The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/29/15


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

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, 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

Select Summer Fridays
The Standard Hotel
3 p.m., FREE
Select Summer Fridays are back, so start the weekend just a tad bit early with The Standard’s weekly summer party. Between that infamous Le Bain panorama of Manhattan, the delicious (albeit overpriced) drinks, and the beaming sunshine, Select Summer Fridays will reinvigorate your love for Manhattan, not to mention your capacity for an afternoon buzz. #rooflife returns yet again, with Jules Kim. 21+. — Eleanor Lambert

11 p.m., $20 – $30+
It’s not every day that a Harvard graduate becomes one of the freshest progressive house DJs, but that’s exactly what Elephante did. After graduating in 2011, he released a number of remixes that landed at Hype Machine‘s No. 1 spot. His sound is undeniably melodic, but it hits harder than that of his competing producers. Deep, rawboned builds explode into drops that, if heard through a speaker, would make your pant legs flap. Nearly every one of his songs has elements from all across the dance music spectrum, with trap high-hats, deep house elementals, and straight-up house synth-drops. What’s more, he actually has every song freely available for download on his website,, so check it out and get yourself prepared for his upcoming NYC show. The show is 21+ — make sure to show up before midnight to ensure entry! Sam Pace opens. — Eleanor Lambert

Picks for Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, 5/30
Frank Kimbrough & Jay Anderson
Friday & Saturday, 9 p.m. & 10:30 p.m., $30
The pas de deux that takes place in piano/bass duets is one of jazz’s most captivating gambits, and since opening at the end of last summer, Mezzrow has lived up to its promise of providing an intimate setting for such cozy confabs. This weekend pianist Kimbrough aligns with his recent bassist of choice. Check the liftoff each provides the other on Live at Kitano‘s “Falling Waltz,” or the buoyancy Anderson brings to his boss’s maneuvers on Kimbrough’s recent Quartet. The agile pianist is masterful whether he chooses to scramble or float, and he has a knack for making everything he touches a bit more luminous. — Jim Macnie

Bill Frisell: Up & Down the Mississippi
Jazz at Lincoln Center Appel Room
Friday & Saturday, 7 p.m., $55–$75 & 9:30 p.m., $45–$65
Remember how much fun Bill Frisell had bouncing through Muddy Waters’s “I Can’t Be Satisfied” back on Have a Little Faith? Swag-a-licious. This show is subtitled “Traveling Highway 61,” so you can assume his spin on blues and gospel foster a similar feel when his wily squad puts them through its collective kaleidoscope. Pianist Craig Taborn, saxophonist Greg Osby, and drummer Rudy Royston read like a dream team for these kind of roots hijinks. Each has a way with the blues, and to a man they usually don’t stop until their repertory romps reveal something unique about the piece at hand. The songbook isn’t finalized, but from “Up a Lazy River” to “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” Frisell should give ’em plenty to play with. — Jim Macnie

Sunday, 5/31
Gene Ween Does Billy Joel
Brooklyn Bowl
8 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

1349 + Necrophagia + Black Anvil + Vattnett Viskar
Saint Vitus
8 p.m., $17 online, $20 at the door
The last time 1349 were in town, I questioned their headliner status on a formidable bill of ultra-heavy tourmates, but the theatrical exuberance of their performance laid all questions to rest. The Norwegian blackened death metal foursome are surely worthy of leading the charge at Saint Vitus on May 31, a night that includes Necrophagia, Black Anvil, and Vattnett Viskar. Craft beer nerds might be interested to know that 1349 now have their own official beer, brewed by Surly Brewing in Minnesota in collaboration with Lervig Brewing in Norway. It’s made with coffee, tastes like licorice, and has an alcohol content of…wait for it…13.49 percent. This means that drinking one, single 1349 Black Ale is like drinking more than half of a bottle of wine. Lightweights be warned: The brew is as hard as the music. — Linda Leseman

To Live and Shave in L.A.
8 p.m., $7
Noise purists hellbent on chaos and destruction have been craving the return of genre-shattering art-punk collective To Live and Shave in L.A. since their alleged final ripper, 2011’s The Cortège, was cranked out at Sonic Youth’s studio in Hoboken. Now, TLASILA — the brainchild of brutarian overlord Tom Smith that has featured a rotating cast of iconoclastic misfits that counts Andrew W.K., Thurston Moore, Don Fleming (Velvet Monkeys), and the late, great Chris Grier as members — are back to inflict another brutal dose of mayhem. This current touring iteration has Smith’s longtime collaborator and fellow provocateur Rat Bastard (fresh off an appearance at Ende Tymes V) in tow. And there’s more: TLASILA alums — including extreme music chief Weasel Walter, Child Abuse’s Tim Dahl, and drummer Nondor Nevai — are countering Smith’s gig with a competing show. Billed as “To Live and Shave in L.A. 5,” Walter is promising special guests, tentatively including W.K. and vocalist Misty Martinez. Rat Bastard is rumored to be pulling double duty tonight. Doors open at 8 p.m. for Smith’s original edition, while Walter’s rebel brigade goes down at Shwick Market of Makers (6 Charles Place, Brooklyn). — Brad Cohan