The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 8/9/13


For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.

Friday, 8/9:

Shaggy + TK Wonder
Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30pm, free
No matter what genre it comes from, the novelty song remains a gift and a curse, bestowing on an artist the sort of fickle exposure that comes from VH1 talking heads. And so it was for Shaggy, the New York transplant whose voice blasted from Flatbush Avenue soundsystems for nearly eight years (since 1993’s “Oh Carolina,” at least) before “It Wasn’t Me” brought him to Times Square. It’s a fun tune, yes, but you don’t have to be a real head to know that its counterpart, “Angel,” is the album’s best. And if you are a real head, you’re probably loving his new Sly & Robbie-produced, Beres Hammond-
featuring roots reggae throwback “Fight This Feeling,” which exchanges the novel for the tried and true. — By Nick Murray

Wild Cub
Bowery Ballroom
9pm, $13/$15
As long as there are after-hours lounges, there will be a venue for the spare, sparkly pop Nashville’s Wild Cub ply. A restless nocturnal energy drives Keegan Dewitt and Jeremy Bullock’s artificial, synth-bombed cocktails; they’re like the energy drinks that keep you clubbing hard when common sense insists that it’s time to hit the hay. There are tricky electronics in the stew as well, plus android guitars, and arch vocals with lipstick traces; listeners may be reminded of Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, and early Depeche Mode. — By Raymond Cummings

Hyetal + Braille + Jim-e Stack + DJ True Panther
The Glasslands Gallery
11:30pm, $10
Hyetal is David Corney, a Bristol-based producer with a predilection for kaleidoscopic atmospheres and luminous pop, and Braille is Praveen Sharma, one half of Brooklyn duo Sepalcure and a deft hand at skippy house. Together the two will celebrate Hyetal’s recent album Modern Worship, which is every bit as diverse and blissful as the genuflecting title suggests. — By Aaron Gonsher

Saturday, 8/10:

‘Mad Decent Block Party’
Williamsburg Park
1pm, $33.50
Last time the Mad Decent Block Party rolled through Brooklyn, the indie label behind it brought Riff Raff, Lunice, Bonde Do Role, a kid named Baauer, and, of course, Major Lazor, the rave-dancehall trio led by CEO Diplo, to a rainy lot near the East River. In the year since, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” gave the label their first chart-topper, and they’ve expanded the festival accordingly, sending it across the country and, for the first time ever, charging for tickets. Still, another strong lineup makes the price seem like a bargain: party-starters Matt & Kim, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, DJ Sliink, 3Ball MTY (a Mexican crew that will surely convert a few locals), and, 
yes, Major Lazer highlight a long, diverse day of dancing. Here’s hoping the rain holds off. — By Nick Murray

They Might Be Giants + Moon Hooch
Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30pm, free
They Might Be Giants’ two Johns–Liddell and Flansburgh–raise the white flag to our cultural ADD epidemic on their recent Nanobots, an album of very short songs (remember Morgan Fisher’s classic Miniatures?) set to elaborate pop arrangements. Moon Hooch is a primordial-groove trio consisting of saxophonists Mike Wilbur and Wenzi McGowan and drummer James Muschler, whose sound is loud, proud, and deliriously unrefined. — By Richard Gehr

Saturday, 8/10:

Kenny Chesney + Eric Church + Eli Young Band + Kacey Musgraves
MetLife Stadium
5pm, $45-$260
We’ll be the first to admit that Kenny Chesney’s latest album, Life on a Rock, was not his best, a 45-minute island getaway where anything resembling substance was left at check-in. But no one except Taylor Swift puts on a better arena show, one with a setlist of hits that favors the greatest over the latest. Not that the latest are all bad: 2010’s Hemingway’s Whiskey remains the best album of his 20-plus year career, and its “Somewhere With You” the best single. Come for Kenny, but don’t tailgate for too long: This tour’s openers are his best ever, with Eric Church rocking as hard as anyone in any genre, Eli Young Band repping Texas across the country, and Kacey Musgrave bringing her tales of Middle America ennui to a football stadium bigger than many of the towns she sings about. — By Nick Murray

Nick Lowe + Jason Isbell
Lincoln Center Damrosch Park Bandshell
6pm, free
With Global Warming melting the North Pole, who else can we turn to but Nick Lowe? The avuncular Jesus of Cool descends upon the Heart of the City (a/k/a Lincoln Center), ready to bash out the smirky Power Pop of his Rockpile days and to croon the soulful country r0ock of his later work. Lowe has aged gracefully into an expert craftsman of smart countrified pop, and it is this Lowian avatar that is nicely complemented by opening act Jason Isbell, whose critically acclaimed Southeastern trades in the sort of earnest Americana that Lowe would have spoofed in the ’80s, covered in the ’90s, and shared a stage with in the 2000s. — By Winston Groman

Rockin’ Rockabilly Revue
Lincoln Center Damrosch Park Bandshell
6pm, free
Like catching two decent shows for the price of none, Lincoln Center Out of Doors’ annual Roots of American Rock fest presents a historic confab of rock ‘n’ roll elders alongside a pair of no-depression singleton stars. The Rockin’ Rockabilly Revue of septuagenarian ass-kickers includes impeccable Sun Records guitarist James Burton, larger-than-life Arkansas powerhouse Sleepy LaBeef, two-hit Beatles influence Charlie Gracie, groundbreaking Motown signee Johnny Powers, and Texas tornado Gene Summers. The remainder of the evening centers on recklessness and redemption: British pub rock, punk, and new wave linchpin Nick Lowe is a brilliant smoothie who cloaks nuanced menace in classic country warmth. And former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell’s new Southeastern reflects the difficult and often dark aftermath of life-or-death rehab. — By Richard Gehr

Sunday, 8/11:

Maroon 5 + Kelly Clarkson + Rozzi Crane
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7pm, $60-$125
The headliner and special guest here have been on both sides of a reality singing competition, so they know a thing or two about giving your all in a live performance. Maroon 5, with frontman Adam Levine best known these days as a judge on The Voice, will be joined by OG American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson in what may be one of the most pleasant mash-ups of early millennium Top 40 nostalgia. But unlike some of the hitmakers from 2002/2003, Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson have remained pop music mainstays who can be counted on to continuously release infectious, catchy, and emotionally charged songs year after year, and that’s something we don’t need a reality competition to prove. — By Brittany Spanos

Steampunk Weekend
Pier 40
2pm, $25-$35
Hop aboard a time machine today and travel back to the era when people dressed like Edward Gorey characters and rode in paddleboats along the Mississippi. What? That never happened? Well then, you’ll need your imagination at Pier 40 for the 
final event of Gemini and Scorpio’s Steampunk Weekend, which involves an old-timey cruise aboard The Queen of Hearts–and costumes (or at least some kind of effort to look like you’ve escaped from a Victorian circus) are required. Brooklyn brass ensemble the Hungry March Band provide the music. Other events happening during this Steampunk Weekend include Friday’s concert with Amanda Palmer at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival and Saturday’s Lost Circus Costume Ball. — By Angela Ashman

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