NYC Summer Concerts: 5 Best Shows Happening This Week (7/29-8/4)
Happy Monday everybody. The sun is supposed to be shining for much of this week, and August is rearing its ugly head. While the summer still lasts, here are some of my favorites from around the city this week. Also, be sure to get to Maxwell's before it closes on Wednesday.
1. D'Angelo with Thundercat opening at Williamsburg Park on Thursday, August 1
I cannot tell you the last time I was this excited about a show (although I am pretty sure I have said that every week about something). Here, we have the creator of the neo-soul movement (D'Angelo), with the best and most versatile bass player opening up for him (Thundercat) and Brooklyn's favorite Thursday DJ (?uestlove) spinning between sets. If that isn't enough to make you want to run out of your seat and get on line at Williamsburg Park, dig up your copy of Voodoo and then you will remember that you should 100% be there on Thursday night. Tickets are available for $50 here.
2. Block Party outside of Maxwell's for their final day on Wednesday, July 31
Though I went there only once myself, this closing should be a bittersweet occasion for all in attendance. Since it opened in 1978, Maxwell's has given New Yorkers a reason to go to New Jersey. Whether it was for Yo La Tengo's annual sold-out runs, or a chance to see bands, young and old, in the tiny backroom, there was always a special energy to shows at Maxwell's. Don't miss your final opportunity to get out there, with The Bongos set to close out the room after a block party during the day, set to start at 4 p.m.
3. Beck at the Prospect Park Bandshell on Sunday, August 4
After having the unbelievable opportunity to see him at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a 700 person club in the Village, way more people get a chance to see him perform a full band show in Brooklyn on his mini-tour of the Northeast. You don't want to miss this, as Friday night was a transcendent musical experience for me. Even as a casual Beck fan at best coming in, his showmanship and ability to win over the crowd made me a real fan. Tickets are currently sold out, but keep checking as tickets tend to become available closer to the day of.
4. Infected Mushroom (Live) at Governor's Island on Sunday, August 4
I am not the world's biggest electronic music fan (mostly because of things like this) so it is always refreshing when producers add in live instruments into their sets. Though it doesn't always work, Infected Mushroom makes it work, and this Israeli duo makes it sound amazing. The Beach at Governor's Island has quickly become one of the hottest outdoor spots to see electronic music, and this is no exception. 18-year-olds can get in, which is a plus for those locked out of clubs around the city, and tickets start at $45 and can be found here.
5. Ben Folds Five, Barenaked Ladies, and Guster at Prospect Park Bandshell on Tuesday, July 30
To be perfectly honest, this show only makes it in because of my love of Ben Folds. In 1998, this show from top to bottom would have been the greatest thing (I think, I was 4, so someone else needs to fill me in as to whether that is revisionist history as the Barenaked Ladies must have been famous at some point, otherwise I wouldn't know who they are), but alas, it's 2013, and this trio of bands is set to come to the always great Prospect Park Bandshell. Folds is an amazing guitarist and writes great songs for when you are depressed (or, actually, don't listen to "Brick" when you are depressed, that might make you more depressed). Either way, this show should be entertaining, as 90's music has officially become nostalgia music. Tickets start at $50, for this show that has the Barenaked Ladies headlining and can be found here.
6. Honorable Mention
With room for only five bands, the band I am sorry I left off this week is God Street Wine. A few years ago, I wandered into the Iridium to see the duo of Aaron Maxwell and Lo Faber. Not really knowing who they were, other than that they were on the H.O.R.D.E. tour, I figured it was worth going as there could be worse ways to spend a Tuesday night. I came home and found out that they were in a band that had broken up years earlier named God Street Wine, a band with a fervent fan base that I was completely blind to previously. Now I know, and you should too. Join the self-dubbed "winos" at either the Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday and Friday or at the Capitol Theater on Saturday. Below are some more recommendations for this week:
Real Estate - Maxwell's - Monday, July 29
M. Ward - Union Pool - Wednesday, July 31
SBTRKT - Output - Thursday, August 1
Newton Crosby - Garcia's at the Capitol Theater - Thursday, August 1
Marcus Miller - Highline Ballroom - Friday, August 2