New York is the greatest place in the world for live-music lovers, and musicians agree; they’ve written many a tune about it, in fact. (For proof, just check out our 100 best NYC songs.) Seeing a great concert doesn’t have to mean reaching into your wallet, and with all that cash you save, you should treat yourself to a drink and a beautiful view at one of the best rooftop bars in NYC. Be sure to check out our full concert schedule for live music in New York City.
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Free concerts in NYC
Surprisingly talented wanna-be stars compete in an American Idol–style weekly contest at the West Village’s legendary Stonewall Inn. The irrepressible Brandon Cutrell hosts; regular judges include drag star Ariel Sinclair, comic Poppi Kramer, nightlife character Lavinia Draper and Time Out New York's own Adam Feldman.Read more
Featuring John McCauley’s Tom Waits–level voice, coupled with Southern-tinged roots-and-country rollicking, no band better epitomizes the pleasures of summertime day drinking than Rhode Island’s Deer Tick. Even in the depths of winter, you can sing along to rowdy favorites like “Let’s All Go to the Bar” and shed a tear in your beer to the band’s wistful, folky numbers.Read more
Crocodiles take their cue from the dark drones of decades past, including Suicide and especially the Jesus and Mary Chain. The San Diego duo has been hyped with good reason: The music is well styled, gently anarchic and extremely catchy. Listen for songs from the latest album, Boys.Read more
One of NYC's great downtown holiday traditions, Phil Kline's seasonal boombox parade encourages attendees to join in. Participants will meet at 6:45pm at the Washington Square Park arch and will make their way in a cloud of ambient sound to Tompkins Square Park. Bring your deck and Kline will provide CD-Rs—or download the audio at www.unsilentnight.com/participate and bring it on your mobile device.Read more