The best NYC concerts in December 2018

We've narrowed down our favorite NYC concerts in December from hard-rock gigs to holiday-music shows
Mitksi
Photograph: Courtesy Bao Ngo
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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

Mitski
Photograph: courtesy of the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Mitski + Downtown Boys + Sasami

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Steel, Williamsburg
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Mitski Miyawaki has a talent for swift transformation. Over the past several years, she's rocketed from self-releasing her first two albums and playing DIY gigs to selling out New York's biggest rock venues months in advance. Her latest collection, Be The Cowboy, continues that hunger for growth, veering from her recent penchant for dreamily yearning indie rock in favor of a multi-faceted synth pop that recalls her early-career experimental tendencies.

J Mascis
Photograph: Timothy Herzog
Music, Rock and indie

J Mascis + Luluc

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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This indie vet has always seemed inseparable from his trademark electric-guitar supernovas, so it's a pleasant surprise to hear Mascis sounding so comfy on his acoustic solo discs, such as 2011's Several Shades of Why and 2014's LP, Tied to a Star. It turns out that the Dino Jr. frontman's mumbly, achy emoting translates quite well in unplugged mode.

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Parquet Courts
Photograph: Ben Rayner
Music, Rock and indie

Parquet Courts + Sun Ra Arkestra

icon-location-pin Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center), Hell's Kitchen
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Brothers Max and Andrew Savage, along with their bandmates, are doing the once-a-generation job of stripping rock & roll back to something tight, primal and brilliant. The local outfit quickly sold out its tiny run of album-release shows this summer. This much-larger Manhattan gig offers another crack at hearing the invigorating postpunk bops of its latest, Wide Awake! The enduring, always-captivating space-jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra opens.

Stars
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Stars

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Steel, Williamsburg
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Though this atmospheric Canadian indie-rock combo started out making whispery drum machine ditties on its 2001 debut Nightsongs, the crew has since asserted increasingly grandiose aspirations. More than 15 years later, Stars is turning out celestial, big-room synth-pop, as heard on 2017's There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light. Expect to hear selections from both the album and the band's back catalogue at this south-of-the-border gig.

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Manchester Orchestra
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Manchester Orchestra

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Steel, Williamsburg
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This American band, which is neither from Manchester nor an orchestra, plays swelling rock songs with dramatic shades of Built to Spill. The group hits Brooklyn behind the new A Black Mile to the Surface, which features a nearly total turnover of the group's original members aside from guitarist and singer Andy Hull.

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