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


Shilpa Ray + Wild Bore + Young Runner + Stuyedeyed

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Enthralling local punk-cabaret chanteuse Shilpa Ray, who garnered a dream cosign last year when she toured with Nick Cave, presents her goth-gone-black-comedy dirges, as heard on 2013's It's All Self Fellatio EP.

  1. Cake Shop 152 Ludlow St, between Rivington and Stanton Sts
  2. Fri Dec 19
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Cannabis Corpse + Mammoth Grinder + Inanimate Existence + Mother Brain

  • Price band: 1/4

Cannabis Corpse channels the high-speed bludgeon of death-metal legends such as its namesake, Cannibal Corpse, while singing—er, grunting—the praises of sweet Mary Jane. This might all sound rather silly, but as you can hear on the latest Cannabis full-length, From Wisdom to Baked, the band's chops and songwriting savvy outpace those of your

  1. Saint Vitus 1120 Manhattan Ave, between Box and Clay Sts, 11222
  2. Fri Dec 19
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Widowspeak + Quilt + What Moon Things

  • Price band: 1/4

Brooklyn's Widowspeak brings its slow-burning, smokily gorgeous folk-pop to the soon-to-close Glasslands.

  1. Glasslands 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Sat Dec 20
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Peter Evans

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Peter Evans, a daredevil trumpet virtuoso who excels in settings ranging from chamber orchestras to gritty electroacoustic improv groups, closes out an Issue residency with a solo performance.

  1. Issue Project Room 110 Livingston St, at Boerum Pl
  2. Sat Dec 20
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Jacob Sacks Quintet

  • Price band: 1/4

An introspective, impressionistic pianist who can always be found gigging around town, Jacob Sacks leads a five-piece featuring constant collaborators and top-flight progressive-jazzers Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein Thomas Morgan and Dan Weiss.

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Sat Dec 20
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Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir: Monsanto Is the Devil

  • Price band: 1/4

The anticapitalist preacher joins his Stop Shopping gospel choir for a series of unconventional Sunday services that promote organic food and sermonize on economic justice. The subject of this edition is the agricorporate giant Monsanto.

  1. 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. $15 plus $12 minimum
  3. Sun Dec 21
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Dave Harrington and Friends Holiday Spectacular

  • Price band: 1/4

Erstwhile Darkside guitarist leads local musicians through their holiday-song paces. Participants include Dirty Projectors' Olga Bell, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker, Antlers frontman Peter Silberman and People Get Ready singer Jen Goma.

  1. Glasslands 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Sun Dec 21
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What Are You Afraid Of?

  • Price band: 1/4

Child actor turned adult writer Mara Wilson makes light of her fears, inviting comedians and performers onstage to do the same.

  1. Union Hall 702 Union St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Sun Dec 21
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The LeeVees

  • Price band: 1/4

Guster's Adam Gardner and the Zambonis' Dave Schneider revive their charming Festival o' Lights–themed side project, documented on 2005's Hanukkah Rocks. Wear your finest blue and silver, and expect to go home humming goofily rockin' anthems such as the latke-topping–themed "Applesauce vs. Sour Cream."

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St, 11211
  2. Sun Dec 21
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The Brain Cloud

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Dennis Lichtman, of the lively New Orleans–style jazz band the Cangelosi Cards, leads a highly talented group of musicians into energetic Western-swing territory. A mainstay at Barbès and several other local haunts, the Cloud is one of the city's most dependably charming retro acts.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Mon Jan 26
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