19 cool NYC shows to see Thanksgiving Weekend
Thanksgiving is upon us, and whether you’re sticking around the city or are visiting, there is lots to do over the long weekend. We’ve rounded up a list of concerts — and a few other events — that are worth checking out, starting with Wednesday night. If you can get yourself off the couch. Check out our picks below.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Hot Tuna @ Beacon Theatre
Having done an acoustic show in NYC on Thanksgiving Eve last year, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady are back this year for an electric show. Their blues rock jams are as fiery today as they were back in the ’70s, and you can probably expect them to play at least a little Jefferson Airplane too.
Young Fathers, Algiers @ Elsewhere Hall
Young Fathers and Algiers are two bands who are impossible to pin down into one genre, and they make for a pretty great match. Young Fathers are touring in continued support of this year’s Cocoa Sugar (which is already landing on year-end lists), and Algiers are still supporting last year’s The Underside of Power.
Drugdealer, Jackson MacIntosh @ Baby’s All Right
Baby’s All Right continues its fifth anniversary month of shows with California’s Drugdealer who just played Mexican Summer’s 10th Anniversary show at Pioneer Works. The band sold out Market Hotel back in August so this is a relatively small show for them these days. If you’re in town and not elbow-deep in stuffing prep, you might not wanna miss the opportunity. Jackson MacIntosh, who plays in Drugdealer’s band (and fronts Montreal’s Sheer Agony), opens the night with a solo set.
Amy Schumer @ Kings Theatre
Though she had to postpone some shows on this tour due to complications with her pregnancy, Amy’s back on the road, playing Brooklyn on Wednesday, and will no doubt be as unexpurgated as ever.
Echo & The Bunnymen, Enation @ Town Hall
Post-punk and alt-rock greats Echo & The Bunnymen released a new album this year where they reimagined some of the their biggest hits, giving them orchestral arrangements or stripping them down to their bare bones. Don’t expect too much revisionism here, though, just a parade of great songs.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (THANKSGIVING)
MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
Like the Times Square Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve, you won’t find a whole lot of New Yorkers actually attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but watching it on TV is a holiday tradition. Diana Ross, Ella Mai, Barenaked Ladies, John Legend, Bad Bunny, Bazzi, and more will perform on floats this year.
You also might want to just relax on the couch, and take in the six new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where they’ll be watching — and making fun of — some real cinematic turkeys.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Record Store Day Black Friday
It’s not quite as big as the Record Store Day that happens in April, but the now annual RSD Black Friday does offer a bunch of exclusive, limited edition releases, including a 25th anniversary edition of Type O Negative’s Bloody Kisses, the Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas soundtrack, a reissue of Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, and more. You can find RSD Black Friday titles at your local independent record store (Rough Trade in Brooklyn will have the most stuff).
Dipset @ The Apollo
Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, and Freekey Zekey are officially set to release their long-awaited third Dipset album — their first in 14 years — Diplomatic Ties on Thanksgiving, and the album’s early singles have them sounding just like the old days. Once it’s out, the Harlem group with celebrate with a show at their hometown’s historic Apollo Theater.
Bob Dylan and His Band @ Beacon Theatre
Bob Dylan needs no introduction, and it’s truly a treat that he still performs as frequently as he does over half a century into his career. He begins a seven-night run at NYC’s Beacon Theatre on Friday that also includes a Thanksgiving Weekend show on Saturday and then picks up again during the week.
The Menzingers, Tiny Moving Parts, Daddy Issues @ Brooklyn Steel
Scranton/Philly punks The Menzingers always put on a hell of a show and always get the crowd bouncing and raising their fists and yelling along, so seeing them should be a pretty great way to re-energize yourself after overstuffing yourself on Thanksgiving and tiring yourself out from too much Black Friday shopping. Both openers are worth catching too.
