Kendrick Lamar Hits His Groove at Terminal 5 for NYC’s Best Concerts This Week


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

It’s almost that special time when music critics start making their year-end best-of lists, and we’re calling it now: do not be surprised if Kendrick Lamar’s epic To Pimp A Butterfly makes it to the very top of a lot of those re-caps. With production help from luminaries such as Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Knxwledge, Thundercat, and more, the record was also instrumental — no pun intended — in skyrocketing the career of its arranger, Kamasi Washington. But Lamar is the genius behind it all, offering his poignant meditations on Blackness in America, both in the record’s unflinching lyrical honesty and its survey of African-American musical styles. His record-release signing at Rough Trade NYC last March saw thousands of fans brave inclement weather for a chance to meet the rapper, and the New York stop of Kunta’s Groove Session tour had to be moved to Terminal 5 to accommodate the outpouring of interest. Fans of Lamar would likely also be interested in young singer-songwriter Raury, who plays a sold out Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday; his intelligent, socially-minded blend of R&B and hip-hop will likely earn him honors as the heir to Kendrick’s throne.

Monday 11/2
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8:00 p.m., $16
A new project doesn’t necessarily encourage a full-on reckoning that wreaks havoc on your body and soul, but that’s what Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats conjure up, night in and night out. A typical show for Rateliff and company involves strident brass and the kind of twisting and shouting that’s just as at home on yesteryear’s dance floor as it is in the middle of a rapturous sermon. Rateliff is a bellower, a man who isn’t afraid to tackle stanzas that cut across his vocal cords like a skein of rusty barbed wire. This intensity lends itself to the modern soul he and the Night Sweats are preaching, and the band brings jubilant, boisterous, gimlet-eyed anthems like “S.O.B.” from this year’s self-titled debut back to New York for two shows – one at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday and an encore performance at the Bowery Ballroom November 4. – Hilary Hughes

Kendrick Lamar
Terminal 5
8:00 p.m., $49.50-$350
Kendrick Lamar recently announced a show at Webster Hall for his inaugural Kunta’s Groove Sessions tour, which brings the hip-hop artist to eight intimate venues in eight cities over eight nights. Unsurprisingly, a show of this small scale sold out quickly — sought-after V.I.P. packages include meet and greet and photo ops with Lamar — and was moved to Terminal 5, but it’s still a can’t-miss chance to get up close and personal with the superstardom-bound rapper. Lamar is joined by his backing band the Wesley Theory as well as Jay Rock for the performance. – Jill Menze

Nikki Lane
Bowery Ballroom
7:00 p.m., $15
Marching in a pair of dusty boots that seem to have been passed down by Nancy Sinatra, Nikki Lane is keeping the outlaw country spirit aglow with her brutally honest lyrics and slide guitar-heavy tunes. Dan Auerbach produced her second LP, All or Nothin’, in his Nashville studio, and the Black Keys frontman joins Lane in the tender duet highlight “Love’s On Fire.” The remainder of All or Nothin’ showcases the singer/songwriter’s fierce craftsmanship and smooth ability to fuse her outlaw country and Motown vocal influences into a blend entirely her own. She returns to NYC for a set at Bowery Ballroom with openers Clear Plastic Masks, a like-minded blues-rock quartet that recently left Brooklyn for Nashville. – Silas Valentino

Tuesday 11/3
Matt & Kim
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., FREE
Brooklyn’s most fun live duo Matt & Kim is playing a special free show presented by Steve Madden Music on November 3 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Known for their pop-culture-infiltrating singles like “Daylight” and “Lessons Learned” — plus a naked video or two — Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums) consistently deliver some of the most super-charged, energetic live shows around. Brooklyn quartet Heliotropes opens. – Jill Menze

Bowery Ballroom
8:00 p.m., $15
Quickly following up his groundbreaking debut EP Indigo Child with the 14-track LP All We Need, 18-year-old Afro-futurist prodigy Raury proves that he is both prolific and wise beyond his years. The silken-voiced singer switches seamlessly between R&B crooning and rapid-fire rhymes, punched up by lush arrangements and clever samples. Citing Kid Cudi and Bon Iver as equal inspirations (and very accurate touchstones for defining his sound), Raury concerns himself with esoteric, metaphysical concepts, bucking Millennial stereotypes at every turn. “Devil’s Whisper” is the perfect example, urging his generation to ignore temptation in favor of a spirituality that embraces God as a concept alongside extraterrestrial life, reincarnation, and technological enlightenment. His headlining show at Bowery Ballroom is already sold out; check secondary markets for tickets. – Lindsey Rhoades

