Music

Hozier Will Take You to Chvrches in This Week’s Best NYC Concerts

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

Let’s hope that no one interprets Hozier’s requests too literally when he belts out his show-stopping smash hit “Take Me to Church” on the Radio City stage. He might find himself whisked away to Central Park’s SummerStage, where Scottish synthpop wunderkinds Chvrches play one of the final outdoor shows of the season that same evening. Perhaps the pope’s holy vibes are still lingering from his recent NYC visit — this week’s best concert picks seem to have a bit of a religious theme going on, what with three Godspeed You! Black Emperor shows also happening in various locations. More worldly music fans might want to check out some Norwegian jazz courtesy of Karin Krog, French pop from Stromae, Georgian choir and dance ensemble Zedashe, or the opening weekend of Williamsburg’s classically dedicated National Sawdust. Either way, there’s plenty to choose from, even if you’re breaking from the heavenly theme NYC’s concert calendar is throwing your way.

Monday, 9/28

Ben Howard

Radio City Music Hall

8 p.m., $39.50

British singer-songwriter Ben Howard is helping keep folk contemporary. Bolstered by hits “Only Love” and “Keep Your Head Up,” the soft-voiced crooner has managed to blast past the coffee shop and is set to claim Radio City Music Hall with his sing-along choruses and acoustic lullabies. His 2012 debut, Every Kingdom, was nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize (though it lost to Alt-J), earning the left-handed guitarist an immediate introduction into the heart of anyone who has ever longed for another Jason Mraz moment. English folk trio Daughter open the show. — Silas Valentino 

Tuesday, 9/29

Chvrches

Central Park SummerStage

5:30 p.m., $36–$41

To mark their much-anticipated sophomore album, Every Open Eye, Chvrches are headlining Central Park’s SummerStage mere days after the record’s September 25 release. The album follows the Scottish electro band’s breakout 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe, which included ubiquitous pop gems like “The Mother We Share” and landed on many a critic’s year-end Best Of list. Though Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty have been teasing new material on the road this summer, the New York show is sure to give Chvrches fans a fully realized taste of the new tunes. — Jill Menze

Hozier

Radio City Music Hall

8 p.m., $39.50–$69.50

Since his breakout single “Take Me to Church” stormed popular radio and nearly every major festival stage in the wake of its release, Hozier has gone from Dublin-based blues aficionado to world-renowned talent in a matter of months. In New York alone, the singer-songwriter has leapfrogged from smaller rooms to some of the city’s most coveted stages in that modest time frame; the last time he headlined a venue here it was before a packed Irving Plaza, and now he’s got his sights set on Radio City Music Hall. (No word yet as to whether or not the Rockettes are fans of his self-titled debut.) — Hilary Hughes

Atlas Genius

Music Hall of Williamsburg

8 p.m., $20

Brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery, who perform together as Atlas Genius, seemed to have come out of nowhere with their infectiously catchy single “Trojans” back in 2011. The track’s popularity earned this Aussie synthpop duo a spot opening for Imagine Dragons on their 2013 tour. That pairing appears to have influenced Atlas Genius’s recent sophomore LP, Inanimate Objects, which replicates certain elements found in Dragons’ arena-size electronic pop. The throbbing beat from drummer Michael carries a song like “Refugees” to its glittery chorus — and beyond. — Silas Valentino

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Terminal 5

7 p.m., $30

Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9/30

7 p.m., $30

Warsaw, 10/1

8 p.m., $35

From the beginning of this year’s anthemic post-rock masterpiece Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, it’s obvious that Godspeed You! Black Emperor still have a penchant for dark, dramatic soundscapes. The seesawing strings and epic guitar distortion that populate the ensemble’s fifth studio album (and its first composed of new material since they re-formed in 2010) will soar in any space, but for choosy fans of GY!BE, there are options: the cavernous Terminal 5, where Brooklyn psych-folk performer Amen Dunes opens; the more intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg, with support from multi-instrumentalist Samara Lubelski; and, finally, Polish dance hall Warsaw, with politically minded sax punks Downtown Boys. Recent sets have seen the band playing Asunder in its entirety, with a few old favorites like “The Sad Mafioso” rotating in and out of the list. — Lindsey Rhoades