Crowbar, Internal Bleeding, Carcosa, Locus Mortis @ Amityille Music Hall
New Orleans sludge greats Crowbar have been working on a new album for 2019, and while most details on that are still being kept under wraps, they’re staying busy touring. They’re about to begin a tour opening for Killswitch Engage, and they’re touring opening for Corrosion of Conformity in 2019, but first they’re playing this one-off headlining show on Long Island. It’s just a quick train ride away from the city (or conveniently close to home if you’re back visiting family on the Island for Thanksgiving), and Crowbar’s killer live show is worth the commute.
Death From Above, Le Butcherettes @ Elsewhere
Though they dropped the “1979” from their name a while back, the Canadian dancepunk duo are revisiting those crazy days of 2002 by playing their debut EP in full, plus other favorites.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Bob Dylan and His Band @ Beacon Theatre
As mentioned above, the legendary Bob Dylan is doing a seven-night run at NYC’s Beacon Theatre including two Thanksgiving Weekend shows: Friday and Saturday.
Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin (performing live score to SUSPIRIA) @ Murmrr Theatre
While Luca Guadagnino’s remake is in theaters now, you can see Dario Argento’s original horror classic Suspiria with Claudio Simonetti’s lineup of Goblin performing their classic, phantasmagoric score live to the film. They’ll also do it at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday (11/26).
Travis Scott, Trippie Redd, Gunna, Sheck Wes @ Prudential Center
Travis Scott is bigger than ever thanks to this year’s world-conquering Astroworld, which he’s supporting on this spectacular, massive tour. He’s got two MSG shows coming up later this month, but first you can catch him in Newark over Thanksgiving Weekend.
Ben Folds (performance + signing) @ Rough Trade
Back in September, Ben Folds released a new song, “Mister Peepers,” which is a reference to Trump’s nickname for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It’s both an anti-bullying song and anti-Trump protest song and is being released as a 7″ single this week. Ben will celebrate with this in-store.
Sufjan Stevens (Holiday Secretly Cafe Event) @ Rough Trade
Also at Rough Trade on Saturday is this one-day pop-up celebrating the release of Sufjan Stevens’ first five holiday albums on one vinyl box set. In addition to the box set, there will be Sufjan Stevens postcards, free hot cocoa, and “Special Sufjan Edition coffee cups.” There is probably a better chance that Santa will be there in person than Sujfan, though.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Pusha T, Phony Ppl @ Irving Plaza
Pusha T’s been one of the greats for a while, but 2018 has been the most monumental year for his career in a while thanks to the release of DAYTONA, one of the year’s best and most loved rap albums. He’s on tour now with genre-defying band Phony Ppl, who blend hip hop, soul, jazz, funk, rock, and more, and who released the very good mozaik this year. They play Irving Plaza tonight, and again on Monday.
Michael Shannon (playing R.E.M.’s Fables of Reconstruction), Annie Nero, Ray Rizzo, Michael Arthur @ Joe’s Pub
Intense actor Michael Shannon is a big indie rock fan who fronts his own band, Corporal. Tonight pays tribute to R.E.M.’s third album, playing it in full with help from Annie Nero (Yellowbirds, Craig Finn), Ray Rizzo (Josh Ritter, Bob Weir, Motherlodge), Michael Quoma (Dog Adrift, Balthrop Alabama), Rob Heath, Hillary Hawke and a few surprise guests. Artist Michael Arthur will do a live painting during the performance.
Jarboe, Moor Mother, Father Murphy @ Market Hotel
Former Swans member and prolific solo artist and collaborator Jarboe will release new album, The Cut of the Warrior, in December and tonight’s the kickoff for her tour with post-industrial act Father Murphy. It’s also her first U.S. show in years, and having Moor Mother on the bill as well makes for a very special night.
Iceage, Show Me The Body, Public Practice @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Danish punks Iceage released their ambitious Beyondless earlier this year and have been touring relentlessly since. They just wrapped up dates with Black Lips and this is their first of two Brooklyn Shows this week (they play Elsewhere with A Place to Bury Strangers on 11/27).
Jean-Michel Blais @ National Sawdust
Montreal artist Jean-Michel Blais released Dans ma main early this year, a gorgeous album of minimal piano compositions with electronic flourishes, which also made this year’s Polaris Prize shortlist.