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
Beacon Theater
8:00 p.m., $49.50-$95
This is being billed as the Buena Vista Social Club’s Adios Tour, which, when you consider the advanced ages of its esteemed principals, seems about right. Singer Omara Portuondo (84) and trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal (82) represented Cuba’s pre-Revolution musical heyday when they recorded the Buena Vista Social Club with Ry Cooder in 1996. The album sold several million copies and introduced audiences worldwide to a mestizo sound that combined local dance styles, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and American jazz into something warm and special. With Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Manuel Galbán, and other Buena Vista stars already swirling in the firmament, this represents a last precious opportunity to hear the music sung by members of the original generation along with guitarist Eliades Ochoa, Barbarito Torres (on the laúd lute), and trombonist Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos. – Richard Gehr

Wednesday 11/4
David Lynch Foundation Benefit
Carnegie Hall
7:00 p.m., $150-$600
It might come as a surprise for casual viewers of twisted films like Eraserhed, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me or Mullholland Drive, but idiosyncratic director David Lynch has been a staunch advocate for Transcendental Meditation since 1973 – he claims to practice twice a day, every day, since discovering it. In 2005, he founded a non-profit to bring TM to the underprivileged, including the incarcerated, the homeless, individuals living with HIV, low-income schoolchildren, abused women, and military personnel suffering from PTSD. At Carnegie Hall on November 4, he’ll host an all-star benefit for the foundation featuring musicians Katy Perry, Sting, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, Sharon Isbin, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld; the proceeds will go directly to thousands of at-risk New Yorkers seeking to alleviate stress and trauma and boost creativity through the teachings of Transcendental Meditation. – Lindsey Rhoades

Lady Lamb
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8:00 p.m., $18
When Aly Spaltro — a/k/a Lady Lamb — grabbed her Fender Jaguar, left Brooklyn, and set out on a solo leg of a national tour in support of 2013’s Ripely Pine, her remarkable full-length debut, the unfurling expanse of concrete between her and a Midwestern venue struck as benevolent, even inspiring. The bulk of Ripely Pine makes for a lush listen, with Spaltro’s voice alternating between triumphant crow and furious, heartbroken roar over muted chords. For sophomore effort After, Spaltro assembled a band that favors a heavy-handed (and -footed) percussive approach. This move in a harder direction encourages earplugs and a full-body tremor; the garage verve of tracks like “Vena Cava” feels right at home during her sets in a string of dates supporting Philly indie rockers the Districts. The tour rolls through Music Hall of Williamsburg Wednesday and Thursday, with Sun Club taking the stage just before Lady Lamb goes on. – Hilary Hughes

Thursday 11/5
Rough Trade NYC
8:00 p.m., $20
On October 21 of this year, the world seemed engrossed in Back to the Future Mania – that was the date Marty McFly traveled to in Part II of the beloved Zemeckis films to save his future children – and with it came a lot of musing about what the movie got right and wrong. Though it doesn’t mention science’s failure to bring us hoverboards, the theme of YACHT‘s latest LP, I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler, centers on disappointment and disillusionment in the modern age. The electro-pop outfit is now fronted by Claire L. Evans (who joined YACHT’s founder Jonah Bechtolt in 2008), and as a science writer and tech editor for sites like Universe and Vice’s Motherboard, it would seem that she’s in a good position to critique technology. Surprisingly, though, the record is just as much about today’s social shortcomings, which Evans consistently highlights as paramount to time travel, but Future’s dance-ready packaging keeps her message from becoming too heavy-handed. – Lindsey Rhoades

Keep Shelly In Athens
Le Poisson Rouge
10:00 p.m., $12-$15
Fans of Greek synth-pop act Keep Shelly in Athens have a couple options when it comes to watching the band perform material from their latest LP Now I’m Ready, which dropped October 16. Their stop at Le Poisson Rouge has been on the calendar for a while, but they recently added a free show earlier that night at Rough Trade NYC, which works out great for those also hoping to also catch YACHT’s performance (see above). Though Ready is technically their second full-length, they’ve steadily released a stream of EPs and singles since forming in 2010. Initially fronted by vocalist Sarah P., the new record features singer Myrtha, whose voice layers to hypnotic effect at the climax of the album’s title track and soars on lead single “Fractals.” – Lindsey Rhoades