April arrives with a batch of killer new concerts, and tickets for the choicest events are already on sale or will be soon. In addition to unmissable acts, this month also features a new addition to the city’s best live music venues: Williamsburg’s industrial-chic Brooklyn Steel, where you’ll find indie rock titan Mitski (who made it into our best albums of 2016) and deliciously nerdy crew the Decemberists coronating its opening. And if you're looking for some late-night music, be sure to consult our weekly list of New York's best parties as well.
RECOMMENDED: See our guide to concerts in NYC
Concerts in NYC in April
Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac's gold-dust woman herself, plays a massive arena gig in support of her 2014 solo album, 24 Karat Gold. (Not to fear, Mac fans; recent gigs haven't been stingy with the hits.) Formative punk–new-wave crossovers, The Pretenders, warm things up in the opening slot.
You don’t have to listen to much more than a minute of a Xiu Xiu song to understand that Jamie Stewart is upset. Indeed, nearly everything in the Durham, NC, singer’s catalog represents a shot across the bow of calmness: his vocal histrionics, the ping-ponging of intense imagery and emo straightforwardness and the wailing electronics that cut through otherwise pleasant melodies. Luwayne Glass peddles simiarly erratic mayhem in the opening set as Dreamcrusher, doling out glitchy synth anarchy, blown-out speaker textures and sinister screeches behind pupil-debilitating strobes.
What hasn't Clarke played over the course of his four-decade career? He's proficient in mainstream jazz, of course, but has also taken on chamber-scaled projects of genuine delicacy and electric fusion of arena-rock proportions. This two week residency at the Blue Note features the veteran bassist in two settings: first, he turns up with the iconic Ron Carter for a jazz bass duet of legendary proportions (March 28 through April 2); the week after, the maestro brings his Stanley Clarke Band to the stage to celebrate the release of a new CD (April 4 to April 9). He hasn't released much info on the record, but we expect an extension of his funky 2014 effort, Up, which skewed toward fusion while plumbing a range of genre impulses.
Queens rapper Himanshu “Heems” Suri—ex-member of defunct hip-hop trio Das Racist—teams with British actor-MC Riz Ahmed to explore post-9/11 Islamophobia and South Asian diaspora through irreverent rhymes and beats inspired by Islamic Qawwali music. Look up their recent debut, Cashmere, before you head out for a taste.
London's Floating Points—Sam Shepherd to his pals—produces cool, sometimes jazzy, always groovy music akin to a looser Four Tet, and releases much of it on his own wondrous label, Eglo. His most recent album, Elaenia, moved into more expansive, lush territories, which he recreates live with an 11-piece band: drums, horns, strings, multiple guitars, a light show and more.
Here's a treat: New Order, the seminal English postpunk outfit spawned from Joy Division, plays Radio City in support of its latest album, Music Complete. Ranging from wistful airs to thumping disco, the record's polished songcraft proves that despite the unceremonious departure of bassist Peter Hook—he called frontman Bernard Sumner a "twatto" and sued the band for millions—the guys have still got it. Fingers crossed that they'll offer up some classics like "Ceremony" alongside the new material.
Buzzy Brit rapper, poet and playwright Tempest's unassuming demeanor belies her audacious nature and capabilities, captured on last year's album, Let Them Eat Chaos. During her shows, Tempest tells stories and tackles big issues with a rap–spoken-word hybrid, backed by a live band. Brooklyn rapper Latasha Alcindor opens.
This chameleonic producer has released a variety of tracks on Night Slugs, LuckyMe, and his own Vase label, ranging from R&B-inflected tunes to dusky techno bangers and garage-tinged house. Years into his career, he's finally released a debut album, Feel Infinite, which amalgamates those many tendencies into one cohesive effort. Here he takes over the Good Room dancefloor with up-n-coming bass music producer Suicideyear.