The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 5/25/15


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

Monday, 5/25
Oh Land
Bowery Ballroom
9 p.m., $20
Known by her stage name, Oh Land, Danish songstress Nanna Øland Fabricius started her performance career as a ballet dancer before shifting gears to become a solo recording artist. As Oh Land, she made her mark on the States with indelible indie pop hits like “White Lies” and “Son of a Gun,” which helped pave the way for her most recent album, Earth Sick, a moodier affair that’s still floated by Oh Land’s light-as-air vocals. — Jill Menze

Tuesday, 5/26
Bowery Ballroom // Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tuesday // Wednesday 9 p.m., $17
The first headliner for this show is rendered in all-caps because their name is an acronym: Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk. They’re skate punks from L.A.; what else can anyone expect? But the knowingly irreverent moniker belies FIDLAR‘s serious, almost scholarly devotion to referencing and updating the bands that came before them. Their songs blend every kind of punk to create simple, gleeful anthems about things like beer and girls that retain a mom’s garage-abandon while staying much tighter and more adept than most bands covering those subjects. Co-headliners Metz are less jokesters and more intensely focused, yet they still evince the same sense of abandon and recklessness. Think of them as FIDLAR’s fuzzed-out, disillusioned cousins. While this show and the following night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg are sold out, plenty of tickets are available on the secondary market. — Zoë Leverant

Wednesday, 5/27
Chicano Batman
8 p.m., $10
Recent Jack White tour openers Chicano Batman resemble freaky-deaky prom kings as they play their psychedelic cumbias and Farfisa-driven ballads and prog-pop gems. The East Los Angeles quartet’s latest album, Cycles of Existential Rhyme, is warm and deeply funky. Even an eightysomething mom can give it up for singer Bardo Martinez, a crooner with plenty of Brazil in his voice. And there’s more than a little trippy tropicália in the cool crusaders’ cozy yet structurally akimbo jams, which reassemble Mexican balladry filtered through early Pink Floyd. — Richard Gehr

 Picks for Thursday and Friday

Thursday, 5/28
Billy Joel
Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $64.50–$124.50
Las Vegas was once the go-to spot for legendary musicians looking to settle down for a residency, but it looks like MSG and Billy Joel have found a way to bring that concept home to New York. After playing a New Year’s Eve show at Barclays, the Bronx-born, Long Island–bred performer, who has provided the pop and rock canon with an endless list of iconic, timeless, and modern standards, will be rocking his monthly residency at the Garden from now until we’re sick of him. Judging by the residency’s constant sold-out status, the end of this East Coast franchise isn’t going to arrive for some time — the Piano Man’s got us feeling all right. With support from Gavin DeGraw. — Brittany Spanos

Gene Ween Does Billy Joel
Brooklyn Bowl
9 p.m., $15–$18
After quitting Ween in 2012, Gene Ween reassumed his given name, Aaron Freeman, for a brilliant Rod McKuen covers project and a pretty swell solo album. But he’s Gene Ween again, at least for this evening-length tribute to the music of Billy Joel. Accompanied ably by Paul Green and the School of Rock, Gener does a creditable, and apparently unironic, simulation of the Piano Man — though why he feels the urge to do so is anybody’s guess. — Richard Gehr

The Chris Gethard Show Premiere Party
Rough Trade NYC
7 p.m., FREE W/ RSVP
NYC comedy veteran and perennial nervous guy Chris Gethard plays Ilana’s boss on Broad City and recently appeared as a juror in Amy Schumer’s “12 Angry Men” episode. His fans know him for something else, though: the long-running Chris Gethard Show, a bizarre, unpredictable, and deeply heartfelt public-access call-in show he’s hosted since 2011. After thriving in its dark corner for years, it’s transitioning to cable and premieres on Fusion the same night as this party. To celebrate, Geth (as he’s affectionately known) rounds up a few of the bands that have played the show, including Screaming Females, Hiccup, and more. — Zoë Leverant

Beacon Theatre // Kings Theatre
Tuesday & Wednesday 8 p.m., $79.50 // Thursday 8 p.m., $59.50–$79.50
Don’t you dare reduce the most important prototype for Seattle grunge to “Where Is My Mind” and inspiring Kurt Cobain to include a few dramatic volume changes — dynamic shifts weren’t invented in the Nineties, and “Monkey Gone to Heaven” has aged as well as anything else in the Pixies‘ catalog. What’s more, they’re now on to a completely new incarnation: Founding bassist Kim Deal left the band in 2013 after years of simmering tensions with frontman Frank Black, and their latest string of EPs is their first new material in twenty years. Just over a year ago the Pixies released their fifth LP, Indie Cindy, and now the group is performing three back-to-back shows in NYC — the first two nights at the Beacon Theatre and the third at the Kings Theatre, each night with support from John Grant. — Vijith Assar

Friday, 5/29
Billy Idol
JBL Live at Pier 97
6 p.m., $52.50
Billy Idol‘s early admiration for the Sex Pistols, the Who, and the Beatles gave his music an uplifting yet edgy quality that instantly made his punk yearning 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. As a part of his Kings & Queens of the Underground Tour, which is also the title of his most recent album, out last October, Idol will perform with support from Cayetana. Start your Friday night early and catch the angsty, gritty fun that Idol has embodied for decades. — Eleanor Lambert

Einsiferum + Korpiklaani + Trollfest
Irving Plaza
7 p.m., $39.50
For those who aren’t aware, folk metal is a thing. And while that may seem like a pairing of opposites — the simple quietude of folk music and the brash blitzkrieg of metal — they work quite well together. That is, if you don’t take it too seriously. Finnish band Korpiklaani rock like a party boat of drunken pirates, jigging to accordions, violins, galloping drums, and electric guitars. (Who wouldn’t want to be at that party?) Einsiferum, also from Finland, could be the Off-Off-Broadway soundtrack to Vikings! The Musical!, which doesn’t exist, but you get the idea. (Actually, there is a musical called Yo, Vikings! But we digress.) Joining them are Trollfest, from Norway. — Linda Leseman