Things to do in New York this fall: Top 20 concerts to see in NYC

From a star-studded Central Park charity event to death-metal titans and hip-hop heat-seekers, we've got the goods on who to hear this season

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It's been a long, hot summer for big concerts in New York City…but hey, it's not like you want to slow down now, or you wouldn't live here in the first place. No, as the fall arrives and the students repopulate local schools—and, more importantly, nightclubs and concert halls—we're all seized once again with an urge to remember what's best about New York in Autumn. And just like that, a fresh wave of big events comes along like clockwork. If you're feeling civic minded, or just want to witness the legendary Stevie Wonder without paying cash, Global Citizen returns for another year of star-studded consciousness raising. Rock the Bells celebrates its 10th anniversary with hip-hop's elite—including, ummm, "Virtual ODB." Kathleen Hanna's new band the Julie Ruin and freshly exhumed death-metal combo Carcass are just a few more of the concerts you must check out this year.


The Julie Ruin

  • Critics choice

Riot-grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, bounces back from a long, painful hiatus with a fierce new band, the Julie Ruin, whose recently issued LP Run Fast marks Hanna's fierce, inspiring return to form. Kinetic pop-punksters Swearin' open.

  1. Bowery Ballroom 6 Delancey St, between Bowery and Chrystie St
  2. Until Fri Oct 25
Buy tickets

Icona Pop

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The sassy Swedish electropop duo of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo hits New York with the benefit of having scored one of 2013's zeitgeist singles: "I Love It," a sleek bit of irresistibly tuneful nihilism.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Until Wed Sep 25
More info

Flag!

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It's been a mess of a year for Black Flag fans. This past January, founder-guitarist Greg Ginn announced that he was rescuscitating the group in revamped form for a new album and tour, while a cadre of other former members—including original vocalist Keith Morris (also of the excellent Off!), bass standout Chuck Dukowski and drummer Bill Stevenson—proclaimed that they’d be staging their own series of greatest-hits-style gigs under the Flag! moniker. The behind-the-scenes drama rages on, but you'd do well to put all that out of your head; just show up and plan to scream yourself hoarse along with hardcore chestnuts such as "My War," "Six Pack" and "Revenge."

  1. Irving Plaza 17 Irving Pl, at 15th St
  2. Until Thu Sep 19
Buy tickets

Vampire Weekend

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

First: the charming album. Second: the clever and charming album. Third: This year's triumphant Modern Vampires of the City is Vampire Weekend's most charming, smart full length to date. Don't pass up the chance to see NYC's preppiest heroes in action, playing on home turf tonight in the splendid company of It girls Solange Knowles and Sky Ferreira.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Fri Sep 20
Buy tickets

Lionel Richie

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

“Tam bo li de say de moi ya!” Do you know what that means? Of course not! Will that stop you from singing along and following up with a joyous “Hey Jambo Jumbo!” in the middle-eight section of "All Night Long"? Oh hell no! The Commodores singer with the voice as smooth as an eel in oil hits town on a tour entitled "All the hits, All night long." We can't tell you how excited this makes us.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Wed Jun 25
More info

Carcass

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

British extreme-metal institution Carcass, which negotiated a transition from raw goregrind demos to regal twin-guitar heroics and catchy melodic-death hooks in just a decade before disbanding, reunited for a victory lap in 2007. Now, in what must be the most unexpected reunion of the year—sorry, Sabs!—founding guitarist Bill Steer and scorch-throated frontman Jeff Walker return with a new Carcass lineup, a vicious album (Surgical Steel) and a compelling opener in NYC veteran crew Immolation.

  1. Gramercy Theatre 127 E 23rd St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Until Fri Apr 11
More info

Neko Case

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The flame-haired songstress with the golden voice returns with a new solo album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. If the music is as knockout ambitious as its defiant title, we have high hopes it may be Case's best yet.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Until Thu Sep 26
More info

Atoms for Peace

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Of course you're curious about Thom Yorke's other band, the all-star busman's holiday with Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. The group's debut album, Amok, has an understatedly funky shimmer, a bit like Radiohead summoning Fela and Curtis Mayfield, while Brian Eno and Kip Hanrahan wrestle over the mixing board. If you followed that reference, you've probably got your tickets already.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Fri Sep 27
Buy tickets

Global Citizen Festival with Stevie Wonder + Kings of Leon + Alicia Keys + John Mayer

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Returning for a second year with another big bash in Central Park, Global Citizen allows you to earn your way in to catch Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer by performing civic-minded acts, with a goal of eliminating extreme poverty around the globe by 2030. Get started by visiting globalcitizen.org.

  1. Central Park, Great Lawn midpark, from 79th to 85th Sts
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info

Massive Attack

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Though dour Brits Massive Attack may keep a low profile, it hasn't stopped them from spawning an entire music genre—trip hop, in the ’90s—with an influence that reverberates to this day, in the sounds of bands like the xx and the Weeknd. Don't miss your chance to see the real deal in (understated) action when the crew joins forces with filmmaker Adam Curtis for the U.S. premiere of Massive Attack v Adam Curtis.

  1. Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Ave, between 66th and 67th Sts
  2. Until Fri Oct 4
More info


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