There’s no past time quite as American as New Year’s Resolutions. When January 1 rolls around, we start dusting off the treadmills, cleaning the junk food out of the pantry and locking the liquor cabinet. Those are great goals and all, but why not try setting a resolution that’s fun, like planning for 2020’s hottest concerts?

To help you accomplish this goal, we took at look at some of the biggest shows coming to the NYC metro area in 2020, and chose 20 of them we think you should attend. These are not your small indie shows. These are the once-in-a-lifetime shows that you need to plan your year around. 

One last note, too. If the show is on our 20 for 2020 list, then go ahead and assume it’s going to sell out fast. So act quick and grab your tickets—that bucket list is going to thank you.

January

Wu-Tang Clan (Loud Records 25th Anniversary)

January 30, 8:00 pm
Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

It may seem odd to plan on seeing one of rap’s most formidable groups at the same venue as The Rockettes, but this concert is a can’t-miss. Wu-Tang created some of the most renowned names in the game, and they’re reuniting for a night celebrating the 25th anniversary of the now-iconic label Loud Records.

Get your tickets for Wu-Tang Clan at Radio City Music Hall

Brian Wilson

January 25, 8:00 pm
Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ

We all know Brian Wilson was The Beach Boys, or at least the heartbeat of America’s original boy band, and he’s making a must-see appearance in Jersey. He seems to have only gotten better with age, and his live shows carry a certain tenderness. He’s definitely been through a lot (go ahead, watch the movie “Love & Mercy for context), but he’s seemed to come through the other side doing just fine.

Get your tickets for Brian Wilson at the Bergen Performing Arts Center

February

Calexico and Iron & Wine

February 6, 7:00 pm
Webster Hall, New York, NY

There’s a certain ceiling for most indie icons and, sure, these two acts aren’t playing Madison Square Garden. But, Calexico and Iron & Wine have helped to shape modern indie-folk/Americana music as we know it—and even many of the bigger acts on this list. When they combine their talents, like in 2005’s In The Reins and 2019’s Years to Burn, that fact is made even more apparent.

Get your tickets for Calexico and Iron & Wine at Webster Hall

The Lumineers

February 13 & 14, 7:00 pm
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

The Lumineers came around in a boom of catchy folk-rock. Many of their peers have faded away, but this group is sticking around. Why? They have more depth than your normal top-40 group, and their last album III proved it. The Lumineers are proof that you can have your cake and eat it too—headline-ready anthems with thoughtful songwriting.

Get your tickets for The Lumineers at Barclays Center

Eagles

February 14 & 15, 8:00 pm
Madison Square Garden, NY

We know, we’ve all heard “Hotel California” a million times, but that’s for a reason. The Eagles have produced some of the most indelible earworms of the past 50 years, and they’re playing a live show you definitely don’t want to miss. Many of their fans will tell you that they’re more than what you hear on the radio, and we suggest you buy a ticket to find out.

Get your tickets for The Eagles at Madison Square Garden

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Post Malone

February 18, 8:00 pm
Prudential Center, Newark

This is one of those shows you’re going to want to nab tickets to as soon as possible. Postie continues to defy any sort of genre limitations, creating his own version of megastar. Sure, it may be tagged as hip-hop, but he’s so much more, which is exactly why he’s amassed legions of diehard fans. Be sure to join them on February 18.

Get your tickets for Post Malone at Prudential Center

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March

The Jayhawks

March 6 & 7, 8:00 pm
Brooklyn Bowl

This is yet another bucket-list band you may not have thought of, probably because they’re a criminally underappreciated band in modern alternative music. The Jayhawks helped define the alt-country movement in the ‘90s and are continuing to add incredible albums to their growing body of work. If you haven’t heard of them, be sure to add this to your calendar. If you have heard of them, well, you know.

Get your tickets for The Jayhawks at Brooklyn Bowl

Blood Orange

March 20, 8:00 pm
Radio City Music Hall

You know talent when you hear it, and Blood Orange is the epitome of it. Bringing the art into R&B and hip-hop, Dev Hynes almost never ceases to surprise. He’s highly regarded across the music industry in just about every genre, which definitely says something, and you’ll understand when you see his live show.

Get your tickets for Blood Orange at Radio City Music Hall

Third Eye Blind

March 28, 8:00 pm
Radio City Music Hall

Admit it, you can’t help but turn up the volume when “Semi-Charmed Life” comes on the radio. But, what’s been truly surprising about these pop-rock stalwarts is their lasting power in the industry. They’re more than a has-been group, and their favorable reviews for Screamer in 2019 prove it.

