4th of July 2016 weekend NYC event guide
Independence Day Weekend is upon us and if you’re staying in NYC, or visiting the city, there always are lots of things to do, including more than a few notable shows. Here our our musical picks for your long Fourth of July weekend — and we’re making it longer by including Thursday — below.
There’s good reason to kick off your Fourth of July weekend on Thursday with a handful of concerts happening that night. First and foremost may be Madchester icons The Stone Roses are playing Madison Square Garden, their first NYC show in over 20 years, which is also their only scheduled show in North America. While the group’s brand new songs haven’t done much for us, you can sing along with “I Wanna Be Adored,” “She Bangs the Drums” and “I Am the Resurrection.” Openers are Rodrigo y Gabriela, (couldn’t they have gotten Happy Mondays or Inspiral Carpets?) and tickets are still available. We’re also giving away a pair.
Another great Thursday choice is Paul Simon who recently released a terrific new album and, of course, has a massive catalog of classic songs. He plays Forest Hills Stadium for both Thursday and Friday. Both shows are sold out.
While we wish Panic! at the Disco weren’t co-headlining, and crazy large venues aren’t as fun as Warsaw or Rough Trade, July 4th weekend is as good a time as any to see Weezer, and there are two chances. Their tour hits Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Thursday, and if you have that day off, maybe you’ll be chilling at Jones Beach during the day anyway. They also play NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center on Saturday. Their last two records were pretty well received as far as post-’90s Weezer albums go (even if they have some stinkers like “Back to the Shack” and “Thank God For Girls”), and when they play the old favorites, it still rocks.
Also on Thursday: the riff-heavy Black Mountain will be at Bowery Ballroom as part of their tour for their latest album, IV (tickets); and indulge in a night of nostalgia at Irving Plaza with odd tourmates The English Beat & Soul Asylum (tickets).
Running from Thursday through Tuesday (July 5) is the 2016 edition of the You Are Here Fest (aka The Maze aka The Trouble Maze), a performance festival in a sculptural maze installation with a variety of performers and musicians at each showing. The event is held at Queens’ massive Knockdown Center with both day and night shows. On Friday (7/1) it’s an intergenerational bill of noise/no wave practitioners: Prefuse 73, Brian DeGraw, EU1OGY, Arto Lindsay, Zs, Loren Connors, and Excepter (tickets).
If you want to get in the beachy vibes, you might want to check out Beverly whose new album, The Blue Swell, definitely has waves on its mind. They play Friday at Rough Trade with Las Rosas, Haybaby, and Dumb Wolves (tickets).
If you prefer to celebrate independence with a little darkness and/or anger, you’re still covered. Uniquely brutal UK doom band (and semi-legendary live act) Dragged Into Sunlight will be stateside and joined by the bludgeoning local depression-mongerers in Primitive Man and the mathy, furious post-Gaza hardcore outfit Cult Leader for a show at Bell House on Friday. That’s about as bleak as it gets folks, and tickets for that are still available.
Bummer: Roy Ayers is ill, and has canceled his rooftop show at Output on Friday. Feel better, Roy!
Moving on to Saturday (7/2) we would of course love to see you at the BrooklynVegan-presented Fear of Men show at Bowery Ballroom with Puro Instinct, and Ski Lodge. BV editor Bill Pearis will be DJing between sets and the first 250 people through the door get a free limited edition songbook as well. Tickets are on sale, and we’re giving some away too.
If Long Island emo/hardcore means anything to you, the two Silent Majority reunion shows at Saint Vitus this weekend are pretty much unmissable. They only released one full length, 1997’s Life of a Spectator, and broke up before that sound really took off on a mainstream level, but their influence can be heard in plenty of the bands who did bring Long Island emo/hardcore to wider audiences (especially The Movielife). The bills for both are pretty amazing too, and they’re both Rob Mcallister benefits. Saturday night features Rob’s former band Iron Chic, post-hardcore rippers Primitive Weapons (whose lineup includes LIHC vets and Saint Vitus owners), and another reunited LI band, GreenSleep. The Sunday matinee has LIHC vets Mind Over Matter, Miracle Drug (mem C.R., Phallacy, By the Grace of God, Mouthpiece, etc), and Group Leader.
Meanwhile, you can kill two birds with one stone on Saturday: catch legendary powerviolence band Suppression and catch one of the last shows at the sadly-departing Acheron. Suppression, the long-running project of label boss/Scott Hull bud/hardcore polymath Jason Hodges, weighs in at the Acheron on July 2 with support from Geryon, Skullshitter and Hasj. Tickets for that one are still on sale as well.
If you’re looking for some free afternoon fun, Union Pool’s Summer Thunder Series hosts Latin soul great Joe Bataan, which has become an Independence Day Weekend tradition. 2 PM.
Iconic Detroit house DJ Theo Parrish will be performing on Saturday at MoMA PS1 Warm-Up with DJ STINGRAY, Lena Williams and Kiki Kudo (tickets) and then on Sunday at Cielo as part of Francois K‘s acclaimed Deep House residency (tickets). A mainstay of Midwestern dance music since the 90s, Parrish has been busy of late releasing music by artists like AKA Hanna on his label Sound Signature.
SUNDAY (and Monday)
Sunday is the start of the two-day free Festival of Independence at South Street Seaport. Sunday is a pretty great lineup of jangly dreampop, including Wild Nothing, Yumi Zouma, Porches and Public Access TV; while Monday, July 4 has two stages: one with Woods, The Mystery Lights, The Lemon Twigs and more, and another with Lee Fields, Jonathan Toubin, Phony PPL and more. 1-9 PM each day, and the Seaport’s a great place to see the fireworks too.
Two legendary Nigerian musicians, King Sunny Adé and Orlando Julius, who have both been at it since the ’60s, will hit Central Park SummerStage on Sunday which is also free.
Also Sunday is an all-day-all-night beach party called “Summer Love” which happens at La Marina (348 Dyckman St at the Hudson River), featuring Dimitri From Paris, Soul Clap, Wolf + Lamb, No Regular Play, Midnight Magic, Nick Monaco, and David Marston. 2 PM and more info here.
Monday is, of course, the Fourth of July and Coney Island is always a good option. There’s the Cyclone, the beach, Nathan’s annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, Totonno’s Pizza, and this is also the opening weekend for the brand new The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. Monday hosts the most American of bands, The Beach Boys though it’s a lineup where Mike Love and Bruce Johnson are the only original members. We’ll take Brian Wilson’s tour, thanks, but it’s certainly an option. Tickets are available.
Then there are the Macy’s Fireworks which go off around 9 PM on the East River. Anybody have a good rooftop party we can crash?
Independence Day weekend is also always a big one for movies, including new release The BFG (Stephen Speilberg directing a script by late E.T. screenwriter Melissa Matheson), The Legend of Tarzan, The Purge: Election Year, or catch up on already-out movies like Finding Dory (though maybe skip Independence Day: Resurgence). Or maybe you wanna stay home and binge-watch the new season of Orange is the New Black or catch up on Mr. Robot or The Americans. Relax however you like.
Have a safe and happy Fourth!