The top ten NYC concerts in July

Check out our list of the city’s hottest shows this month, including gigs by pop megastars, blues greats and hip-hop party-starters

Jay Z and Beyoncé

Jay Z and Beyoncé Photograph: courtesy of the artists


Sky Ferreira | Music Hall of Williamsburg; July 9

Everyone's favorite downtown pop wunderkind headlines a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, which stages Transcendental Meditation programs for veterans, battered women, and people who are homeless and incarcerated. Smart move, Sky: After posing topless on your album cover, getting arrested for drug possession and befriending Miley, this is the only thing that could surprise us—and pleasantly so. Ladies Night and the Rapture's Vito Roccoforte handle DJ duties.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
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Katy Perry | Madison Square Garden; July 9. Prudential Center; July 11. Barclays Center; July 24, 25.

Six years on from "I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry is still here, and then some. Far from the novelty starlet many initially pegged her as, she's evolved into the signature cotton-candy-fied pop princess of our time, a Dr. Luke–abetted megahit factory unto herself. Turn up for these big gigs, and hear Perry unleash her post–John Mayer–breakup roar in support of last year's blockbuster Prism.

  1. Various locations 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
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Jay Z + Beyoncé | MetLife Stadium; July 11, 12

Lately Mr. and Mrs. Carter have been hitting headlines more for the infamous Solange elevator incident than for their pop prowess, so these On the Run shows should act as a reminder of how great they are at, you know, making music. We can't even imagine how insane "Drunk in Love"—or "Crazy in Love," for that matter!—is going to get.


Phish | Randalls Island Park; July 11–13

The peerless jam band has come back with a vengeance since re-emerging five years ago, and Trey Anastasio & Co. have plotted yet another epic summer tour. The Vermont quartet’s East Coast run includes this trio of gigs at Randalls Island, where they’ve never played before. The shows are sure to feature some new songs from the group’s new album, Fuego.

  1. Randalls Island Park Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at Randalls Island
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Bruno Mars + Pharrell Williams | Madison Square Garden; July 14, 15

Hear one Bruno Mars hit and you might dismiss it as sentimental fluff; hear a handful (the "Beat It"–gone-Police groove of "Locked Out of Heaven," the timeless piano ballad "When I Was Your Man"), and you start to realize: This 28-year-old Hawaiian (born Peter Gene Hernandez) is a serious talent—and maybe even our era's consummate pop showman. Another rakish chart topper safe enough for Mom, Pharrell Williams—the voice behind Daft Punk smash "Get Lucky" and Despicable Me 2's irresistible "Happy"—sets the stage for this stop on Mars's so-called Moonshine Jungle Tour.

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza , between 31st and 33rd Sts, 10001
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Flume | Terminal 5; July 16–18

Flume is a young beatsmith from Sydney who has spent the past few years making luscious and emotive head-nod material, both on a series of beautiful remixes (for Junior Boys, Onra, Lorde and others) and in original work, notably on a self-titled album of ethereal and hazy bass-informed synth-pop on the Future Classic label. Judging by this trio of Terminal 5 dates, the man born Harley Edward Streten is clearly doing pretty well for himself.

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
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Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival | Brookfield Place Plaza; July 16, 17

  • Free

This year’s get-down goes a long way to honor the genre that spawned it, while pushing its well-worn boundaries. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings appear, touring behind a recent effort, Give the People What They Want—a title that encapsulates the fun-loving group’s mission. (The album’s release was delayed so that Jones could get treatment for cancer.) No BS! Brass Band, Robert Cray, John Hiatt and James Carter are also on the docket.

  1. Brookfield Place Plaza 220 Vesey St, at West St, 10281
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Queen plus Adam Lambert | Madison Square Garden; July 17

No one can replace Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant icon who fronted Queen until his untimely death in 1991. But among the pretenders to the throne thus far, none has matched the flash and moxie of American Idol runner-up Lambert, whose succesful prior outings with Brian May and Roger Taylor prompted this crazy little summer tour.

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza , between 31st and 33rd Sts, 10001
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Neutral Milk Hotel + Circulatory System | Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell); July 22, 23

Jeff Mangum’s reunited cult indie-rockers played six New York–area gigs in January. The group’s shows have been selling out so swiftly—and garnering such praiseworthy, nostalgic reviews—that they’ve continually bolstered their already-massive tours. Here, the Elephant 6 torchbearers (still best remembered for their 1998 magnum opus, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea) take their singing saws and brass section outdoors.


Juicy J + Project Pat | Terminal 5; July 22

Expect to hear some new tracks from Three 6 Mafia crunk party-rapper Juicy J (you know you love, or at least love to hate, "Bandz a Make Her Dance"), whose new album, The Hustle Continues, is rumored to drop at the end of summer. Joining him at this show will be Memphis MC Project Pat—who's also his big bro.

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
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