NYC Holiday Concerts and Shows

The holiday season is especially fun in New York City and its surrounding areas. The city is lit up like a Christmas tree, Santa impersonators abound and seasonal shows start popping up just about everywhere. This is a great time to take friends, family and out-of-towners to a great event or concert to get them in the spirit and show them the best that the Tri-State area has to offer.

Overall, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for holiday shows. There are some old stand-bys and some brand-new acts coming to town as well—everything from kids events to a classy night on the town for any couple.

So eat, drink and be merry because’s holiday concert calendar is here.

A Pentatonix Christmas Tour

November 30 & December 1
Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden

Sometimes simpler is better. It seems like the a capella style of Pentatonix is perfect for a Christmas concert, and this one will be big. If you ever thought an a capella group couldn’t sell out MSG, just wait until you hear their rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”

Get your tickets for A Pentatonix Christmas Tour at Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical

December 3 & 4
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center

Bring the kids along for this one. What was once a viral Christmas tradition is now a full-fledged movement—it even makes it more true that it has its own musical. Backed by a team of Broadway veterans, The Elf on the Shelf will come to life right before your eyes.

Get your tickets for The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage

December 5 & 6
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center

Sure, A Charlie Brown Christmas is pretty great with a cup of egg nog and the comfort of your living room, but you haven’t experienced anything like this. It seems like Charles Schulz’s holiday classic was born for the stage, and along with that iconic Vince Guaraldi soundtrack, it’ll be an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Get your tickets for A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center

Ulster Ballet: A Christmas Carol

December 6-8
Ulster Performing Arts Center

There’s something about A Christmas Carol that marks the beginning of the holiday season. Just the words “Scrooge,” “Tiny Tim” or “the Ghost of Christmas Past” bring back all the warm fuzzies. For 25 years, the legendary Ulster Ballet has been performing their own rendition of Dickens’ classic tale, and it’s a must-see.

Get your tickets for Ulster Ballet: A Christmas Carol at Ulster Performing Arts Center

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2019

December 8
Tilles Center Concert Hall

If you’ve become a household name by playing the saxophone, that means you’ve got to be pretty damn good. And Dave Koz is pretty damn good. If you’re looking for a classier version of holiday classics, head over to Tilles Center Concert Hall to see this jazz virtuoso and hear his unique take on some of your favorites.

Get your tickets for Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2019 at Tilles Center Concert Hall

The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays

November 29-January 5; Multiple Showtimes
Neil Simon Theatre

There’s something about the holiday season that brings you back to your childhood, and nothing does that quite like a good old-fashioned magic show. Seeing The Illusionists is the perfect outing for those looking to do something a little bit different for their festivities. Featuring an all-star cast of talent, many of which appeared on America’s Got Talent, this show has mind-reading, tricks, comedy and more, all with a holiday angle.

Get your tickets for The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays at Neil Simon Theatre

Slava’s Snowshow

November 29-January 5; Multiple Showtimes
Stephen Sondheim Theatre

At this point, Slava’s Snowshow is almost a holiday in itself. Featuring the legendary Russian performer himself, this yearly show only runs for eight weeks on Broadway, so be sure to get your tickets before they’re gone. A New York Times Critics’ Pick, this dreamlike experience is somehow festive and surreal at the same time.

Get your tickets for Slava’s Snowshow at Stephen Sondheim Theatre

Home for the Holidays with Kem & Joe

December 12
New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Warm fires. Hot cocoa. Mistletoe. This list of holiday staples calls for some R&B, and Home for the Holidays with Kem & Joe is the perfect answer. These incredible artists are bringing their talents for WBLS’ yearly holiday concert, and their silky smooth vocals are just about the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.

Get your tickets for Home for the Holidays with Kem & Joe at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Lindsey Stirling: Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour 2019

December 13
New Jersey Performing Arts Center

If you’re not in the mood for a country Christmas, head on over to Jersey for something that’s a little more off the beaten path. Lindsey Stirling went viral with her electric violin style, but it’s her talent that’s been carrying her ever since. So much more than a violin concert, Lindsey’s holiday special will be a full-on showcase of her inimitable talent.

