NYC Concert Calendar
by nycgo.com staff
- events in nyc/
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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.
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 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.
July 27, August 3, August 10 and August 17
Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series at Wingate Field
This series of free shows starts with Morris Day and the Time and closes with an old-school rap lineup of Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow and Special Ed. For more info, visit brooklynconcerts.com.
August 7, 14, 21 and 28
Little Water Radio Concert Series at Fulton Stall Market
Head to Fulton Stall Market at South Street Seaport every Friday in August to hear bands from indie labels like Northern Spy and Paper Garden perform for free. Cold Front, Cheerleader and the Lemon Twigs are among the bands set to take the stage. For more info, visit littlewaterradio.com.
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.
John Hiatt at City Winery
Expect to hear cuts from the singer-songwriter's most recent album, 2014's Terms of My Surrender, and old favorites like “Have A Little Faith In Me.” For tickets, visit citywinery.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.
Counting Crows at Hudson River Park
Adam Duritz brings his dreadlocks and his band to crank out fan favorites like “Mr. Jones,” “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Accidentally in Love.” For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Psychedelic Furs and the Church at Irving Plaza
The Furs made the marimba cool with “Love My Way,” and the Church made heavenly sounds with “Under the Milky Way.” Whichever way you slice it, you’re in for some ‘80s college-radio nostalgia. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
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.
Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park
Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill and Gary Clark Jr. are among the acts playing what may be the biggest-ever edition of this festival, which highlights black artists playing punk- and rock-influenced music. For tickets, visit afropunkfest.com.
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.
Cosmic Sonic Rendezvous at The Wick
Ever wonder what J Mascis does when he's not wailing on guitar for Dinosaur Jr.? Come to the second night of the Tee Pee Records–backed Cosmic Sonic Rendezvous tour and find out (OK, we'll just tell you: he's the drummer for Witch). Come both nights to see the Bevis Frond, aka Nick Saloman, along with a bevy of other hard-rockers new and old. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
John McCauley at City Winery
Deer Tick’s lead singer heads to City Winery for two nights of music likely to include his band's tunes and covers of acts like Elvis Costello and Lou Reed. After all, he does love covers and New York City. For tickets, visit citywinery.com.
The Orb at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom
The musicians credited with creating ambient house music perform live in Brooklyn and Manhattan. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.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.
'90s Fest at 50 Kent
Coolio, Salt-N-Pepa and Smash Mouth take Gen-Xers back to the good ole days and help Millenials pine for a pop past they never experienced in Williamsburg. For tickets, visit 90sfest.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.
Sick of It All at the Coney Island Surf Pavilion
Queens hardcore band Sick of It All rocks Brooklyn's historic amusement district to celebrate apocalyptic street-gang movie The Warriors. Fellow Queens punk outfit Gotham City Mash also performs. A meet and greet with cast members precedes the music; a viewing of the beloved flick follows it. For tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com.
Duran Duran at Terminal 5
Messrs. Le Bon, Rhodes, Taylor and Taylor (that's minus one Taylor, for those counting) have a thriving law firm; a new album, Paper Gods; and a backlist of hits that made them Tiger Beat regulars back in the 1980s. OK, maybe not the law firm, but we’d still put our trust in them. This show is already sold out; visit stubhub.com for tickets on the secondary market.
September 15 and October 15
Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra at Joe's Pub
This wry lounge singer and his jazzy backup band have held court in Joe’s Pub once a month for much of the year. They've got a new Kickstarter-funded album (Raw Milk) and smart, catchy tunes by the fistful. For tickets, visit publictheater.org.
Will Swenson at 54 Below
Will Swenson has starred in Hair, Les Miserables and Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Broadway. For four nights, he brings his singing talents to a more intimate setting. For tickets, visit 54below.com.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at Hammerstein Ballroom
You might get a few Zep favorites from Plant and his backing band—likely filtered through the folk and world music lens he’s examining now. 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.
