Get away from the constant loop of christmas songs—or fully embrace them—at these NYC concerts in December. If you’re feeling like a Grinch, forget the season and ride the wave of good vibes at funk and soul concerts or rock out to an indie-rock band or hip-hop artist. Ready to go to every Christmas concert or New Year’s Eve concert in NYC? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered there, too.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best concerts in NYC
NYC concerts in December
The Hold Steady had so much fun celebrating the 10th anniversary of their critically-beloved album Boys and Girls in America at Brooklyn Bowl last December, they're returning to the venue this year for another four-night run. And again, it's sold out. Don't lose all hope though, Brooklyn Bowl is releasing day-of show tickets for each gig at 6pm. Cue up early to nab one, and have the added bonus of being there in time to catch the evening's surprise opener.
This local art-pop duo offers an infectious marriage of angularity and exuberance. Its customized implements—a baritone ukulele and a hybrid guitar-bass, which give the band its name—may seem rarefied, but the group’s wide-eyed energy will win over any open-minded listener. The duo takes the stage at Elsewhere, the freshly opened 24,000-square-foot venue run by the crew behind Glasslands.
The Parquet Courts frontman hits the stage behind his first solo effort, Thawing Dawn, which features appearances by members of Woods, Ultimate Painting, PC Worship and Psychic TV. Savage's Texas roots permeate the album's first two singles, "Winter in the South" and "Wild, Wild, Wild Horses." Show up for clear-voiced ponderings on new love, and a little pedal steel guitar to boot.
As an old soul trapped in the feverishly creative and restless mind of a young artist, Angel Olsen has a lot to say, and it often comes out in a torrent of hot-blooded emotion. Last year's My Woman found Olsen flexing her vocal chops atop brighter production, resulting in an even more fiery gem than her previous efforts. It's her strongest album yet, and a dazzling testament to Olsen's evolving artistry.
The ever-compelling Annie Clark hits town behind MASSEDUCTION, her fifth solo studio album as St. Vincent. According to Clark's mock press conference, delivered via Facebook Live, love is "literally the only point" of the album (trust that it'll contain all the dizzying highs and devastating lows that that entails). She's a fierce performer and is capping off a 23-city tour with this pair of Brooklyn shows. In short, you're in for a real barn burner.
Post-rock powerhouse Mogwai, whose largely wordless epics have been lulling, bludgeoning and confounding adventurous music fans since the late ’90s, hits town in support of a solid new album, Every Country's Sun. Support comes from synth-disco up and comer Xander Harris.
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Lætitia Tamko crafts earnest, fuzz-swathed indie rock as Vagabon. Her striking debut album, Infinite Worlds, surfaced earlier this year, featuring Tamko on guitar, synths, keyboard and drums. Show up to bask in her considerable musicianship when she takes the stage.
This delicately melancholic singer-songwriter (real name Mike Hadreas) started out playing fractured, dark indie pop, utilizing a piano and minimal instrumentation. Over the past few years, though, he's scaled up his tonal pallete with glitzy synth shimmer, an exuberant sense of uplift and grandiose crescendos befitting of M83, all of which are employed to enrapturing effect on his stunning latest, No Shape.
The seminal NYC indie crew returns to the industrial-chic Brooklyn Steel for another string of shows, this time behind a newie, American Dream. It's the first number-one album of the dance-punks' career and a possible answer to any who questioned the motives behind the band's quick about-face after retiring in 2011: Listening to American Dream, it's clear LCD still has something to say. Get to know the new tunes if you haven't already; they'll sound even better when the band serves them up live at this 10-show run.
Dreidel-spinning fingers at the ready, folks: beloved indie-rock institution Yo La Tengo resumes its Hanukkah concerts after a five-year hiatus. The shows have crossed the river to a new venue (their home for more than a decade was the lovely, cozy Maxwell’s in Hoboken, which sadly closed in 2013), but you can count on the usual parade of surprise musical and comedic guests to grace the stage.
Bow down before the magnificence of NOLA's biggest diva of bounce, the hip-hop style so named for its high spirits and the frenzied ass-shaking it inspires on the dance floor—a veritable bootyquake. We trust she'll keep the megafun alive all night as she brings a live band to Brooklyn for this party-starting set.
Expect dreamy electronics galore from dapper Alfred Darlington, the West Coast innovator known as Daedelus whose style encompasses hip-hop, glitch, off-kilter pop and electronic psychedelia in equal measure. Here, he brings his improvisatory, lightup LED-controller live setup to Brooklyn for a late night dance party.