The Best Concerts in New York This Week, 3/17/14


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


Monday, 3/17:

Steve Ross
7:00 p.m., $40
Is he our best Cole Porter interpreter? You betcha. Ross has been singing the foremost songwriting sophisticate’s phenomenal output for some time now, and the result is still as fresh and tangy as the day the Waldorf Towers resident penned them. This show’s dubbed “Ridin’ High: Cole Porter on Broadway,” and that means many of the ditties Ethel Merman introduced and, if we’re lucky, the magnificent “Begin the Beguine” that June Knight sang first in Jubilee. Expect the Merman items to be belted by truly special guest Klea Blackhurst. — By David Finkle

Tuesday, 3/18:

Rosanne Cash
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $35-$75
After a three decades of wrestling with the music industry to be recognized as a legit songwriter instead of just as Johnny’s daughter, Rosanne Cash has traveled a long hard road from California to Arkansas to Nashville to New York (where she now resides) to tell us her stories. Her most recent release, The River & the Thread explores that road, sometimes literally, and is frosting on the cake after four supreme album reissues in 2005 and an acclaimed memoir, Composed, in 2010. Fans of the Cash clan would thus be wise to catch her on this current supporting tour, as she’s clearly forged her way to a career sweet spot. — By Erin Manning

The Allman Brothers Band
Beacon Theatre
Monday & Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. daily, sold out
The Brothers don’t always play in New York, but when they do, they play at the Beacon. This year marks the band’s 45th anniversary, and their 25th anniversary residency at the 2,800-seat venue, totaling 222 utterly unique, mind-bending midnight rides to the brink of Southern rock, featuring eclectic surprise guests from Clapton to Donald Fagen. With an old-school psychedelic light show, endless jams on “Whipping Post,” “Soulshine,” or “Melissa,” and, well, Gregg Allman, there’s a reason these shows fetch upwards of $400 a ticket. As per usual, the 14-night run has already sold out, but scalpers are easy to find outside the venue. — By Aidan Levy

Wednesday, 3/19:

the xx
Park Avenue Armory
Wednesday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. daily, $55
Since the xx’s self-titled debut became an indie favorite, their live shows have always attempted to resolve a central paradox: The band’s quiet, intimate music is best heard alone in a bedroom, but their ever-increasing popularity means that they have to play large, impersonal venues like Terminal 5 and Radio City. This month, the band attempts to find a solution by filling the Park Avenue Armory with a “site-specific environment” to add a spatial dimension to the band’s sound, creating a setting “where dark and light collide as the memory of the outside world falls away.” The performances continue through March 29, but no more than 40 people are admitted at one time. — By Nick Murray

Thursday, 3/20:

Blue Note
Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. daily, $20-$35
Smelting grooves are guaranteed when pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and his bass-playing Cuban countryman Jose Armando Gola get together with Puerto Rican drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo. Although you might wish it were all about eruption, there’s plenty of grace and nuance to wrap your head around as well, so just go with the flow. — By Richard Gehr

Friday, 3/21:

Billy Joel
Madison Square Garden
8:00 p.m., $64.50-$124.50
Las Vegas was once the go-to spot for legendary musicians looking to settle down for a residency, but it looks like MSG and Billy Joel have found a way to take that concept home to New York. After playing a New Year’s Eve show at Barclays, the Bronx-born, Long Island-bred performer, who has provided the pop and rock canon with an endless list of iconic, timeless, and modern standards, is preparing a monthly residency at the Garden from now until we’re sick of him. From the first seven sold-out shows, the end of this East Coast franchise isn’t going to arrive for some time — the Piano Man’s got us feeling alright. — By Brittany Spanos

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