Steely Dan & Kurt Vile Make This Week's Best Concerts in NYC a Good One For Dads
Photo by Danny Clinch
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Dad rock gets a bad reputation for being hopelessly dorky, but much like the dads who love the genre's mellow grooves, it's also very dependable. Just like clockwork, Steely Dan roll into the Beacon Theatre for a series of concerts commemorating each of their classic releases alongside fan favorites, as they've done every other year since 2009. And oddly, their paternal vibes have ushered in the likes of Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, and Tame Impala, who flesh out the rest of our concert picks this week. Though these acts are not strictly "dad-rock" it's arguable that men who have children would probably enjoy these shows, too. There are probably no dads, anywhere, who would approve of their children going to see a band called Pentagram.
7 p.m., $20
Hailed as the godfathers of doom metal, Pentagram have been startling parents with their Satanic vibes since 1971. The band’s only constant member, vocalist Bobby Liebling, is now 61, but his bug-eyed stare and well-maintained Fu Manchu are no joke, and neither are the rollicking riffs on Pentagram’s latest LP, Curious Volume. The band’s 2009 comeback (and Liebling’s struggles with addiction) was the subject of harrowing but ultimately triumphant rock doc Last Days Here, expanding the Pentagram's longtime cult following. Their Tuesday show at Greenpoint metal bar Saint Vitus, with Satan’s Satyrs and Electric Citizen, sold out so quickly that another date was added. – Lindsey Rhoades
8 p.m., $25
Canadian synth pop outfit Stars will always exist in the shadow of Toronto’s indie rock giants, but with all of Stars’ member moonlighting in Broken Social Scene and Metric at one time or another, their biographies are inextricably linked. Their musical output, particularly 2014’s No One Is Lost and its recently-released sister EP Lost & Found, fall somewhere in between Metric’s galloping dance-punk and BSS’s baroque balladry, hinging on dance-til-you-drop imperatives and the interplay of co-vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan. They’ll also visit Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday, with slightly moodier Bay-Area rockers Geographer in tow. – Lindsey Rhoades
7 p.m., $59.50-$220
Classic dad-rockers Steely Dan return to the Beacon Theatre for an eight-night residency starting October 6. If this seems familiar to some, it's because Walter Becker and Donald Fagen did similar week-plus runs in 2009, 2011, and 2013, with each night showcasing a different record from their three-decade plus catalogue. The performance series culminates in a "Popular Demand" evening with sets built from fan requests, and the final show is dubbed "The Most Unforgettable Night of Whatever – Featuring Spectacular Musical Guests, Glorious Tunes and Riffage, and Whatever the Party Calls for!" so it seems like that might be the one not to miss. – Lindsey Rhoades
8:00 p.m., $25
For his sixth studio album, Philly-based troubadour Kurt Vile traveled all over the United States, recording in Joshua Tree, SoCal, Brooklyn, and Athens, Georgia. The wanderlust shows on b’lieve i’m goin down, perhaps his finest record to date. Rustic banjo gives “I’m an Outlaw” a rambling feel; low, moody strings imbue “Wheelhouse” with a sense of desolation; the Farfisa melody on “Dust Bunnies” evokes a long, dark night alone on a highway stretch. The record’s nonchalant psychedelic elements – a vibraphone freakout on “Lost my Head there” or double-tracked lo-fi guitar fuzz solo over clambering piano scales on “Life Like This” seem as essential to Vile’s sound as the characteristically lackadaisical vocal delivery on lead single "Pretty Pimpin." He’ll headline two shows at Webster Hall this week (Wednesday is already sold out), and fellow Philadelphian Katie Crutchfield, a/k/a. Waxahatchee, opens with songs from this year’s equally aching Ivy Tripp. – Lindsey Rhoades
7:00 p.m., $35-$40
Franz Ferdinand exploded onto the indie scene well over a decade ago, their sassy dance-punk inspiring leagues of copycats trying to cash in on that same kind of immediacy. It turns out that they, too, were copycats of a sort, heavily indebted to quirky Seventies synth pop cult band Sparks, whose acerbic lyrics bit twice as hard as any phrase on “Take Me Out.” The two groups have toyed with collaborating since 2004, but Sparks’ frontman Russell Mael, perhaps a little bitter about Franz Ferdinand riding his band’s coattails to instant popularity, sent out a tongue-in-cheek demo called “Piss Off.” Eleven years later they’ve put their differences aside and made a fun, towering tribute to glam rock as FFS. They’ll bring songs from the collaboration — including one called “Collaborations Don’t Work” — to Terminal 5, mixing in classics from both band’s back catalogues for good measure. West Coast post-punks the Intelligence, who released their ninth studio album Vintage Future in September, are likely to start a riot before FFS takes the stage. – Lindsey Rhoades
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala at Governor's Ball, 6/7/15.
