The best NYC concerts and music festivals: Further ahead

Grab your tickets early for Belle and Sebastian, Ex Hex, Foo Fighters and more

Photograph: Brantley Gutierrez
Foo Fighters

Toro y Moi + Vinyl Williams

Chazwick Bundick's synth-swathed output under the Toro y Moi moniker evolved into full-on smooth-funk goodness on 2013's excellent Anything in Return. He's back with a new LP, What For?, and headlines midtown megalith Terminal 5 in support. L.A. producer Vinyl Williams, who released a collaborative audio-visual EP with Bundick titled Trance Zen Dental Spa in December, opens.

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Terminal 5 Friday May 1 2015

Sufjan Stevens

Having filled his last five years with collaborations, ambitious conceptual projects and even a Christmas album, folk-pop visionary Sufjan Stevens takes a more direct, singer-songwriter–oriented approach on his new LP, Carrie & Lowell.

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Various venues Saturday April 11 2015

Paramore + Copeland

Paramore takes a victory lap on this final trek in support of its self-titled 2013 record. The hugely successful record proved that the band still had plenty of juice sans founding members Josh and Zac Farro. With mammoth-lunged Hayley Williams helming the Tennessee emo-pop powerhouse, the group managed to draw arena-size crowds with its angst-gone-bubblegum anthems. Here it'll play a relatively intimate gig at the plush Beacon.

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Beacon Theatre Wednesday May 6 2015

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Noel Gallagher, the brains behind Britpop heroes Oasis, hits town with his solo venture. While brother Liam's band Beady Eye is basically Oasis sans Noel, the Birds include members of the Zutons and the Lemon Trees. In contrast with Liam's ploddy mod-pop venture, Noel's band offered rootsy, sometimes lush Americana on its self-titled 2011 debut. The HFBs' promising latest, Chasing Yesterday, takes their sound in a slicker but no less appealing direction.

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Webster Hall Thursday May 7 2015

Iggy Azalea + Nick Jonas + Tinashe

Chances are you have a strong opinion on Iggy Azalea, arrived at after months on end of having ""Fancy" drilled into your skull. As for us, we prefer to set aside the "authenticity" debate that still rages in hip-hop—that all went out the window years ago—and just embrace the glorious absurdity of a white Aussie rapper affecting a black Southern accent. And hey, her songs are catchy as hell. Catch I-G-G-Y's big stadium show here, with rising R&B star Tinashe and Jonas Brother turned surprisnigly effective Miguel-esque soul man Nick Jonas.

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Barclays Center Sunday October 11 2015 - Monday October 12 2015

Faith No More

A staple of the late-’80s/early-’90s alt-rock scene, Faith No More is best remembered for launching the career of the ever-quirky Mike Patton. Also for that video with the gasping goldfish and the exploding piano. While we admire the band's eclectic palette and funky, offbeat approach to heavy rock, we find the overall presentation a little grating. But Patton & Co. still command a legion of fans, and they'll be out in force for these reunion gigs in support of new FNM comeback disc Sol Invictus.

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Webster Hall Wednesday May 13 2015 - Thursday May 14 2015

Dave Holland and Prism

In 1968, Miles Davis plucked a 21-year-old Dave Holland out of obscurity after hearing him at a London club. The British bass master has been paying it forward ever since, exposing stellar up-and-comers and underappreciated veterans via his handpicked dream teams. Here, he returns to town with his latest all-star band, Prism: a fierce, fusion-inspired quartet with guitarist Kevin Eubanks, keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Eric Harland.

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Blue Note Tuesday May 19 2015 - Sunday May 24 2015

The Who

The Who—that is, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, some other musicians and two very prominent ghosts—hit the road as part of the group's 50th-anniversary celebration, digging into some deep cuts for their supposedly final stadium trek. The core duo is bolstered by a more-than-able supporting cast, including Beatle progeny Zak Starkey and bass wizard Pino Palladino, recently heard on D'Angelo's masterful Black Messiah.

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Various venues Wednesday May 20 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran's stock has risen just a wee bit during the past few years—a couple of platinum albums here, a sprinkling of Grammy nominations there. Earlier this year, the ginger-mopped British folk-pop star played the Grammys with a no-big-deal assortment of players including John Mayer, Questlove and E-L-freakin'-O. We can't promise guests of that caliber here, but it wouldn't surprise us in the least if a few big names turn up to help Sheeran support his strummy 2014 opus, X.

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Various venues Thursday May 28 2015 - Sunday May 31 2015

They Might Be Giants

The quirk-rock masters come off last year's expectedly weird-but-charming Nanobots to play a special series of NYC dates: one MHOW gig per month for five months, starting with a sold-out show in January. Each of the following concerts is devoted to one of the band's classic releases: They Might Be Giants, Lincoln, Dial-A-Song and Flood, respectively.

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Music Hall of Williamsburg Until Sunday May 31 2015

Purity Ring + Braids + Born Gold

The justly buzzed-about girl-boy combo Purity Ring layers babyish coos over hacked-up synths. Eerie content (sample lyric: “Cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you”) adds to a light-dark tension that makes the group’s work compelling. Here the Montreal duo brings its haunting electropop in support of its new sophomore album, Another Eternity.

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Terminal 5 Tuesday June 2 2015 - Wednesday June 3 2015

Chaka Khan

The "I'm Every Woman" superdiva headlines what ought to be a superb kick-off to the 2015 Celebrate Brooklyn! offerings. Expect to hear a few soul belters from Khan's Rufus days, along with a touch of her Prince-penned work, some jazz standards, and, fingers crossed, the showstopping ballad "Through the Fire."

