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The best NYC concerts in August 2018

We round up the best NYC concerts in August 2018, including music festival and other outdoor gigs

Afropunk Brooklyn 2017
Photograph: Nicole Fara Silver

It might be August, but there's still plenty of outdoor concerts and summer music festivals left to go. Check out our schedule for the best NYC concerts in August 2018—which includes everything from indie-rock bands to hip-hop artists—and get out there.

RECOMMENDED: See our guide to concerts in NYC

NYC concerts in August

Carly Rae Jepsen
Photograph: Courtesy Hazel & Pine
Music, Rock and indie

NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live: 21st-Century Edition

This free concert celebrates the "150 Greatest Albums Made by Women" list, published last year by NPR Music, and its recent companion, "The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+". Focusing on the new generation of artists, the show brings pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen (yes, "Call Me Maybe" and "Run Away With Me" both made the cut), R&B vocalist Jamila Woods, indie-rocker Mitski, songwriter Phoebe Bridgers and Americana group I’m With Her to the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Expect performances and a conversation moderated by Ann Powers.

The Smashing Pumpkins
Photograph: Courtesy Olivia Bee
Music, Rock and indie

Smashing Pumpkins

icon-location-pin Jones Beach, Wantagh

What better way to endure the dog days of summer than with a good dose of ’90s angst? The alt-rockers hit town on their reunion tour, which has an almost-complete original lineup. (Alas, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky will be absent because of a feud with Billy Corgan.)

Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Jay-Z + Beyoncé

Dubbed OTR II (a nod to their 2014 On the Run tour), this stadium showcases music’s ultimate power couple at the peak of their craft. JAY-Z’s raw 4:44 is his best album in decade, and Bey’s headlining set at Coachella made every other music festival look like a county fair. We’re not worthy.

Jessy Lanza
Photograph: courtesy Terrorbird
Music, Dance and electronic

Jessy Lanza + Shyboi

Canadian singer-producer Lanza, whose music suggests Grimes-gone-bass-music, spins her skittering, subdued alt-R&B on the Elsewhere roof alongside multi-faceted DJ of queer crew Kunq, Shyboi.

Coney Island
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Music, Music festivals

Coney Island Music Festival

Coney Island Music Festival brings an impressive slate of young artists to the beach for the low, low entry fee of $0. Folky indie-rock songwriter (Sandy) Alex G, who crafted one of our favorite albums of 2017, Rocket, headlines along with garage-rock singer Shannon Shaw, who released two strong albums already this year. Her most recent triumph, Shannon in Nashville, pairs the powerful vocalist with the vintage soul sounds of Black Keys mastermind Dan Auerbach. The Veldt, Navy Gangs, Pow Pow Family Band, Public Practice and Queens singer-songwriter Juan Wauters round out the lineup.

Gary Clark Jr.
Photograph: Frank Maddocks
Music, Rock and indie

Gary Clark Jr.

This Austinite's draw is almost comically broad—he's been heard onstage with the Stones and Clapton, at Jay Z's Made in America fest and even at the freakin' White House—but amid the mass appeal, he manages to retain the essential snarl of the blues. This week, Clark shows off his smooth pipes and edgy licks at Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park.

The Breeders
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Glass
Music, Rock and indie

The Breeders + Speedy Ortiz

The ’90s indie act still rocks with insouciantly punky cool. Its reunited lineup, with sisters Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, plays behind a strong new release, All Nerve, for an entry fee of absolutely zilch.

Photograph: Courtesy City Parks Foundation
Music, Rock and indie

Porches + Sunflower Bean + Crumb

Recording under the alias of Porches, Aaron Maine has managed to create the musical representation of the shy, awkward teenager in every John Hughes movie. For this triple threat, Porches plays alongside rocking NYC trio Sunflower Bean and the jazzy, grooving up-and-coming quartet Crumb.

Music, Dance and electronic


A member of L.A.'s famed Brainfeeder label, producer Jennifer Lee makes psychedelic hip-hop with skittering electronic beats. Expect new tunes here from her latest, Lune Rouge, written during the producer's recovery from brain surgery.

The Decemberists
Photograph: Courtesy Autumn de Wilde
Music, Rock and indie

The Decemberists + M. Ward

Portland, Oregon's Decemberists attract a nerdily passionate following thanks to their knowing (and, to some, pretentious) indie antiquarianism. It's an aesthetic the band all but abandoned on its latest, I'll Be Your Girl, calling in producer John Congleton and looking to Roxy Music, New Order and Depeche Mode for inspiration. It's a decidedly new direction for the 17-year-old band that should translate into an especially spirited show.

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