27 shows to see in NYC over Thanksgiving Weekend 2019
The leaves have fallen, a chill is in the air (as is pumpkin spice) — it’s Thanksgiving time again in NYC. For a lot of folks it’s also a long weekend, and even though this week is traditionally not overflowing with live entertainment options, there’s always something worth going to see any night in NYC. Whether you’re visiting the city or you live here and are sticking around town, here are nearly 30 music events worth checking out from Wednesday through Sunday.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27
A$AP Rocky @ Avant Gardner
The last time NYC rapper A$AP Rocky played his hometown was headlining Rolling Loud and the whole A$AP Mob is set for Yams Day 2020 in January, but you can see Rocky at a way more intimate location than both of those on Thanksgiving Eve. There will also be music from DJ Spade, DJ Clue, DJ Moma, DJ Boof, and Odalys.
Bob Dylan @ Beacon Theatre (Also Friday and Saturday)
The great Bob Dylan continues his intimate ten-night run at Beacon Theatre with his band which, if previous nights’ setlists (which have been pretty much the same) are any indication, includes lots of favorites.
Ben Goldberg @ National Sawdust
Part of John Zorn’s Commissioning Series that celebrates his venue The Stone, clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg plays this special show tonight accompanied by Ches Smith (vibraphone), Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone), Ryan Ferreira (electric guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Michael Coleman (keyboards).
Get Stuffed Pre-Thanksgiving Dance Party @ Union Pool
WFMU’s Todd-o-Phonic Todd is throwing this second-annual pre-Thanksgiving party featuring fellow DJs Bailey, Reyes Rodriguez and Heavy Flow, spinning 45s of garage, soul, girl groups and more. Free.
Judy Collins, Chatham County Line, Jonas Fjeld @ Joe’s Pub
Folk icon Judy Collins released her latest LP Winter Stories last week, which she created with collaborators Jonas Fjeld and Chatham County Line. The three wrap up an eight-show residency at Joe’s Pub tonight performing songs off the new album, which includes originals and covers of Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Webb, and more.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (THANKSGIVING DAY)
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Most New Yorkers watch the parade like the rest of the country, on TV while sitting on their couch and getting dinner prepped. Whether you’re there in person or chilling at home in your jammies, Black Eyed Peas, Celine Dion, TLC, Chicago, Ciara, Debbie Gibson, Kelly Rowland, and more will perform. The weather forecast of heavy winds may keep the balloons from being flown this year, though.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29
The So So Glos, Wild Yaks, Cumgirl8, Knucklehead, SUO (DJ Set) @ Brooklyn Bazaar
It’s the second-to-last night for Brooklyn Bazaar, featuring a host of great local bands, including punks The So So Glos.
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 Jonathan Fire*Eater‘s 1997 album Wolf Songs For Lambs on vinyl for first time in 20 years, The Wrens’ album Silver on vinyl for the first time ever, plus records by Cardi B, Lizzo, Arcade Fire, Nas, Devo, Pylon, They Might Be Giants and more.You can find RSD Black Friday titles at your local independent record store (Rough Trade in Brooklyn will probably have the most stuff).
The Fleshtones & Lenny Kaye @ Rough Trade
Speaking of Rough Trade, part of their RSD Black Friday celebration will be a free performance by NYC garage rock royalty The Fleshtones who will be accompanied by Patti Smith Band guitarist Lenny Kaye. They’ll be signing copies of their RSD 7″ after the performance. 3 PM and free.
Beach Rats, Speedy Ortiz, Restorations, American Trappist, Well Wisher @ House of Independents
Not only is it Thanksgiving Weekend, but Asbury Park venue House of Independents is celebrating something too: their fourth anniversary. They’ve put together this great lineup for the occasion, including three pretty big names in indie/punk: punk supergroup Beach Rats (Lifetime, Bouncing Souls, Minor Threat, etc), indie rockers Speedy Ortiz, and heartland punks Restorations. The all-around solid bill is rounded out by American Trappist (members of River City Extension) and indie-punk newcomers Well Wisher.
Darlene Love: “Love For The Holidays” @ Sony Hall
The incomparable Darlene Love, whose voice helped make A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector the classic that it is, returns to NYC for her annual run of holiday shows happening at Sony Hall. As far as holiday voices go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
A$AP Twelvyy & Friends @ Mercury Lounge
A$AP Rocky on Thanksgiving Eve isn’t enough A$AP Mob this weekend? No worries, A$AP Twelvyy and a bunch of friends (Billz Raw, Russ, Lago 2.0, Bindo, Smoove Aura, Yung Lunchbox, Zay Nailer, Hassi Irv, A Gem, 27Delly, Jay Blue) will hit Mercury Lounge on Friday. Rocky and Ferg may still be A$AP Mob’s biggest names, but Twelvyy has been putting out some pretty great music of his own over the past couple years and he remains on the rise.
