With the Fourth of July on a Thursday this year a lot of people have Friday off, too, making for a very desirable four-day weekend. In NYC for it? While the week of the Fourth is rarely overflowing with big-ticket concerts, there is also rarely a lack of quality options and this year is no different. Here are our suggestions for music, comedy and parties this long holiday weekend. You could also beat the heat and head to the movies — Midsommar (the creepy new film from Ari Aster who made Hereditary) and Spider-Man: Far From Home are both out this week. You could also just stay home and binge the third Season of Stranger Things or catch up on Los Espookys. Check out our picks for Independence Day Weekend shows below.
THURSDAY JULY 4
Watch the Fireworks
It’s an Independence Day tradition and there are few bigger fireworks displays than the one Macy’s puts on every year. The 2019 edition happens downtown, and there will be a “fireworks waterfall” stretching across the Brooklyn Bridge, plus a new effect called “Revolving Dragons” that we’ve been waiting our whole lives to see (despite only hearing of it this week). You can also catch fireworks at Coney Island and Jersey City.
The Day Party with J. Cole @ Brooklyn Mirage
The Day Party at Brooklyn Mirage debuted last year with Drake and Virgil Abloh, and it returns this year to celebrate the Fourth of July. The headliner is J Cole, who normally performs at much larger venues, and whose label Dreamville is releasing its anticipated new Revenge of the Dreamers III this Friday. Will some of his Dreamville pals (or non-Dreamville pals) make surprise appearances at this show? It wouldn’t be the first time this year that NYC hosted big, surprise guests at a Dreamville-related show.
July 4th IndepenDANCE @ House of Yes
House of Yes’ annual 4th of July Extravaganza merges with their weekly Dirty Thursdays party for an even bigger than usual night of revely and dancing. It’s free entry with RSVP and 15% of the bar’s proceeds will go to the ACLU to help fight for abortion rights.
Elsewhere 4th of July, JD Samson @ Elsewhere Rooftop
You might be able to see some fireworks (official or unofficial) from Elewhere’s rooftop where JD Samson, Photay, Rimarkable and more. The party goes from 2 PM – 10 PM.
Stardust VII: Vado Mori day one w/ Dispirit, Ruin Lust, One Master, Wolvhammer, Anicon, Luminous Vault, Funeral Leech @ Brooklyn Bazaar
The seventh installment of the Stardust metal festival happens today and tomorrow at Brooklyn Bazaar with a stacked lineup of black and death metal and beyond.
FRIDAY JULY 5
Wand, Dreamdecay, Jobs @ Elsewhere Rooftop
With their new album Laughing Matter, Wand left the garage behind and head to the stratosphere on this sprawling, personal gamechanger of a record. As great as the new album is, Wand are even better live and should sound great as the sun sets behind them on Elsewhere’s roof.
Mick Jenkins, Leikeli47, Leven Kali, Joy Postell @ Prospect Park Bandshell
The free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival shows continue Fourth of July Weekend with two great hip hop shows. This is the first, with two artists who made our Best Rap Albums of 2018 list: Mick with the jazz-rap of Pieces of a Man and Leikeli with the genre-defying art rap of Acrylic.
Stardust VII: Vado Mori day two w/ Dead Congregation, The Ruins of Beverast, Evoken, Fetid, Siege Column, Daeva, Dreadlords, Dumal, Witch Vomit, Basilysk, Massive Retaliation, Windfaerer @ Brooklyn Bazaar
The seventh installment of the Stardust metal festival wraps up today with an even more stacked lineup than day one, featuring Greek death metallers Dead Congregation, German black metallers The Ruins of Beverast, NJ funeral doomers Evoken, and much more.
Kelly Lee Owens (DJ set) @ Elsewhere Hall
If you wanna keep the party going at Elsewhere, the great Kelly Lee Owens will be spinning in the venue’s main hall (she also plays as part of MoMA PS1 Warm-Up on Saturday).
Roni Size @ Sunnyvale
Drum’n’bass icon Roni Size, whose debut album New Form was a game changer in dance music, kicks off his short North American tour tonight.
SubZero, Ramallah, No Redeeming Social Value, Killer of Sheep, Silence Equals Death @ Saint Vitus
This is a stacked hardcore show all around, headlined by NYHC vets SubZero, who say this is “the ONLY Subzero show for the rest of 2019 and who knows how long after.” The bill also includes fellow NYHC vets No Redeeming Social Value, Boston’s Ramallah (ex-Blood For Blood), Killer of Sheep (ex-Battered Citizens), and newer NJHC band Silence Equals Death who take a lot of influence from the era of hardcore that the more veteran hc bands on the bill hail from.
