The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 6/27/14


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

Friday, 6/27:

Stage 48
11:00 p.m., $20
Whether it’s a celebration of her oldies or a display of her new work off of Braveheart, Ashanti’s show will feature that same honeyed voice we all know and love. The R&B princess’ new sound is reminiscent of her past hits while exploring the new trappy sound omnipresent in today’s R&B/rap/hip-hop hybrids. Her voice cascades in that very familiar and rich manner, a powerful blend of high control and loose flow that feels like a lullaby while grinding like a rap verse. One of pop’s sexiest singers and performers, Ashanti will put on a stunning show and likely cover all the bases we’d expect from the urban soul legend. — By Eleanor Lambert

NolaFunk Crawfish and Music Fest
Governors Island
4:00 p.m., $40-$55
One suspects Mardi Gras never made it big up here because it’s simply too cold in February to expose your face, let alone anything more delicate. But now that summer has begun, why deprive yourself of the spice and swagger of New Orleans? Second-line (or take the ferry) over to Governor’s Beach Club for the NolaFunk Crawfish and Music Fest, featuring knockout Crescent City acts like the Rebirth Brass Band and the trombone assault of Bonerama, as well as the Brooklyn-based High & Mighty Brass Band. Heaping platters of ruby-red “mudbugs,” or, as you might know them, crawfish, bring the party to a boil. — By Rob Staeger

Cole Porter’s ‘The Ambassador Revue’
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $30-$65
Hello, hello, what’s this? Or better yet, Allo, allo, qu’est ce que c’est? Why, it’s a rediscovered work Cole Porter wrote in 1928 and really called “La Revue des Ambassadeurs.” It’s about the Paris the songwriter loved from a young age and includes few songs familiar these days, like “In a Moorish Garden.” In the cast then? The Gershwin sister Frances. In the cast now? Amy Burton, Anita Gillette, Jason Graae, Ted Levy, Catherine Russell and Tom Wopat. Leading the pack? Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks. No Cole soul can afford to miss it. — By David Finkle
Saturday, 6/28:

Barclays Center
8:00 p.m., $25-$125
Like it or not, you’ve had at least one Avicii single, most likely “Wake Me Up” or “Hey Brother,” stuck in your head. It’s clear why these country-fried, radio-friendly EDM songs became such hits: They made both genres accessible to people who may not necessarily listen to or even like them. These massive singles off the 24-year-old Swedish DJ’s debut album, True, have not only helped him maintain his spot as one of the top DJs in the world, but have made him a household name, the new face of EDM’s evolution out of clubs and onto your local radio stations’ airwaves, parents’ iPods, and Ralph Lauren ads. This year, Avicii has embarked on his first concert tour, which includes a stop at Barclays before returning to the city again for a Fourth of July set at Governors Island. — By Brittany Spanos

Say Anything
Best Buy Theater
8:00 p.m., $22/$26
If you are in your 20s and experienced any Emotions in the past decade, you no doubt have a soft spot for Say Anything, Max Bemis’ gloriously self-hating music project. The rawest of the raw, these tracks got you though some #dark times of your youth–and now, this year, Max is back with another Say Anything release called Hebrews. He’s grown up a bit, but the emo is still strong with this one. Hit his show, feel nostalgic, and remember that you’ll always be alive with the glory of love. — By Eric Sundermann

Matt Pavolka’s Horns Band
Downstairs at Cornelia Street Cafe
9:00 p.m., $10
Local jazz fans know Pavolka as an agile bassist who buoys many an ensemble while injecting his lines with a hefty thrust. With the arrival of his new album on the Fresh Sounds label, they can now try to grok him as a modern bandleader who appreciates melody more than most – or at least has a compelling way of showing that appreciation. The snaky themes that are cannily bent by his “Horns Band” (‘bone, cornet, alto sax) should be a balm to anyone to finds the all-too-common frictions of modern jazz a tad obvious. Expect some moments of beauty at this CD release gig. Pavolka’s a pro when it comes to both wild AND wistful. — By Jim Macnie

ONO + Obnox + Cloud Becomes Your Hand + The Dreebs
Shea Stadium BK
8:00 p.m., $8
Toiling in the underground scene since 1980, über-legendary Chicago avant-everything cult freakazoids ONO are one of those radical groups who’ve earned that tag as “one of the most influential bands you’ve never heard of.” These schizoid mind-blowers predated wads of genres–they’ve deconstructed Noise, funk, art-rock, post-rock and industrial, thus setting the template for fellow Chi-towners like U.S. Maple and countless other noise-making avant-gardists. Fittingly self-proclaimed as “gospel-noise,” ONO made its comeback in 2012 with the experimental fuckery jams and possessed chants of Albino, its first recorded music since 1986. For its follow-up, ONO didn’t wait another 25-odd years. They just dropped the sonically chaotic groovefest, Diegesis, complete with a Hendrix cover. This is a super-rare appearance for ONO in these parts. Not to be missed. — By Brad Cohan

Sunday, 6/29:

Rockaway Arts Fest
Fort Tilden Beach
8:00 p.m., free
This is Rockaway, not Redondo. But Patti Smith is here nonetheless. It’s official: The queen of the downtown scene is kicking off MOMA PS1’s much-anticipated Rockaway Arts Fest with a free concert on the beach. It will also mark the re-opening of historic Fort Tilden Park (once home to a disproportionate number of shore-going hipsters and that creepy abandoned UFO-looking Army thing), still flustered but for the most part recovered from Hurricane Sandy. Works from local and nationally acclaimed artists are on display through August, but for now, enjoy this all-day opening ceremony with theater performances, food trucks, and kayaking demonstrations, all capped off by Smith, a proud Rockaways resident herself. If that’s not enough seafaring fun, head a few blocks inland for the after-party at Rockaway Beach Surf Club, the patio bar and restaurant replete with cornhole and kiddie pools. — By Heather Baysa

Denitia and Sene
The Paper Box
7:00 p.m., $20
Like cooly smoking a Cuban cigar–or a loosie, rather, in the case of Denitia and Sene–a smooth sound requires a smooth operator, and the Brooklyn duo seamlessly combine fire and ice, style and finesse, and a little Badu with a little Badon’t to forge their own special blend of electro-soul. Formerly two individual musicians on their own separate paths, Denitia Odigie and Brian “Sene” Marc released their first collaboration together less than two years ago, (an EP called Blah Blah Blah), and eventually their album debut his and hers in 2013 via Input. Electronic production with R&B leanings form the cloud their sound floats on, but with every new single, the twosome uses their sweet panache to dream up new limits to push past each time. — By Erin Manning

Jon Batiste and Stay Human + Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield
3:00 p.m., free
Pianist and melodica master Batiste, whose family helped inspire HBO’s Treme, leads Stay Human (alto sax, tuba, drums), which updates New Orleans’s Preservation Hall sound with sophisticated smarts and the sort of grit that would lead to an EP recorded in the New York subway. The awesome Hypnotic Brass Ensemble consists of eight brothers whose music contains R&B grooves, heavy-metal DNA, and their father’s experience in Sun Ra’s Arkestra. — By Richard Gehr

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