The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 1/26/15


The best part about seeing a concert during a blizzard is that there are plenty of pockets to store your earplugs. For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

Zola Jesus
Saint Vitus Bar
8 p.m., $15–$18
Most everything Zola Jesus does is epic in scope, and that includes last year’s expansive Taiga LP, written in isolation on a woodsy island in Puget Sound. Though an earlier leg of her tour in support of it reflected those grandiose tendencies, Zola Jesus returns to NYC to play a much more intimate venue: Greenpoint’s premiere (and only) metal bar, Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Avenue). With a capacity of around 350, the venue quickly sold out the scheduled Zola Jesus shows, but fear not! Tickets are available via secondary markets like StubHub and Craigslist. We recommend snapping some up for Sunday’s show, because opener Deradoorian (as in Angel Deradoorian, formerly of Dirty Projectors/currently in Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks) is likely to share stunning new solo material. The show starts at 8 p.m. — By Lindsey Rhoades

Monday, 1/26
8 p.m., $8
Nashville’s grunge-tinged garage rock purveyors Bully are back at Pianos (158 Ludlow at Stanton) after generating gallons of buzz during CMJ last year. Tireless guitar riffs serve as a backdrop for Alicia Bognanno’s punchy vocals, and the group’s carefree lyrics demand sing-alongs, so be sure to brush up on catchy singles “Milkman” and “Brainfreeze” from their debut self-titled EP. But don’t get there too late — this is an early show, and the band is set to hit the stage at 9 p.m., following support from Brooklyn-based Oxen Free (8 p.m.) and Toronto’s Brave Shores (7 p.m.). Pianos is 21+ and says the $8 tickets are very close to selling out. — By Lindsey Rhoades

Tuesday, 1/27
Adia Victoria
The Mercury Lounge
8 p.m., $10 beforehand / $12 at door
Adia Victoria: This Southern Gothic singer-songwriter from Nashville offers a deep, dark take on the blues that has been making waves recently, with her track “Stuck in the South” landing on Wondering Sound‘s Best of 2014 list. Victoria’s breathy drawl tells deliciously haunting tales that refuse to fetishize or romanticize the South, and uncompromisingly addresses the negative issues affecting the region today. Her live performances are powerful, often confrontational — most memorably when she ended a recent Nashville show by reading a poem about the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. — By Karen Gardiner

Reel Big Fish
Best Buy Theater
7:30 p.m., $22–$25
December was bittersweet for Reel Big Fish. The ska-punk band gave fans something to celebrate with the surprise Happy Skalidays EP, six tracks of Christmas covers and crudely named originals. On the other hand, the final month of 2014 brought about the departure of drummer Ryland “The Rabbit” Steen, who cited touring schedule troubles. Not too surprising, considering the underground faves are not so much hiding below the surface as they are gophering cross-country, on the road consistently since 2007’s Monkeys for Nothin’ and the Chimps for Free. How do they rock so hard? Tonight’s show at the Best Buy Theater is a co-headlining gig with Less Than Jake. Rounding out the bill is Authority Zero. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show is open to everyone sixteen and older. — By Ashley Steves

Wednesday & Thursday are on the next page.

Wednesday, 1/28
Billy Idol & BRONCHO
Beacon Theater
8 p.m., $44.50–$105
Billy Idol‘s early admiration for both the Sex Pistols and the guys in the Who and the Beatles gave his music an uplifting yet edgy quality that instantly made his songs’ yearning punk stand out, first with Generation X and later as a solo artist. As one of MTV’s first real stars, Idol quickly became even more popular with videos for his most famous songs, including “Dancing With Myself,” “White Wedding,” and the strange “Eyes Without A Face.” Idol’s persona and stage presence are still as infectious as his music. He is touring the world for the first half of 2015, and for his Beacon Theatre show, he will be accompanied by Broncho, an Oklahoma-born alternative rock band who sound like a somewhat updated, more modern take on the very singular sound Idol has crafted. Their upbeat, indie, nostalgic rock feels similarly fitting for this generation, so the show will be both a throwback and a newer version of that same angsty, gritty fun. — By Eleanor Lambert

