The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 8/7/15


Friday, 8/7

Suburban Living
8 p.m., $7

In February, the Philadelphia-based quartet Suburban Living premiered their debut full-length, which finds the group solidifying their sound into a kind of deceptively dark dream-pop register. Having already garnered comparisons to the likes of Real Estate and Wild Nothing, the band is sure to grow in stature as it continues to perform. Later in August, the group heads first to Virginia Beach (their original home) and then to Philadelphia. — Danny King

Luke Bryan
Irving Plaza
8 p.m., $50

The last time Luke Bryan played New York, he was headlining FarmBorough and finished his hour-plus set atop the hood of a truck that magically showed up in the middle of his stage, flanked by some serious pyrotechnics that probably should’ve been nowhere near a gas-filled pickup. Bryan is that bonkers when he’s in the throes of his live show, and he’ll be celebrating his new album, Kill the Lights, on the day of its release with an intimate (though likely just as rowdy) show at Irving Plaza. The chances of him pulling up a vehicle through the bottom of the stage this time around are slim, but with Bryan, there are only two things to expect: tons of beer and tons of debauchery. — Hilary Hughes

Denitia and Sene
Hearst Plaza
7 p.m., FREE

Brooklyn’s Denitia and Sene is an electronic r&b collaboration between the former rapper Sene and singer-songwriter Denitia. Neither of them began making music in the genre they’re currently invigorating, but that novel perspective is what gives them their edge. “Runnin,” off the EP Side fx., released a few months ago, gives the xx a run for their money and showcases Denitia’s warm vocals juxtaposed with Sene’s earworm production. Sene is a New York City native and Denitia moved here from Texas, but both credit the city with shaping their direction and success. — Silas Valentino

Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $15

The beauty of a musician from a popular band who also has a solo outfit is that you can clearly hear how said musician contributes and fits within the band. When he’s not playing lead guitar for psychedelic beach rockers Real Estate, Matt Mondanile is leading Ducktails, his solo project, founded in 2006. Once a lo-fi bedroom creature with a knack for jangling indie pop, Ducktails has grown into an impressive act capable of standing on its own hind legs. This summer saw the release of their fifth record, St. Catherine, a glossy album that showcases Mondanile’s ability to reshape any song into sounding like some hazy memory of a pleasant day by the shore. — Silas Valentino

Saturday, 8/8

Jamie xx
Terminal 5
9 p.m., $30

When Jamie xx’s debut solo record, In Colour, was released on June 2, it set the tone for the summer with its radiant production lathered in subtle hooks. A smooth choice both for background rhythm during a rooftop soiree and/or blasting in headphones during an underground commute, Jamie xx’s spin on electronic music inspired timid listeners to give the genre a deserving chance. His shows are body-moving, head-bobbing affairs where even the cool kids feel encouraged to dance, so expect the general standing area of Terminal 5 to load up quickly. Though this show has sold out, hit secondary markets for potential tickets. — Silas Valentino

Mad Decent Block Party
MCU Park
2 p.m., $75

Consider Diplo and Skrillex the Mad Hatter and March Hare of the festival circuit and EDM at large: The two producer/DJs are prolific in the hit-making department, and make a point to incite as much mayhem as possible over the course of their deafening sets. Together, like their Alice in Wonderland counterparts, they won’t settle for a party that’s anything less than insane, and that’s exactly what’s in store for those who make it out to the Mad Decent Block Party at Coney Island’s MCU Park. Diplo and Skrillex will spin a set together as Jack Ü, and they’ll be joined by Tyler, the Creator, Die Antwoord, Odesza, Cashmere Cat, and more. Tickets have sold out, so scour the secondary market for your beat fix. — Hilary Hughes

Fiona Apple + Justin Townes Earle + the Watkins Family Hour + Don Heffington + Sebastian Steinberg
Lincoln Center/Damrosch Park Bandshell
7 p.m., FREE

When Bob Dylan’s landmark 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited was released, it transformed two genres simultaneously. No longer was rock ‘n’ roll an entity separate from folk; together they could function as one incredible sound. To celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary, a cast of dazzling songwriters and expert musicians will take to the Lincoln Center Damrosch Park Bandshell to commemorate the album’s significance. Fiona Apple tore through the late Nineties with her stunning lyrics, while Justin Townes Earle is the product of multiple Bob Dylan-influenced generations. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lineup that’ll do more justice to this pivotal album south of the Newport Folk Festival. — Silas Valentino

Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30 p.m., FREE

New England native Merrill Garbus — or tUnE-yArDs — makes eclectic pop that bounces to the rhythm of Afrobeat while maintaining a code of indie cool, similar to that funky waft emitted by the likes of David Byrne and St. Vincent. Her recent Nikki Nack picked up right where her breakthrough, 2011’s Whokill, left off, and does so in style. (Whokill was the first album by a woman to win the Voice’s Pazz & Jop critics poll since Lucinda Williams’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road in 1998.) In this Celebrate Brooklyn! setting she’s a goddess of loops and drums, stringing them together in jagged designs akin to the spelling of her outré stage name. — Silas Valentino

Sunday, 8/9

Lyle Lovett (and His Large Band)
Lincoln Center Damrosch Park Bandshell
7 p.m., FREE

In this Lincoln Center Out of Doors event presented in association with the Americana Music Association, the Grammy Award-winning Lyle Lovett (accompanied by His Large Band) performs a slew of his country lilts — prime material for such an Americana-minded celebration. Keep an eye out in the crowd for movie buffs lurking around Lincoln Center: Lovett has made appearances in everything from Robert Altman movies (The Player, Short Cuts) to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For those who can’t make the event, a livestream is available. — Danny King

Glass Animals
Central Park SummerStage
3 p.m., FREE

Reverberating their way out of Oxford are English foursome Glass Animals, who offer jungle rhythms, falsetto vocals, and deep r&b melodies. Their standout track, “Gooey,” has singer Dave Bayley detailing “peanut butter vibes” atop rich, silky-smooth production that all but demands head-nodding. For their debut record, 2014’s Zaba, Glass Animals worked with heavyweight British producer Paul Epworth, whose previous collaborators include Adele and U2, among many more, and their union couldn’t have sounded better. Glass Animals will hit Terminal 5 in October; this Sunday show should satisfy until their return. — Silas Valentino

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