Jason Speakman for the Village Voice
Radio City Music Hall
7:00 pm., $47.50
While “Elephant” put Aussie act Tame Impala on the map as harbingers of the next wave of psychedelic guitar rockers, the group’s mastermind Kevin Parker has shifted directions for latest release, Currents, eschewing heavy guitar riffs in favor of spacey synths, drugged-out disco, and glammy vamping a la the record’s lead single “’Cause I’m A Man.” As such, they’ve gone from playing rock clubs to such auspicious settings as Radio City Music Hall, where they’ll play October 6 before hopping over to Terminal 5 the next night. Both shows are already sold out, signifying that Parker’s stylistic change-ups have only expanded the feverish adoration Tame Impala inspires among concert-goers. Late of the Pier frontman Sam Dust supports with his similarly Seventies FM-imbued solo project LA Priest. – Lindsey Rhoades
8 p.m., $30
The news that longtime dormant band Luna was reuniting brought many Nineties nostalgists out to the band's free show during this year's Northside Festival. But for those who missed the McCarren Park homecoming, there are three more opportunities to see the New York-area dream poppers: two nights at Bowery Ballroom October 7 and 8 and a stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg October 9. Formed by ex-Galaxie 500 member Dean Wareham, the indie legends released eight studio albums before disbanding in 2004. The group kicked off its reunion with a short tour in Spain in April.. – Jill Menze
Maddie & Tae
7:00 p.m., $20-$23
Country's newest sweethearts turned heads last summer with "Girl in a Country Song," a sassy, bold female-empowerment kiss-off to the bros of country music. With Start Here, Maddie & Tae's August 28th-released debut, Maddie Marlow, 20, and Taylor Dye, 19, continue where that breakout song left off, with a collection of expertly harmonized, confessional songs that'll appeal to country fans both old and young. Fresh off opening for Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae are kicking off their first-ever headlining tour with a show at the Highline Ballroom on October 7. Expect something similar to early Taylor Swift, but with bona fide down-home roots. – Jill Menze
Madison Square Garden
7:30 p.m., $30.50-$130.50
There's no denying Ricky Martin's hip shake. Try as you may, the Latin superstar will cast you under his spell, one that will consume the audience at Madison Square Garden on October 8 as part of Martin's One World Tour. The North American jaunt is in support of his tenth studio album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar, which came out in February. In addition to the new material, expect loco-inducing well-known hits like "Livin' la Vida Loca" and "The Cup of Life." – Jill Menze
The War On Drugs
Radio City Music Hall
8 p.m., $30-$40
Though The War On Drugs have yet to announce a follow-up to last year’s critically lauded Lost In The Dream, Adam Granduciel and company have been hitting the festival circuit hard all summer long and will return to NYC for a stop at the opulent Radio City Music Hall. They recently announced a smaller show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg the day before, but tickets are only available for members of concert-ticketing app Jukely. With original member Kurt Vile also in town, we’re secretly crossing our fingers for a cameo, or at least the debut of a few new songs. Either way, Natalie Prass's opening set is sure to delight. – Lindsey Rhoades
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