Joyce Manor and Cheap Girls at Webster Hall
Pop-punk, at least the emo-tinged variety, certainly isn't dead: one listen to Joyce Manor will confirm as much. Openers Cheap Girls, meanwhile, sound like flannel plugged into an amp. We mean that as the highest compliment. For tickets, visit ticketweb.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.
Of Monsters and Men at Beacon Theatre
The Icelandic pop-folk phenomenon is promoting its second album, Beneath the Skin, but we get the feeling you'll still hear breakout hit “Little Talks.” The concert is sold out but you can try stubhub.com.
Built to Spill at Bowery Ballroom
The members of venerable indie rock outfit Built to Spill have achieved much in their careers: a reputation for thrilling live shows, a slew of critically acclaimed albums and an influence over a generation of other bands. Perhaps most importantly to us, though, frontman Doug Martsch was the subject of a fun-filled nycgo.com interview way back in 2009. Their most recent album is Untethered Moon. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Cheap Trick at St. George Theatre
Forget "Surrender," “I Want You to Want Me” and "Dream Police." A generation may know the Colbert Report theme song best out of Cheap Trick's work. 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.
Micky Dolenz at 54 Below
Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz has also performed in musical theater productions like Aida, Hairspray and Pippin. This show's title, “A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock ‘N’ Roll,” is more or less self-explanatory. For tickets, visit 54below.com.
Ben Howard at Radio City Music Hall
British singer-songwriter Ben Howard made a name for himself by playing acoustic guitar (and using its body for percussion), but the material on his latest album, I Forget Where We Were, makes full use of the electric guitar. Still, fans will recognize the emotional folk at the core of his songwriting. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Hozier at Radio City Music Hall
This soulful Irish indie rocker saw his debut album rocket up the charts last year thanks to the single “Take Me to Church.” Tickets are sold out, but you can try stubhub.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.
Yo La Tengo and Nick Lowe at Kings Theatre
Long-running Jersey indie heroes Yo La Tengo visit Brooklyn for an acoustic show, bringing along a member from their early years (Dave Schramm) and an old hand from the pubs of England (Nick Lowe). For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Nate Ruess at Prospect Park Bandshell
The post-race Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon concert is free, even for those of us not up to a 13.1-mile run. In his solo sets, Ruess has supplemented songs from Grand Romantic with Fun hits and, to our happy surprise, even a selection or two from his days in The Format. For more info, visit runrocknroll.com.
The Front Bottoms at Irving Plaza
New Jersey's Front Bottoms seem to draw a bigger crowd every time they come to town. The recent Fueled by Ramen signees now headline back-to-back nights at Irving Plaza, bringing old folk-pop-punk favorites and some cuts from their brand-new third album—which, in keeping with their rising fame, is more restrained and features more studio gloss than the old stuff. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Joe Jackson at The Town Hall
The genre-jumping Jackson—still best known for his very first single, "Is She Really Going Out With Him"—keeps a relatively low profile these days, living in Berlin and putting out a new studio recording every three or four years. Fast Forward is his latest. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.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.
Shakey Graves and Those Darlins at Terminal 5
Settle in for some roots rock, courtesy of a Texas multi-instrumentalist and a raucous trio from Nashville. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.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.
Sleater-Kinney at various locations
After roughly eight years of solo projects, supergroups and TV roles, the various members of Sleater-Kinney reunited for a new album, No Cities to Love, and a few more laps on the touring circuit. They’ll play five shows in five NYC locations; we’re grateful for each and every one. Some nights have sold out; check sleater-kinney.com and stubhub.com for availability.
Jimmy Buffett at Barclays Center
Let's face it: spending New Year’s in NYC is a far cry from living on sponge cake and searching for lost salt shakers in Margaritaville (though you may find a cheeseburger in paradise /slideshows/must-try-burgers). The next best thing might be enjoying a Parrothead sing-along about it all. For ticket info, when it becomes available, visit barclayscenter.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.