Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

Buy tickets for the best spring music concerts, including big shows from Fleetwood Mac and Rihanna, and heat-seeking acts such as Liars and Savages.

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  • Photograph: Eric Ryan Anderson

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Branford Marsalis Quartet

  • Photograph: Courtesy Liz Rosenberg Media

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Fleetwood Mac

  • Photograph: Steve Gullick

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Hot Chip

  • Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Phosphorescent

  • Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Shuggie Otis

  • Photograph: Tammy Karlsson

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Goat

  • Photograph: Melissa.T.L. Forde

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Rihanna

  • Photograph: Scott Groller

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Wadada Leo Smith

  • Photograph: Ester Segarra

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Ghost B.C.

  • Photograph: Pamela Littky

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Paramore

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Press Here PR

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    The Killers

  • Photograph: Zen Sekizawa

    Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

    Liars

Photograph: Eric Ryan Anderson

Spring music concerts 2013: The biggest, coolest live-music shows

Branford Marsalis Quartet

April concert schedule picks

Branford Marsalis Quartet

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

After issuing an intimate duo session in 2011, Branford Marsalis and his first-call pianist Joey Calderazzo rumbled back last year with Four MFs Playin’ Tunes, a playful, hard-swinging date by the star saxist’s long-running quartet. You’ll witness those moods and more as the band plays a two-nighter in the city’s swankiest jazz hall, with help from the genial collective known as the Yes! Trio.

  1. Rose Theater (at Frederick P. Rose Hall) Broadway, at 60th St
  2. Until Mon Mar 3
More info

Fleetwood Mac

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Over the past few years, the indie-rock sphere woke up to the potent bittersweetness summoned by the Lindsey Buckingham–Stevie Nicks tandem. Expect cathartic scream-alongs this spring, as the pair joins veteran members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie on a jaunt supporting a new deluxe reissue of Rumours.

  1. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Jones Beach
  2. Until Sat Jun 22
More info

Hot Chip

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

London’s Hot Chip is often compared to NYC’s LCD Soundsystem (with whom the group has collaborated), on account of its ability to imbue delicious disco beats with genuine heart and humor. Unlike James Murphy’s now-defunct crew, however, Hot Chip is in its prime, having released its sixth album, In Our Heads, last summer. The group is a reliably brilliant live act, and this sure-to-be-sweaty gig is a golden opportunity to spring into warmer weather.

  1. Roseland Ballroom 239 W 52nd St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Until Thu Jul 10
More info

Phosphorescent

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Color us very excited for this show, in which Brooklyn-via-Alabama songman Matthew Houck presents material from his new album, Muchacho—in our opinion, his finest work to date. Over the past decade, Houck's music has moved from melancholy, bare-bones songs, to rollicking Exile on Main Street–toned rock & roll, via a collection of Willie Nelson covers praised by the country hero himself. This latest bunch of songs combines deep blue longing with seriously honed songwriting chops (check the single "Song for Zula" on YouTube for evidence). A secret(ish) show in January at John Vavartos, the former CBGB spot, found Houck and band on stunning form. We suggest you ask for your money back if you're not wowed tonight.

  1. Bowery Ballroom 6 Delancey St, between Bowery and Chrystie St
  2. Until Tue May 27
Buy tickets

Shuggie Otis

  • Critics choice

So little was heard from long-lost soul hero Shuggie Otis in the three decades since he vanished from the music scene in the mid-‘70s, that some believed he'd died; so it was a truly wondrous surprise to find the singer playing a handful of small shows in London and New York last year in readiness for a major comeback. Why the excitement? Otis is the genius behind such sunshine-warm hits like "Strawberry Letter 23" and "Information Inspiration," and you've likely heard snips of his work via samples from the likes of Beyonce and OutKast. If you're not familiar with the sounds of Shuggie, you couldn't pick a better time to catch up.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Sun Aug 11
Buy tickets

Goat

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Remember in 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the primitive hominid tossed a bone and it turned into a space station? World Music, the much-ballyhooed 2011 debut by shadowy Swedish cabal Goat, is exactly like that—except substitute a Fela LP, a fistful of Southeast Asian psych-funk sides and a ripping bong hit for the bone. Storming North American shores for the first time, the band runs the scuzzy voodoo down in B-burg.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Until Wed Jun 18
Buy tickets

Rihanna

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

She found love in a heartless place.…Yep, Ri-Ri and Chris Brown are officially back on (for how long, we simply couldn’t say), and the defiant Bajan popstrel is at the top of her hit-making game, playing behind 2012’s hugely successful seventh album, Unapologetic.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Until Tue May 7
Buy tickets
See the complete concert schedule for April

May concert schedule picks

Wadada Leo Smith

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Like his peers Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, blending avant-jazz improv with earthy groove in a number of rewarding projects. None has resonated as widely as Ten Freedom Summers, a four-hour-plus epic inspired by episodes from the civil-rights movement. If the universal acclaim that met the 2012 recorded version is any indication, expect a rapturous welcome for this NYC debut of the work, which weaves together performances by Smith’s signature Golden Quintet and pieces for chamber orchestra.

  1. Roulette 509 Atlantic Ave, between Nevins St and Third Ave, 11217
  2. Until Fri May 3
More info

Ghost B.C.

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Ghost B.C. emerged a few years back with a simple yet evocative stage gimmick (anonymous dudes in robes and a singer outfitted like a satanic pope) and a batch of killer tunes (sleek, sinister hard rock, studded with golden hooks). Expectations are high for Infestissumam, the Swedes’ sophomore effort and a righteous blast of paranormal prog. Hear for yourself when this weird apparition of a band materializes in the East Village.

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Until Sun Jul 28
More info

Paramore

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

It’s comeback time for Paramore, currently gearing up to release its first LP sans founding members Josh and Zac Farro. Superfans might be bummed, but for the rest of us, the heart and soul of this Tennessee emo-pop powerhouse will always be the mammoth-lunged Hayley Williams, who’s stayed firmly put in her starring role. If appropriately titled lead single “Now” is any indication, a record of arena-sized anthems is on the way.

  1. Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) 311 W 34th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10001
  2. Until Wed Nov 13
Buy tickets

The Killers

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It’s not such a surprise that director Tim Burton is a fan of Brandon Flowers’s Vegas crew the Killers, since both artists share a penchant for drama and darkness—check out the Burton-directed video for the band’s latest single, “Here with Me,” for evidence. At these two arena dates, the group toasts Battle Born, its grandiose, back-to-form 2012 album.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Thu Aug 8
More info

Liars

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Building on the momentum of last year’s electronica-drenched WIXIW, this popular, provocative California art-punk trio returns for a glitzy exclusive at the Met’s Temple of Dendur, and a more conventional romp at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

  1. Brooklyn Masonic Temple 317 Clermont Ave, between DeKalb and Lafayette Aves
  2. Until Fri May 9
More info
See the complete concert schedule for May

  1. March
  2. April and May

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