The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 2/14/14


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

Friday, 2/14:

Mary Lambert
10:30 p.m., $25-$50
Mary Lambert has been celebrating “Same Love” with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for the past couple of years, but this Valentine’s Day, she’ll be in New York to celebrate any kind of love imaginable. After releasing a solo version of the chorus she sang on the breakout hit by the Seattle rapper, Lambert has unveiled a voice and songwriting capability worthy of more than just a guest spot. With a debut album slated to be released this spring, our opportunity to see the singer solidify for herself an even larger platform isn’t too far away. — By Brittany Spanos

Kings of Leon + Gary Clark, Jr.
Madison Square Garden
8:00 p.m., $49.50-$69.50
Since they released their debut album in 2003, Kings of Leon have been an oddly reliable landmark in rock ‘n’ roll. Continuously supplying bluesy, southern stadium stompers, the family band always releases a new album filled with arena-worthy material before you can say, “Hey, I wonder what Kings of Leon is up to?” In 2013, the Followills put out their sixth LP, Mechanical Bull, and it received relatively positive reception, indicating that appeal has yet to fade. They even played the festival circuit once more, including a muddy and delayed set at Governor’s Ball last June. Now on tour, these Tennessee boys will hit NYC on Valentine’s Day. Could you imagine a better way to celebrate with your significant other than to scream along to “Sex on Fire” with them? I think not. — By Brittany Spanos

Cibo Matto
Le Poisson Rouge
6:30 p.m., $20/$25
Japanese food-rap duo Cibo Matto cut two excellent records in the 1990s, then disappeared into the solo-joint ghetto. Their sound — a synthesis of hip-hop, bossa nova, DJ culture, and rock — is the equivalent of being stalked by a fusion gourmet food truck in the L.A. of Blade Runner; now, with third album Hello Valentine, they’ve resuscitated it for an age when culture is so diffuse that epileptic-baiting videos like the one for comeback single “MFN” inevitably get lost in the shuffle. Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be at this show, where you should beg them to play “Know Your Chicken.” — By Raymond Cummings

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers + Joe Pug
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $20
With four albums under her belt and a crew of Bay Area musicians, San Fran-based vocalist Nicki Bluhm has built her career off a vintage blend of country, r&b, and blues-stained rock ‘n’ roll. Where Adult Contemporary babes like Grace Potter, Joan Osborne, and Sheryl Crow have drifted into the middle of the road, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers are still riding the chill wave with their refreshing West Coast approach to roots music. Instead of a twang you get a breeze and an all-ages fanbase, and combined with opener Joe Pug’s taste of Nashville, the result will be sunny, unadulterated Americana at the time of year NYC could use it the most. — By Erin Manning

Saturday, 2/15:

Angelique Kidjo
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $42-$57
Angélique Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin-Kpasselokohinto Kidjo is African music’s foremost diva, if that’s not too Western a concept for this Benin-born powerhouse of a performer. OK, she lives in Park Slope; yet Benin’s drumming still provides the heartbeat of everything Kidjo records with husband and collaborator Jean Hébrail, and she has recorded some of the continent’s bangingest conceptual statements in albums like Oremi, Oyaya! and Black Ivory Soul. On her new Eve, Kidjo celebrates motherhood, daughterhood, and sisterhood in songs that blend West African folklore and Motown motion, female choruses, and a hothouse band with solid jazz bona fides. And check out her recent autobiography, Spirit Rises, which contains the story of her 1983 flight to France along with some great recipes. — By Richard Gehr

Saturday, 2/15:

Marc Anthony
Barclays Center
8:00 p.m., $65-$185
If your summer ’13 was marked by an ongoing debate regarding the merits of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” allow us to direct your attention toward “Vivir Mi Vida,” the salsa anthem that appropriately became Marc Anthony’s biggest single since his turn-of-the-millennium crossover heyday. That sing-along chorus? Perfect for chanting in unison with 18,000 other Anthony fans. And those swelling horns? Ideal for Brooklyn’s newest arena. The only catch: If you go to this show, you’ll be forced to miss Enrique Iglesias’s return to Madison Square Garden, and the Spanish singer has been on a roll lately, scoring hits with everything from bachata to dubstep. — By Nick Murray

Dead Meadows + Vietnam + Lushes
The Glasslands Gallery
8:00 p.m., $15
Their facebook page claims their music is for the children, but frontman Jason Simon clearly had proponents of wacky tobacky and Sci-Fi nerds in mind when he began sharing Dead Meadow’s unique brand of mystic rock. References to H.P. Lovecraft and
psychedelic dream scenarios fill the cosmic egg that contains 2013’s Warble Womb, an album that echoes classic rock, country influences, and the droning modal character of Eastern music. Catch Dead Meadow on their 2014 Puff Tuff tour, as it’s going to be their last for a long time and should be as much fun as popping open a can of Pringles. — By Erin Manning

Alam Khan w/ Nitin Mitta
Roulette Brooklyn
8:00 p.m., $20
The youngest son of the late sarod legend Ali Akbar Khan, 31-year-old Alam Khan has big Hindustani shoes to fill. Recent reviews from the young sarodist’s India tour, however, suggest that he has thoroughly digested his famous father’s instruction on the fretless, lute-like instrument. And after India, New York should be a breeze for Alam and terrific tabla accompanist Nitin Mitta. — By Richard Gehr

Paul Van Dyk
Hammerstein Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $30-$60
Recently named the #1 DJ of all time by DJ Mag, German producer/DJ Paul Van Dyk has kept his hands on the 1s and 2s since 1988, spinning everything from early Berlin techno and house to progressive trance. No one calls it trance anymore, though: We’re in the Age of EDM, which means Van Dyk is in his halcyon days and will be dishing out politically charged remixes, video game soundtrack selections, and perhaps that single he did with the dude from Owl City. To top it all off, one lucky NYC ticket holder will be selected to “intern” for a day with Van Dyk and help him prepare for the show. With only 36 views on this contest advertisement video, local lovers of Van Dyk raves would be foolish to not throw their hats in the ring! — By Erin Manning

Sunday, 2/16:

Those Darlins + Diarrhea Planet
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00 p.m., $15
Those Darlins are a Nashville trio who began by covering Carter Family songs at a Southern Girls Rock & Roll camp. A few iterations later, the alt-country group are on their third record, last October’s Blur the Line, and have found fans in the likes of the Black Keys and Dr. Dog — both of whom they’ve opened for on recent tours. Don’t let the honeyed pet name fool you, Those Darlins aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of country, rock, and all the rest. Bluesy bass lines, close-knit drawled harmonies, and rock-veering electric guitars keep this group on the edge of definition. — By Caitlin White

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