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.
March 14 and 21
Lauryn Hill at The Cutting Room and Madiba Studios
The former Fugee, who became one of the most successful hip-hop/R&B artists of the ‘90s thanks to her catchy melodies and socially conscious lyrics, performs intimate shows as part of her "Small Axe" acoustic performance series. For tickets, visit bluenote.net.
March 14, 25, 28 and April 1
Björk at Carnegie Hall and New York City Center
If a new album, Vulnicura, and ballyhooed retrospective at MoMA haven’t brought the Icelandic pop queen into your line of vision, there’s still her run of shows. We anticipate a spectacle. All shows are sold out, but you can try stubhub.com.
Maceo Parker at Blue Note
Parker may no longer be taking the Godfather of Soul to the bridge, but he’s still making it funky wherever he brings his saxophone. Besides playing sideman to JB, Parliament-Funkadelic and Prince, he’s released a dozen or so solo albums. For tickets, visit bluenote.net.
Perfume Genius at Stage 48
Seattle's Mike Hadreas, better known as Perfume Genius, makes absorbing indie-pop songs. His lyrics explore such themes as insecurity and society’s attitudes toward the LGBT community with raw honesty. “Queen” is a good place to start. His latest album, Too Bright, received nothing but glowing reviews. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Ariana Grande at Madison Square Garden
The pint-size, ponytailed Nickelodeon actress turned pop star belts out her hits at Madison Square Garden. Decide for yourself whether she deserves those comparisons to Mariah Carey, and try to figure out what the heck is going on in this video. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Enslaved and Yob at The Gramercy Theatre
Herald the start of spring with long, dark, moody metal songs from Norway's Enslaved and Oregon's Yob. For tickets to the sold-out show, try stubhub.com.
Grant Hart at Cake Shop
The drummer who shared singer-songwriter duties in Hüsker Dü (he was the one with the somewhat sunnier sensibility) and fronted Nova Mob plays an intimate Lower East Side venue. For info, visit cakeshopcalender.tumblr.com.
Jefferson Starship Performs the Music of Jefferson Airplane at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
We're not sure how closely the band will hew to that promise during its nod to Airplane hitting the 50-year mark—you're as likely to hear "Miracles" and "Ride the Tiger” as you are "Volunteers" and "Somebody to Love." Regardless, nothing's gonna stop them now. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads at Carnegie Hall
Color us curious on hearing music that can square the circle linking Perry Farrell, Bebel Gilberto, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and O.A.R. It's the latest in an annual series that benefits music education for underprivileged youth. For tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.
March 24–April 4
Debbie Harry at Cafe Carlyle
Whether downtown at CBGB in 1974 or uptown at this upscale jazz café, the Blondie frontwoman knows how to put on a show. 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.
March 27 and 30
Swervedriver at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Mercury Lounge
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.
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
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.
Gary Lucas at The Stone
This local guitar legend floats effortlessly between rock, folk, jazz and a few other genres we’re probably forgetting. He’ll be appearing with percussionist Lukas Ligeti at John Zorn’s East Village venue. For more info, visit thestonenyc.com.
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.
Damien Rice at The Beacon Theatre
Catch this Irish singer-songwriter (and former lead of Juniper) sing soulful indie-folk tunes from his new album, My Favorite Faded Fantasy. The LP arrived last October, nearly eight years after the release of 9. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
April 4, 7 and 8
Chet Faker at Terminal 5
Watch the Australian artist sing his soulful electronica songs, especially selections from his (Australian) chart-topping 2014 album, Built on Glass. His breakout single, “Talk Is Cheap,” will be stuck in your head for days. For tickets to the sold-out show, try stubhub.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.
The Ting Tings at Webster Hall
The British duo known for the clanging 2008 hit “That’s Not My Name” (used to comic effect in Horrible Bosses) dropped their third album, Super Critical, last fall. Expect songs from that record along with old standbys at this gig. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
The Sonics and The Savages at Irving Plaza
The Sonics have been garage-rock superstars since the early 1960s, influencing the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen. Earlier in 2015, they released This Is The Sonics, their first album in more than 40 years. Meanwhile, The Savages are a fairly new (formed in 2011) London-based post-punk revival outfit. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Bleachers at Terminal 5
Jack Antonoff may be famous as Lena Dunham’s better half and as one-third of pop colossus Fun, but he's also the lead singer and songwriter of Bleachers. Hear him belt out catchy pop-rock tunes not far from the Hudson River at this show. It's sold out, but you can try to score tickets at stubhub.com.
