Labor Day Weekend 2019 NYC show guide
Fall doesn’t officially start until September 23, but Labor Day is the psychic end of the summer for most of us, with work kicking into higher gear right after or school starting back up again. So here’s one last weekend to relax, hang with friends on someone’s roof or backyard. If you’re in NYC this weekend and looking to see some live music, there are — as always — lots of options, including a bunch of outdoor shows. This weekend also marks the final 2019 editions of Warm-Up at MoMA PS1 and Summer Thunder at Union Pool, as well as the final weekend ever for Bushwick DIY venue The Glove.
If you’re looking to get out of NYC but still wanna see some music, Philadelphia hosts the Made in America Festival with Travis Scott, Cardi B and more.
Check out our NYC Labor Day Weekend show picks below…
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Electric Zoo (Friday – Sunday)
Labor Day Weekend in NYC always means EDM festival Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island, and this year’s lineup includes Skrillex & Boys Noize’s collaborative project Dog Blood who recently released their. first new music in six years (on Sunday), Diplo (on Friday), Kaskade (on Friday), Zedd (on Saturday), Eric Prydz (on Friday and Saturday), and much more. There are afterparties at various NYC venues too.
Flying Lotus in 3D, Brandon Coleman Spacetalker, Salami Rose Joe Louis, PBDY @ Brooklyn Mirage
Flying Lotus recently released his very good new album Flamagra, which is loaded with big guests, and while the guests help make it one of his most accessible albums yet, he doesn’t need any help putting on a fun, vivid show that will get the whole place moving and he’s sure to do that at Brooklyn Mirage on Friday.
Future Islands @ White Eagle Hall (also Saturday)
Future Islands are working on the follow-up to 2017’s The Far Field, and they’re going to “road test these new songs” on this short tour that starts with two nights at Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall.
Pagan Altar, Cauchemar, Spite @ Saint Vitus
Terry Jones, frontman of legendary UK doom band Pagan Altar, sadly passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer, but his bandmate/son Alan Jones has been keeping Pagan Altar alive with Brendan Radigan of doom revivalists Magic Circle as Terry’s replacement. They also currently have members of Cauchemar (who open this show), Voice of Destruction, and Bloodstone, and the current lineup does a lot of justice to the band’s classic sound.
Jonah Matranga, Stathi, Early Riser @ Mercury Lounge
Jonah Matranga is a true legend and lifer of post-hardcore/emo, thanks to his many great projects including but not limited to Far, New End Original, and onelinedrawing. He remains very active, and any chance to see him is a treat.
Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira, Behemoth @ PNC Bank Arts Center
It’s been a hell of a year for Slipknot. They celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut, which prompted many fans, critics, and fellow musicians to celebrate how important and influential they’ve been since then, and then they released a great new album, We Are Not Your Kind, which truly holds up against their classic work. Now they’re on tour with two killer openers, French prog/death metallers Gojira and Polish blackened death metallers Behemoth.
John Zorn, Amir Elsaffar, Matt Hollenberg, Simon Hanes, Brandon Lopez, Brian Chase @ The Glove
Bushwick DIY venue The Glove closes for good on Saturday and the penultimate night features an improvisational show lead by the great John Zorn and featuring Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase and more. There’s an aftershow with Tredici Bacci and more.
Half Simian, Human Impact, Ageist, Lapis Lazuli @ Union Pool
This show is headlined by “Half Simian” (the description on the event page says “wink”), and it also features some newer bands with veteran musicians: Human Impact (featuring [former?] Unsane frontman Chris Spencer and members of Cop Shoot Cop and Swans), Ageist (members of Freedom Fighters, Mind Over Matter, Errortype:Eleven, Primitive Weapons), and Lapis Lazuli (Kurt Wolf from Pussy Galore, Boss Hog). Sold out but maybe tickets at the door?
Paradise Garage Reunion @ Elsewhere Hall
Paradise Garage, the famed NYC disco where DJ Larry Levan spun in the ’70s and ’80s, only lasted 10 years but its influence lives on. David DePino & Joey LLanos host this annual event featuring good vibes and dancing.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
Warm-Up w/ Annie Mac, Floorplan, Inner Wave, Palms Trax, Laundry Day, Ugly Primo, Nabihah Iqbal @ MoMA PS1
Labor Day Weekend is your last chance to attend the 2019 season of Warm Up, the very fun (and usually very hot) dance parties that take place under the sun in MoMA PS1’s courtyard. Today’s headliner is BBC DJ Annie Mac.
