It’s that time again – our rundown of the 13 coolest must-see NYC concerts in the upcoming two weeks. It all started with March, Part UN and DEUX. Today, we look forward to April concerts (but not too forward – expect a second post for April too). We do it because we care. No more tears for missed JT concerts! Enjoy.
April 1: Lake Street Dive at Bowery Ballroom
Led by the strong, sultry vocals of Rachael Price, Lake Street Dive is jazz at heart, with a mix of country, rock, and soul influences. This band will make you feel like you’re in a small jazz venue or dive bar just by their effortless stage presence alone. Lake Street Dive seamlessly blends what we loved about music back in the day with what we love about it now. Haven’t heard of Lake Street Dive? Check out their rendition of Jackson 5’s I Want You Back, a cover that went viral. Trust us, this band is just one of those talents you cannot deny.
April 1–2: Kraftwerk at United Palace Theatre
These German synth pioneers, who play robotic, minimalist all-electronic pop, have influenced artists like Pet Shop Boys, Grandmaster Flash, Radiohead and Daft Punk. If you’re interested in attending these “3-D Concerts” (although I’m pretty sure all concerts take place in three dimensions), better act quickly.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen. Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav is now the frontman of a new cover band, called the FlavorTronZ. Flavor Flav and his band will be performing covers of hit songs from 70’s through the 90’s by musicians such as Sly & the Family Stone and Elton John. Flav and the FlavorTronZ will be putting on their second show ever (since their quiet debut in 2012) at NYC’s Iridium. Sound too good/weird/funny to be true? Trust me, we can’t make this stuff up (and why would we?).
April 3: Pentatonix at Beacon Theatre
If Glee was based on a real group of incredibly talented vocalists, it very well could have been Pentatonix. This five person acapella group was originally formed by high school friends Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, and Scott Hoying. It all started on a YouTube channel turned viral, and soon moved to NBC’s The Sing Off in 2011. Soon, they will grace the stage of Beacon Theater, now winners of The Sing Off. And let’s remember folks, they got here with their voices, and their voices alone. Think you heard a bass drop? You’re mistaken, it’s just Pentatonix member Avi Kaplan clearing his throat.
April 4: Real Estate at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Surfy, lo-fi rockers Real Estate will be at Music Hall of Williamsburg this month, and if you’re looking to get your monthly fix of live indie music, we recommend this show. Real Estate band members are all involved in other music projects, practically making them experts in this genre. Their music is quiet, contained, but expertly done. If a band has ever succeeded in capturing the mood of eloquent apathy, it’s Real Esate. Native of the Garden State, their music seems like it could have been the soundtrack to…Garden State.
April 5: Miley Cyrus, Icona Pop, and Sky Ferreira at Barclays Center
Miley, Miley, Miley, what more is there to say about our Disney princess turned pop star? This show may not be for your young ones (she was courteous enough to issue a Parental Advisory… thanks Miley?), but if you’re in for something shocking and entertaining, I can’t think of anything better than a show off the Bangerz tour. Think about it, this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Miley at her craziest. Who knows what this pop star will be doing in a year (Hannah Montana revival, anyone)?
April 6 & 8: Danny Brown at Bowery Ballroom (4/6) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (4/8)
Danny Brown is a Detroit MC with a hood/hipster persona and rap style infused with a strong sense of humor. Brown has been recognized as one of the most unique rap figures in recent history, a genuine artist who combined his criminal history with a natural born talent to rhyme. On Danny Brown’s recently released album titled Old, Brown features guests Schoolboy Q, Purity Ring, A$AP Rocky, and Charli XCX. Looking for a hip-hop show to attend this month? Danny Brown is vault of talent you won’t regret buying tickets to see.
April 9: Mac Demarco at Webster Hall
Mac Demarco is one of those guys who doesn’t have anything to offer but himself. And who is Mac Demarco? He’s a 21 yr old singer/songwriter, a romantic, and a downright cool dude. He’s your something to drift to, your everyday life music, that CD you’ll always keep in your car. His show at Webster will undoubtedly be intimate, and don’t be surprised if you won’t be able to take your eyes off this Canadian musician. He’s just one of those.
April 10: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 29th Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center
Excitement is high over a certain East Coast band, which had its first big hit in 1975 and is known to put on quite the stage show, getting long-overdue recognition from the R&R HoF. We like to call them lovingly Hall and Oates. Also, Kiss is on the list. So is Nirvana, almost exactly 20 years after the death of lead singer and Kiss fan Kurt Cobain. Will Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter play together in full makeup? Or at all? (Sad to say, the answer seems no.) Will anyone join Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic—Paul McCartney? Courtney Love?!—to sing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”? Cat Stevens, Linda Rondstadt, Peter Gabriel and the E Street Band help round out this year’s class. Guess you’ll have to wait and see.
April 10: Of Montreal’s frontman Kevin Barnes at Le Poisson Rouge
What do you get when you mix Beatles influenced psychedelic, electronica, the afrobeat music of Prince, and the glam of David Bowie? Of Montreal is a band founded by frontman Kevin Barnes, who will be making a solo appearance at Le Poisson Rouge this month. Readers and music lovers, be warned. If you thought weird hit the ceiling at Kanye’s performance at Barclays, then be ready to be floored once more. Though we don’t know exactly what to expect with Barnes’ solo show, if he follows suite with the theatrical, borderline circus-like Of Montreal shows in the past, you’ll surely be in for something strange. Whether its acrobats on stilts, giant mummies, or a while stallion for Barnes to sit on through his set, you’ll likely be shocked in more ways than one.
April 14: Cloud Nothings @ Bowery Ballroom
Cloud Nothings are a Cleveland bred indie rock band, and are currently taking the internet by storm due to their highly anticipated third album, Here and Nowhere Else. If we could sum up the music styles of Cloud Nothings in a few words let’s say…quiet indie band meets it’s weird cousin angst. Sound strange? Cloud Nothings pull it off with a mature, pop-rock spin on things. We think this band is only going to grow in popularity in the next coming months, so catch them at Bowery Ballroom while you can. You can also check them out at Pitchfork Music Festival. Still not convinced? Listen to their full upcoming album on NPR before it drops on the April 1st.
April 15: Taking Back Sunday and The Used at Best Buy Theater
Long Island screamo-pop band Taking Back Sunday remain a big draw more than a decade after Tell All Your Friends introduced them to a generation of punk kids. Similarly durable and screamous are co-headliners The Used. Expect a mosh pit, a lot of dark eyeliner, and maybe a few studded belts.
April 15: Rufus Wainwright at Town Hall
Rufus Wainwright is an artist who can pretty much do it all. In addition to being a trained classical pianist, Wainwright is an opera singer, a pop singer, and a composer. Have you seen classic Disney movie Shrek, or the jukebox-musical film Moulin Rouge? Then you have heard the incredible musical compositions and vocals of Rufus Wainwright. This musician has made his way to becoming one of the most influential opera and pop composers of our time, and now he’s making an appearance at NYC’s Town Hall. This show will be romantic, compelling, emotional–just frankly, all of the above.