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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Phoenix

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Following up on a swanky Apollo Theater gig this past May, Thomas Mars & Co. touch down at the Brooklyn mega-arena in support of the recent Bankrupt!, the follow up to their 2009 breakthrough, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. If you knew and loved that disc, with its lean beats, twinkly sonics and angelic hooks, chances are you'll fancy Phoenix's latest too—it certainly sounds like another winner to us. Also on board here are much buzzed about U.K. retro garage-rockers the Vaccines.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Wed Oct 2
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Rock the Bells

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Rock the Bells is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which accounts for one of the strongest lineups wall to wall that we've seen in many a year. Headlining is Wu-Tang Clan—appearing with, we kid you not, "Virtual ODB." (Virtual 2Pac wept.) You'll also see Pretty Lights, Black Hippy, A$AP Mob, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Big Sean, Tyler, the Creator and many, many more.

  1. The Meadowlands Racetrack 50 Route 120
  2. Until Sat Oct 5
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The Weeknd

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Will Abel Tesfaye make the leap from mystery-cloaked DIY buzz magnet to pro-hyped superstar? Turn up at Radio City to size up this 23-year-old Toronto singer-producer— who's been pushing R&B to ever lusher, edgier extremes under the Weeknd moniker—as he supports Kiss Land, his major-label debut.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Until Tue Oct 8
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Nine Inch Nails

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Perhaps we should have guessed that Trent Reznor would resurrect his seminal industrial-rock act for another tour, even after the long march of farewell shows NIN played in 2009. With a new family, a new label (Columbia), a new album (Hesitation Marks) and a sexy new throb to his sound, there's no chance that Reznor's sharp edge has dulled at all. Agit-prop postrock cabal Godspeed You! Black Emperor makes for a suitably provocative opener.

  1. Prudential Center 165 Mulberry St, between Edison Pl and Lafayette St
  2. Fri Aug 1 - Sat Aug 2
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Savages

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You may not have formed an opinion on Savages, but chances are you've read plenty on them, whether adoring or skeptical. Make up your mind at Terminal 5, as the arrestingly severe postpunk revivalists air their dark, pounding manifestos.

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Until Wed Oct 16
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Pearl Jam

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The steadiest and sturdiest of the great Seattle grunge titans—the only one that hasn't lost a key member or taken an extended hiatus—rumbles into Barclays Center mere days after the release of its tenth studio LP, Lightning Bolt. Expect to hear raucous new tunes such as lead single "Mind Your Manners," as well as selections spanning a vast catalog that's far more compelling than the band's vocal haters would care to admit.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Sat Oct 19
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Drake + Miguel

  • Price band: 3/4
  • 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 soul smoothie Miguel and Atlanta rapper Future lend their support at these gigs. Ahem.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Mon Oct 28
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James Blake

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With a new album under his belt—Overgrown is the follow-up to 2011's stunning debut—24-year-old Brit James Blake returns to the city for two big dates. Expect a set of his trademark sparse, dubstep-wobbled falsetto soul, with funky, R&B-flecked new material, and (fingers crossed) his lovely cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You."

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Until Thu Nov 7
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The Eagles

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Sure it's easy to laugh at the Eagles; the arrangements are slicker than an otter in olive oil, the four-part harmonies scarily perfect, and the smiles dazzlingly white. But can you truthfully say that the sprawling, lysergic fantasy that is "Hotel California" has never had you air-guitaring on your knees? Nor has "Desperado" had you weeping in your beer? Pull on your best denim shirt and surrender to the noncool, mighty power of these Cali legends, whose current tour—including principals Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, as well as founding guitarist Bernie Leadon—arrives on the heels of a sprawling documentary, History of the Eagles.

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave), between 31st and 33rd Sts, 10119
  2. Until Mon Nov 11
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Morbid Angel

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Tampa, Florida death-metal kingpins play their second local show since issuing a polarizing, industrial-influenced 2011 comeback LP, Illud Divinum Insanus. Longtime fans shouldn't worry, though: Tonight's set celebrates the 20th anniversary of 1993's Covenant—not only the bestselling death-metal album of all time, but also the first to appear on a major label and arguably the subgenre's artistic peak to date—with a start-to-finish rundown. It's a shame that original drummer Pete Sandoval won't be joining fellow core members David Vincent and Trey Azagthoth here, but with a set-list this promising, there's little point in splitting hairs.

  1. Irving Plaza 17 Irving Pl, at 15th St
  2. Until Tue Nov 12
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