Get your tickets for Lindsey Stirling: Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour 2019 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas

December 15
Madison Square Garden

There’s Santa, Rudolph and Mariah Carey. The iconic pop star is nearly as connected to Christmas as old Saint Nick, and this holiday concert should be on your bucket list—or any list, for that matter. She solidified her holiday career with “All I Want for Christmas is You,” but you’ll hear her singular performances of holiday classics of all sorts.

Get your tickets for Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas at Madison Square Garden

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Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O

December 17 & 18
Jazz Standard

If you’re looking to experience the holidays as only New York can deliver, think about heading over to Jazz Standard. Sure, Broadway is a good option too, but nothing says The Big Apple like some jazz, and band leader Matt Wilson will be bringing all the festive cheer—along with a world-class lineup of talented artists. You’ve never heard “Jingle Bells” quite like this.

Get your tickets for Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O at Jazz Standard

bergenPAC Presents A Christmas Carol

December 20-22
Bergen Performing Arts Center

This is the second appearance of A Christmas Carol on this list, because we know you can’t get enough of this classic Dickens’ tale. Once you’ve seen the ballet version from Ulster, head over to bergenPAC to travel through Christmas past, present and future with Ebenezer. Plus, Santa will be there, too.

Get your tickets for bergenPAC Presents A Christmas Carol at Bergen Performing Arts Center

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

November 28-January 5; Multiple Showtimes
Radio City Music Hall

You can’t have Christmas without the Rockettes, right? This Christmas Spectacular is exactly that—spectacular. You’ve got lights, dancing, production value, and, of course, that iconic Rockettes kickline. This is a purely New York experience you won’t want to miss in one of its most revered venues.

Get your tickets for Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall

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Harlem Gospel Choir

December 24 & December 25
Sony Hall

After a long journey through the glitz, glamour and spectacle of holiday shows in New York and its surrounding areas, finish the list with an evening of celebration. The Harlem Gospel Choir is one of the best in the world, and they’re putting their touch on Christmas classics at Sony Hall. We couldn’t think of a more appropriate outing for the entire family and a better way to cap off your holiday experience.

Get your tickets for Harlem Gospel Choir at Sony Hall


Tei Shi

Release Radar: Five New Albums of the Week

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Madeon – Good Faith

Madeon - Good FaithFrench producer and former wunderkind Madeon has been one of the industry’s worst kept secrets. Back in 2011, a video of him spinning and sampling 39 different tracks in real time went viral and propelled him into notoriety. Now almost a decade later, the baby-faced DJ has released his most robust project yet. Good Faith showcases the 25-year-old’s impressive pop sensibilities through a mixture of everything that gets you off your feet: French disco and house feature as prominent influences, with sprinklings of gospel choirs, ‘70s funk guitar and EDM drops to boot. The album’s strongest track, “Miracle,” might be the best example why his production has been praised by everyone from Lady Gaga to Two Door Cinema Club.

Grab tickets to Madeon’s November 27 and November 29 shows at Brooklyn Steel here

Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I Made A Place              

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I Made A Place
One of the most prolific folk artists of the past 30 years, Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s most recent release finds the mustachioed savante at his most jovial. Songs like “Squid Eye” sound akin to a backyard jam during a summer barbecue or late-night porch session. In contrast, tracks like “In Good Faith” are Americana reflections on the nature of work, age and the beauty of the natural world. “We rise everyday and we will until our golden star bursts,” Billy whispers over the thoughtful, classical guitar balladry of Nathan Salsburg. I Made A Place is another tempered and insightful release that comes from an Appalachian perspective that is often lost in contemporary music.

