The Eight Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/15/15


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

Friday, 5/15
Highline Ballroom
7 p.m., $33
A run of The Adventures of Pete & Pete reunion shows featuring cast and crew starting in 2011 saw Polaris play to a live audience for the very first time. The enthusiasm from those shows has since prompted the band’s first proper tour across the country, two new songs, a double live album, and a vinyl reissue of the program’s soundtrack for Record Store Day (which quickly sold out, leading to back orders on the label’s website). “I’ve just never seen anything like that,” Mulcahy says of the vinyl reissue. “If somebody knew how many that everybody wanted, we would have been happy to fill up the stores with however many copies people wanted to order. We just had no idea what to say.” It’s this kind of astonishment that has defined Polaris’s second wind as a band, which Mulcahy sums up as “a complete joyful surprise.” — Sean McCabe

Mat Zo
Pacha NYC
10:30 p.m., $19–$100
When now 25-year-old DJ/producer Mat Zo got “discovered” by Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats label, he likely didn’t know he would become the credible and well-established musical wonderboy he is today. Since his 2013 debut with Damage Control, the grass has only gotten greener for the Londoner. Zo’s music is the exact kind Anjuna has come to love: impassioned, melodically alluring, and funky, sometimes all at once. Clearly ready to pursue this seemingly perpetual growth, Zo is kicking off his Pacha NYC summer residency this Friday. “The Residency Launch” will be a solo show featuring all of Zo’s signature groovy goodness, and is open to all those 19+. — Eleanor Lambert

Esperanza Spalding Presents: Emily’s D+Evolution
Le Poisson Rouge
7:30 p.m., $35–$40
“What is the new project?” Esperanza Spalding murmurs thoughtfully when asked what “Emily’s D+Evolution” is all about. “It’s hard to jump right into describing it. It’s a lot of things: It’s going back to go forward; it’s going back to before anyone ever heard me. So it will be new, even though it’s old. It’s an old curiosity that’s being explored in a new way for me.” A simple summation, but an apt one, too. Emily’s D+Evolution finds Spalding taking a break from her Grammy-winning adult incarnation and hooking up with Emily, her inner child. Emily is her middle name, and “D+Evolution” refers to the nonsense notion that organized education is the only way to learn anything. 18+. — Linda Laban

Matt and Kim
Terminal 5
8 p.m.
A few adjectives that come to mind when considering a Matt & Kim show: exuberant, joyous, exhilarating, smile-inducing, and, well, a whole lot of fun. The Brooklyn pop duo of vocalist and keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino are known for their legendary live sets as well as memorable videos (the couple running naked through Times Square in “Lessons Learned,” anyone?), and in honor of Matt & Kim’s latest album, New Glory, the group is playing a hot-ticket show at Terminal 5. Though the show is sold out, look for tickets on the secondary market; Waters open. — Jill Menze

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Kings Theatre
Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m.
Folk-rock legends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released their CSNY 2014 almost one year ago, equipped with fifty-six songs and eight videos across four CDs and one DVD. Now on their tour, CS&N are coming to Brooklyn sans the Y, still timelessly groovy as true leaders and veterans of rock. Musicians with this extensive a history have watched their audiences transform over the years, from kids waving hands to parents waving cellphones. All that notwithstanding, these three guys continue to attract only the most enthusiastic of dancers (of all ages) and lovers (those with the best of intentions, naturally). After two days in New Jersey, the trio are coming to BK for both Friday and Saturday this weekend, and while the show is sold out, we recommend looking on StubHub. — Eleanor Lambert


Saturday, 5/16
The Feelies
The Bell House
8 p.m., $24
The Feelies are an American rock band from Haledon, New Jersey, who offered the world their seminal debut Crazy Rhymes in 1980, but were already ours to enjoy when in ’78 the Voice dubbed them “the best underground band in New York.” Their success wasn’t paved with gold, but rather existed in their tinkering and masterful exploitation of a kind of guitar attack that conjured the punk ethos without shoving it down your throat. Who knows whether we would’ve had Parquet Courts, jingle pop, the seven-minute punk drawl, and all that without ’em. — Silas Valentino

Sunday, 5/17
Cosmic Gate+Ilan Bluestone Boat Party
Pier 83/Circle Line (boat party) and Pacha NYC (after-party)
Boat Party: 5 p.m., $24
After-party: 10:30 p.m., $25–$100
A union of OG trance and the boppy “trance 2.0,” seasoned DJ/producers Cosmic Gate and wunderkind Bluestone will perform together aboard the Circle Line Cruise. As if that’s not enough, Cosmic Gate will then perform a solo show at Pacha for an after-party. All three guys are well versed in the art of elated dance music, and between Cosmic Gate’s elemental liveliness and Bluestone’s mouthwatering, tugging synths, any EDM fan will be enthralled from start to finish. Cosmic Gate’s German-born Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems have been well loved among EDM fans since they began producing in 1998, and have since released six studios albums full of good ol’ trance. Ilan Bluestone, hailing from London, has been hurled into EDM’s foreground, between seemingly endless features on Above & Beyond’s Essential Mixes and Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance. Together, the combination is going to be damn extraordinary…and for Cosmic Gate diehards, catch the solo-show after-party at Pacha, too! — Eleanor Lambert

Invisible Things
The Bowery Electric
8 p.m., $8
Like noise-metal demons Lightning Bolt, Chicago/NY supergroup Invisible Things fit neatly into the bizarro world of duo wonders dredging up a sonic din of arena-sized proportions. Converging to produce an unholy racket are a pair of notable scene veterans, guitarist/vocalist Mark Shippy of Chi-town’s U.S. Maple and drummer Jim Sykes, formerly of defunct Brooklyn electro-rock outfit Parts & Labor. On Time as One Axis, their brand-new LP released by the ascending New Atlantis label, the twosome go nuclear on sludge-dripping anthems. Noxious chunks evoking the Stooges circa Fun House, Sonic Youthian skronk, and Melvins-like heaviosity are the Invisible Things’ lethal recipe for their cerebral and noisy madness. Headlining this evening are Brooklyn locals Voice Coils, whose brainy hybrid of avant-pop, metal, and classical is something to behold. — Brad Cohan