The Eight Best Concerts in New York this Week, 3/2/15
Adam PW Smith
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Tuesday, 3/3 Yonatan Gat+Beech Creeps+Kid Millions+Jim Sauter Duo Union Pool 9 p.m., $10 Deemed New York's Best Guitarist of 2013 by the Voice, Tel Aviv's Yonatan Gat is best known for his work with cock-rockin' Tel Aviv punk trio Monotonix. Gat fronts a sympathetically abstract trio on Director, a live instrumental album that peaks with the driving Sierra Leonean caterwaul of "Gold Rush," where drummer Gal Lazer and bassist Sergio Sayeg propel him into deep distorto-grooves. But with eleven tracks in half an hour, there's little time to get settled in before Gat moves on to the next chaotic fragment of discombobulated misdirection. Opening are Brooklyn-Queens outfit Beech Creeps. The show is open to everyone 21 and older. — Richard Gehr
Slavic Soul Party! Barbès 9 p.m., $10 Slavic Soul Party are Eastern Europe's answer to the funk (and "Grunt") of the J.B.'s or, more recently, the Budos Band. On their recordings, and every Tuesday at Barbès, the ten-person brass ensemble pins Gypsy melodies against the sort of jazzy r&b horn collages you hear in movies adapted from Elmore Leonard books. The best part, though, is how they interact with their audience at their concerts, sometimes breaking the fourth wall, and really making each word in their name — especially the last — pull its weight. — Kory Grow
Wednesday, 3/4 Kelela Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 8 p.m., $175 Songstress Kelela is headlining MoMA's annual Armory Show after-party, bringing together lovers of the art world with Manhattan's prettiest party people (and being supported by Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and E*vax of Ratatat, both performing DJ sets). Known for lending her soulful voice to techno beats by trending producer collectives Fade to Mind and Night Slugs, Kelela's been co-signed by Solange and Björk. Kelela quickly became one of our favorites after we saw her perform at the now-shuttered 285 Kent warehouse in Williamsburg. In just a year's time, the singer-songwriter brings her goosebump-inducing voice as the sole live act at a major MoMA event. — Lina Abascal
Mandingo Ambassadors Barbès 10 p.m., $10 Guinean guitarist Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate came of age among such legendary Seventies guitarcentric combos as the Horoya Band and Bembeya Jazz, which blended Cuban rumba with traditional balafon-based sounds. Kouyate moved to New York in search of political asylum in 2004 and currently leads this suave weekly dance party featuring some of the city's sweeter rhythm masters. — Richard Gehr
Thursday, 3/5 Punch Brothers Beacon Theatre 8 p.m., $39.50–$49.50 It's easy to drop cool names and keywords when introducing a band: Beach Boys/Smile, T Bone Burnett, Brooklyn, newgrass. And while they're all apt, the five non-brothers Punch need more than a single descriptor. With mandolin, fiddle and banjo augmenting the guitar and bass — sometimes coupled with major orchestral influences and a sophistication that's at once intimate and grandiose — the Brooklyn-based band is eight years into a career that could (should) last a lifetime. The Phosphorescent Blues is their fourth studio album, and like the previous three, hit no. 1 on Billboard's Bluegrass chart thanks to their subtle, sublime string sounds. Patrons of all ages are welcome to attend; the show starts at 8 p.m. with Gaby Moreno opening. — Katherine Turman
Friday, 3/6 Chelsea Nights Concert Series The Chelsea Market First Friday of Every Month, 7 p.m., FREE Ever since it got cozy with the High Line in 2009, Chelsea Market has solidified its status as the classiest shopping mall that ever there was — where else can you pry into top-notch lobster while enjoying the sprawling vistas of an Anthropologie store? It also houses the Food Network studios, which would surely make it a foodie's paradise if the shops peddling artisanal cheeses, crepes, wines, and other vaguely French-sounding stuff didn't already. It's a place you want to hang out long after you're finished ingesting, and now you can. Friday, February 6, marks the launch of Chelsea Nights: A Concert Series, in which Brooklyn's Paper Garden Records will present its budding talent. Openers include Salt Cathedral, Little Strike, and Stranger Cat, who combine the earthy sounds of tambourine with out-of-this-world synth lines. — Heather Baysa
Hozier+George Ezra Beacon Theatre 7 p.m., FREE Inescapable but irresistible, Hozier's hit single, "Take Me to Church," has over 222 million Spotify streams and more than 25 million YouTube views, and earned a Grammy nod for Song of the Year (losing to Sam Smith). Not bad for the 24-year-old Irish singer-songwriter who, less than two years ago, was a struggling pub/street musician in Dublin. The darkly emotive video for "Take Me to Church" struck a chord with its scenes/themes of gay oppression, but live, Andrew Hozier-Byrne will prove he has more than one haunting, eloquent song. (To wit, there's 53 minutes of them on his 2014 self-titled debut, including the stellar "Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.") The show is open to all ages and starts at 8 p.m. with a set from George Ezra. — Katherine Turman
Beardyman Bowery Ballroom 9 p.m., $20 You've never seen a show like a Beardyman show. A human beatboxing machine, Beardyman uses his voice to craft vocal loops in real time, creating an electronic music experience that puts even the wildest raves to shame. Unlike the mystery and confusion surrounding exactly how much work DJ'ing really involves, Beardyman's live performance shows him building vocal tracks one step at a time into club-ready drum'n'bass-, techno-, and dubstep-inspired tracks. Since earning the title of U.K. Beatbox Champion in 2006, Beardyman has toured the world, bringing his electronic take on the age-old concept of the one-man band. — Lina Abascal
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