Get tickets to Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s performance at Town Hall on March 9 here

Tei ShiLa Linda    

Tei Shi - La LindaWith her infectious mixture of bedroom pop sensibilities and ambient R&B, Tei Shi establishes herself as one of independent pop’s most competitive players. Tei Shi came into the spotlight following her collaborations with Dev Hynes (who appears on La Linda to perform the duet “Even If It Hurts”) on his most recent Blood Orange project. However, it’s important to remember that she’s been putting out intricately produced, soulful tracks since 2013. But La Linda finds the Argentinian singer at her most mature, especially from a lyrical standpoint. “Love is not a temporary thing for me,” she examines on the opener “Addict”. With her latest release, Tei Shi proves to be a more than adequate antidote for those of us who are still high and dry for a new SZA or Frank Ocean LP.

Anticipation Albums

Grimes – “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth” 

Grimes - So Heavy I Fell Through The EarthVery little of Grimes’ 2019 had anything to do with music; the majority of the press she received almost exclusively revolved around her relationship with tech billionaire Elon Musk and an absurd feud with rapper-turned-polemicist Azealia Banks. It seems like next year will be better for the art-pop songstress, as last week saw her formally announce the release date —February 21, 2020 to be precise— to her much anticipated follow-up to Art Angels. On top of that, she’s dropped her best track since 2015 with the release of “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth”. The track is a transcendental piece of electronic pop with vocal flourishes that dance around muted percussion like a secretive wind. Unlike Art Angel, which utilized a maximalist approach to style, “So Heavy” takes a more methodical approach that echoes the stylings of bands like Cocteau Twins and Everything but the Girl.

Olivia O’BrienIt Was A Sad F**king Summer

Olivia O'Brien - It Was A Sad F**king SummerThe first installation of what this Gen-Z pop singer is calling “micro mixtapes,” It Was a Sad F**king Summer plays exactly how the nineteen-year-old seems to have intended: a frustrated and recollective f*** you to a summer romance gone awry. “And I can’t listen to old Nirvana/ won’t even think about drinking vodka,” she exclaims on “Sad Songs of the Summer.” That track, along with the b-side “Almost Love,” taps into the same energy that skyrocketed Billie Eilish into stardom: a loud-quiet-loud approach that uses both simple snaps and claps before diving head first into explosive polyrhythms and lantern-lit synths. O’Brien is definitely a sleeper pick to blow up in 2020.


Three Hot Tickets This Weekend

No weekend plans? Check out our selection of what’s hot this weekend in music, sports and theater in and around New York City.

Louis the Child

Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street
November 21- 23, Multiple Showtimes

The Chicago-based dynamic DJ duo hit New York City for a three-night run at Terminal 5. Come early to catch opener LÉON’s warm, soaring vocals and get ready to bop along to the bubbly electronic styles of Louis the Child’s biggest hits, “It’s Strange” and “Better Not.”

Get Tickets to See Louis the Child This Weekend Here!


Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 West 47th Street
November 21-24, Multiple Showtimes

Catch Grammy-nominated Jordin Sparks in her last performances as Jenna in the Tony-nominated hit Waitress, a sweet tale of love, growth and quite a few pies. With an original score by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, you’ll be singing the tunes long after the curtains close.

Get Tickets to See Waitress Here!

New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Sunday, November 24, 1:00 pm

After a tumultuous start to the season, the Jets are looking to capitalize on their two-game winning streak this Sunday against the Raiders. Grab your tickets now to see if the Jets can build on this comeback, or if Oakland will be able to stop them in their tracks.


Get Tickets To This Weekend's Game Here!

photo by: Mike Kimchi 


December Music Calendar: 10 Can’t-Miss Shows

December is all about spectacle—the lights, the trees, celebrations, insane shoppers, your uncle’s crazy sweater—there’s nothing quite like the last month of the year, and that is especially true for concerts in and around New York City.

It’s tough to plan a schedule in December, especially considering all of the holiday events, but there are definitely a few concerts on this list you won’t want to miss. Bands are coming for multi-day shows, there are special benefit concerts, and year-end concert specials, too. Let’s finish off 2019 right.

Here are ten can’t-miss concerts in and around New York City.