Big Business, A Deer A Horse, Rebreather @ Saint Vitus
Big Business are riding high off the strength of this year’s The Beast You Are, a very catchy yet very heavy new album that would fit nicely next to the latest by Torche and Baroness. This is Big Business and A Deer A Horse’s second Saint Vitus show of the week (they also play Thursday with Part Chimp).
Norman Westberg, Sugarlife, Wiremen, The Art Gray Noizz Quintet @ Berlin
Former Swans guitarist Norman Westberg headlines this night of out-there punk and experimental rock, including The Art Grey Noizz Quintet (ex Lubricated Goat) and more.
Gustaf, Cat Scan, Patti @ The Broadway
There are a lot of bands making arty post-punk, but very few who have a frontperson as magnetic, funny and, occasionally, scary as Gustaf’s Lydia Gammill. L.A. band Cat Scan are also on the bill.
SECT, Flouride, Steel Cage @ Saint Vitus
If you wanna get out of your house early, Saturday is a pretty great chance to spend the whole day at Saint Vitus. Before that Big Business show, there’s this matinee from SECT, the straightedge supergroup with members of Earth Crisis, Catharsis, Cursed, Fall Out Boy, and more.
Social Distortion, Flogging Molly, The Devil Makes Three, Le Butcherettes @ Stone Pony
Social Distortion have been doing it for four decades (!), and they’ll celebrate their 40th anniversary with a big LA show this fall. But first, they’re on a co-headlining tour with Celtic punk faves Flogging Molly and that great bill hits Asbury Park on Saturday.
Impure, Antichrist Seige Machine, Ordeals, Bog Body @ Union Pool
Spain death metal vets Impure formed back in the ’90s and released their now-classic debut Acts of Contrition in 1997, and they’ve since broken up and gotten back together with different lineups a few times, and are currently active with plans to play Maryland Deathfest next year and NYC this weekend.
Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Kississippi, Retirement Party @ Market Hotel
If you dig the emo/indie rock/pop punk crossover that’s taken place during this past decade, this is a pretty killer bill all around.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Sun Ra Arkestra @ Union Pool (Summer Thunder)
Union Pool’s free Summer Thunder series closes out its 2019 season with the amazing Sun Ra Arkestra who will perform two sets to accommodate more people (you’re gonna have to stand in line to get in, probably). This show is also a celebration of Arkestra bandleader’s 95th (!!!) birthday.
Daddy Long Legs, TeleVisionaries, Jonathan Toubin @ Our Wicked Lady
Meanwhile, this is also the last event in Jonathan Toubin’s Summer Soul Scream series at Our Wicked Lady’s rooftop. Bands start at 8 PM and the night turns into a free party with DJs at 10 PM.
One Eleven Heavy, Wet Tuna @ Union Pool
It’s a night of jammy psych with One Eleven Heavy (which includes Jicks drummer Jake W Morris) and Matt Valentine’s Wet Tuna.
The Who @ Madison Square Garden
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend continue to keep The Who alive, and they still put on lively, high-energy, rockin’ shows that do a lot of justice to the band’s classic era. They’re currently on their “Moving On!” tour which sees them joined by an orchestra, and — perhaps not surprisingly — playing a lot from their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. Should be a great time.
meth., Horse Torso, Grid Failure @ Saint Vitus
Chicago’s meth. are fresh off releasing their debut album Mother of Red Light (Prosthetic Records), which expands upon the chaotic math/noisecore of their early EPs and brings in elements from all across the heavy music board. If you like anything from Unsane to Today Is The Day to Swans, these guys are worth checking out.
In Cold Blood, Fixation, Low End @ The Kingsland
In Cold Blood emerged out of the same Cleveland metallic hardcore scene as Integrity and Ringworm (and shared members with both bands), and last week they returned with Legion of Angels, their first album since their 1998 Victory Records debut Hell On Earth. It sees them not just hearkening back to their classic sound but truly pushing forward, trying out new stuff, and coming out with some pretty great results.
Horse Meat Disco (DJ) @ Elsewhere Hall
This London-based four-man DJ collective are known for finding pearls in bins of forgotten disco 12″, having released a series of acclaimed compilations. Their real expertise comes into play at their DJ gigs, though. Just trust their taste…and the beat.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Krayzie Bone (of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) @ Market Hotel
Cleveland rap vets Bone Thugs-N-Harmony remain just as beloved as they were in their classic mid-’90s era. They recently played NYC, and now Krayzie Bone is back for a solo show.
Butterboy Comedy @ Littlefield
Jo, Aparna and Maeve are all in the house this week to host and welcome guests Nick Turner, Kenice Mobley, Jay Jurden, and more.
For all of tonight’s shows, and tomorrow’s, check out our NYC concert calendar.