The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week – 10/20/14


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

Monday, 10/20

Gerard Way
Irving Plaza
7pm, $35.
Emo prince and former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way is in the midst of a reinvention, but that doesn’t mean he’s totally forgotten the days of Sweet Revenge or The Black Parade. Way has taken his signature voice and darkly romantic lyrics to extraterrestrial new heights with his solo debut, Hesitant Alien, exploring glam, Britpop, and the much brighter world outside of post-hardcore and pop-punk. Of course, that doesn’t mean your thick black eyeliner, red tie, and shirt bearing the skeletal soldier won’t be welcome at the show; Way is sure to pull out some of the hits that may have defined your pre-teen years. — By Brittany Spanos

Bowery Ballroom
8pm, $20.
In Norway, soulful Bernhoft is the country’s top-selling artist, winning the nation’s equivalent of a Grammy for his patchwork pop-rock. Part of the fascination is that he’s a one-man band with an unusual approach to building songs — starting with a vocal loop here and some rhythmic tapping there — but what sets him apart from the Keller Williamses of the world is the fact that Bernhoft crafts unapologetically mainstream tunes in the vein of Lenny Kravitz, or maybe Thicke. — By Kory Grow

Tuesday, 10/21

Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zadie Smith, Bleachers
BAM Cafe
7:30pm, $38.
Here’s one book tour performer it’s OK for Lena Dunham not to pay: Tonight, “life partner” Jack Antonoff will play with his band Bleachers at her reading. But that’s not all — friend, Girls co-star, and kick-ass chick prototype Jemima Kirke will join in for a Q&A sesh hosted by — and here’s the real kicker — literary heavyweight Zadie Smith. Take a step back; now breathe. It’s no secret that our local girl Lena has been associated with some questionable (read: dickish) management choices when it comes to this very tour, but that doesn’t take away from her status as a feminist mover and shaker, or the supreme relatability of the essay topics she covers in Not That Kind of Girl, from keeping an obsessive food log to guys who secretly rip off the condom mid-sex and hide it in your potted plant. She hits the same high mark of comedy and compassion that she dances around during the best moments of Girls, and reading this, you can just feel the future plotlines unfold. — By Heather Baysa

Slavic Soul Party!
Every Tuesday, 10pm, $10.
Slavic Soul Party are Eastern Europe’s answer to the funk (and “Grunt”) of the J.B.’s or, more recently, the Budos Band. On their recordings, and every Tuesday at Barbès, the 10-person brass ensemble pins Gypsy melodies against the sort of jazzy r&b horn collages you hear in movies adapted from Elmore Leonard books. The best part, though, is how they interact with their audience at their concerts, sometimes breaking the fourth wall, and really making each word in their name — especially the last — pull its weight. — By Kory Grow

Wednesday, 10/22

The Allman Brothers Band
Beacon Theatre (through Tues., 1028)
8pm, $222-$2,759 <—- HAHAHAHHHAHA
There are only five more opportunities to hear the Allman Brothers Band live. Possibly ever. Over the past 45 years, since the ramblin’ men from Macon, Georgia, played their first show for $1 tickets in 1969, they’ve taken myriad midnight rides, but after more than 200 shows at the Beacon, Southern rock’s indefatigable progenitors have become more synonymous with the venue than even the Fillmore East. Through tragedy, personnel changes, and health scares, they’ve kept on hittin’ the note, but as they go into the mystic with their own solo projects, it looks like it might finally be the end of the line. 8pm, $50.99-200.99 (Sold Out), 2124 Broadway, 212-465-6500 — By Aidan Levy

Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars
Blue Note (through Sun., 10/26).
8pm, $20-$35.
Dizzy Gillespie, with his puffed-cheek embouchure, bent trumpet bell curving skyward, and trendsetting horn-rimmed glasses, was always au courant. The living legacy of the idiosyncratic wit behind “Salt Peanuts” lives on in the All-Stars, a ghost band that’s possessed by the spirit of its late leader, helmed by the high-flying trumpet trio of Claudio Roditi, Terell Stafford, and Freddie Hendrix. A bebop forefather who wasn’t afraid to punctuate his legato phrasing with a Latin punch, Dizzy felt as at home on “Groovin’ High” as he did on “Manteca,” and this band of seasoned veterans delves deep into his eclectic catalog. 8pm and 10:30pm nightly, $20 bar, $35 table, 131 West 3rd St., 212-475-8592 By Aidan Levy

Cold War Kids
Rough Trade
7pm, $25.
With their 2006 debut, Robbers and Cowards, a record whose unique stripped-down, off-center chord progressions and intricate narratives earned the unique genre tag “soul-punk,” Cold War Kids secured a place for themselves in the indie rock world. However, frontman and dramatically emotive vocalist Nathan Willett seems to be hoping for more than a time slot at music festivals, with each successive album broadening into palatable arena rock, leaving comparisons to the Black Keys behind and opening the doorway to Madison Square Garden, or so they hope. — By Sarah Madges

Thursday, 10/23
‘Kids Rock’ Benefit Concert Honoring Joan Jett
Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center
7:30pm, $250
Rock queen Joan Jett is being honored at “Kids Rock” (not to be confused with Kid Rock), a benefit concert that supports musical education in public schools, an annual event since 2009. The show will feature tunes from Miss Joan Jett & The Blackhearts alongside a number of influential and honorable artists, including Alice Cooper, Tommy James, Darlene Love, Cheap Trick, Mike Ness, Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz, Glen Hansard, Jesse Malin, Brody Dalle, Jake Clemons, and Little Steven. — By Eleanor Lambert

The Bad Plus & Joshua Lights
Skirball Center
7:30., $32-$40.
Jazz’s most scrupulously adventurous piano trio — Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano), and Dave King (drums) — add horn players Tim Berne (alto sax), Ron Miles (trumpet), and Sam Newsome (soprano sax) to re-create Ornette Coleman’s pivotal 1972 masterpiece Science Fiction — which would seem a lot more improbable if the combo hadn’t knocked Stravinksy’s Rite of Spring out of the park earlier this year. The Joshua Light Show will improvise color ponds and shadowplay alongside the sextet’s joyous expressionism. — By Richard Gehr

Friday, 10/24

Anandi Bhattacharya
St. Peter’s Church
7:30pm, $30-$40.
World Music Institute founder/impresario Robert Browning wraps up his important recent series of female Indian classical musicians with the local debut of Bhattacharya, a remarkable singer who happens to be the teenage daughter of slide guitar virtuoso Debashish Bhattacharya. Like her father-guru, Anandi, who has been performing since age four, is at home with both classical rigor and jazzier fusion. Ramesh Misra (on sarangi, a bowed lute) and Subasish Bhattacharya (tabla) accompany her. — By Richard Gehr

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