NYC Memorial Day Weekend 2018 guide to events & concerts
Winter has passed, then we had those three or four days beautiful days that we call spring, and now we’ve moved into summer heat even if the season is officially still nearly a month away. Memorial Day Weekend is here and we are ready to relax, go to the movies to see how Donald Glover does as Lando Calrissian, and maybe attend a backyard bbq. If you’re in NYC this holiday weekend, there are also no shortage of show options for music fans, be it concerts or dance parties. Here are some of the more notable events going on Thursday through Monday.
Meanwhile: NYC Beaches officially open Memorial Day Weekend — maybe you want to visit Coney Island or Riis Park Beach Bazaar? (While Riis Park is open, another popular stretch of the Rockaways, between Beach 91st and 102nd Sts, is being shut down indefinitely due to erosion.) If you’re looking to get out of NYC for the weekend but want to see some music, there’s Boston Calling, Maryland Deathfest, and free shows at Montauk’s Surf Lodge. Feel like really getting away? There’s Sasquatch in Gorge, Washington, and London’s Victoria Park hosts All Points East with Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck and tons more.
Our picks for Memorial Day Weekend concerts (and more) in and around NYC are below…
Damien Jurado, Naomi Wachira @ Murmrr Theatre (THURSDAY)
Damien Jurado remains prolific and consistently great, which this year’s very solid The Horizon Just Laughed is a reminder of. He’s supporting that album on tour now.
Laura Veirs, The Hackles @ Rough Trade (THURSDAY)
Speaking of long-running indie singer/songwriters that get taken for granted, the forever-underrated Laura Veirs is currently on the road supporting her enjoyable new record The Lookout (which features a duet with Sufjan Stevens, a Grateful Dead cover, and more).
Rostam, Joy Again, Instupendo @ Brooklyn Steel (THURSDAY)
While Rostam is no longer in Vampire Weekend (but reportedly still contributing to their TBA fourth album), he’s been a very active solo artist lately. He released his debut LP Half-Light last year and he continues to do a good amount of touring.
Wormrot, Cognizant, Mother Brain, Stimulant, Durian @ Saint Vitus (THURSDAY)
Singapore grinders Wormrot are one of the many excellent international metal bands currently in the US for this weekend’s Maryland Deathfest. Ahead of that, they play NYC tonight.
Cozz @ SOB’s (THURSAY)
Cozz is on tour supporting his new album Effected, which came out this year on J Cole’s Dreamville label and features Cole, Curren$y, and Kendrick Lamar.
Modeselektion: Apparat, Vatican Shadow, Lone, Modeselektor (DJ set) @ Output (THURSDAY)
This was original supposed to happen at giant outdoor venue Brooklyn Mirage, but now Output will host this killer lineup of DJs featuring two (well, technically three) of Germany’s best: duo Modeselektor and Apparat, plus UK producer Lone, and Vatican Shadow (aka Dominick Fernow aka Prurient for whom this will be his third gig tonight).
Justin Townes Earle, Lilly Hiatt @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (THURSDAY)
Son of Steve Earle, Justin is an established singer-songwriter in his own right and tonight plays with LIlly Hiatt (the daughter of John Hiatt).
Oneohtrix Point Never ‘MYRIAD’ @ Park Avenue Armory (THURSDAY)
0PN’s site-specific “concertscape” presentation of his new album Age Of features his new live band, plus appearances by Prurient, Kelsey Lu, dancers, and a giant inflatable garbage bag. Early and late shows tonight. His music sounds great in the Armory.
Bob Dylan Tribute @ Town Hall (THURSDAY)
Bob Dylan first played NYC’s Town Hall on April 12, 1963, and in celebration of that show’s 55th anniversary and Bob Dylan’s 77th birthday (today), Mark Kozelek, Laurie Anderson, Metric’s Emily Haines, Peter Wolf, Joan as Police Woman, Teddy Thompson and more (like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog!) will perform songs from that Dylan Town Hall show.
PAT Party 5 Year Anniversary @ Union Pool (THURSDAY)
JD Samson’s been bringing PAT to Union Pool for five years: celebrate tonight as it takes over the whole place with DJ sets from Amber Valentine, Natasha Kitty Cat, CLARA 3000, Murray Hill, Matty Horchatta, and more. Free.
Springsteen on Broadway (THURSDAY – SATURDAY)
The Boss continues his sold-out “Springsteen on Broadway” run at the Walter Kerr Theatre, which has now been extended through December. At these shows, Bruce is giving fans shows “that are as personal and as intimate as possible.”
Macy Gray @ Opry City Stage (THURSDAY)
Long-running soul singer Macy Gray plays NYC twice tonight ahead of the release of her new album Ruby. The shows are at Grand Ole Opry’s new “home away from home” in Times Square.
