The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/31/2013


For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar.

New Kids on the Block + 98 Degrees + Boyz II Men
Nassau Coliseum
Saturday, 7:30pm, $24.40-$94.50
If you can’t make the Backstreet Boys’ 20th Anniversary Cruise, then this 3-for-1 boy band tour (appropriately titled “The Package”) is for you. Special guests 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men will be joining Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jonathan, and Joey for to entertain nostalgic fans between the ages of 20 and 40, those who properly understand the type of fervor you need to exhibit when the speakers start booming “Step By Step.” The tour’s existence and openers sort of make up for them announcing it on The View. — By Brittany Spanos

The Dandy Warhols
Terminal 5
Friday, 8pm, $30
Although their eight studio albums (and one documentary) have brought them far more recognition, I can’t help but associate the Dandy Warhols with Veronica Mars, the cult TV show that benefited greatly from their falsetto-and-synth-heavy “We Used to Be Friends.” Most of their songs aren’t so funky, though, with Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s almost-bored singing voice leading the band through everything from jangly folk rock to self-indulgent psychedelia — By Sarah Madges

Pitbull + Ke$ha
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Saturday, 8pm, $24.75-$125
Look, I’m no happier to admit this than you are, but in the past decade Pitbull has made as many good tunes as anyone. From the peak crunk of “Bojangles” (those drums!) to the pop house of “Give Me Everything” (those synths!) with detours like the Dominican rap meets Baltimore club “Watagatapitusberry” (what!), the man has hits. Tonight, he joins another hitmaker, the inimitable Ke$ha, she of “Die Young” and “Tik Tok” (that attitude!), for a suburban summer show at Jones Beach. — By Nick Murray

Futurebirds + The Doorbells
Bowery Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $15
If you like your Southern rock thick, syrupy, and dreamlike, look no further than this Athens, Georgia, quintet’s new Baba Yaga, which captures a Robitussin vibe vaguely, but oh so pleasantly, reminiscent of Chicago’s long, lost Souled American. Laconic three-part harmonies, pleading pedal-steel guitar, and lonesome-unto-death lyrics sound like the perfect recipe for a night of heavy self-medicating. — By Richard Gehr

Claudia Acuna
Brooklyn Museum
Saturday, 5pm, free
Steeped in the bossa tradition and the folkloric culture of her native Santiago, Chile, Claudia Acuna ushers in the change of season with her Latin flair and honeyed alto hues. Before becoming one of the elite voices in jazz, the singer, songwriter, and arranger cut her teeth in the late ’90s as part of the cosmopolitan scene that crystallized around now-legendary jam sessions at Zinc Bar and Smalls. While paying her dues, she worked the coat check at the Blue Note before returning to the venue as headliner. — By Aidan Levy

Charli XCX + Little Daylight
Glasslands Gallery
Friday, 8:30pm, $12/$15
Sang Icona Pop, on last year’s “I Love It,” the dance hit co-written by Charli XCX: “You’re from the ’70s, but I’m a ’90s bitch.” Charli, though, can barely claim that. Only 20 years old, the British singer-songwriter knows the ’00s best, even if her two albums, two mixtapes, and two EPs all came out in this decade. Beyond “I Love It,” start with the gothic synth-pop of True Romance’s opener, “Nuclear Seasons,” and keep going until you’re standing in the crowd at Glasslands, cheering for her to come back and play it as an encore. Don’t worry, she will. With Little Daylight. — By Nick Murray

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars
Brooklyn Bowl
Sunday, 8pm, $12
Led by singer-songwriter Reuben Koroma, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have evolved into road-seasoned ambassadors of peace through music since coming 
together–with the help of instruments donated by a Canadian relief agency–in 
a Guinean refugee camp toward the end of their homeland’s decade-long civil war. Where their 2006 debut album focused on life in the camp, the follow-up took a wider view of poverty and other third-world issues. The octet’s (Brooklyn-recorded) 2012 album, Radio Salone, was inspired by Sierra Leone’s creole culture and the influence of radio, resulting in a strong Afrocentric blend of Guinea-Bissau’s zouk-influenced gumbe rhythm, palm-wine guitars, gentle folk songs, Congolese soukous, the lilting baskeda drum sound reminiscent of Jamaica’s nyabinghi drummers, and reggae 
redemption songs. — By Richard Gehr

Michael Blake Band
Cornelia Street Cafe
Saturday, 9pm & 10:30pm, $20
The saxophonist was a lieutenant in Lurie’s Lounge Lizards and knows all the nuances of his old pal’s book. Whether re-spinning North African gnaw or sweeping a little dust off the blues, that book contains some of the most enchanting music around. Saxophonist Blake will make tonight’s gig intriguing because his often provocative horn lines always, always, always have an earthy base. Given the sparseness of Lurie’s music being presented these days, this could qualify as an event. — By Jim Macnie

The Uncluded
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Saturday, 8pm, $15
If you dug the sloe-eyed undie-rap science Aesop Rock dropped over Kimya Dawson’s hyperactive folk plaints on the latter’s Thunder Thighs, the Uncluded is right up your alley. What the pair fosters, for better or worse, is the experience of two strong creative minds brainstorming simultaneously, out loud, often in confusing contradiction. It’s thrilling sometimes, exhausting at others. There’s something to be said for passing the mic and, you know, playing hypeman or just acting hard while your partner is breaking off something. — By Raymond Cummings

Jon Lovano Nonet
Village Vanguard
Ends Sunday, 9pm & 11pm daily, $25
They started years ago by tipping the hat to Gunther Schuller, but the charts that guide their action always find a way to give the maestro’s third stream approach a bit of extra heat. That’s because Lovano hangs with a naturally feisty bunch that enjoy a bit of delirium in with their decorum. Under his guidance, the music swerves and sways, group architecture making room for all sorts of individual statements. The way their textures fill this room is extraordinary. — By Jim Macnie

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