Hot Tuna @ Town Hall (Friday and Saturday)
Hot Tuna live in NYC is a Thanksgiving tradition, and this year they’re doing the Friday and Saturday after the holiday at Town Hall. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady (both famously also of Jefferson Airplane) tour constantly, and it’s kept them well-oiled machines for their entire 50+ year professional careers. If you’ve been to a Tuna show, you don’t need us to tell you to catch these, but if you’ve never seen them before, it’s still very worth it. The Grateful Dead and Phish might finally be reaching the indie rock crowd lately, but Jorma and Jack go all the way back with the Dead to the Haight-Ashbury days and Hot Tuna remain a fiery jam band today.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Warthog, Subversive Rite, Dollhouse @ Brooklyn Bazaar
Brooklyn Bazaar says goodbye to its unique Greenpoint Ave location with one last blowout, headlined by NYC garage punk greats Hank Wood & The Hammerheads. Sold out.
Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) @ Sony Hall
Mos Def’s fantastic solo debut Black on Both Sides turned 20 this year and Yasiin Bey has already done one anniversary show for it which had Dave Chappelle as a surprise guest. Even if no surprises happen at this one, hearing him do the album’s songs is reason enough to go.
Death Angel, Ex Mortus, Hellfire @ Saint Vitus
Thrash metal is in the air lately, with the new Murder in the Front Row doc, the final Slayer tour, and the ongoing thrash revival, so it’s a great time to catch Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel, who not only put out some classics of ’80s thrash but also released the very fine Humanicide this year.
Jozef Van Wissem @ Trans-Pecos
Dutch composer and lutist Jozef Van Wissem is a frequent collaborator of indie film legend and musician Jim Jarmusch, and he’s also a great artist in his own right. Head to Ridgewood venue Trans-Pecos to see what magic he has in store for NYC this weekend.
Kompakt Night with Michael Mayer, Rex The Dog and Lily Ray @ Elsewhere
German electronic label brings their cool, trance aesthetic (and artists Michael Mayer, Rex The Dog and Lily Ray) to Brooklyn for a night of chilled out dancing.
Joe Mande @ Littlefield
Joe Mande has a successful career as a TV writer these days (The Good Place, Parks & Recreation, Master of None), and he’s still a fantastic, acerbic stand-up. He also lives in L.A. now, so chances to see him here are rarer. Tonight’s show is with Ayo Edebiri and more TBA.
Andy Kindler @ Union Hall (2 shows)
Stand-up vet Andy Kindler has appeared just about everywhere from Letterman to Fallon, and you may also know him from Bob’s Burgers (he voices Mort) or But I’m Chris Jericho.
Ana Gasteyer: Sugar & Booze @ Joe’s Pub
If you miss Ana Gasteyer’s presence on Saturday Night Live, she’ll be bringing her comedy and musical skills with this holiday-themed show.
Bridget Everett & The Tender Moments @ Joe’s Pub (Also Sunday)
Backed by her band The Tender Moments, Bridget Everett provides an extremely unexpurgated night of comedy and music that may not be for the easily embarrassed.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1
Cattle Decapitation, Atheist, Full of Hell, Author and Punisher, Vitriol @ Le Poisson Rouge
Long-running San Diego death metallers Cattle Decapitation are dropping their eighth album Death Atlas this Friday and hitting NYC two days later. It’s a great record that finds them still exploring new sounds, and Cattle Decapitation have also put together an incredible tour package to celebrate it. This show also has Florida tech-death legends Atheist, grind/noise/etc greats Full of Hell, modern industrial staple Author & Punisher, and Portland DMers Vitriol, making for a great show all around. It starts on the early side (5:30 doors, 6:30 start), so make sure you get there on time.
Phish @ NYCB Live: Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Phish are gearing up for another of their New Year’s runs at Madison Square Garden this year, but you can see them in the NYC-area sooner than that when their fall tour hits Nassau Coliseum this weekend. It’s Phish, so it probably goes without saying that at least one or two surprises are in store.
Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping: Earth Riot @ Joe’s Pub
Anti-consumerism activist Reverend Billy preaches his music-filled gospel with his annual holiday show residency at Joe’s Pub.
Doug Loves Movies (The 12 Guests of Xmas) @ Gramercy Theatre
Doug Benson is taping one of the annual holiday editions of his podcast Doug Loves Movies…as for guests, you’ll have to attend to find out who they are.
Michelle Buteau @ The Bell House
Comedian, ADULTING co-host and actress Michelle Buteau performs early and late sets tonight.
For all upcoming shows, check out our NYC concert calendar.