Stranger Things @ Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
To promote the third season of Stranger Things, the show has invaded Coney Island’s Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, with themed takeovers of some of the rides, including the Thunderbolt, Tilt-a-Whirl, Bumper Cars, Carousel, and Wonder Wheel itself, as well as Scoop’s Ahoy push carts selling treats. You can catch it through July 7 from noon – 6 PM.
SATURDAY, JULY 6
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Pardison Fontaine, Kelly Lee Owens, Kedr Livanskiy, JOY, duendita, Like That Records @ MoMA PS1
Warm Up begins Fourth of July Weekend this year, and opening day has a truly stacked lineup. The headliners are Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, who are fresh off releasing their excellent new album Bandana, the rapper/producer duo’s first album together in five years. The bill also includes Cardi B collaborator Pardison Fontaine, electronic/art pop musician Kelly Lee Owens (who DJs Elsewhere the day before), Russian ambient/electronic musician Kedr Livanskiy, rising NYC neo-soul singer duendita, and more.
World/Inferno Friendship Society, This Way To The Egress, Out of System Transfer @ Brooklyn Bazaar
World Inferno Friendship Society have been mixing punk, folk, klezmer and other styles for nearly 25 years and remain a fiery live act worth seeing.
Brooklyn Psych Fest @ Knitting Factory
It’s the inaugural Broooklyn Psych Fest with an all-day head-trip in store featuring SWIMM, Big Bliss, Cindy Cane, Coco Verde and more. There are also psychedelic art installations and on-stage projections, and more. Noon – mindnight.
Oddisee & Good Compny, 47SOUL, Narcy @ Prospect Park Bandshell
As mentioned above, the free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival hosts two great hip hop shows this weekend, this being the second. It’s headlined by DC underground rap icon Oddisee (with his backing band Good Compny), who is usually very prolific but hasn’t released anything in a while. Still, his fruitful career has birthed plenty of great music for him to pull from at this show.
Gifts From Enola, Gates, Constants, Glassing @ Saint Vitus
Two members of heavy post-rock act Gifts From Enola are now mostly busy with their newer post-hardcore band Florida Man, but Gifts From Enola returned from hibernation to play Belgium’s Dunk! Festival last month, and will now play this NYC one-off. There’s a great list of openers too, including the likeminded, long-running Boston band Constants, NJ atmospheric emo band Gates, and Austin blackened post-hardcore band Glassing.
Oh, Such A HUGE Show, Oh! @ The Bell House
This is a special benefit edition of “Oh, Such a HUGE Show, Oh!” with proceeds going to The Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights. The lineup of comedians is pretty killer, with Aparna Nancherla, Emmy Blotnick, Josh Gondelman, Conner O’Malley, Ziwe Fumudoh, Josh Sharp, The Lucas Brothers, and Anna Drezen
SUNDAY, JULY 7
Joe Bataan @ Union Pool (Summer Thunder)
Much like Sun Ra Arkestra, Latin soul king Joe Bataan can fill much much bigger spaces than Union Pool’s backyard patio, but he plays their free Summer Thunder series every year and it’s a total party.
Convulse, Embalmer, Immortal Suffering @ Brooklyn Bazaar
Finnish death metal vets Convulse were initially around for a few years in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and then their career got a boost when Relapse reissued their 1992 debut World Without God in 2010. Convulse reunited two years later, released two albums (2013’s Evil Prvails and 2016’s Cycle of Revenge), and now they’re working on a new album again. But first, they’ll play World Without God in full at this exclusive East Coast one-off.
Baby Shakes, Flasyd, Jonathan Toubin @ Our Wicked Lady
Jonathan Toubin’s summer series Soul Scream happens every Sunday evening on the roof of Our Wicked Lady with bands early — tonight including garage rock trio Baby Shakes — and DJs spinning till late.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Heavens Die, Wreath of Tongues, Tourniquet @ Saint Vitus
Mathcore seems to be having a moment right now, and one of the more talked about newer mathcore bands is SeeYouSpaceCowboy. They’re fresh off releasing their debut album Songs for the Firing Squad on Pure Noise earlier this year, and it’s a spastic batch of songs that kinda finds the middle ground between Botch and The Blood Brothers. They’re touring with Knocked Loose, Rotting Out, and Candy later this year, but first they’re playing some headlining shows including this one.
Mal Devisa, Gods Wisdom. guests @ Sunnyvale
One-woman band Mal Devisa plays shows with just a bass and her voice, and she’s insanely talented at both of those things and you just have to see it for yourself to fully experience the power of her music.