Get your tickets for Third Eye Blind at Radio City Music Hall

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April

The Beach Boys

April 3, 8:00 pm
New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ

If you didn’t act in time to catch Brian Wilson in February, then here’s your chance to catch him in his element. The Beach Boys are so much more than a ‘60s surf-pop act. If you want to get a masterclass in music production, singular harmonies and some of the best pop arrangements of all time, head over to NJPAC for a once-in-a-lifetime show.

Get your tickets for The Beach Boys At New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Elton John

April 6, 8:00 pm
Madison Square Garden

Farewell tours can be a little bit of a gimmick, it’s true. George Strait has retired about eight times at this point. But, we wouldn’t risk missing Elton John before it’s too late if we were you. He’s playing plenty of shows in the NYC metro area in 2020, but why not catch him and his iconic ballads in the city’s most iconic venue?

Get your tickets for Elton John at Madison Square Garden

May

Sturgill Simpson

May 16, 7:30 pm
Madison Square Garden

Talk about an artist who continues to defy stereotypes. Sturgill was once billed as the reincarnation of Waylon Jennings, that is, until he released his cosmic (and cosmically good) second album. For his third album SOUND & FURY,  he continues to baffle the music critics by releasing a blues-rock masterpiece alongside, wait for it, a companion anime film. We don’t get it either, but what we do get is this: He’s a world-class performer and artist—and tickets are going very fast.

Get your tickets for Sturgill Simpson at Madison Square Garden

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June

Ringo Starr

June 2-3, 5, 8:00 pm
Beacon Theatre

Ringo may not be everyone’s first choice out of the Fab Four, but he’s a Beatle. It’s probably a good life rule to catch a Beatle when you get the chance, so go ahead and check out Mr. Starr as he plays several dates at the Beacon. We’re now down to just him and Paul, so you’d better see him while he’s still around.

Get your tickets for Ringo Starr at Beacon Theatre

David Crosby & the Sky Trails Band

June 11, 8:00 pm
Hart Theatre at the Egg, Albany, NY

David Crosby is one of the forefathers of folk-rock as a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (or whichever variation on that you prefer). He’s also not slowing down in his old age. In fact, his mellow Americana musings suit his age very well and he’s an icon worth driving out to Albany for, that’s for sure.

Get your tickets for David Crosby & the Sky Trails Band at Hart Theatre at the Egg

John Prine

June 20, 8:00 pm
Apollo Theater, New York, NY

You should probably go grab your ticket to this one right about now because they’re going fast. If you’re a fan of any modern country, folk or Americana artist, there’s a solid chance they’re a big fan of John Prine. Balancing wit, emotion and poetry, there’s no songwriter quite like him.

Get your tickets for John Prine at the Apollo Theater

Ozzy Osbourne

June 22, 7:30 pm
Madison Square Garden

The Prince of Darkness may have lost a little bit of his edge with old age, but his music sure as hell hasn’t. He helped define (create, maybe?) and entire genre with Black Sabbath and in his own solo career, and Madison Square Garden will be packed with fans coming to show their respect to the Godfather of metal.

Get your tickets for Ozzy Osbourne at Madison Square Garden

Maroon 5 (w/ Meghan Trainor, Leon Bridges)

June 25, 7:00 pm
City Field

Maroon 5 may have ascended to astronomical levels on the pop scale, but don’t forget that’s because they’re unmatched live performers. Gigs for The Voice aside, don’t miss their insanely energetic live set. The supporting acts are no joke either—Meghan Trainor and Leon Bridges could probably play City Field by themselves.

Get your tickets for Maroon 5 at City Field

Lauren Daigle

June 25, 7:30 pm
Madison Square Garden

Lauren Daigle has quietly by climbing the pop ladder toward megastar status, and an appearance at MSG confirms it. She may have built a fanbase in the worship scene, but with a powerhouse voice and emotional anthems, her music applies to just about anyone who likes great music and a vocal style that stands up to Adele in every way.

Get your tickets for Lauren Daigle at Madison Square Garden

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July

Harry Styles

July 6-8, 8:00 pm
Madison Square Garden

It’s hard to get out from under the shadow of a boy band. Unless your name’s Justin Timberlake, it’s damn-near impossible. But, Harry Styles is pulling it off. Who would’ve thought one of the founding members of One Direction would be behind some of the most game-changing stadium rock of the past few years? We didn’t, but we’re not complaining.

Get your tickets for Harry Styles At Madison Square Garden

August

Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer

August 22, 5:30 pm
City Field

If you’re going to name your tour the Hella Mega Tour, you’d better be able to live up to it. Well, these three bands are better equipped than just about anyone else to take on the task. They may have had their heyday in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, but the thousands of people who show up at City Field on August 22 will prove that it hasn’t ended quite yet.

Get your tickets for Green Day/Fall Out Boy/Weezer at City Field

featured photo: ArtBrom/Flickr


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