Live Music Heals: Here Are The Best Concerts in NYC this Week
Shamir plays Bowery Ballroom November 16 & 17.
Photo by Ruvan
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a person who loves seeing live music. And if you’re a person who loves seeing live music, the attacks on concert-goers at Parisian venue Le Bataclan this past Friday shook you to your very core, not just because of the tragic loss of lives, but because these particular victims (among them, veteran merch manager Nick Alexandar and French music journalist Guillaume B. Decherf) were doing something we do so often without a worry that it could happen to us. The reminder that it could, in theory, was certainly chilling, but when rock critic Ann Powers encouraged her Twitter followers to share their favorite live music experiences “in defiance of terror” under the hashtag #LiveMusicHeals, the many responses represented a passion much bigger than hatred could possibly conquer. So go see a show this week – perhaps Grimes, who just dropped her much-anticipated LP Art Angels. Let Shamir, The Weekend, Hudson Mohawke or !!! get you dancing. Have an experience that transcends terror and hate.
8 p.m., $18
"Don't try me, I'm not a free sample" warns the Las Vegan hip-hop/house rapper Shamir on his hit "On the Regular," and you'd be wise to listen up. With his androgynous flow, Shamir, at the tender age of 20, has quickly become one of the most exciting acts coming out of Sin City. His 2015 debut Ratchet shows promise with its wide spectrum of style, from the sparkling dance pop of "Call It Off" to the sad eyes of the minimalistic ballad "Darker," and his current world tour, stopping at Bowery Ballroom for two gigs Monday and Tueaday, confirms Shamir's rising dominance. – Silas Valentino
Madison Square Garden
7:30 p.m., $39.50-$125
Once Drake latched on to alt-R&B sensation the Weeknd, the man behind the project, Abel Tesfaye, became a superstar. And like any Grammy-nominated superstar on a world tour (The Madness) supporting a sophomore record (The Beauty Behind The Madness) that debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200, the Weeknd is bringing his biggest hits (“Can’t Feel My Face” “The Hills” and “Earned It”) to Madison Square Garden. That’s not the only behemoth venue he’ll visit while in town; there’s also a two-night Barclays Center run scheduled for November 18 and 19. Banks and Travi$ Scott are on board to support all three dates, which see the Weeknd’s slow-burning grooves transformed by full live band. In December, Tesfaye returns to MSG in for Z100’s Jingle Ball with Calvin Harris, Selena Gomez, 5 Seconds of Summer, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, and more. – Lindsey Rhoades
7 p.m., $30
There's a certain artfulness to Grimes's unique brand of electro-goth, which made the Canadian artist – born Claire Elise Boucher – a fitting choice for the Guggenheim's International Gala pre-party earlier this month. Two sold-out nights – one at Terminal 5, the other at Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 18 – come in conjunction with the release of Art Angels, Grimes’ much-anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2012 genre-bending album Visions. – Jill Menze
Public Image Limited
8:30 p.m., $39.50
Arguably one of the progenitors of dance-punk, Public Image Limited, fronted by Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) reunited in 2009, thirty years after releasing their seminal Metal Box LP. With a rotating cast of musicians backing the famously vitriolic Lydon, PiL officially ended their 1992 hiatus with This is PiL, their first LP in twenty years. Now, they’re following up the comeback release with their tenth studio album What The World Needs Now… out last September, and a full-scale North American tour that stops in New York on Monday at Playstation Theater. Lydon will be joined by Lu Edmonds of The Damned and Bruce Smith, both of whom played on PiL’s late-eighties records Happy? and 9, as well as Scott Firth, who joined during the 2009 reunion. – Lindsey Rhoades
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10-$12
Grimes protégé Nicole Dollanganger is in town opening up for her mentor’s mega-buzzy shows, but she’ll also headline one of her own at Baby’s All Right in between those supporting dates. Her ethereal vocals and twisted lyrics will undoubtedly earn her comparisons to Lana Del Ray and, of course, Grimes herself, who signed the Toronto-based singer to her label Eerie Organization for the release of debut Natural Born Losers in October. But the gig at Baby’s offers a good opportunity to see what sets her apart from similarly-voiced chanteuses. Emily Reo and Foxes in Fiction open. – Lindsey Rhoades