Bob Dylan 

Tuesday, December 3 at the Beacon Theatre

Bob Dylan Press Image 2019










Ok, we know Bob Dylan of 2019 is not Bob Dylan of 1969, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s adapted his style, voice and body of work over the years in countless different versions and his latest evolution shows him aging with grace and wisdom. He’s been playing a run of great shows at the Beacon recently, and we highly recommend seeing a legend before it’s too late. If we know one thing about Dylan, it’s that he’s great in any era.

Get your tickets for Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theatre here


December 3 & 4 at Madison Square Garden

Cher Press Photo 2019










You know how we said Bob Dylan has evolved substantially over the years? Well, Cher makes a great case for staying exactly the same. So, while you may be rolling your eyes at the thought of a pop superstar who hit her stride in the ‘70s, maybe think again. She’s somehow defied age and continues to hit the high notes, literally and figuratively, during her shows. Let’s just say she’s worthy of MSG and definitely worthy of your time.

Get your tickets for Cher at Madison Square Garden here

Not So Silent Night 

Thursday, December 5 at Barclays Center

Not So Silent Night 2019







Alt-rock fans, listen up. Alt 92.3’s perennial jam-fest is back with quite the lineup this year. For those of you who aren’t sure if you’ll be able to make much time for concerts in December, we think this one is a pretty safe bet. It’s packed with A-list headliners so you can get your fix before the family gets into town. Mumford & Sons are bringing their stadium-folk style, Vampire Weekend will satisfy the indie itch, and you’ve got alt-rock titans Cage the Elephant and Jimmy Eat World to boot.

Get your tickets for Not So Silent Night at Barclays Center here

She & Him 

Thursday, December 6 at Kings Theatre

She & Him Christmas










Nothing opens the holiday season quite like a She & Him concert. Sure, they have plenty of folky jams that aren’t festive, but they’ve made their name with quirky, irresistible holiday albums. Zooey Deschanel brings the sultry, jazzy swoon with her voice and stage presence, but M. Ward is no slouch on the stage, either. A veteran of the indie scene, he’s got a unique voice and some of the best acoustic guitar chops in the game. If you’re looking to get in the Holiday spirit, this is a great place to start.

Get your tickets for She & Him at Kings Theatre here

Holiday Cheer for FUV (w/ Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, and more)

Tuesday, December 10 at Beacon Theater 

Holiday Cheer For FUV








It’s great to support your local independent radio station—and WFUV is one of the best. Headlined by the incomparable Mavis Staples and supported by troubadour Nathaniel Rateliff, this concert will not be short on soul. Mavis has only increased her creativity with age, and we think she couldn’t be a better act to headline this benefit.

Get your tickets for Holiday Cheer for FUV at Beacon Theater here

Z100’s Jingle Ball

Friday, December 13 at Madison Square Garden 

Z100's Jingle Ball










This is the pop event to end all pop events. If you’re into anything Top 40, then get your tickets early for Z100’s annual end-of-year blowout. The lineup is headlined by none other than Taylor Swift, but when your “supporting acts” are The Jonas Brothers, Camila Cabello and Halsey, you know this isn’t your run-of-the-mill concert. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be festive. It’s going to jingle-bell rock.

Get your tickets for Z100's Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden here

A$AP Ferg

Sunday, December 15 at Starland Ballroom 

A$AP Ferg











Let’s take a break from the festive concerts and point out an essential hip-hop show. A$AP Ferg is bringing the heat to Starland Ballroom. Rap shows are in short supply in December, but if one of the founding members of A$AP Mob are in town, you’re going to want to stop in and appreciate the greatness.

Get your tickets for A$AP Ferg at Starland Ballroom here

John Henry’s Friends Benefit

Tuesday, December 17 at City Winery 

John Henry's Friends benefit










A benefit for autism research, the 5th Annual John Henry’s Friends concert is shaping up to be the best yet. Steve Earle and band are leading the charge with their legendary outlaw-poet ballads, but we think the supporting cast here may be the deciding factor. We couldn’t think of a better trio to represent Americana than Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and Josh Ritter. It’s going to be a night full of sing-a-longs that you won’t want to miss.

