Dec 4 – Dec 10 • Essential Weekly Concert Guide • NYC Edition
Springsteen on Broadway at Walter Kerr Theatre | Through June 30, 2018
It’s an acoustic performance written by The Boss himself with all the grandeur that Broadway allows. Get ready for an intimate night with Springsteen himself as he takes you on a two hour journey. With so much demand for these shows, the run has been extended through June 30 of next year, so make sure to get in on the action while you can. The first batch of tickets went like hot cakes, and it looks like the additional shows will sell out just as quickly.
$uicideBoy$ at Irving Plaza | Dec. 4
With a proclivity for twisted rhymes and dollar signs, the boy$ have quite an underground following thanks to their trap-heavy style. The cousins from New Orleans originally went down different life paths, but destiny brought them together to lay down some of the most aggressive raps out there. That thumping aggression comes to Irving Plaza on Dec. 4.
Billy Raffoul at Rough Trade | Dec. 4
The first time you hear Billy Raffoul, it’s hard not to think of soulful stalwarts like Jeff Buckley. Billy learned much from his father Jody, who performed regionally and earned acclaim in his own right. With his first single coming out this year, Raffoul is already winning over fans, and his future sure is bright. But before he gets any bigger, catch the soulful singer at Rough Trade with Sontalk.
James Maslow, Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks at Theater at Madison Square Garden | Dec. 4
Billed as “One Night with the Stars,” fixtures of Broadway, music and television collide at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Proceeds will benefit Wigs & Wishes, which supports children and women battling cancer. Celebrate all your favorite stars under one roof for a noble cause.
Jane Lynch’s Swinging Little Christmas at City Winery | Dec. 4
Lynch’s Christmas album harkens back to albums of old from the 1950s and 60s, with tight jazzy arrangements underscoring fresh takes on old favorites and a handful of originals. Join the Emmy and Golden globe winner as she takes her audience on a Christmas journey, performing every spirit-filled number her album has to offer. It’s the perfect pre-Christmas treat. Kate Flannery, Tim Davis and the Tony Guerrero Quintet will also be on hand.
Xavier Omar at Bowery ballroom | dec. 4
A man of many monikers, Xavier Adams formerly went by SPZRKT before assuming the Xavier Omar alias. But where the name might be different, Omar still turns out mellow r&b perfect for getting listeners into a chill headspace. His songs are praised for a meticulous kind of craftsmanship that goes above and beyond. Here it for yourself when he comes to the bowery ballroom with Iris Temple and pinkcaravan.
Ella Mai at Mercury Lounge | Dec. 4 + 5
Ella Mai’s bid to get on “The X Factor” fizzled out before it started, but that loss proved to be more fortunate for her career than she could have imagined. After uploading a few covers to her Instagram account, producing mogul DJ Mustard took notice and signed the U.K. upstart. Her commanding voice and his bass-heavy beats are a better combo than eggs and bacon, except Mai and Mustard manage to make every track sizzle twice as much. Ella Mai hits the Mercury Lounge for a pair of dates as part of the “Time. Change. Ready.” tour.
Mariah Carey at Beacon Theatre | Dec. 4 + 5
It isn’t Christmas time in New York until the ice skating rink is open, it starts snowing and Mariah Carey comes to town. As synonymous with Christmas as Rudolph and Santa himself, Carey forever etched her name into the Christmas legacy thanks to her explosive 1995 Christmas album, and since then she’s been hitting the holiday circuit harder than anyone. Ring in the season the right way and catch Carey at one of the two dates she has left at the Beacon Theatre.
Wolf Alice at Brooklyn Steel | Dec. 4 + 5
Hailing from North London, this alt-rock outfit rocks harder than their name might suggest. With a sound that evokes memories of the 90s and the dominant spirit of grunge, Wolf Alice create the perfect concoction of cutting guitars, pounding drums and sharp guitars. Get rocking when Wolf Alice play two dates at Brooklyn Steel with Polyplastic.
Action Bronson at Terminal 5 | Dec. 6
Mr. Wonderful himself plays a delectable date at Terminal 5, and you can bet this chef turned rapper will be dishing out some of his finest hits. Before Bronson serves up the main course as part of his “Blue Chips 7000” tour, make sure to catch appetizing opening acts Trash Talk and Meyhem Lauren.
