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The best boat concerts to see in NYC this summer

By Sarah Theeboom

If you've always found traditional rock shows a little, shall we say, landlocked, the Rocks Off ( series gives you a chance to see some live music while cruising around New York Harbor. The shows run through the end of September, and while there's plenty of gigs to choose from, here are the acts that really float our boat.

The Slackers
According to Rocks Off, if you can’t have fun at a Slackers concert, then you suck at life. The promoters have a point: If this veteran NYC band’s feel-good mix of reggae, rocksteady, ska and soul doesn’t get you moving, you may need to check your pulse. The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36. June 23 at 7pm; $30–$35.

Don’t expect any theatrics or excess showmanship from frontman Ben Nichols. Although this band, which mixes alt country and Southern rock, has spent the better part of two decades touring, its live show is as straightforward and earnest as a neat Tennessee whiskey. The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36, Montgomery St at the East River. August 24 at 7pm; $37–$40.

The Sonics
We’re not sure what caused more of a stir in the world of rock & roll: the release of this group’s debut album in 1965 or its reformation more than 50 years later. Septuagenarian, shmeptuagenarian—these garage-rock legends can still summon the raw, driving intensity that laid the groundwork for punk and grunge so many years ago. The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36. August 26 at 7pm; $40–$45.

This band, of the ska-punk-funk-rock-metal-whatever-they’re-playing-these-days variety, has seen plenty of internal strife, much of which was documented in 2010 film Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Its current tour reunites four of six founding members, so we anticipate extra energy from the always-wired frontman Angelo Moore & Co. The Harbor Lights departs from E 23rd St and FDR Dr. August 30 at 7pm; $39–$45.

This hip-hop duo has always had a knack for combining inventiveness and originality with a classic sound (see the timeless charms of songs like 1999’s “Alphabet Aerobics”). Almost 20 years later, MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel are still proving that acrobatic lyricism, unhurried beats and a positive message never really get old. The Jewel departs from E 23rd St and FDR Dr. September 9 at 7pm; $40–$45.


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