Get your tickets for John Henry's Friends Benefit at City Winery here

Hot for the Holidays (w. Khalid, H.E.R., Wale and more)

Wednesday, December 18 at Barclays Center 

Hot 97 Presents: Hot for the Holidays










It’s not at the scale of Z100’s end-of-year concert, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hot 97’s Hot for the Holidays concert is a must-attend as well. Featuring an all-star lineup of R&B talent lead by Khalid’s silky-smooth vibes and supported by H.E.R. and Wale, this will be a big show, but maybe a more chill affair than Jingle Ball. If you’re into good music and once-in-a-generation talent on display, then you’ll be into this show.

Get your tickets for Hot 97 Presents: Hot for the Holidays at Barclays Center

Deer Tick w/ Robert Ellis

Sunday, December 29 at Brooklyn Bowl 

Deer Tick










Deer Tick is no stranger to Brooklyn, and their Tick Tock 2020 event is going to be the perfect way to ring in the new year. A little bit dirty, a little bit indie and a helluva good time, Deer Tick’s folk-rock vibes are built for a party. Plus, country-rocker Robert Ellis is an up-and-comer you won’t want to miss. So, if you’re looking for a honky tonk with an indie heart, grab your PBR and head over to Brooklyn Bowl.

Get your tickets for Deer Tick's Tick Tock 2020 at Brooklyn Bowl here

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Monday, December 30 at Brooklyn Bowl

St. Paul & The Broken Bones at Brooklyn Bowl












Indie soul is having a moment and we’re definitely not complaining about it. While Deer Tick’s show may be a bit more down-and-dirty, wait one more day for a bit of a classier affair with St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Their sound is something straight out of 1968, inspired by the likes of Sam Cooke and his contemporaries. The horn section is going to be in full form for this show, so get ready to dance.

Get your tickets for St. Paul & The Broken Bones at Brooklyn Bowl here

The Strokes

Tuesday, December 31 at Barclays Center 

The Strokes 2019









It’s strange to think of The Strokes as the elder statesmen of indie rock, but here we are. We couldn’t think of a better way to end 2019 than with the band who essentially defined indie rock in the 2000s. Their catalog is extensive, the songs are infectious and they’re going to blow the lid off Barclays Center. Fun bonus, too, is you have the charming oddball style of Mac DeMarco in a supporting role, which almost warrants attendance by itself. Enjoy, and Happy New Year.

Get your tickets for The Strokes at Barclays Center here


Release Radar: Five New Albums of the Week

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Lucy Dacus – 2019

In just a few short years, Virginia singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus has established herself as one of the most prominent young female performers of our time. Fresh off the success of her sophomore LP Historian and her work with critically acclaimed supergroup boygenius, Dacus still found time to slip in and out of the studio this past year. The result is a handful of singles and covers that make up the 2019 EP, which showcases Dacus’s maturity as an artist and composer. While her first couple of releases made her come across as timid, 2019 is proof that this extremely talented youngster is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Clams CasinoMoon Trip Radio              

One of the more influential producers of the past decade, notoriously secretive producer Clams Casino has worked with everyone from A$AP Rocky and Lil B to FKA twigs and Lil Peep. The question has always been whether or not Clams’ spacious and desolate beats can stand up on their own through an entire album. And while he answered this question on 2016’s 32 Levels, Moon Trip Radio solidifies him as an independent artist who doesn’t need a slew of big name features to carry his music. Moon Trip is equal parts meditative and ecstatic. The signature booming thud of his snares pair well with the elongated moments of extraterrestrial ambience. There aren’t any club bangers or turn-up hits on this record; just pure sound smithing and sonic world building.    