The Dream at Gramercy Theatre | Dec. 6
Chances are you’ve heard many of the Dream’s compositions without realizing it. The architect behind some of radio’s biggest hits, The dream blossomed into a solo career of his own, and his multi-facetted r&b continues resonating through all manner of creative outlets, most recently through his “Love” series of albums. He’ll play a date at the Gramercy as part of “The Young Legend of Love” tour with special guest Bria Jhane.
NEEDTOBREATHE at Town Hall | Dec. 5
The Rinehart brothers have got it all figured out. From anthems infectious enough to bring stadiums to their feet to a down-home charm that only years of hard work can foster, they’re hitting on all cylinders. Town Hall in New York welcomes them with open arms as they pass through on their “All The Feels” tour.
SZA, Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign, Cheat Codes at Pier 36 | Dec. 5
Get ready for a who’s who of hip-hop heavy hitters to take Pier 36 by storm as part of 2017’s Pandora Sounds Like You listener party. Celebrating NYC listeners, this free event puts some of music’s biggest acts front and center, so get ready to go wild when SZA, Post Malone, and Ty Dolla $ign bring the house down. Space is super limited so make sure to RSVP.
Greta Van Fleet at Bowery Ballroom | dec. 5 + 6
This quartet crafts unapologetic rock that revs and roars with sizzling intensity. It’s a sound that harkens back to Led Zeppelin, complete with bluesy riffs and ear-piercing shrieks. Catch the fabulous four-piece when they fill the Bowery Ballroom with their incredible energy for two dates. The Ruen Brothers will be kicking things off.
Pinegrove at Irving Plaza | Dec. 6 + 7
How about a heaping helping of emo sensibilities served over a bed of Americana? That’s just what Pinegrove are doling out, one show at a time. It’s a mix of genres that’s rarely done and, if you saw it on paper, it might sound too disparate to work. Yet Pinegrove manage to get it just right. They’ll be at Irving Plaza for a pair of dates.
Autre Ne Veut ft. Starchild and The Range at Elsewhere | Dec. 7
One of the Big Apple’s more exciting enigmas, Arthur Ashin is behind music that practically gleams with its enticing, polishing sound. Ashin takes that music to even greater heights thanks to soaring vocals that lend themselves especially well to larger than life melodies. Ashin will be at Elsewhere in Brooklyn with Starchild and The Range on Dec. 6, so don’t miss them.
Gary Numan at Brooklyn Steel | Dec. 7
An industrial music pioneer, Gary Numan’s impact is recognized by countless musical luminaries, including Lady Gaga and Jack White just to name a few. Numan left his mark on U.S. listeners when he performed “Cars” and “Praying to the Aliens” on Saturday Night Live nearly three decades ago. He continues to push the envelope even today with is stunning live performances. Don’t miss him when he hits Brooklyn Steel with Me Not You.
Jake Bugg at Town Hall | Dec. 7
A student of the greats, Jake Bugg’s music is easily traced back to songwriting pioneers like Bob Dylan. Bugg’s able to tell intricate stories in his songs, creating images that beckon the listener to jump headfirst into the tale. Bugg will be weaving some more yarns when he stops at Town Hall New York.
Hiss Golden Messenger at Bowery Ballroom | Dec. 8
A songwriting project for M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch, His Golden Messenger goes from classic rock to folk influences, all while clever lyricism runs free like water from a busted tap. Listen close and you’ll find a credence Clearwater Revival influence in almost everything they touch. Catch Hiss Golden Messenger when they play a date at the bowery ballroom.
Jingle Ball ft. Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, The Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy at Madison Square Garden | Dec. 8
What are the holidays without the Jingle ball? This year’s blowout sees Taylor Swift anchoring a stacked lineup including Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy and more. Sometimes the best presents just don’t fit under a tree.
Mogwai at Terminal 5 | Dec. 8
Described as a cosmic post rock group, Mogwai put an emphasis on pristine guitars and elaborately constructed sonic explorations. Their latest album, 2017’s “Every Country’s Sun,” is a sonic amalgamation of their career, finding a perfect balance between their more recent electronic sound and their heavier sound from the late 90s and 2000s. They’ll be playing a date at Terminal 5 along with Xander Harris on dec. 8.
