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


The Blow

  • Price band: 1/4

Performance artist Khaela Maricich and installation/sound artist Melissa Dyne make sparse, charming electropop as the Blow; they settle into Union Pool for a monthlong residency, in which they'll experiment with new ways to perform their music live.

  1. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, at Meeker Ave, 11211
  2. Wed Oct 1
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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 Oct 1
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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 Oct 2
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Reverse Blue

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Reverse Blue began as a one-off improv collaboration among four local avant-jazz VIPs—guitarist Mary Halvorson, reedist Chris Speed, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Tomas Fujiwara—and has grown into a steadily gigging band. Expect to hear original material by all four members here, as the group celebrates a new self-titled CD under

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Thu Oct 2 - Fri Oct 3
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Xylouris White

  • Price band: 1/4

If you've caught drummer Jim White with the Dirty Three, Will Oldham, Nina Nastasia or in one of his many other collaborations, you know that he's a loose-limbed marvel with an unusually sensitive ear. Don't miss the chance to catch him here in a heady, exotic new context: a well-matched duo with Cretan lute player George Xylouris.

  1. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, at Meeker Ave, 11211
  2. Thu Oct 2
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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 Oct 2
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Ariel Pink

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

L.A. DIY pop king Ariel Pink previews his latest weirdo, lo-fi disc, Pom Pom. With the album, Pink drops the Haunted Graffiti moniker used for his last two excellent records; the resulting LP is more raw and wiry, like a Russ Meyer romp set to 4-track.

  1. Baby's All Right 146 Broadway, at Bedford Ave, 11211
  2. Thu Oct 2
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Mr. Twin Sister

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Dreamy Long Island indie-pop band Mr. Twin Sister (formerly just Twin Sister) returns for a pair of shows that celebrate its brand-new self-titled LP. Expect a dancey mash-up of retro synth sounds and forward-thinking grooves. On Oct 3, Ava Luna and Touch open; on Oct 4 it's Moon King and Zula.

  1. Baby's All Right 146 Broadway, at Bedford Ave, 11211
  2. Fri Oct 3 - Sat Oct 4
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People Get Ready + Dave Harrington + One Heart Trio + Invisible Familiars

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Arty indie-pop locals People Get Ready headline behind their second album, Physiques. Ex-Darkside axman Dave Harrington opens.

  1. Glasslands 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Fri Oct 3
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Ed Schrader's Music Beat + Sex Jams + Honne Wells

  • Price band: 1/4

Floor-tom–smackin' Baltimore art-punk oddball Ed Schrader and his band—actually, just bassist Devlin Rice—gig behind the recent Party Jail LP.

  1. Death by Audio 49 South 2nd St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Fri Oct 3
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