Thomas Bartlett, Nico Muhly @ (le) poisson rouge (THURSDAY)
Le Poisson Rouge kicks off its LPRX 10th Anniversary series with this collaborative performance between old friends Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and Nico Muhly: “Using Colin McPhee’s transcriptions of Balinese music as a springboard for their own texturally hypnotic dual piano compositions, Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly perform a collection of nine new songs.”
David Cross @ Littlefield (THURSDAY)
David Cross will soon set out on his “Oh Come On” tour but he’s still working out some kinks with small Brooklyn shows like this one.
Nobunny, Macula Dog @ Elsewhere Roof (FRIDAY)
Elsewhere’s rooftop is finally open and they’ve decided to break it in quickly with rauccous, skuzzy bubblegum garage act Nobunny and quirky electronic quartet Macula Dog. There’s also a pop-up eatery with Mission Chinese (who are opening a restaurant next door to Elsewhere).
Decor, Outside World, Conduit, Pill @ H0L0 (FRIDAY)
Warped Brooklyn pop trio Outside World celebrate the release of their new album at this show that features a lot of skronk, not the least of which from sax-fueled combo, Pill.
Christina Schneider’s Locate S,1, TEEN, Potted Plant @ Secret Project Robot (FRIDAY)
Christina Schneider’s been making music under a few different monikers but for her latest Locate S,1 she got Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes to produce. (Listen below.) She’ll celebrate the release with this show also featuring TEEN (who haven’t played in a while).
Deeper, Patio, Gift Wrap @ Union Pool (FRIDAY)
Chicago band Deeper make melty-sounding guitar pop that is like a brighter version of what Preoccupations do (or Montreal’s Corridor if you know them). This is the record release show for their debut album.
Alan Licht, Rob Noyes @ Wonders of Nature (FRIDAY)
If you’re looking for more of a low-key hang, Williamsburg’s Worlds of Wonder hosts guitarist, composer and ontime SPIN writer Alan Licht who weaves sonic tapesties through loop pedals and other electronics. He’s paired with fellow guitar experimentalist Rob Noyes.
Leikeli47, Kris Kasanova, Quay Dash @ Baby’s All Right (FRIDAY)
Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47 is instantly recognizable, partially because she never performs without a mask on, but her music is no gimmick. Leikeli’s 2017 album Wash & Set is jam-packed with genre-defying bangers, and they’re just as (or even more) fun live.
Mount Kimbie, Wiki @ Brooklyn Steel (FRIDAY)
UK electronic duo Mount Kimbie have a live show that appeals to both fans of dance music and live bands alike, and they’re bringing that show back around North America right now in continued support of last year’s Love What Survives. The current leg of the tour has killer support from NYC rapper Wiki, whose excellent solo album No Mountains In Manhattan was one of last year’s best.
Satyricon, Goatwhore @ Gramercy Theatre (FRIDAY)
Norwegian black metal vets Satyricon are touring behind their ninth album, 2017’s Deep Calleth Upon Deep, and they are saying this current run will be their final US headlining tour (they aren’t breaking up though). The whole tour has quality support from New Orleans blackened death metallers Goatwhore, who released Vengeful Ascension last year.
Ufomammut, White Hills, It’s Not Night: It’s Space @ Saint Vitus (FRIDAY)
Italy’s Ufomammut make an awesome mix of psychedelia and sludge metal, as most recently evidenced on 2017’s 8. They’re on a tour surrounding MDF with another loud psych band, NYC’s White Hills.
Crumb, Combo Chimbita, Caleb Giles @ Elsewhere (FRIDAY)
This is a cool bill all around with three NYC acts: jazzy pop band Crumb, cumbia/psych/etc band Combo Chimbita, and avant-rapper Caleb Giles.
Regenerative Feedback @ Issue Project Room (FRIDAY – SUNDAY)
Issue Project room presents this three-day symposium of talks, presentations, discourse, and performances centered around biological, social, political and cognitive negotiations in music. Performances include including Colin Self, Sukhdev Sandhu, Manni Dee, Reza Negarestani, Brandon Covington, Dreamcrusher and more.
Branko, Uproot Andy, Alex Pasternak @ Elsewhere Rooftop (SATURDAY)
It’s second Grand Opening event for Elsewhere’s rooftop with this all day party featuring Portuguese producer/DJ Branko (of Buraka som Sistema), Uproot Andy, and Alex Pasternak, plus a food pop-up from Holy Ground BBQ.
Juan Maclean (DJ Set), Midnight Magic (DJ Set), Jacques Renault (SATURDAY)
Meanwhile, inside at Elsewhere Hall it’s DJ sets from DFA family members Juan Maclean, Midnight Magic, and Jacques Renault.
