The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/16/14


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

Friday, 5/16:

Terminal 5
Friday & Saturday, 9:00 p.m., $25/$30
Perhaps one of the grooviest live performances, electro-funk duo Chromeo is back in NYC. A harmony of syncopated, funky riffs and soothing and steady vocals, Chromeo’s songs evoke a genuine sense of delight. Recorded, their songs are obviously fun, but when experienced live, every song becomes its own personal party. The spirited nature of Chromeo’s sound is spunky yet soothing, which makes for a truly fantastic show. — By Eleanor Lambert

Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $12/$14
Woods just released With Light And With Love, the seventh and best record of their career. The Brooklyn-based band has been doing it right for nearly a decade and have now sharpened it to a point where you can actually understand what they’re saying, unlike their previous work, a gloriously garbled mess of DIY goodness. See their show at Bowery, their homecoming before jumping across the pond later this summer, and be sure to bring a date, because this is make out music, and making out to guitars is fucking sweet. — By Eric Sundermann

Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett + The New Orleans Suspects
Stage 48
7:00 p.m., $32.50-$55
Tonight’s three-set Southern-fried fiesta opens with a duo performance by Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett. The New Orleans Suspects – a seriously funky crew drawn from the Radiators, the Neville Brothers, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band – will follow. And combustication should ultimately ensue when the two tribes merge for a finale set of Little Feat and Big Easy showstoppers. — By Richard Gehr

‘The Gil Evans Project’
Jazz Standard
Friday through Sunday, 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., $30
The bandleader earned massive props from fans, critics and Grammy voters when his first edition of Evans tunes dropped a couple years ago. God is in the details – the performances were made even more eloquent by original manuscripts of the iconic composer-arranger’s work that Truesdell found while investing all things Evans. Now he and his large ensemble are recording a second album live this week, and it too will feature some newly-found pieces. Precision and dynamics are their calling card, but Gil’s big heart will be front and center in these performances. — By Jim Macnie

Saturday, 5/17:

Gerd Janson
TBA Brooklyn
8:00 p.m., free
German DJ and part-time music journalist Gerd Janson holds residencies at two of the world’s most revered nightclubs, Robert-Johnson in Frankfurt and Panorama Bar in Berlin. Regrettably, his only prior appearance in New York was cut short by Chinatown police officers who clearly had no taste in house music. Janson has now returned to NYC with Red Bull Music Academy, and will showcase his mind-boggling mixing and selection skills at this all night, open-ended appearance. — By Aaron Gonsher

Talib Kweli
Rough Trade NYC
1:30 p.m., free
Talib Kweli is nothing if not prolific. Six months after releasing Prisoner of Conscious, he returned with Gravitas, which as the name would imply, had some lyrical ballast. The socially conscious rapper and co-founder of Black Star has a Brooklyn pedigree and a poetic sensibility that mixes rhythmic complexity and virtuosic flow with a background in political activism, dropping knowledge wrapped in a combustible beat. In a recent study that compared Shakespeare’s vocabulary with hip-hop’s leading lights, Kweli barely fell short of the once-controversial Bard. The comparison might be hyperbolic, but it’s enough to parlay his street cred for some Brooklyn lit cred. — By Aidan Levy

Sunday, 5/18:

Dierks Bentley
PNC Bank Arts Center
7:00 p.m., $29.25-$54
Dierks Bentley has been a country heartthrob ever since his what-happened-last-night smash single “What Was I Thinkin'” introduced him in 2003. Now, seven major label albums later, Dierks has built on both his early, playful themes and incorporated plenty of American pride and family values into his consistently excellent country pop. His latest record Riser, which came out this past February, continues in the same vein of feel-good party songs and deeply affecting love ballads. At his show, expect plenty of super-fans of all ages who are unafraid to sing along with the patriotic anthems and the debauchery-fueled drinking ones. — By Caitlin White

Dieter Meier
Le Poisson Rouge
7:30 p.m., free
The dotty yet debonair singer with Swiss electropop group Yello (“You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess”) fronts a five-piece group of jazz players as part of Zürich Meets New York: A Festival of Swiss Ingenuity. The art prankster, former poker pro, and organic farmer recently released an autobiography and solo album, both titled Out of Chaos. Expect mature pop whimsy, balladry, and the odd Yello bust-out. The show is free but reservations ( are necessary. — By Richard Gehr

Young Widows + Helms Alee + Highness
Saint Vitus
8:00 p.m., $13-$15
In the colossal depths of band names, Young Widows ranks way up there on the pretty fuckin’ bleak scale and this brutal and brooding Louisville, Kentucky trio wouldn’t have it any other way. With a deathly aesthetic clearly mirroring its moniker, Young Widows put forth a rather diverse beast on its aptly titled third record, the pummeling, distorto riff-fest, Easy Pain. That pain YW inflicts lethally fuses the post-punk precision of fellow Kentuckians Slint with the tortured croak of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and then bathes it in AmRep-styled industrial-strength noise and Melvins-sized sludge. These Young Widows come highly recommended. — By Brad Cohan

Untold + Pearson Sound
10:00 p.m., $15-$25
Jack Dunning aka Untold has released on numerous UK-based electronic labels of surpassing quality since his debut in 2008, including Hessle Audio, Hotflush, R & S, Numbers, and Hemlock Recordings, of which he is co-owner. Dunning’s debut LP Black Light Spiral, however, just came out, pushing his past commitment to sonic confrontation to new heights: the 4+ minute opening track “5 Wheel” is just layer upon layer of shrieking siren. At Output, Untold plays live with support from famed UK jock Pearson Sound. — By Aaron Gonsher

Our Favorite Online Resources for Metal Knowledge
Why EDM Is Thriving While Other Genres Are Sinking
How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide
The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever