The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 7/28/14


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

Monday, 7/28:

Lauryn Hill
Brooklyn Bowl
7:00 p.m., $75
Ms. Lauryn Hill is more than just a singer, she is the very definition of an artist. Her lyrics are gorgeously composed and are even more powerful when delivered in her lovely voice. Clearly, a talent like hers can’t be contained by just one classic album. She claims two releases — hip hop essential The Score with her former group The Fugees and solo effort The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill — to her esteemed name. Unfortunately for us, Hill hasn’t released a full album of new work since that 1998 solo debut, though rumors have been swirling for some time about the possibility of a new collection arriving sooner rather than later. In the interim, Ms. Hill continues to influence new crops of R&B and soul singers, reasserting her relevance with every new voice she inspires. Let’s see how many new stars are born after her Homecoming Concert Series in Brooklyn this week. — By Brittany Spanos

Power Trip + Mammoth Grinder + Razorheads
Saint Vitus
8:00 p.m., $10
You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again: Power Trip is metal for punk fans, hardcore for metalheads. Frontman Riley Gale’s brash vocal howlers channel a young Lemmy of Motorhead with the ferocity of early SSD Records bands. While their recordings are ace (try listening to “Manifest Decimation” without breaking into head-bangs, we dare ya) their true power is found in their live show. It gets violent; you have been warned. The Dallas genre-bending punks will be joined by Austin heavyweights Mammoth Grinder, New Brunswick’s Razorheads and Brooklyn hardcore staples AJAX. If you like it loud, you’ll get it loud. — By Maria Sherman

‘MetroStar Talent Challenge’
Metropolitan Room
7:00 p.m., $20-$115
For the seventh year running the room has made a July-August point of ferreting out up-and-coming cabaret talent. Sometimes you wonder why anyone would want to make a career doing this. It’s that difficult and often only intermittently rewarding. But still they come, the gifted and the not so gifted, to vie for a chance at a week’s engagement in the venue if they win and some guaranteed performances if they finish in second or third place. There’s a panel of judges who know what’s what or should, and the audience gets to vote, too. So go pick a winner. — By David Finkle

Tuesday, 7/29:

Keyshia Cole
Irving Plaza
7:00 p.m., $30
Despite all the apparent drama that surrounds her life, Oakland’s Keyshia Cole has shown herself to be an incredibly shrewd businesswoman and, most importantly, a remarkably consistent artist. Over the course of the last decade, Cole has put out five albums (most notably 2005’s The Way It Is and 2007’s Just Like You) that range from good-to-great and two reality TV series that all serve to highlight her plucky, resilient nature in the face of a troubled past and an uncertain future. In the process, KC has exposed her fans to the sometimes transcendent highs and immanent lows of the Urban Woman’s American Dream with remarkable transparency, pathos, and the kind of charm that only comes from true talent. — By Winston Groman

Noura Mint Seymali
Joe’s Pub
9:30 p.m., $18
The Mauritanian singer has a fine new album, Tzenni, and deploys her impossible-to-ignore voice to explore Moorish poetic themes. The dazzling Jeiche Ouid Chighaly, her husband and exemplary guitarist, weaves fuzzed-out wavelengths around Seymali’s ornamented griot wail and harplike ardine, while bass and drums keep everything deep in the pocket. — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 7/30:

Ingrid Michaelson
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield
5:00 p.m., $25
From her playful on-stage banter to the joy of her annual Holiday Hop, Ingrid Michaelson consistently delivers a crowd-pleasing live show. The quirky singer-songwriter, who became a household name after her 2007 song “The Way I Am” helped sell Old Navy sweaters across the country, has grown her approach from D.I.Y. pop ditties to more mature, introspective material, best heard on Michaelson’s April album, Lights Out. With the outdoor setting at SummerStage in Central Park, Michaelson’s sure to bring an engaging, summer-appropriate show. — By Jill Menze

Thursday, 7/31:

Karen Mantler Trio
8:00 p.m., $15
The charmingly self-effacing pianist-harmonicist performs music from her downbeat new album, Business Is Bad, with Kato Hideki (bass guitar) and Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet, guitar). Mantler’s music is intimate and confessional, ranging from songs about her creative process (“My Magic Pencil,” “My Solo”) to lyrics bemoaning her personal financial crisis (the title track, “I Can’t Afford My Attorney”). — By Richard Gehr

Friday, 8/1:

Rebirth Brass Band
11:00 p.m., $39.50-$55
This eight-piece, three-decades-old metal outfit makes a big brassy noise that blasts asunder the borders separating funk, jazz, gospel, and R&B, all in the name of second-line celebration. Their new Move Your Body is as disciplined and hard-grooving as ever, although I’m still a little nostalgic for the 2001 rap album that introduced “Rockin’ on Your Stinkin’ Ass” and “Pop That Pussy.” — By Richard Gehr

Nine Inch Nails + Soundgarden
Nikon Theater at Jones Beach
7:00 p.m., $29.50-$99.50
Nostalgia is a dish best served loud, and even sans Death Grips’ noise-rap maelstrom, this tour’s marquee acts are beasts. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Soundgarden helped invent grunge idolatry, and can guarantee a snoutful of sludgy, telescoping guitars. At the same time and for some years thereafter (and recently), Nine Inch Nails auteur Trent Reznor made industrial pop angst a bankable concept. Expect gratuitous headbanging, tinnitus, and bruise-inducing fist-bumps galore – plus considerably inevitable confusion, among the target market, over the musical stylings of opener Oneohtrix Point Never. — By Raymond Cummings

Miley Cyrus + Lily Allen
Nassau Coliseum
7:00 p.m., $20-$89.50
Miley Cyrus is bringing her tongue-waggling, twerking and bear-centric show to town, and despite the backlash, it’s almost guaranteed to be an impeccable turn up function. Sure, she’s the most talked about pop star of last year, but listening to her Pharrell-assisted album Bangerz reveals moments of ballad and beats bliss. — By Caitlin White

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