The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/15/15


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

Monday, 6/15
Tove Lo
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., FREE
Beginning as a songwriter for Icona Pop and Girls Aloud, Tove Lo has put her writing chops to good use to become a musical wonder in her own right. In just the three years since the 2012 drop of “Love Ballad,” Tove Lo has carved out her own corner of electro-pop with her powerful, sultry, and sweeping voice. The “Habits” singer has been featured on many EDM tracks with artists like Seven Lions and the globally-recognized Alesso. Tove Lo will be performing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg alongside opener Vérité, and this is sure to be a passionate and poppy display of women with real vocal talent. – Eleanor Lambert

Rough Trade
6:30 p.m., FREE
Much like the achy condition for which it was named, it’s hard to get “Brainfreeze” out of your head. The track appeared on a self-titled EP from Nashville grunge-pop outfit Bully over a year ago, and the band’s tireless touring, as well as the release of follow-up single “Milkman,” have kept them on indie rock radars with a certain breathless anticipation for a debut full-length. That LP, Feels Like, finally drops this month and it’s not just the infectious Nineties-alt-inflected gems that will have people talking. Bully are about to be a big deal in large part because their lead singer, Alicia Bognanno, defies expectations. – Lindsey Rhoades

Tuesday, 6/16
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Blue Note
Daily, 8 p.m., $20 – $55
Some jazz fests bet the farm on stylistic focus; some let a wide breadth carry the day. File this year’s Blue Note Jazz Festival in the latter category and get ready for action. If you participate fully, you’ll be bouncing around town (and genres). How else to describe a month-long confab that includes Bebel Gilberto and Kathleen Battle as well as Oliver Lake and the Rippingtons? Mainstream swing, old-school blues, swamp rock, classical refractions, and the city’s first all-women mariachi outfit – the BNJF curators aren’t sweating the orthodoxy, and that alone is rather refreshing. Icons are invited, of course; saxophonist Lee Konitz, drummer Roy Haynes, and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim still have the power to amaze. – Jim Macnie

Reel Big Fish
Best Buy Theatre
7:30 p.m., $22 – $25
Last 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 as his reason for leaving. 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? – Ashley Steves

Kings Theatre
8 p.m., $35 – $45
The subtle yet consistent rise of Austin, TX’s Spoon is admirable. This is a band that grows stronger with each release and gains more fans in the process. At this rate, by 2025, the entire planet will be run amok with Spoon fans. Last summer’s They Want My Soul satiated fans with Britt Daniels’ strong delivery, and songs such as “Inside Out,” “Do You” and the title track prove that this is a band that’s fully realized and in a creative stride. “Break out of character for me,” urges singer Daniel on “Inside Out.” Whatever you say, Britt. – Silas Valentino


Wednesday, 6/17
Angélique Kidjo + Joan Osborne + Bettye LaVette + Lucy Wainwright & Suzzy Roche + Marc Roberge
City Winery
7:30 p.m., $40 – $55
Benin-born Brooklynite Angélique Kidjo headlines this female-centric evening benefitting rebuilding efforts in the wake of the April earthquake in Nepal that killed nearly 9,000 people. Blue-eyed soul singer Joan Osborne, brown-eyed soul goddess Bettye LaVette, and mother-daughter folk goddesses Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright-Roche will join the socially-conscious vocal powerhouse. Marc Roberge of the folk-jam group O.A.R. will lend testosterone as necessary to an evening that should involve some wonderfully surprising collaborations. – Richard Gehr

Hippo Campus
Baby’s All Right
7 p.m., $10
Located among the chaotic wiring that is the human brain is a tiny section called the hippocampus that’s involved in controlling and storing memories – in essence, this seahorse-shaped component is what brings you back to Grandma’s house whenever you smell those types of tulips. Hailing from Minneapolis are the four-piece Hippo Campus, whose jangling take on pop and Afro rhythm recalls the prep and vibe of Vampire Weekend with the shared influence of Paul Simon’s Graceland. These millennials should be graduating from college this week, but instead they’re relentlessly road-testing their debut Bashful Creatures EP and growing stronger. – Silas Valentino

Thursday, 6/18
Eighth Blackbird & Will Oldham + Bill Frisell Trio & Sam Amidon
Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30 p.m., FREE
Intrepid Chicago contemporary sextet Eighth Blackbird and charming folk enigma Will Oldham will perform the music of Bonnie “Prince” Billy along with activist composer Frederic Rzewski’s prison-letters work Coming Together at this refreshing night of old sounds made new again. Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert will also perform songs from Lonely Motel: Music From Slide. Banjo-picking folk revivalist Sam Amidon will also join bucolic jazz guitarist Bill Frisell’s trio for the first time since recording Lily-O in 2014. – Richard Gehr

Ava Luna
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $12–$14
Cut from a similar stylistic cloth as fellow Brooklyn indie electro-rockers Grooms, local coed quintet Ava Luna pile on the silky, groove-centric art-pop on their just-released third album, Infinite House. From its glossy and occasionally crunchy get-go, the perpetually spicy Ava Luna – with mixing help from Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT) – fashion minimalist psychscapes featuring bass-heavy groovage plied with the experimental weirdness of Dirty Projectors. But it’s Ava Luna’s low-end-driven, swinging jazziness that should spark serious DIY dance action at these record-release shows, especially when smooth singer Carlos Hernandez hits those heavenly falsetto notes while co-vocalists Becca Kaufmann and Felicia Douglass get the indie boys swooning with their magical voices. Catch Ava Luna at these intimate shows before they hit the big time. – Brad Cohan


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