Westside GunnHitler Wears Hermes 7         

Gangster rap has become sidelined by the prominence of SoundCloud hip-hop and mumble rap, but New York native Westside Gunn maintains the tradition of gruesome bars over simplistic, yet hard-hitting production. Gunn’s most recent release is his seventh entry into his Hitler Wears Hermes series and it’s his most well-crafted interpretation of “old-school” hip-hop. There’s something so timeless about the pairing of Gunn’s dilettante literature and distorted soul samples. It’s further proof that the East Coast sound of the ‘90s is as timeless as doo-wop or big band jazz music 

Get tickets to Westside Gunn’s Dec. 23 show at Sony Hall Here.

Anticipation Albums

Rosalía – “A Palé” 

Spanish pop singer and flamenco extraordinaire Rosalía continues to tease us with singles for what is, presumably, a follow-up to her 2018 masterpiece El Mal Querer. While some of her other releases from this year have been upbeat, hip-hop inspired ventures into more mainstream pop, “A Palé” is a dark experiment with deep house music. There’s no meaningful chorus to this track: just a brooding repetition and a variety of distorted sounds set to bass that hits like a boxing glove.

Wolf Parade – “Forest Green”

One of the more notable veterans of the 2000s indie scene, Wolf Parade is back with a pair of singles and a tour. While the band technically came out of hiatus back in 2017, these most recent tracks by the Canadian eccentrics feel like a more proper return to form: there’s a solid mixture of queer synths, rambunctious hooks and David Byrne-esque melodies from lead singer Dan Boeckner.

Grab Your Pre-Sale Tickets Here


Three Hot Tickets This Weekend

No weekend plans? Check out our selection of what’s hot this weekend in music, sports and theater in and around New York City.

The 1975

BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ
Saturday, Nov. 16, 7:30pm

Touring their 2018 album A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships plus other hit singles like “Sex” and “Chocolate,” The 1975 bring crowds to their feet with a mix of vibrant pop sound, ethereal synth, and resounding indie rock sensibility.

Get Your Tickets to See The 1975 Here

The New York Knicks vs. The Charlotte Hornets

Madison Square Garden
Saturday, Nov. 16, 7:30pm

Is this the game that gets the Knicks back on track after weathering disappointing losses compounded by front office turmoil? Find out if they can reclaim solid ground when the Knicks take on the Hornets at home

Get Your Tickets to See The Knicks Here

Kristin Chenoweth: For The Girls

Nederlander Theatre, New York, NY
November 15-17; Multiple Show Times 

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenowith returns to Broadway for a limited engagement to celebrate her new hit album, For The Girls. The album is Chenowith’s heartfelt tribute to iconic female singers, especially the vocal powerhouses that have influenced her career. Expect songs and stories from the album—and much more as one of Broadway’s most vibrant stars continues to shine with another sensational show.

Tickets to Kristin Chenoweth: For The Girls Here

Tool Fear Inoculum 2019

Tool is on Tour and Better Than Ever

In 1993, Undertow by Tool was released to critical acclaim. To say that Tool raised the musical landscape would be an understatement. The band, which slogged around in alt-metal obscurity prior to the ground-breaking album, turned in a musical masterpiece — and its critical impact is still being analyzed, and dissected, more than 25 years later.

Now, Tool is back and better than ever, thanks in no small part to the release of their long-awaited Fear Inoculum, which was perhaps the most delayed but anticipated album in rock ‘n’ roll history, second only to Chinese Democracy.

Unlike Guns N’ Roses’ effort, however, Tool’s comeback shines behind a series of successful shows. They’re performing live at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on November 16, then heading to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA on November 18. The following night, Tool is set to thrill New York City audiences at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, followed by an appearance at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on November 21. Tool will close out their appearances across the New York Tri-State area with a performance at Atlantic City, NJ’s Boardwalk Hall on November 22.

"The impact Tool has had on music is groundbreaking. Staying relevant across decades is no small feat, considering today’s musical landscape."

Tool first emerged from the ocean of the metal movement of the late 1980s. Back when Motley Crue, Poison and Warrant were single-handedly tearing a hole in the ozone layer, Tool was toiling alongside the bombastic operettas of Dream Theater and the howling contralto of Geoff Tate’s Queensryche. Lead singer Maynard James Keenan’s whisper-to-a-scream lion’s roar was diametrically opposed to Vince Neil’s squealing falsetto that made the young girls cry, and yet, it also made perfect sense: for every yin, a yang; for every positive, a negative.

