a guide to 2017 Thanksgiving Weekend events in NYC
Thanksgiving Weekend is almost upon us and, if you’re visiting the city, or just looking for fun things to do around town during this long weekend, there’s plenty going on during the days surrounding Tofurky Day.
If you’re too busy cooking, eating, or lazy to leave the house over the long weekend, Forest Hills Stadium and WFUV are partnering to broadcast archived recordings of their favorite performances from this years edition of their Summer Concert Series. On Wednesday (11/22) at 8PM EST, WFUV will be replaying My Morning Jacket‘s Forest Hills show from July; on Thursday (11/23) at 10PM EST, the station will broadcast The National‘s performance at the venue last month; finally, on Friday (11/24) at 8:15PM EST, WFUV will replay The xx‘s first of two performances at Forest Hills back in May.
On the live music and events front, there isn’t too much going on during Thanksgiving Day proper, but there is always something to do in NYC. Read our day-by-day guide to the various live music events taking place on Thanksgiving Weekend.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Springsteen on Broadway
The Boss is currently in the midst of his completely sold-out “Springsteen on Broadway” run at the Walter Kerr Theatre, which runs through February 10. At these shows, Bruce plans to give fans shows “that are as personal and as intimate as possible.” The run has him playing completely solo, to a crowd of roughly 960 people – a much smaller crowd size than he’s used to. He’ll be doing these shows throughout the weekend (aside from Thanksgiving Day) on Friday (11/24), Saturday (11/25), and Sunday (11/26).
Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples @ Beacon Theatre
Earlier this year, Bob Dylan released his standards covers album Triplicate, and he just put out a new box set, Trouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981. Additionally, Mavis Staples just put out her excellent new record, If All I Was Was Black, written and produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. The two are currently playing a five-show run at NYC’s Beacon Theatre, a very intimate venue for Dylan especially (he played a sold-out show at the much larger Nassau Coliseum with Mavis earlier this month). Aside from Wednesday, the two are also playing the Beacon on Friday (11/24) and Saturday (11/25).
Method Man & Redman @ BB King’s
Longtime pals Method Man and Redman have kept busy as of late, playing several shows together throughout the year, and appearing together at this year’s Governors Ball. Redman also appears on the new Wu-Tang album, The Saga Continues, which came out last month.
Hot Tuna (acoustic) @ City Winery
Blues rock veterans Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady are constantly on the road, and they’re currently embarking on an intimate, acoustic tour across the Northeast. This show is sold out, but you can join the wait list. Tuna also play City Winery next week.
Jhene Aiko, Willow Smith, St. Beauty, Kitty Cash @ Brooklyn Steel
This quadruple bill should make for an eclectic night of alt-R&B. Jhene Aiko is fresh off the surprise release of her ambitious double album Trip, and this Brooklyn date is part of her wide North American tour. Also, Willow Smith recently released her second album The 1st last month.
Modern English, The Veldt @ Rough Trade
Post-punk veterans and “I Melt With You” hitmakers Modern English released Take Me To The Trees last year, the first album in 30 years with the band’s original lineup. The band had to cancel many of their 2017 spring tour dates after guitarist Gary McDowell had to undergo an emergency procedure. With all band members now in good health, the band has since rescheduled these dates, which includes shoegaze outfit The Veldt as openers.
Kamasi Washington w/ special guest Robert Randolph, Break Science @ Terminal 5
Kamasi released a great new EP Harmony of Difference back in September, adding to the buzz he created with 2016’s The Epic. He’s supporting the EP on tour, joined by Robert Randolph (who has also been playing in Phil Lesh’s band this year).
Jonathan Richman (w/ Tommy Larkins), Xylouris White @ The Kitchen
The Modern Lovers founder and frontman makes his return to The Kitchen after nearly 40 years, with frequent collaborator Tommy Larkins backing him up on drums. He’s currently in the midst of a five-show run at the venue, and Wednesday’s show will mark the run’s last show. Xylouris White serve as openers, and they’re set to release their third LP, Mother, early next year.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23 (THANKSGIVING DAY)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Not much at all in the way of shows tonight, but perhaps you’ll engage in the annual tradition of sitting in front of the TV with your friends or family and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Among this year’s many celebrity appearances are Wyclef Jean, Andra Day, Common, Smokey Robinson, Goo Goo Dolls, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, and the casts of Broadway musicals Dear Evan Hansen and SpongeBob SquarePants.
The Last Waltz Thanksgiving Dinner @ Alamo Drafthouse
Various Alamo Drafthouse locations, including the one in NYC, are showing The Last Waltz, the famed concert film of The Band’s “farewell” show, filmed in Thanksgiving 1976, which also featured appearances by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr, and a handful of others. Admission comes with a Thanksgiving dinner (meat or vegetarian option), and it starts at 6 PM. A few tickets are still available.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Record Store Day Black Friday
Record Store Day’s annual mini-event will take place on Black Friday, with many exclusive releases from Neil Young, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Fleet Foxes, Mike Watt, and more. Also, the day-long event is set to include some RSD-related happenings around the city…
Richard Hell (signing) @ Generation Records
The punk legend will be reissuing his seminal debut album with The Voidoids, Blank Generation, which includes unreleased outtakes, demos, bootleg live tracks, and more. The reissue will be released as part of RSD Black Friday, in honor of its 40th anniversary. In celebration of the new reissue, he’ll be signing copies of the album at NYC’s Generation Records.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (of Throbbing Gristle — Q&A and signing) @ Rough Trade
Speaking of reissues, it was announced a few weeks ago that most of Throbbing Gristle’s catalog will be receiving the reissue treatment by Mute Records. Several of these reissues have already come out, including the new reissue of their debut, The Second Annual Report (which turns 40 this year). On Friday, TG’s Genesis Breyer P-Orridge will be doing a Q&A and signing at NYC’s Rough Trade. In order to attend the Q&A, you need to first purchase The Second Annual Report on LP or CD at the store.
