NYC concerts in September
Baltimore-born outsider-artist Ali raps and sings over a "post-afro-futurist" mix of jazz sounds, B-more club beats and punk attitude—a fitting pairing to the glitchy synth anarchy, blown-out speaker textures and sinister screeches Luwayne Glass peddles as Dreamcrusher.
Madonna may not be a New York native, but at this point, she's been repping NYC for more than three decades. Catch the pop diva in rare form here as she celebrates the release of her new Latin-inspired album, Madame X, with a series of special gigs at a surprising digs: the intimate BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Considering her usual arena shows feature cutting-edge videos and dizzying choreography, expect fireworks as she packs her big-league pop razzmatazz into a uniquely intimate setting.
In recent years, anarchic Odd Future leader Tyler Okonma moved beyond the now played-out shock rhymes and into surprisingly earnest territory with his newly released Igor and 2017's Flower Boy. From liberatory lines like "Tell these black kids they can be who they are" to sexual revelations ("I've been kissing white boys since 2004"), the rapper tapers his confrontational tactics in favor of newfound relatability. It's a new side of Tyler, the Creator, but make no mistake—though more elegantly hewn, his rougher edges remain as sharply anti-social as ever.
Too old to rock & roll, too young to die? Hardly! Original band leader and celebrated flautist Ian Anderson brings the modern lineup of his prog-folk institution Jethro Tull to town for its 50th anniversary tour. It may have been nearly half a century since the band's golden days, but few since have so elegantly melded the worlds of woodwind instruments and arena rock showmanship.
Over-the-top spectacle is part of metal's DNA, but when it comes to pure batshit bombast, BABYMETAL might just have everyone from Alice Cooper to Iron Maiden beat. This Japanese import juxtaposes the fizzy J-pop song-and-dance of three pixieish teens with mercilessly steroidal shred, raging pyrotechnics and camp-macabre chills. BABYMETAL’s first NYC show in three years ought to fulfill your yearly WTF quota and then some.