The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/29/15


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

Monday, 6/29
The Melvins
Santos House Party
8 p.m., SOLD OUT
Their punishing blend of stoner rock, hardcore punk, doom metal, and general bizarro vibes have made the Melvins beloved by many, inspiring the likes of everyone from Kurt Cobain to Boris and Fucked Up. Their constant touring schedule usually sees them on the road four or five months out of any given year, with a rotating lineup that currently includes core members Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne and Dale Crover, with J.D. Pinkus on bass. Their album output is just as prolific — and they just reissued two EPs, The Bulls & The Bees/Electroretard, earlier this month. The summer tour includes two sold-out shows with Mexican feminist garage-punk outfit Le Butcherettes, who appear on a tour-only 10” split with the headliners. Butcherettes lead singer Teri Gender Bender has been known to appear onstage doused in fake blood, so get there early and mosh all night, if you can score tickets on the secondary market. — Lindsey Rhoades

Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $71–$195
You can take all kinds of pills that give all kinds of thrills but the one you can never know is the thrill that will getcha when you get your picture on the cover of Rolling Stone…which Rush, in this past week, have finally achieved. Plus, Rush ran this remarkable career without ingesting any pills! The band that helped turn Joe Geek into Joe Cool are currently in their twilight, suggesting that this may be the end of Canada’s finest three. Let’s hope this is not the case, because will there ever be another band capable of turning a Morse code signal (“YYZ”) into rock ‘n’ roll gold? Probably not. — Silas Valentino

Tuesday, 6/30
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Blue Note
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. You’ll need to sketch your own must-see list, but be wise: That Bad Plus–Joshua Redman gig has to make the cut. — Jim Macnie

Widowspeak + Small Black
Brooklyn Bowl
6 p.m., $10
This co-headlining bill couples two bands with different takes on a similar theme. Widowspeak play lush bluegrass-tinged folk with soft vocals and a retro vibe, while Small Black play lush electro-tinged rock with soft vocals and a retro vibe. The former’s forlorn ballads and sun-drenched album art are a Seventies throwback; the latter’s synth lines evoke the best of confessional Eighties tracks. Pairing them in a bowling alley makes for exactly the right kind of hazy summer night to usher in July. — Zoë Leverant

Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $8–$10
Whether operating under cryptic moniker JOBS or its old name, Killer BOB, these CAPS-obsessed, forward-thinking locals have a “killer” taste for deconstructing electro-jazzed-up avant-pop. On Killer Bob Sings — which JOBS is celebrating the release of this evening — the core trio of guitarist Dave Scanlon, drummer Max Jaffe (of Ava Mendoza’s Unnatural Ways), and bassist Rob Lundberg have bolstered their lineup with two new additions, singer Daniel Ellis-Ferris and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Fields of Leverage Models. They have elevated their pop-centric vision to a new sonic stratum. Driven by dense layers of swirling synth textures, magically complex fretboard-hopping and intense polyrhythmic beats, JOBS’ dreamscapes combine ecstatic and throbbing noise bursts and weird-ass hooks with Ellis-Ferris’s soothing-yet-schizoid vocals for danceable grooves that are strangely sultry. Grind-metal assault team Child Abuse ready the stage with cuts from their outstanding record from 2014, Trouble in Paradise. Tiny Hazard and Leverage Models will spin in DJ mode. — Brad Cohan


Wednesday, 7/1
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 — and he’s about to set the record for the most concerts ever performed at MSG, so the Piano Man’s definitely got us feeling all right. — Brittany Spanos

Barenaked Ladies + Violent Femmes + Colin Hay
JBL Live at Pier 97
6 p.m., $53
The whimsical goofballs behind Barenaked Ladies have enough solid material in their repertoire to make their greatest hits a surprisingly joyful set of Brian Wilson–inspired sing alongs — and that 1998 golden moment “One Week.” Everclear and Toadies were so last week; but the nostalgic Nineties, unlike the decade itself, will never fade. Throw in Violent Femmes (the true finest of Milwaukee) and the Aussie/Scot Colin Hay, a man who’s been hard at work for the past three decades, and you have a pier-side show well worth the — bizarrely priced — $53. — Silas Valentino

Thursday, 7/2
CRWN: A Conversation with Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill
Gramercy Theatre
7 p.m., $15
Philadelphia MC Meek Mill raps like he’s seconds away from death by firing squad. Whether the subject is loyalty, comeuppance, or bank-account balances, his verses spill out in an insistent, telegraphed jumble that’s as emphatic as it is infectious — reinvigorating the core fundamentals of ghetto fabulousness. Pair Meek with his Maybach Music boss/benefactor Rick Ross and, inevitably, the result will son everything else you’d listened to the hour previous. Meek’s winning; ergo, so are you. Asking the questions at this open conversation will be the former editor-in-chief of XXL and Queens native Elliott Wilson. — Raymond Cummings

Friday, 7/3
The Bell House
8 p.m., $10
Boston’s been quietly building its status as the American center of indie rock for years, and the band at the heart of that ascent is four-piece Pile. Their songs are quietly intense slow-burners, nursing tension long and exploding in deeply satisfying ways at just the right moments. This signature has filtered into the catalog of every band succeeding them: Rapidly ascending groups like LVL UP and Krill owe much of their success and their sound to these guys. You’re Better Than This, the Pile LP released in March, shows a band continuing to evolve as they lead the way, and where they’re heading sounds like a very good place. — Zoë Leverant 

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