The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 12/05/14


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

Friday, December 5
Flatbush Zombies
Best Buy Theater
8 p.m., $23.50-$28
The word “Brooklyn” conjures up images of all types of illy shit — gold fronts (not grilles), bubble coats, designer “wears,” dreads smoking bud like it was legal. Newcomers Flatbush Zombies managed to incorporate all of the aforementioned BK traits into their music and its accompanying visuals while injecting some of their own brand of rap.

Though it’d be easy to dismiss the trio as gimmicky, you can always tell (least I can) when a group of friends organically form a group with a specific sound/style, as opposed to artists forming a contrived crew that will probably be defunct in a year’s time. Flatbush Zombies are without a doubt the former. — J. Pablo

The 1975
Terminal 5
7 p.m., $30
Of course, the world will never have enough alt-rock groups eager to assume their own take on sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and the glory of youth. It’s been a minute since pop-punk had these topics on lock, and indie rock seems to have rescinded a bit, so in steps U.K.-based group the 1975. Applying a coating of pop on U2- or Coldplay-tinged guitar intricacy, along with catchy male falsetto and easy lyrics, the 1975 even work in a little r&b. There’s something here for everyone, except those who yearn for deeper meanings. Imagine the Killers, toothless and with more synthesizers. — Caitlin White

James Taylor and his All-Star Band
Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $30-$215
Taylor took a touring hiatus in 2013, but is back in tour mode, with just-planned trips to Spain and Italy coming in 2015. But you can see him in New York tonight — his last currently scheduled show before March, which will be in … Germany.

Saturday, December 6
Marlin Room at Webster Hall
6:30 p.m., $20
Madball took the old version of the NYHC formula and presented it in a new package and it worked,” recalls Howie Abrams in this week’s cover story. The New York band’s debut album, 1994’s Set It Off, took a more groove-oriented approach to hardcore, casting a mold for other bands in the New York hardcore scene and eventually worldwide. Tonight, Madball will celebrate Set It Off‘s 20th anniversary by playing it start to finish in the posh Marlin Room at Webster Hall. Hardcore purists can rejoice in the fact that principal songwriter and a musician largely responsible for the Madball sound, Matt Henderson, returns to the band (he left after its initial breakup in 2001) for this show and a short tour afterward. Opening are Turnstile, Death Before Dishonor, Take Offense, and Downpresser. In true NYHC style, the show is open to those 16 and older. — Nick Lucchesi

Brooklyn Rock Lottery
Baby’s All Right
9 p.m., $15
With Global Welcome Ambassador Taylor Swift high above, looking down on us from one of two Tribeca lofts, it’s easy to lose faith in the New York music scene, or any residual edginess lingering therein. But the Brooklyn Rock Lottery is here to prove, once again, that this city is still home to the real deal, creatively speaking. Today, members of 25 hand-picked bands including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Au Revoir Simone, Crocodiles, Parquet Courts, and St. Lucia will take the challenge. They’ll be divvied up, via a random lottery, into five groups, given 12 hours to write and rehearse five new songs (limited to one cover), and will perform their handiwork for you, the live audience, later tonight. Come hear your local acts test their chops after a hard day’s work — all proceeds go toward the Harmony Program, which provides after-school music education to NYC’s underserved communities. — Heather Baysa

Bowery Ballroom
9 p.m., $15
This trio has come quite a long way. Citing hip-hop music as one of their main inspirations, we can’t help but be fascinated by their genre-bending jazz-type music. Having once performed as Glasslands thanks to a crowd-funding effort, BadBadNotGood have now set up their own gig at the Bowery Ballroom, and will hopefully play some of their very unique stylings — a sound that has been revered and utilized by the likes of Odd Future (Tyler, the Creator is a big fan) and Frank Ocean. — Eleanor Lambert

Terminal 5
7 p.m., $26.50
Some of Lucius’s best shows have been born from the most obnoxious, pain-in-the-ass circumstances, the kind that rear their meddling heads at the most inopportune moment (check out these serious misfortunes). Andrew Burri, Dan Molad, and Peter Lalish supply the percussion, guitars and an additional assortment of instruments that complete the cacophony with synthesizers, shakers, and blocks, but Lucius is, if anything, a group of people who are musically ambidextrous. Playing with Bahamas.– Hilary Hughes

Cyndi Lauper & Friends Home for the Holidays
Beacon Theatre
8 p.m., $50-$2,000
It’s time to give back! Cyndi Lauper’s annual Home for the Holidays benefit concert is back, and this time the lineup is as diverse as ever. Come join some of the most celebrated artists of the year and of all time in benefiting and raising awareness for LGBT youth homelessness. This year’s lineup includes, of course, Cyndi Lauper, alongside 50 Cent, Sufjan Stevens, Patty Griffin, Salt-N-Pepa, Liv Warfield, STRFKR, and Emily West. — Eleanor Lambert

Sunday, 12/07

Kendra Morris
Brooklyn Bowl
8 p.m., $30, FREE W/ RSVP // $8 at Door
Soulful singer-songwriter Kendra Morris is something of a powerhouse. The New York-based singer has been keeping busy the last couple years thanks to her 2012 debut album, Banshee, and this year’s collection of covers, Mockingbird. She’s been bringing her old-school but refreshed r&b sound and lush vocals across the U.S. and Europe, performing with some of the other most exciting acts in soul today, like Charles Bradley. — Brittany Spanos

Jane Monheit
6 p.m., $30
If there’s one thing the recent work of Jane Monheit proves, it’s that maturing doesn’t mean losing freshness and immediacy. Now more than a decade into a scintillating career, the thrush might not be trying to invoke the nubile mermaid image she once projected, but she’s still performing with verve and impeccable instinct. She has always sung ballads with an understanding beyond her years, and that hasn’t changed one iota: Just when she seems to have lofted the final breathtaking note, she inevitably adds something astonishing. — David Finkle