The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 11/16/12


Here are the ten best concerts around the city this weekend, in no particular order.

Zac Brown Band
Madison Square Garden
Saturday, 7:30pm, $52-$92
If “Chicken Fried,” a life-is-good ode to cold beers on Friday night and pairs of jeans that fit just right, established bluegrass-influenced country rockers the Zac Brown Band (pictured above) as the perfect group for summer, “Colder Weather,” a ballad about a ramblin’ man and the woman he couldn’t help leave behind, suggested that they could also make music that would hold up after the leaves had fallen. This year, their album Uncaged includes flip-flopping island songs (“Island Song,” for one) and melancholic ballads (“Goodbye in Her Eyes” is climbing up the charts), both of which should be getting play many seasons into the future. — By Nick Murray

Vox Festival
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, 7:30pm, $25
There are few cures better for the postapocalyptic hurricane-blackout doldrums than a heavy dose of contemporary opera. With its rabid unpredictability, deconstruction of modern technology, and gale-force philosophical questions, the New York City Opera’s annual festival of new works and works-in-progress presented as staged readings is geared toward destabilizing the unquestioning mind, the pared-down Brechtian equivalent of Hurricane Sandy. John Zorn, Christopher Weiss, and Osnat Netzer are all featured composers. Subjects are far-flung: By the end of the night, 12th-century German mystic Hildegard von Bingen, samurais, courtly romance, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and Kate Chopin will have all graced the stage. — By Aidan Levy

All Time Low + Hit The Lights + The Downtown Fiction + The Summer Set
Irving Plaza
Sunday, 6pm, $27
What sets apart All Time Low from other bands that have spawned from the Blink-182 Playbook of Music is that they go beyond the lyrically bratty smirks that delve into scenarios from the emotionally taxing to the immature; these boys bring the toilet humor jokes and electrifying energy of their idols’ stage shows to their sets and, most importantly, make it their own. Between sex jokes and stage dives, All Time Low spits out the spurts of unfiltered energy that best describe their upbeat songs and make it difficult to question why their fans are as loyal and rabid as they have grown to be over the years. – By Brittany Spanos

The Hush Sound + Tommy and the Pilots + Sydney Wayser
Highline Ballroom
Sunday, 8pm, $16/$18
All ‘vacations’ have to end at some point, and the folks from The Hush Sound are finally getting back to work. After announcing their hiatus via Twitter in 2009, the Decaydence/Fueled by Ramen darlings, who rose to prominence during the label’s heyday with the likes of Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy, have set out on a mini-tour this fall with their original members. The band’s gorgeous brand of upbeat yet earnest indie pop has surely been missed since the break, and their promise of more shows and new music is just too sweet to silence. – By Brittany Spanos

Trash Talk + Mellowhype
The Gramercy Theatre
Saturday, 8pm, $23
While personalities like Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean capture the imagination of Odd Future’s casual fans, acts like MellowHype (a duo consisting of Hodgy Beats and rapper/producer Left Brain) continue to release solid music slightly under the radar. Their recent Numbers contains, if nothing else, one of the most pleasing rap songs of the year, the melancholically triumphant “Astro,” which benefits from a hook and interlude courtesy of Mr. Ocean himself. Tonight, the duo plays the Gramercy Theatre with hardcore labelmates Trash Talk, whose ecstatic bursts of drums, guitar, and howling vocals are sure to get this crowd going wild. — By Nick Murray

Dan Deacon + Height With Friends + Chester Endersby Gwazda + Alan Resnick
Bowery Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $15
“Giddy” doesn’t even begin to do justice to Dan Deacon’s percolating phalanxes of keyboards and synthesizers. That was true back in 2007, when the bearded Baltimorean broke through with Spiderman of the Rings, but these days, his ambitions are greater. In other words, that tripping-balls-in-a-warehouse-strung-with-Christmas-lights vibe remains, but now it’s in service of the kind of grand, almost operatic sweep that separates “hipster party indie” from “fledgling-composer bliss.” The inclusion of string sections definitely doesn’t hurt. — By Raymond Cummings

A Tribe Called Red + DJ Ayres + Mother Brother
The Glasslands Gallery
Saturday, 11:30pm, $10
This Ottawa-based Aboriginal DJ trio remixes chants with dancehall to create “Powwow Step,” dubstep gone native. Here, glitch takes on a subversive political element, indigenous culture diluted by layers of distortion, but rather than weakening tradition, the intrusion of electronic sounds frees the powwow from what might otherwise be solemn ritual and makes it eminently danceable. — By Aidan Levy

Peter Gallagher
Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency
Friday & Saturday, 8:00pm & 10:30pm, $60-$95
The title of his show is “How’d All You People Get Into My Room?” and likely refers to the scores of parts he’s played both on Broadway and on the big and little screens. Reminding audiences of his Sky Masterson in the 1992 Guys and Dolls revival, he can reprise “Luck Be a Lady” or “I’ll Know,” but what kind of ditty will he pull out to represent Arthur Campbell, the cool-as-a-Mojito C.I.A. official he’s assigned on USA’s nifty, sexy Covert Affairs? — By David Finkle

Yellowcard + The Wonder Years + We Are the In Crowd
Playstation Theater
Saturday, 8pm, $25
Very few songs have had the ability to make millions of people want to live on the same street the way Yellowcard’s breakout hit “Ocean Avenue” did in 2003. That piece of pop punk gold helped catapult the Florida band into the very core of the early millennium alternative scene and paved the way for younger bands with a similar aesthetic. Ten years after the release of their first album, Yellowcard is still an emblem of summer-punk anthems and ferociously fun live sets. – By Brittany Spanos

Bassnectar + GRiZ + Gladkill
Terminal 5
Saturday, 9pm, $40/$45
The definition of a grassroots success, Bassnectar became one the most popular dance musicians in the country not by remixing the big stars or holding down a residency at a hot New York club but by touring the middle of the country, picking up more and more fans in every city. Few other DJs can claim to have held their most legendary performance at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Tonight and tomorrow, the 33-year-old comes to the city, bringing his hard-hitting fusion of hard-rock aggression, rave beats, and hip-hop energy–what the kids are calling dubstep–to Terminal 5. — By Nick Murray

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