Wednesday 9/30

Rudimental

Warsaw

8 p.m., $30

London’s Rudimental have cracked the code for keeping their electronic music sounding fresh, inviting a new singer onto each song to offer a unique perspective. Their 2013 debut, Home, was marked by the Ella Eyre–assisted “Waiting All Night,” a track perfectly suited for an Electric Daisy Carnival marathon. For their upcoming follow-up LP, We the Generation, out October 2, Rudimental are joined by Ed Sheeran, grime rapper Dizzee Rascal, and the late Bobby Womack. Already, cuts like “I Will for Love” and “Rumour Mill” showcase Rudimental’s strength when it comes to maintaining EDM’s nonstop pursuit of owning the night. — Silas Valentino

Karin Krog

Joe’s Pub

6 p.m., $14

Born in 1937, Karin Krog has been testing the boundaries of jazz vocalizing since she was a teenager in Norway. The Light in the Attic label recently released Don’t Just Sing: An Anthology, 1963–1999, which nicely introduces Krog’s inside-out approach to singing. She adds wordless weirdness to Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” but also offers a fairly straight-ahead “Ode to Billy Joe,” with Dexter Gordon blowing cool tenor sax. Her long musical partnership with saxophonist John Surman resulted in a couple of great ECM albums, including the atmospheric and multilayered 47-minute meditation “Cloud Line Blue.” It wraps up with Krog’s version of the “Psalm” movement from Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” Pianist Steve Kuhn, Krog’s partner on the excellent 1974 album We Could Be Flying, accompanies her at Joe’s Pub. — Richard Gehr

Thursday 10/1

Stromae

Madison Square Garden

8 p.m., $44.50–$74.50

In Madison Square Garden’s 50-year history, there has never been a French-speaking headliner, but all that will change on Thursday when Paul Van Haver, better known by his stage name Stromae, becomes the first. The Belgian singer-songwriter was born to a Flemish mother and Rwandan father who was killed in the genocide there — Stromae’s “Papaoutai,” from 2013’s Racine Carrée, grapples with that absence. But his honest, emotionally raw lyrics belie the pop-blockbuster sensibilities that drive Stromae’s sound, equal parts cabaret crooner and rhyme-spitting rapper. His 2009 breakout hit “Alors on Danse” would later be remixed by Kanye West. With her shared affinity for the classic bow tie and ability to mix funk, soul, and global rhythms, Afrofuturist Janelle Monáe makes for the perfect opening act. — Lindsey Rhoades

National Sawdust Opening Night

featuring ACME, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Jeffrey Zeigler, Cibo Matto, James Murphy, and more

National Sawdust

7:30 p.m., $60–$100

Williamsburg gets its paean to modern classical and experimental composers with the opening of National Sawdust, a former factory that for some reason made sawdust on purpose. They’ve billed their opening-night performance as an “exploration of acoustics”; it’s also a who’s-who of the actual musicians involved in running the space, like Advisory Board members Bryce Dessner (of a band also called the National) and Nico Muhly, who created compositions specifically for the venue’s maiden voyage. There will also be pieces from NS director Paola Prestini, curator and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, curator and vocalist Theo Blackman performing with group-in-residence ACME, and a percussion installation from Wilco drummer and NS artist-in-residence Glenn Kotche. And that’s just the first part of the evening; at 11 p.m., in a separately ticketed event, Cibo Matto, Nels Cline, and James Murphy join the fun. Upcoming performances through the first few weeks of October will include a three-day Terry Riley tribute festival (with different lineups and compositions each night); John Zorn gets the same treatment the following weekend. — Lindsey Rhoades

Zedashe

DROM

6:30 p.m., $15

When was the last time you reveled in the sounds of Sighnaghi, Georgia? A choir and dance ensemble comprising eight members and led by vocalist Ketevan Mindorashvili, Zedashe hail from the sprawling region at the intersection of Europe and Asia. The vocal-heavy folk they’ve been crafting since 2002 also rests at a crossroads, between harmonious chants and occasional medieval instrumentation. On September 9, they released their eighth album, titled Our Earth and Water; the 26-song collection highlights Zedashe’s rich choric harmonies and casts an enchanting spell. Sit back and submit to the trance of primal music. — Silas Valentino 

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