Summer concerts in NYC: The top ten music shows

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Jack White + Alabama Shakes

  • Critics choice

After many a side project—the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather, recording with Wanda Jackson—Jack White III goes it alone, playing behind a phenomenal solo album, Blunderbuss, and encouraging music critics to use words like corruscating, which they haven't since the days of the White Stripes. Thank you, sir!

  1. Roseland Ballroom 239 W 52nd St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Mon May 21 - Tue May 22
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Radiohead

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The reigning kings of intellectual rave rock return to the East Coast after a pair of triumphant, career-spanning Coachella performances. Here’s hoping that, mixed in with twitchy cuts off The King of Limbs, Thom Yorke and his mates offer another sampling of beloved favorites: We pray for “Lucky,” “Paranoid Android” and “Just,” but there’s no telling what you’ll get when you’ve got a ticket to Radiohead—apart from a transcendent evening.

  1. Prudential Center 165 Mulberry St, between Edison Pl and Lafayette St
  2. Thu May 31 - Fri Jun 1
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Hot 97 Summer Jam

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Join some 55,000 hip-hop fans who will load up on sunscreen and converge in Jerz for Hot 97’s annual extravaganza. This year’s smokin’ talent includes Harlem trailblazer ASAP Rocky, Clipse-MC-turned-solo-artiste Pusha T, L.A. newbie Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar—dubbed the “new king of the West Coast” by Dr. Dre, no less.

  1. MetLife Stadium 50 NJ-120, 07073
  2. Sun Jun 8
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Drake + J. Cole + Waka Flocka Flame + Meek Mill + 2 Chainz + French Montana

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Hip-hop's Prince Charming hits town for two arena-show screamfests. Last time we talked to the star, he told us that he has a special chest where he keeps the bras thrown at him onstage. We're guessing that by now Drake could keep a small country in "support." Speaking of which, heat-seeking rappers J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill and 2 Chainz lend their support at these gigs. Ahem.

  1. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Jones Beach
  2. Until Sat Jun 16
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Destroyer + Sandro Perri

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Though it may be soul-crushingly stifling outside, you’ll feel like your hair is blowing in the breeze as Dan Bejar murmurs cryptic musings over saxophone-lined soft rock at this Fort Greene temple. Sandro Perri sets the mood with his innovative soundscapes.

  1. Brooklyn Masonic Temple 317 Clermont Ave, between DeKalb and Lafayette Aves
  2. Sun Nov 10
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Alabama Shakes

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Grab a checkered blanket, pack your picnic basket and zip out of work early, because there’s nowhere better to be than under the sun with this breakout band. Equal parts heartstring-pulling and boogie-inducing, the newbie quartet’s Southern soul is as fresh as it is timeless.

  1. SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Sun Jun 29
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The Jacksons Unity Tour 2012

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito return to the ApolloÑwhere they first performed in the late ’60s for the venue’s legendary Amateur Night seriesÑand toss out the hits. To reiterate: Jacksons. Apollo. Greatest pop songs ever made. Your city. Ready to book tickets?

  1. Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave)
  2. Thu Jul 3
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Beach House

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Baltimore duo released Bloom, its fourth album of stunning textured dream pop, earlier this month, and celebrated with a small show at the Bowery Ballroom. This SummerStage appearance may be anything but intimate, but Beach House, having truly bloomed recently, has the potential to transform the larger venue into a hazy bedroom of its own design.

  1. SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Mon Jul 28
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Bloc Party + The Drums

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

If there was ever a dream billing for an epic dance rock party in Hell’s Kitchen, it would be this one: British postpunk heavyweights Bloc Party lead the charge, with mod-loving neo-new-wavers the Drums in the opening slot.

Enter to win two tickets: Aug 7 | Aug 8 | Aug 9

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Until Thu Aug 9
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M83

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Since he hit 30, youth-obsessed Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez, the electronic whiz behind M83, has been adopting a no-holds-barred approach to his work. Case in point: M83’s latest release, the soaring double-disc effort Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which Gonzalez presents as both a tribute to his childhood and a nod to a time when an album was a tangible, enduring object, rather than an assemblage of MP3s offered à la carte. He isn’t pulling any punches onstage, either; his previously tiptoeing vocals have waltzed to the front and center, gaining both clarity and decibels.

  1. Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) 311 W 34th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Tue Oct 2 - Wed Oct 3
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Users say

1 comments
Nancy Byron
Nancy Byron

Think the Scarface show at SOBs on June 28th (first solo show in NYC ever) should be somewhere on the list. It's a major album anniversary year for him :-)