Greg Proops is the Smartest Man in the World @ The Bell House (SATURDAY)
Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyway?) has taken his Proopcast around the world, where he recommends art, music, poetry and more as the self-designated “smartest man in the world.” This Saturday, he brings his insights and musings to The Bell House, where he will host what is essentially a live version of his podcast.
Citizen, Angel Du$t, Oso Oso, pronoun @ Brooklyn Bazaar (SATURDAY)
Post-hardcore bands Citizen and Angel Du$t make for one ripping pairing, and there’s solid support from the pop punk-ish Oso Oso and indie rockers pronoun.
Alela Diane @ National Sawdust (SATURDAY)
Folk singer Alela Diane has been consistently great (and often underrated) for a while now, and this year’s Cusp is more of her usual brand of bare-bones folk but it also covers some new ground.
Today is the Day, Khemmis, Chain Gang Grave @ Saint Vitus (SATURDAY)
Noisecore vets Today Is The Day and doom new-ish-comers Khemmis are two of the many bands playing NYC surrounding Maryland Deathfest, and it’s extra exciting that they’re doing so on the same show. Khemmis recently announced their new album Desolation, and going by the epic lead single “Isolation,” it’s gonna be a good one.
American Pleasure Club, Special Explosion, Edgar Clinks @ Baby’s All Right (SATURDAY)
American Pleasure Club (fka Teen Suicide) are touring behind this year’s A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This (out now on Run For Cover), which mixes shoegazy punk, lo-fi folk, electronic pop, and more. It’s a doubly exciting tour because of openers Special Explosion, whose 2017 LP To Infinity (Topshelf) does a lot of justice to late ’90s / early ’00s-style PacNW indie rock.
The Austerity Program, Blessed, Tunic, Fond Han @ The Glove (SATURDAY)
NYC heavy noise rockers The Austerity Program returned in 2014 with Beyond Calculation, which was their first album since their 2007 debut. No word on new music yet, but they’ve been keeping busy at live shows.
John Fogerty, ZZ Top @ PNC Bank Arts Center (SATURDAY)
It’s a double bill of rock royalty, with CCR’s John Fogerty and boogie blues greats ZZ Top. They play NJ on Saturday and Jones Beach a few days later.
Sally Can’t Dance Talking Heads Tribute @ Bowery Electric (SUNDAY)
Monthly party Sally Can’t Dance pays tribute to Talking Heads tonight, with Future Punx as the house band and a rotating bunch of guests including Sal P (Liquid Liquid), Veronica Torres (Pill), Pablo Martin (Tom Tom Club), Peter Zaremba (The Fleshtones), Liza Colby, and lots more.
Sunday Soul Scream @ Our Wicked Lady Rooftop (SUNDAY)
Jonathan Toubin hosts this rooftop party with DJs Sheila B, Kristine Barilli, Alex Ameni & La Solano (Mystery Lights), and more. 5 PM on, $5 suggested donation.
Tall Juan & surprise guests @ Trans Pecos (SUNDAY)
Argentinian born/Far Rockaway transplant Tall Juan wraps up his garage rock Trans Pecos residency tonight with some unannounced but hopefully cool surprise guests.
Nina Kraviz @ Knockdown Center (MONDAY)
Russian producer/singer Nina Kraviz will be in NYC for an all-day Memorial Day show that goes from 2-10 PM and is reportedly going to feature some guests.
Lillie Mae, Riley Pinkerton @ Mercury Lounge (MONDAY)
Singer, songwriter, and violinist Lillie Mae has collaborated with Jack White and released her newest album, 2017’s Forever and Then Some, on his Third Man Records. It’s cool stuff.
Butterboy with Jo, Aparna and Maeve @ Littlefield (MONDAY)
Unlike the post office and banks, comedy does not get Memorial Day off, and Jo, Aparna and Maeve welcome guests Molly Austin, Daniel Simonsen, Whitmer Thomas, Dan St. Germain, and maybe a surprise guest or two.
Green-Wood’s Annual Memorial Day Concert (MONDAY)
Memorial Day in NYC means this annual concert from the ISO Symphonic Band and Orchestra, which is now in its 20th year, and while it might not be the type of thing we normally cover, any excuse to visit Brooklyn’s amazing Green-Wood Cemetery is a good one, especially if there’s live music involved too. This year’s concert will include a special program to celebrate the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein. It’s free but RSVP (click the link above) is recommended. Meanwhile, another excuse to visit the cemetery is that it’s the new home of the Morbid Anatomy Library, which is free and open to the public on weekends through June 24, noon-5PM. More info here.
There are also Memorial Day Parades in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn…and if you see a lot of people in Navy uniforms that’s because it’s also Fleet Week