Nightwish at Hammerstein Ballroom, Manhattan Center
This Finnish symphonic power metal band sets classically trained soprano Floor Jansen's soaring vocals against the epic, theatrical and gothic atmosphere of its music. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
April 9 and 11–12
The Mountain Goats at Webster Hall and City Winery
This group is a vehicle for John Darnielle, whose voice some might call an acquired taste but whose songwriting chops are no joke. The Goats' latest, Beat the Champ, arrives just before these shows; it's about professional wrestling, so you know it will be good. For Webster Hall tickets, visit ticketweb.com; City Winery is sold out, but you can get on a waiting list.
José González at Webster Hall
José González is a Swedish indie folk singer-songwriter and guitarist who is also a member of the folk-rock band Junip. Fun fact: he recorded part of his newly released album Vestiges & Claws in his own kitchen. The show is sold out, but you can try to find tickets on stubhub.com.
Cassandra Wilson at Apollo Theater
Known for her deeply felt interpretations of pop, country and jazz tunes, vocalist Wilson will celebrate Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday with a tribute to Lady Day. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Stars at Webster Hall
Stars is a Canadian pop-rock band equally fond of indie-rock influence and electronic beats. Their latest album, No One Is Lost, debuted in October 2014. You may have heard their music playing on teen soaps like The O.C., Gossip Girl and Skins. For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Jesse Malin at Bowery Ballroom
This East Village by way of Queens rocker has a new album, New York Before the War. Also on the bill: Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) with his band Legion of Three. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Trans Am at Baby’s All Right
Trans Am was at the forefront of instrumental post-rock in the 1990s, along with folks like Tortoise and the Sea and Cake. The band is still working the time changes, 20 years on. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
Tallis Scholars at Carnegie Hall
This mesmerizing vocal group, which interprets polyphonic music of the Renaissance, tackles works by William Byrd and Josquin des Prez. For tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.
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.
Delicate Steve at Brooklyn Bowl
Guitarist Steve Marion is the "delicate" one in this band, whose strictly instrumental sound has been described as mixing elements of progressive rock, folksy twang, surf rock and 1970s pop. The outfit released a digital EP entitled Multiple Moods Sampler this past September. For tickets, visit ticketfly.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.
The Waterboys at Irving Plaza
The Waterboys, aka singer-songwriter-guitarist Mike Scott and a revolving band of other musicians, have been making music for 30 years—time enough to see the whole of the moon and then some. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Sixx:A.M. and Apocalyptica at Best Buy Theater
Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx's side project provided the soundtrack to his 2007 autobiography, The Heroin Diaries. Naturally, the book is in development to become a Broadway show. Opening act Apocalyptica is a Finnish string quartet known for classical covers of metal songs. For tickets, visit axs.com.
Stone Temple Pilots at Irving Plaza
STP was one of the most commercially successful grunge rock bands of the 1990s, selling nearly 40 million records worldwide. They're sort of still around—but these days instead of Scott Weiland, Chester Bennington from Linkin Park is their lead singer. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Todd Rundgren at Highline Ballroom
Hello, it’s Todd. He’s thought about it for a long, long time…and decided he doesn’t want to work. He just wants to bang on the drum. All day. Care to join him? For tickets, visit ticketweb.com.
Ministry at Irving Plaza
Get your industrial fix with one of the giants of the genre. With all the band’s been through in recent years, you never know when your next chance might come. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
Crosby, Stills and Nash at Kings Theatre
You know what to expect: sweet harmonies (with the audience happily joining in), some fancy guitar work from Stephen Stills, a peacenik protest song or three and lots of good vibes. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.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.
May 26 and October 27
The Who at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden
Remember The Who's farewell tour in 1982? The reunion in 1989? 1996? The last shows with John Entwhistle 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.