WFMU Ichiban Night w/ Greg Cartwright, Miriam Linna, Mick Collins, Georgia and Ira from Yo La Tengo, Gaylord Fields & more @ The Bell House
WFMU’s “Rock and Soul Ichiban” show hosts this night of DJs and live performances, including appearances by Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound, Oblivians), Miriam Linna (Norton Records), Mick Collins (Gories, Dirtbombs), Georgia and Ira from Yo La Tengo, Gaylord Fields, and more surprise guests.
Slaughter Beach, Dog (Jake from Modern Baseball), Shannen Moser @ Mercury Lounge
Last month, Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald put out Birdie, his great sophomore album under the Slaughter Beach, Dog moniker. He’ll be playing NYC’s Mercury Lounge alongside opener Shannen Moser, who released an album of her own, Oh, My Heart, back in January.
Cut Copy, Palmbomen II @ Terminal 5
If you’re in the mood to dance, Australia’s Cut Copy will bring their strong grooves to Terminal 5 Friday, as part of their tour in support of their newest album Haiku From Zero, released back in September. The group will be joined by hazy, nostalgia-tinged beatmaker Palmbomen II, who’s set to release his second album Memories of Cindy in January.
Killing Time, King Nine, Outburst, Krimewatch, Ice Cold Killers @ Brooklyn Bazaar
NYHC greats Killing Time turned 30 this year, and they’ve been celebrating the anniversary with reissues, a new patch, and now this rare hometown one-off. Among the openers is feminist hardcore newcomers Krimewatch, who are worth catching.
mewithoutYou, Pianos Become The Teeth, Slow Mass @ Warsaw
mewithoutYou have experimented with so many different styles of music over the years. Their debut album, [A–>B] Life, was their heaviest, with traces of Fugazi and At the Drive-In and some hints of the highly distinct sound that mewithoutYou would eventually develop. The album turns 15 this year, and the band is currently touring in celebration of the anniversary, playing the album in its entirety. Excellent direct support comes from Pianos Become The Teeth, whose highly anticipated and long-awaited fourth album Wait For Love comes out in 2018.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Arlo Guthrie’s Annual Thanksgiving Concert @ Carnegie Hall
Like years past, legendary songwriter and activist Arlo Guthrie will be making his way to NYC’s Carnegie Hall to celebrate Thanksgiving. This particular performance marks 50 years since his first appearance at the venue. During the show, Arlo will be joined by his children, Abe & Sarah Lee.
Richard Hell (signing) @ Rough Trade
As mentioned above, the 40th-anniversary reissue of Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ Blank Generation will be released as part of RSD Black Friday. Richard Hell will be signing copies of the reissue at Rough Trade on Saturday, in a similar fashion to his scheduled appearance this Friday at Generation Records (11/24).
David Crosby @ NYSEC
The legendary David Crosby released his newest LP Sky Trails a few months back, and he’s currently touring across North America in support of the new album. The band for this tour will be Crosby’s son James Raymond on keys, Mai Agan on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar and Michelle Willis on keys and vocals. Crosby also plays a collaborative show with Snarky Puppy at Carnegie Hall in January.
UPDATE: David Crosby show cancelled due to illness.
The Front Bottoms, Basement, Bad Bad Hats @ Terminal 5
NJ’s beloved and increasingly popular The Front Bottoms added some electronic shine to their acoustic pop punk on this year’s Going Grey. They’re on tour with their UK-based Fueled by Ramen labelmates Basement, who offer up a punky take on ’90s grunge and have pretty killer live shows.
E-Town Concrete, Madball, Old Wounds, Sworn Enemy, Negative Sky @ Starland Ballroom
Jersey hardcore staples E Town Concrete aren’t as active as they once were, but they make it a point to play their home state once a year. This year they’re doing so on Thanksgiving weekend, and the whole bill is full of NY/NJ hardcore. There’s direct support from NYHC vets Madball, plus metalcore acts Old Wounds, Sworn Enemy, and Negative Sky.
Greg Proops @ The Bell House
If you feel like laughing this weekend, stand-up comedian and Whose Line Is It Anyway? alum Greg Proops will be taping his podcast “Greg Proops is The Smartest Man In The World.”
Lloyd Cole @ City Winery
Suave, literate UK singer-songwriter and ’80s college rock fave Lloyd Cole will be making his way to NYC’s City Winery as part of his “Retrospective” tour, performing with his full backing band. During the show’s second set, Cole will bring his son, William, on stage to perform additional guitar duties.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Jay-Z, Vic Mensa @ Barclays Center
Jay-Z released the superb 4:44 earlier this year, one of his most personal and raw albums to date. He’ll be playing two hometown shows at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which take place on Sunday and the following day, Monday (11/27). Opening for Jay will be Vic Mensa, who released his debut album The Autobiography this year.
The Story So Far, Turnstile, Drug Church @ Brooklyn Bazaar
California pop punks The Story So Far headline this sold-out show, though we’re most excited about the openers. There’s melodic hardcore band Turnstile, whose first album for Roadrunner is coming in 2018, and the hard-hitting Self Defense Family-related band Drug Church.
Loudon Wainwright III @ City Winery
The prolific songwriter and sometimes actor is set to play an intimate show at NYC’s City Winery on Sunday, where he’s sure to perform many fan favorites from across his career.
And Sharon Van Etten recommends this:
— Sharon Van Etten (@sharonvanetten) November 22, 2017
For even more of this weekend’s NYC-area shows, check out our NYC show calendar. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!