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Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Wednesday June 3 2015 Free


Between 1988 and 1996, Ride released four albums, all classics of the shoegaze era, and then broke up during Britpop's ascendency (which the band foreshadowed with a pop sensibility many of their peers lacked). Now, following in the footsteps of groups like Sleater-Kinney and fellow Creation Records vets Swervedriver, the band is back together and, as luck would have it, playing a huge reunion show at T5.

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Terminal 5 Thursday June 4 2015

The 2015 Governors Ball Music Festival

NYC still can't boast a summer music fest as iconic as Coachella or Bonnaroo, but with every year, Gov Ball inches ever closer to that status. This year, the fest presents another typically eclectic slate of crowd-pleasers, from headliners Drake, the Black Keys and Deadmau5 to fan faves such as Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, My Morning Jacket, Björk, Ryan Adams and Chromeo. We're happy to see plenty of cool names further down the bill too, from local hero Sharon Van Etten to alt-country up-and-comer Sturgill Simpson and legendary pop parodist Weird Al Yankovic. So pray for sun and get your butt out to Randalls Island; music aside, the people-watching's some of the best you'll see all year.

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Randalls Island Park Friday June 5 2015 - Sunday June 7 2015

Belle and Sebastian

Twee nation rejoice: Belle and Sebastian are coming to Radio City! Earlier this year, B&S singer Stuart Murdoch put out his directorial debut film, God Help the Girl, scored with the band’s music. Now Murdoch is refocusing his attention on the group that made him the envy of every wistful college student of the past two decades. Keep an eye on this gig—openers will be announced as the date approaches.

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Radio City Music Hall Wednesday June 10 2015

Ex Hex

When latter-day supergroup Wild Flag folded after an all-too-brief run, abandoning its anthem-thirsty following, the question was: Who will pick up the slack? Sleater Kinney reunion aside, ex-WF guitarist (and bona fide indie-rock hero, formerly of Helium, Autoclave and various others) Mary Timony and her power trio Ex Hex have done a remarkable job at filling the void. Whereas heavenly angular licks and slanted rhythms made Helium records like Pirate Prude life-changers, Ex Hex plays a straightforward, fetching noise-pop racket. The band performs behind its debut, Rips, out now on Merge.

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Le Poisson Rouge Thursday April 23 2015 - Friday June 12 2015

Viet Cong

Sensuous, hard-driving Alberta postpunk crew Viet Cong—a spin-off of Women, which broke up in 2010 at the height of its buzz—continues to accumulate rave reviews for its self-titled debut on the tastemaking Jagjaguwar imprint. The quartet returns to NYC on the heels of a buzzy, sold-out, small-club run earlier this year.

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Music Hall of Williamsburg Saturday June 13 2015 - Sunday June 14 2015

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

It's safe to say that more kids dig Tony Bennett now than at any point in his 50-year career; chalk it up to overpopulation and shrewd collaborations like this one, with pop's reigning auteur, Lady Gaga. The duo's jazz-standards release, Cheek to Cheek, finds both performers in top form—we expect the same at these Radio City dates.

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Radio City Music Hall Friday June 19 2015 - Saturday June 20 2015

Bette Midler

The Divine Miss M's latest album, It's the Girls, finds the seasoned singer taking on classic cuts by some of pop's most famous all-female groups. Though the album skews toward the Brill Building era, we love her take on TLC's immortal "Waterfalls." These homecoming shows will undoubtedly be huge, and as an added bonus, every ticket purchase guarantees you a copy of the record.

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Various venues Thursday June 25 2015 - Monday June 29 2015

FarmBorough Country Music Festival

Taylor Swift has packed up and moved to NYC, and it looks like Nashville is right on her heels. FarmBorough, NYC’s first country-music festival, sets up camp at Randalls Island for three days of whiskey-drenched ditties about pickup trucks and heartbreak from top-flight acts like Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley.

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Randalls Island Park Friday June 26 2015 - Sunday June 28 2015
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Faith No More, the Who, Paramore and more

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Further ahead

Foo Fighters, Belle and Sebastian, Ex Hex and more

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View NYC concert and music festival photos

Electric Zoo 2014: Fashion trends

No one can deny that the attendees of NYC's biggest EDM festival have put some serious time and effort into constructing their Zoo-appropriate looks

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By: Kristen Zwicker

Full Moon Fest 2014: Our favorite photos

Based on a series of monthly all-night dance parties on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan, Full Moon Fest took place on the balmy Friday before August's full moon this year, the very peak of summer.

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Firefly Music Festival 2014

OutKast, Weezer, Beck and the Foo Fighters had the crowds surfing all weekend long at the third edition of the East Coast music blowout

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Governors Ball 2014: Friday

OutKast, Phoenix, Julian Casablancas and ridiculously perfect weather highlighted day one of New York’s biggest music fest

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Summer Jam 2014

Hip-hop took center stage as the genre’s finest rocked the mikes at MetLife Stadium

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Boston Calling Spring 2014

Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and Jack Johnson headlined the three-day Memorial Day weekend music extravaganza in Boston

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Haim at Terminal 5

The L.A. sister act supported its unstoppable 2013 debut with a winningly diverse set

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Coachella 2014

See our best shots from weekend one of Coachella 2014, from crowd-surfing kids to barely clothed hotties

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