We love fall for plenty of reasons: sweater weather, gorgeous foliage, fewer children running amok. But our favorite part about the season is the insane number of shows that come through town. Concerts in NYC this fall feature some promising outdoor concerts, including the debut editions of the Meadows festival and Roots Picnic NYC, as well as plenty of other concerts featuring top indie-rock bands and hip-hop artists. Check out our list of not-to-miss concerts below.
RECOMMENDED: See our guide to concerts in NYC
Best fall concerts in NYC
Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang brings a new one-act opera to BAM, or rather, to a platform looming 20 feet above the vacant auditorium floor (seating is mezzanine-only). Even at these packed performances, its star, a wannabe musician tormented by his friendship with pianist Glenn Gould, will play to an empty house. Poor guy.
Prior to finding indie-scene success with their respective projects Waxahatchee and Swearin’, twin sisters Katie and Allison Crutchfield made catchy, confessional tunes in this pop-punk group. Now the band is finally getting the attention it deserves, thanks to a double-disc reissue of its complete catalog and a tour.
Adele is a colossus on the pop landscape, and part of her success is that even as she’s become insanely famous, she’s also ostensibly remained a normal human being. While other stars work diligently at finding new ways to be innovative, her power comes from the universal relatability of songs like “Hello.” (Admit it: You still have it playing on repeat.)
Steven Patrick Morrissey has been called a lot of things over the years—a pioneer, a copycat, a neofascist, a bleeding heart—and he seems to revel in the perverse fact that even the most contradictory descriptions are at least somewhat true. In concert, though, it’s all about the music: his focus is electrifying as he blasts out hits with a cocky assuredness that’s part punk rocker and part Tom Jones.
Meadows Music & Arts Festival
In an effort to corner NYC’s booming festival industry, the people behind Governors Ball have expanded into Queens with their inaugural Meadows Festival. And they’re bringing out the big guns. Festival staples like Grimes and the 1975 are joined by Chance the Rapper, the Weeknd and Kanye West, who’s making up for his canceled Governors Ball set. 123-01 Roosevelt Ave, Queens (themeadowsnyc.com). Oct 1, 2 at 11:45am; one-day pass $115–$260, two-day pass $230–$495, two-day VIP pass $1,600.
The Roots bring their Philly fest to New York for the first time, with two days’ worth of funk, R&B, rock and a dozen different types of hip-hop. The opening night pairs D’Angelo and John Mayer, while the second tries to top that feat with Wu-Tang Clan, David Byrne and Nile Rodgers backed by the Roots themselves.
Born out of an L.A. punk scene that prized efficiency, the Descendents have been delivering 90-second fastballs of buzzed-up bubble gum off and on since the late ’70s. The band went on several extended hiatuses in the ’90s and aughts; its new, excellent LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, is just its third in three decades. The songs might be more mature, but they’re still as fast and concise as ever.
Pianist Chick Corea celebrates his 75th birthday at the Blue Note with an astounding 80-show run, playing with dozens of collaborators (ranging stylistically from an all-star flamenco group to a reunion of his influential fusion band, Return to Forever), presumably because no one band can keep up with him. 131 W 3rd St (bluenote.net/newyork). Oct 19–Dec 12 at 8, 10:30pm; $55–$85.
It’s rare for an artist to connect with another’s work as deeply as Seu Jorge does with David Bowie’s songbook, which he pared down for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou into intimate, acoustic arrangements with a Brazilian lilt and Portuguese lyrics. Bowie was a huge fan of Jorge’s interpretations, making these shows extra poignant.