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.
March 29, April 26 and May 31
They Might Be Giants at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn's own beloved nerd-rock outfit has plans for a big 2015, with new "Dial-A-Song" recordings every week and live shows in their home borough every month. Check musichallofwilliamsburg.com for details on the shows, some of which will feature full-album sets. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
April 3, May 28, 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.
April 23 and June 12
Ex Hex at (Le) Poisson Rouge and Music Hall of Williamsburg
This all-girl DC punk trio turns out tight, tuneful slices of rock. For tickets to the Le Poisson Rouge show, visit ticketprophet.com.
FKA Twigs at Brooklyn Hangar
The British singer-dancer-producer-choreographer (and force for all that's good and right in music today) plays two shows as part of the Red Bull Music Academy's annual fandango. For more info, visit redbullmusicacademy.com.
Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at The Studio at Webster Hall
Celebrate the punk rocker in the neighborhood where his band used to pump up the volume at CBGB, with a lineup that includes former Ramones bassist CJ Ramone. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Mastodon, Clutch and Graveyard at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
SummerStage’s slate of free concerts is subsidized by a few choice benefit shows, like this sludge-metal jamboree. It promises to be more face-melting than the hottest day in July. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
TV on the Radio at Kings Theatre
Brooklyn's arty TV on the Radio have amassed a loyal following over the past decade and a half. Their latest album, Seeds, came in the wake of bassist Gerard Smith's untimely passing. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Primal Scream at Irving Plaza and Warsaw
Bobbie Gillespie and his merry troupe of psychedelia-obsessed party monsters return to these shores, playing a variety of hits from the past three decades. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The Rentals at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp's synth-heavy side project turned main gig put out Lost in Alphaville last year. If you liked the band's 1995 debut, the new album may be up your alley. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Föllakzoid and SQÜRL at Rough Trade
Föllakzoid is a Santiago, Chile–based band of psych rockers. SQÜRL is an experimental rock troupe cofounded by indie director Jim Jarmusch. Both feature umlauts in their names. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The Pixies at The Beacon Theatre and Kings Theatre
In 2013 this highly influential alt-rock outfit released their first new material in almost a decade—but it's a safe bet the crowd will be coming for old favorites like "Debaser" and "Gigantic." For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
May 26, May 30 and October 27
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.
May 28–29, 31
Ed Sheeran at Forest Hills Stadium and Barclays Center
Guitar-toting R&B heartthrob Ed Sheeran is your teenage daughter's celebrity crush. Just buy her the tickets; she got great grades this semester. For tickets, visit foresthillsstadium.com or ticketmaster.com.
Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater
The founder of prog-rock band Porcupine Tree is also a surround-sound remixer of some renown. On this tour, he supports recent solo release Hand. Cannot. Erase. For tickets, visit axs.com.
Lloyd Cole at The Bell House
Cole never really broke through in the States, but he probably should have. On the other hand, who wants to listen to smart, catchy, guitar-driven pop? This is an acoustic show, so don’t expect a commotion (or the Commotions). For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
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.
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at Highline Ballroom
This highly influential 83-year-old folk singer (whose teenage travels with a rodeo inspired him to pick up the guitar) is still going strong. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Blue Note Jazz Festival at various locations
New York City’s largest jazz festival is five years old in 2015. The lineup includes Natalie Cole, the Robert Glasper Trio, the Bad Plus and Buddy Guy, to name just a few. For tickets, visit bluenotejazzfestival.com.
Lyricist Lounge Featuring Scarface at Red Hook Park
Former Geto Boys rapper Scarface plays a free show in Red Hook. His recently released memoir, Diary of a Madman, reveals his battles with depression and paranoia. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Chaka Khan at Prospect Park Bandshell
The Queen of Funk ushers in the 2015 Celebrate Brooklyn! season in style with hits like "I'm Every Woman." Arrive early and bring your dancing shoes. For more info, visit bricartsmedia.org.
Ride at Terminal 5
This British indie band created one of the quintessential albums of the shoegaze genre (Nowhere). They then adopted a more melodic, Britpop-influenced style before a tense breakup in 1996. They got back together for one performance in the early aughts, but they've only just recently gone all the way and resumed touring. The show is sold out, but you can try your luck on StubHub.
Governors Ball on Governors Island
This three-day music festival on Randall’s Island features headliners Drake (June 5), Deadmau5 (June 6) and The Black Keys (June 7). Other big names include Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine, My Morning Jacket and Björk, among dozens of others. While you’re there, be sure to check out the numerous art installations, the photo/GIF booths and lawn games. For tickets and more information, visit governorsballmusicfestival.com.
Meshell Ndegeocello, Roy Hargrove and Gabriel Garzon-Montano at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
This free show is part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival, but the featured artists' work also incorporates influences like hip-hop and punk. For more info, visit bluenotejazzfestival.com.
Creole for Kidz at Prospect Park Bandshell
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience will bring a panoply of essentials—accordion, washboard, high spirits—to Celebrate Brooklyn! for this family-friendly show, essentially a musical introduction to Creole culture. For more info, visit bricartsmedia.org.
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Dance in the shadow of the Unisphere as part of the World's Fair anniversary celebration with Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, who have earned a loyal following with their soulful, melodic tunes. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Unlocking the Truth, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and Black Girls Rock at Red Hook Park
Metal prodigies Unlocking the Truth (who have experienced success and record-industry drama far beyond their years) headline Brooklyn Family Day in Red Hook, a neighborhood that's a great setting for a summer day trip. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
Northside Festival at various locations
Bands like Zoe Chace, Against Me!, Sleigh Bells, Heems, Best Coast and Built to Spill—along with visual artists, filmmakers and Internet entrepreneurs—descend on Williamsburg, making it hipper than it normally is…if that's even possible. Most shows charge admission, but some are free. For tickets, visit northsidefestival.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.
Deal Casino, Wyland, The Vaughns, Night Lights and Nemes at Pianos
Five up-and-coming alternative rock bands—New Jersey's Deal Casino, Wyland and The Vaughns, and Boston-based Night Lights and Nemes—make for a well-rounded bill at this Lower East Side show. For more information, visit ticketweb.com.
Paul Weller at Terminal 5
Preliminary listens of the mod god's new album, Saturn's Pattern, reveal it to be hard rocking and forward looking. His shows, in turn, lean heavily on his solo career—no Jam or Style Council in earshot. As they say, that's entertainment. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Jeff the Brotherhood at The Wick
This duo's current single, "Black Cherry Pie," is laden with power chords and leavened by rock flute (courtesy of none other than Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson). For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Graham Parker and the Rumour at Highline Ballroom
The underappreciated career of the once self-proclaimed "best-kept secret in the West" became a cause célèbre in Judd Apatow's This Is 40. But Parker’s smart tunes, a mix of pub rock, R&B and occasional reggae, with lyrics dipped in battery acid, have remained a constant. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Lettuce and The Soul Rebels at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Funky Bostonians Lettuce and eclectic New Orleanians The Soul Rebels bring a truckload of brass to Central Park. For more info, visit cityparksfoundation.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.