info, visit bricartsmedia.org.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at Damrosch Park
Lyle Lovett helped revitalize country music in the 1980s and '90s with his literate pop sensibility. He also sang a duet of "You've Got a Friend in Me" with Randy Newman in Toy Story. His latest album is 2012's Release Me. The show is free, and the exclamation point on this year's Lincoln Center Out of Doors fest. For more information, visit lcoutofdoors.org.
Mötley Crüe at Barclays Center
Hard as it may be to believe that those dëcades of decädence are wrapping up, this tour is your last chance to catch the glam metal bacchants smoking in the boys' room. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Willie Nelson at Celebrate Brooklyn
This red-bandana wearing country crooner is still touring at age 81. Expect him to play staples like “Crazy” and “Always on My Mind” at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
In the '90s, The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show aired demo tapes and freestyles from artists like Jay Z, Nas and the Fugees before they hit the mainstream. Celebrate the show's impact with a concert featuring DJ sets and live performances, as well as a screening of a documentary about the duo. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival at Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park
The free annual festival honoring jazz legend Charlie Parker features acts paying tribute to the man himself and otherwise keeping the genre alive. This year's performers include Oliver Lake Big Band, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Joe Lovano. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Nick Jonas at Terminal 5
The older Jonas Brothers will not be found at this show—just this heartthrob, hits like “Jealous” and “Chains” and, we must assume, thousands of screaming teenagers. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Electric Zoo at Randall’s Island
The party people return to Randall’s Island for their EDM fix. This year’s lineup includes such big names as David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren and Kaskade. For tickets, visit electriczoofestival.com.
Scorpions and Queensrÿche at Barclays Center
Raucous German heavy metal band Scorpions, known for 1980s hits including "No One Like You" and "Rock You Like a Hurricane," celebrate their 50th birthday. Also invited to the party: cerebral metal stalwarts Queensrÿche. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Death Cab for Cutie at Madison Square Garden
The sensitive indie-pop-rock lads behind "The Sound of Settling"—new guitarist in tow—play a big arena show. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Gipsy Kings at The Beacon Theatre
Bring your dancing shoes—Latin pop veterans the Gipsy Kings (who sing in Spanish but hail from France), responsible for memorable tunes like "Bamboléo,"are coming to town. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Alabama Shakes & Drive-By Truckers at Forest Hills Stadium
Alabama Shakes brings its soulful jazz-rock sound to Queens. Alt-country band Drive-By Truckers opens. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
September 19, 29–30
Josh Groban at Kings Theatre and The Beacon Theatre
Groban takes the stage for one night in Brooklyn followed shortly thereafter by a two-night gig at The Beacon Theatre. Expect to hear old favorites like “You Raise Me Up” plus selections from his new album, Stages, which is made up of songs from musical theater productions. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Jackson Browne at Kings Theatre
Always capable of quiet introspections, socially conscious calls to arms and easygoing rockers, Browne released his latest, Standing in the Breach, last year—proving yet again that he misspoke those years ago about running on empty. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Lee Ritenour at Blue Note
This accomplished jazz guitarist has lent his talents to artists like Carly Simon, Steely Dan and the Bee Gees, in addition to producing plenty of solo output. For tickets, visit bluenote.net.
Steely Dan at The Beacon Theatre
Jazz-rockers Steely Dan (Walter Becker and Donald Fagen) have sold 40 million records thanks to hits like "Peg," "Deacon Blues" and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," and one might say they're reeling in the years with this eight-night residency at The Beacon Theatre. The band promises a different complete album and/or greatest hits selection each night. For more info—including updates on ticket availability and specifics on each set—visit beacontheatre.com.
Ricky Martin at Madison Square Garden
Prepare yourself for a night of Latin-pop music and bon-bon shaking from the man who brought you “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Luna at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg
Apparently, absence does make the heart grow fonder. After a 10-year hiatus, these low-key rockers have sold out three nights of shows. For tickets, check stubhub.com.
The Who at Barclays Center, Forest Hills Stadium and Madison Square Garden
Remember The Who's farewell tour in 1982? The reunion in 1989? 1996? The last shows with John Entwistle before his death in 2002, and the ones right after? Well, this current run, a continuation of their 50-year-anniversary circuit begun in 2013, is absolutely, positively it. We're torn between saying "long live rock" and "won’t get fooled again." For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com and ticketfly.com.
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) at Highline Ballroom
PFM was the first Italian rock band to achieve success abroad, touring and charting in the United Kingdom and United States. At their peak, from 1973 to 1977, PFM released five albums of their Italian-accented progressive rock with English lyrics—some by King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden
Andrea Bocelli is one of the most famous singers on the planet (if you're not a fan, chances are your mother is). Bring tissues; his high notes might make you shed a tear. 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.
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.