Sister Hazel at B.B. King Blues Club | Dec. 8
Cut from a bluesy pop rock cloth, the quintet have a multitude of influences from which they draw with every studio outing, making each offering feel just different enough to mark evolution. After a five-year hiatus, they returned in 2015 and released the much more country-infused “Lighter in the dark.” Sister Hazel has a special date at BB King Blues Club on dec. 8.
Wiki at Irving Plaza | Dec. 8
Ratking collective member Wiki named himself after Wikipedia, which goes to show you how young he is. Yet thanks to supportive middle school teachers, his craft feels pretty refined considering he’s only 24. Couple that with some high-profile feature slots with Run the Jewels, Princess Nokia and Earl Sweatshirt, and it’s easy to see Wiki’s got a lot going for him, and it’s only going to get better from here. Unlike most wikis, you can believe this one. He’ll be at Irving Plaza on dec. 8 with special guests Nick Hakim and Medslaus.
Aoife O’Donovan at Town Hall | dec. 9
The better question might be what hasn’t Aoife O’Donovan done? Best known for fronting Crooked Still, she has also collaborated with a ton of well-known artists, perhaps none more known than Yo-Yo Ma. She’s stylistically flexible and a vocal sensation in the contemporary bluegrass and folk scenes. Find out why she’s in such high demand when she comes to Town Hall.
Cyndi Lauper at Beacon Theatre | Dec. 9
A pop music legend, Lauper hits the Beacon Theatre for a very special date as part of the “Home for the Holidays” series. Proceeds benefit the True Colors Fund, which aims to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth. And with a lineup featuring Sandra Bernhard, Laura Jane Grace, Paulina Rubio and so many more, it’s going to be a great night for an even better cause.
Illenium at Terminal 5 | Dec. 9
It’s always a party when Illenium’s music is flooding the space. Abundant melodies are hiding in his boisterous dubstep productions just waiting to ambush partygoers with overt sentimentality. Report to the floor and groove your Saturday away when Illenium comes to terminal 5 with Said the sky and Dabin.
Redman at Highline Ballroom | Dec. 9
One of the most bombastic, off-the-wall MC’s to come out of the 1990s, Redman never fails to entertain with his terse and sometimes nutty rhymes. With forays in television, he continues navigating a path to stardom. The rap and TV star comes to the Highline Ballroom for what should be a positively banging date.
Vagabon at Bowery Ballroom | Dec. 9
The alias for multi-instrumentalist Laetitia Tamko, Vagabon sees a tempered mix of dreamy electronic pop and ethereal indie rock. Tamko even taught herself all the instruments necessary for her to bring that vision to life on her own, a huge testament to her musical ambitions. Now she’s bringing her stylings to the Bowery ballroom with Cende and radiator Hospital.
SZA at Brooklyn Steel | Dec. 10
Fresh off headlining Pandora Sounds Like You, SZA comes to Brooklyn Steel to lay more of that sweet r&b we’ve come to know and love on the Brooklyn audience. Fashioning gems that range from straight trips to dreamy traipses across the sonic spectrum, SZA’s star is still on the rise. Get there early to catch Smino and Ravyn Lenae.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Music Hall of Williamsburg | Dec. 10
A hard-nosed punk turned sentimental songwriter, Ted Leo’s transformation led to some of his best work yet. Rooted in folk and paying homage to revered songwriters like Billy Bragg, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists continue moving between punk influences and more accessible fare, but it’s all aimed at getting your blood to boil. Catch them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Perfume Genius at Bowery Ballroom | Dec. 10 + 11
Mike Hadreas pairs unflinching lyrics with sweet pianos, but he also touches on the swagger you can only get from glam rock. The result is a tapestry of musical prowess that often rings like the most poignant of poems. With a knack for telling stories that are sometimes unsettling, Hadreas certainly has a foothold that he’s not looking to relinquish any time soon. With two dates scheduled at the Bowery ballroom, there’s no excuse for missing Perfume Genius.
The White Buffalo at Brooklyn Bowl | Dec. 10
Jake Smith’s punk rock-inspired take on Americana resonates with countless listeners thanks to his poignant lyricism and attention to detail. He often pays homage to roots music, and it’s hard not to whistle right along with him when he gets going. Smith comes to the Brooklyn bowl for a special date on dec. 10. Suzanne Santo will open things up.