The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 7/31/15


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

Friday, 7/31
Big K.R.I.T.
Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30 p.m., FREE
The eyes that follow Southern rap have already begun shifting over to Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T., whose redoubtable flow, supported by a heavy bass-riddled production, confirms his status as one of hip-hop’s current comets. His bonus track “Mt. Olympus,” off his 2014 major-label sophomore effort, Cadillactica, is a direct response to that infamous Kendrick Lamar verse on “Control” where the L.A. MC challenged fellow rappers to step it up. K.R.I.T. (which stands for King Remembered in Time) gives his rebuttal, but it’s up to listeners to decide if it’s a worthy comeback. — Silas Valentino

Echoes of Etta
Joe’s Pub at the Public
7 p.m., $30
Echoes of Etta, the award-winning musical tribute to Etta James, returns to Joe’s Pub, which hosted the show’s much-acclaimed run in 2013. Featuring the vocals of William Blake (whose range spans a remarkable three octaves) and a dazzling trio of backup singers, the 90-minute performance delivers a suitably exciting tribute to James and her lasting legacy. This return engagement — which lasts for only two nights: tonight and Saturday, August 1 — marks the group’s first live in-concert recording. — Danny King

Veruca Salt
Webster Hall
7 p.m., $25
Veruca Salt‘s two vocalists, Louise Post and Nina Gordon, made quite a scene when they split less than amicably in 1998 after releasing two successful records, American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You. Post went on to record music under the old moniker, while Gordon put out solo work in her own name, and though the two never really spoke publicly about what came between them, they seemed to be locked in a bitter standoff. But all that changed when Gordon heard that Mazzy Star had re-formed to play festival dates and headline a reunion tour. “I said, ‘Mazzy Star are playing, why aren’t we?’ ” Gordon recalls. “It’s such a nice lesson to learn that life is long, and a friendship can be damaged but it’s not irreparable. Sometimes you just need time.” — Lindsey Rhoades

Saturday, 8/1
Dr. John and the Night Trippers
Central Park SummerStage
2 p.m., FREE
It’s a feat to be known as a prominent voice in, or for, New Orleans — the Big Easy, after all, is loud. Over the past six decades, Dr. John has been a proud representative of the NOLA, and he’s done his part well. His 1973 single “Right Place Wrong Time” may be his calling card due to multiple soundtrack appearances, but he’s recently made a commercial return with the 2012 record Locked Down (overseen by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach). New Orleans can keep its Creole-influenced jazz, because for one summer afternoon, New York gets Dr. John all to itself. — Silas Valentino

Megan Slankard
Rockwood Music Hall
7 p.m., $15
As part of the Bose Troubadour Tour with fellow musicians Jamie Kent, Jeff Campbell, and Matthew Szlachetka, the San Francisco–based indie/alt-rock artist Megan Slankard performs tonight at Rockwood Music Hall. The Bose Tour has previously made appearances in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and, with this New York stop, Slankard continues to support the release of her recent album, Running on Machinery. — Danny King

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $20
Their quirky yet tuneful indie pop immediately made Clap Your Hands Say Yeah blogosphere darlings. But for frontman and chief songwriter Alec Ounsworth, their debut record’s runaway success wasn’t something to celebrate as much as it was something to contend with. Not one for the overwhelming buzz or adoration internet fame can heap on young bands, Ounsworth is a guy who wants little to do with anything beyond his songs and the people listening to them. As such, the band wrestled with keeping things manageable in the face of overnight success. “I never really wanted to blow it up, as they say,” Ounsworth says. “For me, it would have led me down the wrong path. I like it small. I always pictured clubs, not giant arenas.” — Ryan Bray

Full Moon Festival
Brooklyn Mirage
3 p.m., $70
Celebrating its fifth year, the Full Moon Festival returns — but this time to a new home. The electronic-music marathon will claim the Brooklyn Mirage and decorate it in a tropics-inspired getup, beach sand and all. Headlining this all-day/-night affair is the French pop queen Yelle, whose performances are a highly energetic rumpus; New York’s dance scene, meanwhile, will see its representation through acts MOTHXR, Soul Clap, and Wolf + Lamb. The first beat kicks off at 3 p.m. and the final drop arrives at sunrise. The only way to survive the night is to resist the urge to cease dancing. — Silas Valentino

Tall Juan + Law$uits
Max Cellar
8 p.m., $7
The influence of the Ramones will glimmer at the Max Cellar for a New York City underground rock ‘n’ roll showcase, with Queens-via-Argentina lo-fi rocker Tall Juan leading the postpunk charge. Mac DeMarco recorded Tall Juan’s recent single “Fall Down,” and that whimsical ethos is transmitted through each fuzzy acoustic guitar riff and whooping vocal hook. Brooklyn’s Law$uits ride a tenacious wave of noise rock but aren’t incapable of slipping in a melody when least suspected. Opening the show are local bands the Casey Hopkins Duo and Trophy Bucks. — Silas Valentino

Sunday, 8/2
Nação Zumbi
Central Park SummerStage
3 p.m., FREE
On the twentieth anniversary of their historic U.S. debut, the pioneering manguebeat group Nação Zumbi return to the States to headline SummerStage. Founded by Chico Science and originating from Recife, Brazil, the band specializes in a very particular movement that blends rock, punk, funk, hip-hop, and soul, not to mention the rich rhythms they draw from Brazilian tradition. Catch the group perform in the setting where, twenty years earlier, they justly made a name for themselves. — Danny King

Terminal 5
7 p.m., $39.50
R&b for the iPhone age, Miguel‘s sounds happily fill the sexy shoes D’Angelo shed before the shoot of that infamous “Untitled (How Does it Feel)” video. Miguel rises to the sweaty occasion on his recent effort, Wildheart, where he teamed up with Lenny Kravitz and Kurupt to create a Prince-recalling record. Wildheart spins tales of next-morning “Coffee” ambitions, then ranges to the somber moment “Leaves,” which plays as a sultry update to the Smashing Pumpkins’ classic “1979.” Miguel and Frank Ocean recently entered feud territory, but none of that hype sounded too convincing — Miguel comes off as much more of a lover than any sort of fighter. — Silas Valentino