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $18
For nearly two decades now, !!! (sometimes known as Chk-Chk-Chk, or as any three monosyllabic exclamations) have been expertly getting crowds moving with their unstoppable dance-punk anthems. Their sixth full-length As If came out in October and sees the consummate live band referencing “Pardon My Freedom,” from classic 2004 LP Louden Up Now, with the funk-rock stomp of “Freedom ’15,” featuring a full gospel choir backing frontman Nic Offer’s characteristic falsetto. Recent DFA signees Guerilla Toss, who seem hellbent on reviving the indie disco that made !!! a sensation, open for the band at MHoW, while Eaters support !!! on a second date at Bowery Ballroom November 18. – Lindsey Rhoades
8 p.m., $35
The sophomore LP from Hudson Mohawke, Lantern, glows with Glaswegian producer Ross Birchard’s creativity and confidence. Here, he distances himself from the Kanye collaborations and other high-profile hip-hop connections that garnered him so much buzz in favor of blazing his own trail. “Kettles,“ for instance, could score the most magical of Broadway productions, and “Warriors” is about as uplifting as a pop-tinged R&B number gets, with a rousing chorus (“We might lose the battle, but we’ll win the war, and we don’t care cause love is what we’re fighting for”) that feels especially prescient in light of recent tragedies. Birchard’s show at Webster Hall on Wednesday ends his seven-date tour with R&B producer/singer/songwriter The-Dream, whose prodigious amount of forthcoming new material has been held up this year due to label issues. – Lindsey Rhoades
Jesse R. Berlin plays Cake Shop with Wolkoff on Wednesday.
Photo by Bryan Bruchman
Jesse R. Berlin + Wolkoff
8:30 p.m., $10
Professional weirdo Jesse R. Berlin may be glam-rock’s next big hero; with the release of Glitter Lung, an explosive collection of heartfelt songs with idiosyncratic, disco-indebted aspirations, Berlin connects swirling synths, canned organ beats and his most candid thoughts and feelings. Armed with N-64 inspired tunes and (possibly) loin-cloth clad pals, opener Wolkoff – the partnership of singer-songwriter Joanie Wolkoff and producer Icarus Moth – gets things started on a similarly quirky dance-pop note with songs from her recent Talismans EP. – Lindsey Rhoades
BAM Harvey Theater
7:30 p.m., $25-$50
Do you find yourself lying awake nights contemplating the cabalistic conspiracies behind COINTELPRO, Area 51, and the Kennedy assassination? Let Real Enemies — the promising collaboration featuring composer Darcy James Argue and his eighteen-piece Secret Society big band — fan the flames of your paranoia. Written by Isaac Butler and employing a fifteen-screen film design by Peter Nigrini, Real Enemies promises to expand twelve-tone composition techniques into the visual and literary realms alongside Latin American nuevo canción and SoCal electrofunk from November 18 - 22. Just because they're following you doesn't mean you can't be entertained, after all. – Richard Gehr
The Ocean Blue
6:30 p.m., $20
When they released their debut self-titled LP in 1989, The Ocean Blue fit so well within the dreamy post-punk jangle of established UK acts like Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, and Echo & The Bunnymen that many assumed the Hershey, Pennsylvania rock outfit were also from Britain. The fact that their live sets often included New Order covers also increased those comparisons, and their moderate success with their first three albums on Sire Records was quelled only by the explosion of grunge just as 1991’s Cerulean and 1993’s Beneath the Rhythm and Sound were coming out. Korda Records, a Minneapolis independent label cooperative formed by Allison LaBonne, Brian Tighe, Jim Ruiz, and The Ocean Blue's own David Schelzel, will re-issue those Sire releases; their show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday is part of a brief tour to commemorate the occasion, and the band will play the first two albums in full. It's sold out, but tickets might be available on secondary markets. – Lindsey Rhoades
7 p.m., $25
There is much for Ryn Weaver to be excited about. It’s been a quick ascent for the California-bred pop artist, who burst onto the scene from seemingly nowhere last year with the smash single “OctaHate” and released her debut LP, The Fool, last June. After a sold-out run at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom that summer, Weaver brings her live set back to New York stages for two gigs at even bigger venues – Webster Hall on November 19 and Warsaw on November 20. ASTR and Holychild open both shows. – Jill Menze
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