Your Complete Guide to Valentine’s Day Shows Worth Seeing


Valentine’s Day is upon us, and perhaps you and/or the love of your life (or love of your week) are considering taking in one of the many concerts happening in and around the city on Feb. 14. Let us help you figure out which gigs offer the best chance for romance.

See also: Valentine’s Day Special: The Soundtrack of Love, Behold… The Arctopus Style

Webster Hall [7pm/$35]
Ideally, just looking at your choice of Valentine’s Day performer(s) should ignite those special warm feelings deep in your loins and/or your partner’s. Skinny Puppy frontman Nivek Ogre fits that bill–sure, he’s no Ralph Tresvant, but while Ministry’s Al Jourgensen looks like a dung beetle nowadays and Trent Reznor resembles a swollen big toe, Ogre, 51, has aged like Clooney, and probably has even more charisma. cEvin Key, however…let’s just say it’s a good thing he’s usually lurking in the shadows at the back of the stage behind a bank of keyboards and monitors.

Also, the veteran Canadian terror-industrial outfit’s grooves run the gamut from aggressive noise to seductive electro-funk, and in the live setting the sonic ebb-and-flow can resemble some of the most intense (and probably weirdest) sex you’ve ever had, and will almost certainly leave you happily drained by the end. Further, what’s more romantic than men with honor and principles? Skinny Puppy find animal abusers, corrupt politicians and destroyers of the environment entirely despicable.

On the flip side, though, it might be a romantic buzzkill to have Ogre instill in your head visions of vivisection, drug-addles disintegration and mankind’s general shittiness (although those Dalek vocals do sometimes make it hard to figure out what he’s on about). And ever the horror-prop aficionado, he’s been known to spill his bloody guts onstage (I seem to remember in the old Puppy concert film Ain’t it Dead Yet Ogre pulling from beneath his shirt handfuls of “intestines” which I think were some type of sausages that even Andrew Zimmern wouldn’t eat). So that could be a bit of a turn-off. But it also cannot be understated how much gothpleathersteampunkS&Mdustrial attire and attitude will be present at this gig, so if that’s your scene, you’ll be in VD (that’s Valentine’s Day) heaven.

Le Poisson Rouge [7:30pm/$20]
What could possibly be more perfect for Valentine’s Day than a gig from recently reunited artpop/hip-hop/dub-skronk fusioneers Cibo Matto to celebrate the release of their new LP, Hotel Valentine–a concept album about love between the ghosts of a haunted hotel?! And yes, Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda remain as talented and swoonworthy as you remember them. But consider this: Even though the band is celebrating the now, reunions and the accompanying nostalgia are tricky things. Do you want your Valentine’s Day burdened by the possibility that after all this time, the present just doesn’t stack up to the past, leaving you disappointed on your special night? Also, what happens if the band launches into, say, “Sugar Water,” and suddenly you have a flashback to the spring of ’96, when you were younger and skinnier and your bones didn’t ache in the morning and you were wandering through the East Village with that old flame of yours that was so, SO wrong for you and yet so, SO right for you and you were just bursting with love and lust and life … and then you snap back to the present and you look over at your date and you say to yourself, Wow, you’re boring and you suck?

Then again, Cibo Matto’s new stuff might be so good and inspiring that you glance at your significant other and smile and think, Sure, those old times were fun, but I’m so much happier and content and secure now and getting older isn’t so bad at all now that I’m with you, and realizing that makes this Valentine’s Day extra romantic and blissful. Could happen!

See also: Cibo Matto: Food-Obsessed Until They Die

Madison Square Garden [8pm/$49.50-$69.50]
Sorry, but there is nothing remotely romantic about seeing Kings of Leon. In a hockey arena. On Valentine’s Day. Don’t do it. But if you MUST: At least get there early for the undeniably sexy blues-rock guitar god Gary Clark Jr., who’s opening–although your lady will likely want to go home with him instead of you.

Prudential Center (Newark) [8pm/$64.75-$184.75]
Well, this one’s kind of a no-brainer. A Marc Anthony concert would be romantic on Yom Kippur, let alone Valentine’s Day. Somehow, the debonair Latin-pop superstar and perennial “Sexiest Man Alive” contender has figured out a way to put more people in the mood than all the oysters, Bordeaux wine, erotic massages and Viagra in the world combined. He makes Ginuwine seem like Jonah Hill. And if the recent celebrity gossip is accurate–AND WHEN ISN’T IT?!–Anthony just split from gal-pal Chloe Green, so now he’s single and ready to mingle and just might fix a smoldering stare on you from the stage or throw an extra hip-jiggle your way. There’s really no downside to this gig, except Newark.

Irving Plaza [7:30pm/$20]
There’s not much about dubstep, “world-class lasers” and mediocre jam bands-turned-EDM “superstars” that’s romantic, particularly, but there will undoubtedly be a lot of sexy people getting all charged up and dancing like sweaty maniacs to whatever generic beats Savoy pumps out of its speakers, so if you’re solo this Valentine’s Day and care fuck-all about romance, this could be the place to hook up.

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