Rock outdoors at these end-of-summer concerts in New York

Before summer ends and the fall chill sets in, enjoy outdoor summer concerts in local parks and along the waterfront.

  • Lyle Lovett

  • Photograph: Shawn Brackbill

    Wild Nothing

  • Aloe Blacc

  • Little Feat

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    My Morning Jacket

  • Photograph: Image by Leif Podhajsky/Original band photo by David Belisle

    Shabazz Palaces Band Photo

  • Beirut

Lyle Lovett

Attention, audiophiles on a budget: There are five great free summer concerts taking place before the season ends. Dance the night away at concerts featuring Grimes, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lyle Lovett and more.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to the end of summer in NYC

Lyle Lovett + Aoife O'Donovan

Thanks to the Celebrate Brooklyn! series, now in its 34th year, the Prospect Park Bandshell is to Brooklynites what Central Park Rumsey Playfield is to Manhattan residents—the place to hear great music in the great outdoors. Catch this gratis gig with two singer-songwriters. • 718-683-5600, 7:30pm; free.

  1. Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Prospect Park West, at 9th St
  2. Sat Aug 13
More info

Wild Nothing + Grimes + DIIV

If you find Williamsburg empty tonight, it’s because all the bespectacled L-train riders have gone to Pier 84 to catch the one-two punch of deliciously dreamy ’80s-style Wild Nothing (fronted by Jack Tatum) and Montreal weirdo-dream-pop artiste Grimes. You won’t find a more au courant bill this summer. • Thu at 6pm; free.

  1. Hudson River Park at Pier 84 W 44th St, at the Hudson River
  2. Thu Aug 11
More info

Aloe Blacc

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The last installment of BAM’s R&B Festival, held on the lawn at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn, stars Californian soul singer Aloe Blacc. (He’s most famous for composing “I Need a Dollar,” the theme song for erstwhile HBO show How to Make It in America.) Thus, this year’s series ends with a rhythm & blues bang. • 718-636-4100, Thu at noon; free.

  1. BAM at MetroTech Commons Flatbush Ave, at Myrtle St
  2. Until Tue Sep 30
More info

Carolina Chocolate Drops + Buckwheat Zydeco + Abigail Washburn

No summer in the city is complete without attending a concert in Central Park; check out one of the season’s last events, featuring bluegrass headliner Carolina Chocolate Drops. Buckwheat Zydeco and Abigail Washburn open the show. • 212-360-2777, Sat 3–7pm; free.

  1. SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Sat Aug 13
More info

Nolafunk Summer Jazzfest

Boogie down in the sand at South Street Seaport’s faux beach during this third annual New Orleans–style music festival: L.A.’s Little Feat breaks out the rhythm & blues on the shore of the New York Harbor. Special guests Papa Grows Funk and the Stooges Brass Band open. • (212-896-4600, 6:30pm; advance $40, at the door $45.

  1. Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, north side of Pier 17 at Beekman St and South St
  2. Mon Aug 22

Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series

Pack a blanket and head to Long Island City for some classical music and park breezes at the grand finale of the Metropolitan Opera’s seasonal series. Soprano Deanna Breiwick, tenor Alexander Lewis and baritone Edward Parks own the evening; their performances will each be set to arias, duets and other pieces played by concert pianist Vlad Iftinca. The shows tend to be packed, so show up early to set yourself up near the best acoustics. • 212-362-6000, 7pm; free.

  1. Socrates Sculpture Park 32-01 Vernon Blvd, at Broadway
  2. Until Thu Aug 9
More info

My Morning Jacket + Shabazz Palaces

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Bearded, beloved outfit MMJ has found that sweet spot where jammy looseness meets eclectic indie rock. And if sipping a cold brew by the water at this refurbished venue weren’t enough of a reason, get there early for futuristic and utterly engrossing hip-hop outfit Shabazz Palaces. • 6:30pm; $49.50.

  1. Williamsburg Park Kent Ave, at North 12th St
  2. Until Sat Nov 28
More info


  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Led by baby-faced wunderkind Zach Condon, Beirut brings its jazzy, Balkan-influenced folk to the Rumsey Playfield stage. Whether you’re swaying under the stars with your honey or staring at your shoes and hugging yourself, this is one delicious indie summer evening that’s not to be missed. • Wed at 7pm; advance $32, at door $35.

  1. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield Enter park at Fifth Ave , at 69th St
  2. Until Thu Oct 1
More info
Janka Nabay brings his minimal yet highly infectious beats to Monster Island. Photograph: James Ryang

MoMA Nights

This international music series, spearheaded by Barbès coproprieter Olivier Conan, takes its 2012 bow with a performance by Sierra Leonean electropop superstar Janka Nabay; he recently teamed up with Brooklyn’s Bubu Gang on Luaka Pop, a full-length album due at the end of summer (Aug 7). The Sculpture Garden shindig is free with museum admission, and if you’re looking to add an extra bounce to your groove, cocktails and snacks are available at the  cash bar. • (212-708-9400, 6:30–7:30pm. Free with museum admission; $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free.

  1. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves