Cheap New York: Affordable live-music concerts

Enjoying live music on the cheap in New York is easy—if you follow our handy, continually updated guide.

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Lia Ices live at Mercury Lounge

Lia Ices live at Mercury Lounge Photograph: wagz2it

Looking for a cheap New York City concert? Of course you are! Check out our genre-spanning list of inexpensive gigs going on around town—and don’t forget about these free venues. Who knows—you could catch the next big thing.


RECOMMENDED: Full list of cheap things to do in NYC


Crocodiles + Christines + The New Lines

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Crocodiles takes its cue from the dark drones of decades past, including Suicide and, especially, the Jesus and Mary Chain. The San Diego duo has been hyped with good reason: Its music is well styled, gently anarchic and extremely catchy. Listen for songs from their forthcoming fifth album.

  1. Death by Audio 49 South 2nd St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Thu Jul 24
More info

The Daily Show Writers: A Non-Daily Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Tonight, the writers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart put down their pens and perform a fully improvised show based off audience suggestions. Comedic wordsmiths include Chad Carter, Hallie Haglund and Zhubin Parang.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Thu Jul 24
More info

Broadway Sessions with Ben Cameron

  • Price band: 1/4

Ben Cameron hosts this weekly après-theater variety show, which begins with special guests from the world of musical theater at 11pm and then morphs into an open-mike show-tune night.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Thu Jul 24
More info

Villain: DeBlanks

  • Price band: 2/4

This week's performers are Bobby Cronin, Bernard Dotson, Barrett Foa, Lesli Margherita, Nancy Opel and Ryann Redmond.

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Thu Jul 24
More info

Ten Foot Pole + Burning Streets + Sad and French

  • Price band: 1/4

SoCal pop-punk vets Ten Foot Pole, whose blend of silliness and sincerity falls right in line with their ’90s-era Epitaph Records milieu, hit town in advance of a new comeback disc due out next year.

  1. The Grand Victory 245 Grand St, between Driggs Ave and Roebling St, 11211
  2. Fri Jul 25
More info

Celebration + Man Forever + Turn to Crime

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Celebration’s lead singer is a woman, Katrina Ford, with the deep, muscular voice of a man. The postpunk trio’s music is centered on multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis, whose gadgetry can assume an oddly anthropomorphic tone, at times mimicking or dueting with Ford. They visit town to celebrate a new record, Albumin, out Aug 16 on Bella Union.

  1. Baby's All Right 146 Broadway, at Bedford Ave, 11211
  2. Fri Jul 25
More info

Tombs + Pyrrhon + StatiqBloom + Passage Between

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Black-metal-infused riffsmiths Tombs—the latest project from Mike Hill, former frontman of Anodyne and Versoma, and one of the most respected heavy acts in town—celebrates Savage Gold, its dire, epic-scale latest. Also on board are demented death-metal progressives Pyrrhon.

  1. Saint Vitus 1120 Manhattan Ave, between Box and Clay Sts, 11222
  2. Fri Jul 25
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Fell Voices + Yellow Eyes + Mongrel

  • Price band: 1/4

Santa Cruz, CA, trio Fell Voices serves up thick, suffocating black metal—most songs hover around the 20-minute mark—topped by unmiked shrieks. Also on board are transporting local black-metal progressives Yellow Eyes.

  1. The Acheron 57 Waterbury St, at Scholes St
  2. Fri Jul 25
More info

Tony Malaby Quartet

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Grittily passionate tenor ace Tony Malaby teams up with atmospheric guitar whiz Ben Monder—his frequent collaborator and well-suited foil—in a band that also includes bassist John Hébert and drummer Jeff Williams.

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Fri Jul 25
More info

The Numerators + Scully + Fire Retarded + Sharkmuffin

  • Price band: 1/4

Psych-infused Brooklyn-via-Texas indie-pop crew the Numerators plays a homecoming gig after approximately a year off. Local coed garage punk quartet Scully opens.

  1. Death by Audio 49 South 2nd St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Fri Jul 25
More info
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