The five best concerts in NYC this weekend

Time Out New York has your picks for the best live music events in NYC this weekend



Add +

X Photgraph: courtesy of artist


  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

X made its name with a series of speedy, sassy, irrepressibly hooky early-’80s albums. Here, the venerable L.A. punk quartet—still featuring the classic lineup of John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake—revisits those formative years during this four-nighter, with each gig featuring a full-LP rundown. The run kicks off tonight with the immortal Los Angeles and continues with Wild Gift (Fri 22), Under the Big Black Sun (Sat 23) and More Fun in the New World (Sun 24).

  1. City Winery 155 Varick St, at Vandam St
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Sun Aug 24
More info
The Clean

The Clean Photograph: Tim Soter

The Clean

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Clean first appeared on record with 1981’s “Tally Ho,” a near-perfect rallying cry anchored by an organ drone straight out of the Modern Lovers’ playbook. The humble single launched an eminent record label (Flying Nun) and led to a stream of like-minded music by both Clean offshoots and stylistic progeny (Yo La Tengo, Pavement). At this gig, you'll be able to pick up Anthology, a new 4-LP reissue of the New Zealand indie-rock heroes' early recordings. Jared Eggers and the Throbbing Thugs and Will Butler open Aug 21; Roya opens Aug 22.

  1. Glasslands 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Fri Aug 22
More info
Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire Photograph: Guy Aroch

Arcade Fire

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

“I’m not a dork,” Win Butler told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I’m a fucking rock star.” The jury is still out on that one, with half the music obsessives we know lining up to saint the towering frontman and his fantastical, shamelessly dramatic art-rock battalion, and the other half coming down firmly on the "dork" side of things, or worse. No haters at this trio of supergigs, though—just several arenas' worth of disciples, likely dressed in "formal attire or costume," according to the band's stated wishes, and swooning in time to old favorites and sleek, dance-friendly cuts from last year's James Murphy–assisted Reflektor.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Fri Aug 22 - Sun Aug 24
More info
Liturgy (from left: Greg Fox, Bernard Gann, Tyler Dusenbury, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix)

Liturgy (from left: Greg Fox, Bernard Gann, Tyler Dusenbury, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix) Photograph: Jason Nocito

Liturgy + Wreck and Reference + White Suns + Kyle Eyre Clyd

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Known for its divisive inversions of old-school black metal nihilism, the justly buzzed-about Liturgy headlines this noisy cross-genre event with its first appearance as a quartet in three years. (That means prodigious drummer Greg Fox is back in the fold—a very good thing, indeed.) The crew has taken its share of flak for leader Hunter Hunt-Hendrix's lofty philosophizing, but anyone attempting to brand Liturgy as passionless will rapidly dead-end when confronted with the group's explosive live presence. Dystopian noise-rock crews Wreck and Reference and White Suns, and electronics experimentalist Kyle Eyre Clyd, round out a killer bill.

  1. Pioneer Works 159 Pioneer St, at Imlay St
  2. Sat Aug 23
More info
Unlocking the Truth

Unlocking the Truth Photograph: Phill Knott

Afropunk Fest

  • Critics choice

This annual Fort Greene fest—a celebration of black music in all its many forms—presents its finest lineup yet, encompassing forward-thinking R&B (D'Angelo, Meshell Ndegeocello), cutting-edge hip-hop (Shabazz Palaces, the Internet), riff-happy metal (Body Count, Unlocking the Truth), mosh-fueling punk (Trash Talk, Fishbone) and a whole lot more. See for ticket info.

  1. Commodore Barry Park Navy St, between Flushing and Park Aves
  2. Sat Aug 23 - Sun Aug 24
Buy tickets

Check out more must-see NYC concerts


Eminem + Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails + Soundgarden, St. Vincent and more


The Replacements, Lorde, the Black Keys, Lily Allen and more


Lykke Li, Foster the People, Jessie Ware, the Allman Brothers and more

Further ahead

Julian Casablancas & the Voidz, Alt-J, the New Pornographers, St. Lucia and more

Users say


Read more music features

Interview: Laurie Anderson

The composer talks about life after Lou Reed, her history in the record business—and her upcoming shows at the BAM.

Interview: Steve Reich

The minimalist composer talks about the early days—and his new collaboration with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood

Interview: Liturgy

The polarizing local black-metal innovators reconvene, older and wiser, as a brutally effective quartet

St. Vincent at Celebrate Brooklyn concert photos

Art-pop queen (and TONY cover star) St. Vincent closed out the free summer concert series in Prospect Park

Interview: Boyz II Men

Nathan Morris discusses baseball and the importance of a good love song in today’s mean ol’ world

See more in Music