The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 7/17/2015


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

Friday, 7/17
Hollis Brown + Thomas Wynn & the Believers
Cameo Gallery
8 p.m., $10–$12
Queens has been passed over enough times to make it the new Egypt, but there’s glimmer and promise coming out of the I’ve-heard-great-things-but-never-been borough. Take Queens natives Hollis Brown, for example: Stylistically they’re a folk rock fivesome (a combo that suits their Dylan-referencing band name well), with Mike Montali’s soft, sweet vocals acting as a smooth counter to the band’s casual-alternative country musicianship. Joining them are Thomas Wynn & the Believers from Florida, who happily fill the Southern rock shoes formerly worn by the Black Crowes. Roots rock comes out to the Cameo Gallery. — Silas Valentino

Webster Hall
7:30 p.m., $40
Because of Ratatat’s start in the Brooklyn scene, it only made sense to record some of their forthcoming album, Magnifique, here. Recording started in Long Island in 2011, while the tour for LP4 was still happening, with the band surrounded by abandoned vacation homes in the middle of winter. Knowing they usually compose in the studio, Ratatat’s Mike Stroud and Evan Mast were keen to try out other locations, like here in Brooklyn, another studio in upstate New York, and in Jamaica, where friends offered them a place to stay. “Every once in a while I think about going somewhere else,” Mast says. “There are a lot of places I feel like I could live for like six months but not much longer than that, places I don’t feel like I’d belong. I still take advantage of New York. I go see art and movies. I still get excited to see the city and to create. I know Brooklyn is home.” — Dan Bogosian

Rough Trade NYC
8 p.m., $20
The Athens, Georgia, dance-rock outfit Reptar burst with whimsicality and Afropop. Just take their 2012 track “Orifice Origami” as a prime example of their colorful jest. Touring behind their new record, Lurid Glow, which continues the band’s exploration into jagged dance-pop akin to tUnE-yArDs, Reptar know how to make a millennial beam with their where-is-that-from band name — plus they’ve truly mastered the wooden xylophone. Joining them are Stranger Cat, Brother Tiger, and Meth Dad. — Silas Valentino

Little Racer
Union Pool
8 p.m., $8–$10
In 2014, Little Racer burst onto the scene with the infectious Modern Accent EP, which combined the band’s West Coast vibes with golden-era pop melodies and Eighties Brit warble and trash. Last month, the group released their second EP for PaperCup Music, Foreign Tongues, which continues their established sound of shimmering guitars, playful lyrics, and driving rhythms. Join bandmates Elliot Michaud, Ish Nazmi, and Wade Michael as they celebrate their new EP tonight at Union Pool. — Danny King

Saturday, 7/18
Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $35–$280
It’s oh so fitting that the world’s biggest band would play a fourteen-night residency at the world’s most famous arena. Together they’re like peas in a pod, where the pod is regarded as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most prestigious stages and the peas come seasoned with countless worldwide hits. U2 are currently surfing the success of their 2014 record, Songs of Innocence, which caused a tsunami of controversy due to its unconventional release (appearing unsolicited in every iTunes user’s cloud). But U2 are all about going big. Otherwise they might still be home in Dublin. — Silas Valentino

Raccoon Fighter
Cake Shop
8:30 p.m., $8–$10
The New York trio Raccoon Fighter, who released a previous album, Zil, in 2013, are gearing up for the PaperCup Music launch of their follow-up, Spiral Flag. A week before Flag is set to drop, however, the group will preview the new effort — recorded in their South Jersey hometown — at Cake Shop. More than merely echoing the promise of their earlier work, Flag expands on their sound, offering “five songs of sweat, drugs, and fuzzed-out glam-rock.” — Danny King

Wolf Eyes
Union Pool
2:00 p.m., FREE
Since the late Nineties, Wolf Eyes have been simultaneously satisfying and terrifying listeners with their ominous and industrial vibrations. Similar to the city of Detroit (the trio’s home base) with their dismal-yet-oozing-with-potential vibe, Wolf Eyes have remained consistent, earning the title “the kings of U.S. Noise” from U.K. publication The Wire in 2013. This might not be the type of music typically found on a summer soundtrack, but Wolf Eyes’ menace calls for exploration. — Silas Valentino

Sunday, 7/19
Bronx Summer Concert Series
Orchard Beach
1 p.m., FREE
The Bronx’s boombox features golden hip-hop beats blasting out of one speaker while bona fide salsa bounces from the other, and to commemorate this rich musical history the borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., presents a free weekly show at the Bronx’s sole public beach to wind down the week with style and a smile. On July 17, the infectious Latin rhythm of Conjunto Imagen unite with the soulful ensemble the Karl Browne Band to set the main stage on fire with their family-friendly vibrations. — Silas Valentino

Britpop Benefit for BARC
Passenger Bar
6 p.m., $5
This benefit event for the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC) features two hours of Britpop-themed trivia, projected clips from a variety of British films (including Trainspotting), and a wealth of food and drink options, from cheese-on-toast sandwiches (courtesy of CHAR) to Carlsberg and Aviation Gin specials. Running all evening until the 3 a.m. finish, meanwhile, is a string of DJs (Nick Marc, Twig the Wonderkid, and Lady Bree). — Danny King

Elvis Depressedly
Shea Stadium
8 p.m, $12–$14
Like the name suggests, Elvis Depressedly can come off as a band of downers. But sometimes a downtempo mix of sparse guitar, drowsy production, and obscure sampling is pleasant company during a midsummer eve. Delaney Mills, Mathew Lee Cothran, and Mike “Dr. Vink” Roberts are the main three behind this Asheville, North Carolina–based psych-pop outlet, and their latest release is the excellent and moody New Alhambra. Some songs recall the kind of indie pop Pinback were so good at, while their lo-fi recordings would make Dan Johnston nod in approval. — Silas Valentino