Thursday, 1/29
Bowery Electric
8 p.m., $8–$10
Part punk, part Britpop, part garage rock, New York–based Honduras have been a steady fixture on the city’s DIY scene for the past few years. (And, no, despite the name, they have no actual connection to the location in Central America.) Formed by Patrick Phillips and Tyson Moore, who were friends growing up in Columbia, Missouri, Honduras became a fully formed band when the two relocated to New York and added additional members. The group’s 2014 EP, Mortality Cuts, is a highlight in the group’s catalog, both aggressive and undeniably hooky. Live, expect a full-blown rock show. Rounding out the bill are Shark Week, Haybaby, and Die Milone. — By Jill Menze

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Rose Theater
Thursday & Friday, 8 p.m., $55–$145
Duke, Dizzy, Trane & Mingus: Jazz Titans: Wynton Marslis‘s reverence for the past is so passionate, a case could be made that his greatest achievement may be the ardor he’s brought to the repertory movement. It’s rather simple, really: When a great band plays great tunes, something impressive emerges. This time out, deep cuts from Duke Ellington’s Latin American Suite, John Coltrane’s Olé, and Charles Mingus’s Tijuana Moods are in the mix, along with a few of Gillespie’s Afro-Cuban nuggets. You see the through-line, right? Rhythm will be front and center, guiding Marsalis’s squad of soloists and getting the Rose Theater rockin’ in a clave kind of way. A free pre-show discussion of the music starts each night at 7 p.m. Watch out, ticket buyers — these gigs get packed quickly. — By Jim Macnie

Friday is on the next page.

Jack White and Run the Jewels
Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $29.50–$65
Jack White is nothing if not consistent. Predictably, his solo efforts employ a whitewashed blues-rock formula, but darned if he hasn’t hit the jackpot (see what we did there?) of record sales time and again. In 2014, his album Lazaretto debuted at No. 1 and sold more vinyl copies than any other LP last year. A show at Madison Square Garden on Friday seems far removed from the tenacious Detroit garage duo that some of us first loved him for. This writer, for instance, misses Meg’s charming yet dubious drumming and the eager hunger of those early records by the White Stripes. There was a time when making a minimalistic album, loosely sewn from homespun threads, was a bold move. That time is gone, thanks to the DIY internet epoch, and White’s greatest achievement today may be staying atop the not-so-indie rock industry without compromising his roots beyond recognition. He’s become a bona fide rock star, and can’t be faulted for that. Opening for White at this Garden show are Run the Jewels, the rap duo behind this year’s scathing, brilliant Run the Jewels 2 LP. Tweeted member El-P on January 8: “When you get asked to open for Jack White at MSG you say yes. It’s in the Bible.” (His Bible is apparently an updated version.) — By Linda Leseman

Friday, 1/30
The Thompson Family
City Winery
8 p.m., $8–$10
Anyone who cringed through folk-rock gods Richard and Linda Thompson’s brilliant 1982 breakup masterpiece Shoot Out the Lights (and subsequent high-anxiety tour) may want to revisit this family reunion organized by their son, Teddy. Containing songs about love, forgiveness, unforgiveness, and confusion, the clan’s recent Family is an emotional roller coaster of a collaborative album involving Teddy’s parents, sister, step-siblings, an in-law, and a nephew. With the exception of Linda, alas, they’ll all be on hand for this musical family-therapy session at City Winery. The show is sold out, but there’s a waiting list available online. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show runs from 8 to 10 p.m. — By Richard Gehr

Machine Head
Irving Plaza
8 p.m., $41
The mind longs to make sense of the chaos in Machine Head‘s 2014 music video for “Now We Die.” For starters, there’s a string quartet of circus clowns, a beheading, Satan leading the pope on a chain, a butcher in a gas mask, a marshmallow roast, an execution squad, four guys strung upside-down like hunks of meat (while one sings with drool coming out of his mouth), and, of course, female nudity. There must be a message in there. Somewhere. But never mind our confusion, as plenty of Machine Head fans have connected with their latest album, Bloodstone & Diamonds. It leaked last year and then after its official release made the rounds on many a metal blog’s year-end best-of lists. Concertgoers at the California group’s show on Friday at Irving Plaza are likely to be dedicated enthusiasts of this particular style of new American heavy metal. Indeed, devoted fans have sustained the band’s now twenty-plus-year career. — By Linda Leseman