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


Strand of Oaks + Christopher Denny

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Philly songsmith Timothy Showalter presents artful, archaic indie folk under the Strand of Oaks moniker. We'll stop short of a direct Will Oldham comparison, but let's just say that if you enjoy the Palace man's more hushed, stripped-down work, you'll probably feel right at home with this project. Showalter's latest, HEAL, is a worthwhile entry

  1. Rough Trade NYC 64 North 9th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves, 11249
  2. Mon Sep 15
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Old New York Live

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This unpredictable variety show is hosted by various members of "the best band in late night," the Roots. Expect performances from guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas, lead singer Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and rapper Dice Raw. plus spontaneous apparances by emerging musicians and artists from the East Coast. The hip-hop and R&B group was apparently

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves, 11215
  2. Tue Sep 16
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Slavic Soul Party!

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Of all the NYC dance bands that draw on Eastern European music, Slavic Soul Party!—in residency at Barbès for more than a decade—is the coolest. And the group isn’t preoccupied with rebelling against the Old World. Live, the band’s members prove they're acutely aware of the common principle that unites the traditions they borrow from:

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Tue Sep 16 - Tue Sep 30
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Konceptions Music Series

  • Price band: 1/4

Konceptions, the valuable progressive-jazz showcase, presents two strong quartets, led respectively by trumpeter Ralph Alessi (9pm) and drummer Devin Gray (10:30pm).

  1. Korzo 667 Fifth Ave, between 19th and 20th Sts
  2. Tue Sep 16
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Jonathan Kreisberg Trio

  • Price band: 1/4

Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, an ace straight-ahead player who also wades into swirly psychedelic territory in his sideman appearances with soul-jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, continues his long-running Bar Next Door residency.

  1. The Bar Next Door (downstairs at La Lanterna di Vittorio) 129 MacDougal St, between 3rd and 4th Sts
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Wed Sep 24
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Lia Ices + My Body

  • Price band: 1/4

The ever-graceful singer and pianist Lia Ices headlines in advance of her forthcoming album, titled simply Ices. Trendsetting hip-hop beatmaker Clams Casino coproduced some of the new one, which was partially recorded in the penthouse of the Wythe Hotel. Fancy!

  1. Mercury Lounge 217 E Houston St, between Essex and Ludlow Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Sep 17
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The Mandingo Ambassadors

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist Mamady Kouyaté formed the Mandingo Ambassadors in Guinea in the late ’60s. Now living in New York, Kouyaté leads a new version of the outfit through funky, festive West African tunes every Wednesday night at Barbès.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Wed Sep 17
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Seth Rudetsky's Broadway Chatterbox

  • Price band: 1/4

Proceeds from Broadway savant Seth Rudetsky’s tell-all dishfest benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

  1. Don’t Tell Mama 343 W 46th St , between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10036
  2. Thu Sep 18
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Nico: Underground

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The fascinating Tammy Faye Starlite revisits her witty and insightful tribute to the glacial German singer Nico, whose bored baritone vocals added eerie Continental glamour to the first Velvet Underground album.

  1. 155 First Ave, between 9th and 10th Sts
  2. $15
  3. Thu Sep 18 - Sun Sep 28
More info

Vinnie Sperrazza

  • Price band: 1/4

Vinnie Sperrazza, a sharp local drummer-composer, heads up a group with saxist Loren Stillman, guitarist Brandon Seabrook and bassist Eivind Opsvik—the same band heard on a new Loyal Label release, Apocryphal. If the album is any indication, you can expect a potent collision of dreamy lyricism and earthy turbulence.

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Thu Sep 18
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