The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 7/24/2015


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

Friday, 7/24
Stern + Empyrean Atlas + Voice Coils
The Silent Barn
7 p.m., $8
A brain-frying display of complexities goes down this evening at Silent Barn when two Brooklyn-based acts at the top of their avant-rock craft share a bill. Voice Coils, the brainchild of composer/guitarist/synthist ace Sam Garrett (formerly of grungy flamethrowers Roomrunner), debuted last year with the dazzling technical beauty of the “In Sixths”/”Border” single and recently returned with the Heaven’s Sense EP. Exploring a similar sonic path are time-signature-dizzy art-metal deconstructionists Stern. On their just-dropped atmospheric sprawl Bone Turquoise, Stern — led by their namesake, Chuck Stern, and members of experi-metal unit Kayo Dot — fittingly channel the bleak space-jazz and prog-rock leanings of that band’s 2014 masterpiece, Coffins on Io. Rounding out this stellar bill are jazzy Afropop heads Empyrean Atlas. — Brad Cohan

Gaby Moreno
Hearst Plaza
7:00 p.m., FREE
The Guatemala City–born singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno can switch between English and Spanish in little more than a silky downbeat. The same can be said for how she bleeds r&b, jazz, and soul into a stew of her own cooking. While her name might not ring a bell, she helped write the Emmy-nominated theme song for the much-beloved Parks and Recreation. She’s toured alongside Tracy Chapman and recorded covers with actor Hugh Laurie, but Moreno has been a star in her own right all along. — Silas Valentino

8 p.m., $9
Ridgewood D.I.Y. avant hub Trans-Pecos breaks from its experimental-leaning program for a noise-rock spectacular. On the docket are Boston no-wave disciples Guerrilla Toss, whose DNA-inspired primal screams and jagged dance grooves earned the fandom of John Zorn; Lydia Lunch cohort Weasel Walter’s Cellular Chaos; and the nihilistic gnashing meted out by Doomsday Student, which features luminaries from noise-rock godfathers Arab on Radar. The pit will be raging for Brooklyn’s own “sewer-punk” pioneers bbigpigg, celebrating the release of their mangled hooks-exploding EP din din. bbigpigg come out swinging with batshit anthems. Get your noise-rock party on tonight. With Bukkake Moms and G.O.V. — Brad Cohan

Gigawatts Festival
The Wick
4 p.m., $30
Named after a Back to the Future gag about electrical power,1.21 Gigawatts magazine is a forward-looking nostalgia trip focused on Brooklyn’s irrepressibly loud and proud indie-rock spirit. Tonight, the Gigawatts Festival returns for its third iteration; with more than 70 bands playing three adjacent Bushwick venues (the Wick, the Well, and Our Wicked Lady, all located along Meserole Street off the Montrose L stop) over the course of the weekend, it provides the perfect opportunity to recapture your fucked-up teenage past. (Current teens will have scored tickets already.) Sponsored by Pabst (of course), the festival has no shortage of catchy and moshtastic headliners: Black Lips, Anamanaguchi, Braid. But it’s the second and third tiers where things really start to get interesting, with upstarts A Place to Bury Strangers, Vulture Shit, Beach Slang, White Mystery, and Liturgy joined by noise-mongering outsiders like Guardian Alien and Dan Friel. Youth: still wasted on the young. — Richard Gehr

Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $12–$14
Legend has it the Philly-based grunge updaters Creepoid formed after a 2009 snowstorm forced their confinement, and that cabin fever angst, layered in cold, murky guitars, seems to have transcended into their most recent release, Cemetery Highrise Slum. Some songs — like the eerie “Fingernails” — float into a sinister domain, while the single “American Smile” offers just enough shoegaze pop to melt away part of the darkness. For anyone who thought that Sub Pop peaked in 1992, this foursome might be the redemption you’ve been waiting for. — Silas Valentino


Saturday, 7/25
Central Park SummerStage
2:00 p.m., FREE
The Nigerian guitarist Bombino developed his guitar inspiration through watching clips of Jimi Hendrix and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, and the way those two virtuosos slid up and down the neck has been passed on to Bombino. It’s earned him fans, and famous ones, like Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who produced his breakthrough album, Nomad, in 2013. Joining him in Central Park are the Scottish trio Young Fathers, whose album White Men Are Black Men Too from earlier this year proves catchy pop songs can also have a depth and soul. — Silas Valentino

Sylvan Esso
Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30 p.m., FREE
Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn are the duo behind North Carolina–based electro/indie outfit Sylvan Esso. Meath’s smoky vocals fill the gaps left behind in the minimal electronic production, and their 2014 self-titled debut has been garnering new fans with each stream of the single “Coffee.” New York City freak-folk group Porches open — they’re led by the enigmatic Frankie Cosmos, whose 2014 breakthrough, Zentropy, brought her out of the shadow of her famous parents (Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline, ‘case you’re wondering). — Silas Valentino

Sea of Bees
Rough Trade NYC
1:30 p.m., FREE
Sea of Bees represents the charming side of Sacramento, the Californian capital that’s generally a landlocked black hole for music. With her falsetto vocals backed by a coffeehouse-ready music accompaniment, Julie Ann Baenziger needs only a few verses to be able to commandeer your attention. The adorable track “Willis” from her 2010 album, Songs for the Ravens, begins with Baenziger loosing an exasperated groan before launching into a John Hughes movie moment. — Silas Valentino

Sunday, 7/26
The English Beat
City Winery
8 p.m., $40
There’s a reason Pearl Jam bled a cover of the English Beat’s 1982 hit “Save for Later” into their jam “Better Man” during their 2014 tour — the Beat’s original is an undeniable pop sensation that pins you beneath its three-and-a-half-minute Eighties might. Not even the curmudgeon Eddie Vedder could deny its power to make you shoulder-groove along to the ska-via-Britain riddim. Last year the band crowdfunded their upcoming fourth album, Here We Go Love (expected release is in August), and they’ve hit the road in support of their first original release since 1982. — Silas Valentino

Titus Andronicus
Shea Stadium
8 p.m., $10
A gang of Glen Rock, New Jersey, boys with a penchant for punk — without shying away from a melody — form Titus Andronicus. Since their 2010 breakthrough, The Monitor, this band of bearded brothers have been rubbing cutthroat power chords and Abraham Lincoln speeches together into a ball of late-night fury. Their upcoming fourth album, titled The Most Lamentable Tragedy and due July 28, is a sprawling 29-track concept album (featuring a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “I Had Lost My Mind”) that unpacks manic depression. Few other punk rock bands would be up to the task of exploring this dark topic with some new light, but tramps like these were born for this. — Silas Valentino