Tool seemed to make more sense as the 1990s came through, and Motley Crue and Poison made way for Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Songs like “Prison Sex” and “Sober” were jarring in their frank tackling of tough subject matters; addiction, crime and the vacuous nature of celebrity culture were turned on their head when Tool — and its spin-off band, A Perfect Circle — got its hands on them.

The impact Tool has had on music is groundbreaking. Staying relevant across decades is no small feat, considering today’s musical landscape.

Though Keenan’s lyrics for “Aenima” were written in 1996, he seemed to be glaring directly into the social media-driven world of 2019, setting the stage to remain relevant through time.

Get Your Tickets Here To See Tool Live!



Sonic nostalgia has very much been a defining feature of modern pop culture. Everything from the soundtrack of “Strangers Things” to the instrumentation of Tame Impala uses the comforting glow of the past (i.e. 30 to 40 years ago) to appeal to their audience’s sense of wonder or memory. It’s almost cliche at this point to invoke the pastiche textures of ‘90s drum machines or ‘80s synthesizers. 

This is all fine and well, but there’s hardly anything reflexive or historical about such musical choices. It’s based purely on a pleasure principal, and this is where British experimental pop act FKA twigs separates from her contemporaries. Her eagerness to explore the past goes back centuries, as she seeks to revitalize the artistic merit of religious tones and texts.  

That’s what makes her latest release, MAGDALENE, one of the most astonishing albums of the year. It’s both a celebration and a rejection of the forms that comprise modernity. Right out of the gate, twigs contrasts the timeless beauty of the evangelical choir with the existential ruminations of ambient house beats with the astonishing opener “thousand eyes.”

FKA twigs’ voice is the most prominent variable on this record. It contorts and echoes itself into a hundred different emotives. On the title track, mary magdalene, her vocal chords breathe cold energy onto the hot embers of the track—creating a space where warmth and coolness swirl in equal measures. She both grasps for air and explodes with passion on the closing track “cellophane.” 

From a production standpoint, the minimalistic club beats mesh with traditional piano arrangements with immense precision and accuracy. Despite her pop roots, twigs is hardly one for quick sugar fixes. Throughout MAGDALENE, there are wide open spaces of audible stillness and rests that last for both a millisecond and an hour. She suspends the listener in a cocoon of anticipation, even on her more frantic tracks like “fallen alien” or “holy terrain.” The track “fallen alien” is especially potent in that it has the most abrasive design; puncturing electronic keys sound like spaceship alarm bells in one of the few beat drops in the album. 

Even at her most abrasive, twigs is incredibly regal. There’s a special power in such a presentation: she’s simultaneously dainty and vicious within her sound. This seems to be a central theme in the album. Mary Magdalene is one of the most prominent and most maligned characters of The Bible. She is a key apostle of Jesus, yet is often spoken of with great disregard by early biblical scholars. She is with Christ at every stage of his progression, but is treated as a sinful and unreliable source. 

It is these sorts of contradictions that FKA twigs finds the most beauty and confusion: the duality of how we, as a culture, view the feminine as both powerful and weak. The duality of softness and harshness. The duality of the past and the present.

Want to catch her live? Check her genre-bending live performance as she hits the stage for two nights @kingsbklyn⁠ on Nov 20th & 21st⁠.

Get your tickets to see her live at King Theatre Here!

La Roux - International Woman of Leisure

Release Radar: Five New Albums of the Week

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Leif VollebekkNew Ways 

Leif Vollebekk - New WaysOne of North America’s more slept-on lyricists, Leif Vollebekk heads back on the road to premier his fourth studio album New Ways. This most recent effort is without a doubt his most complex to date. Its robust, Americana production and versatile songcraft match Volebekk’s existential demeanor. While previous releases found this real-life Llewyan Davis in a more stripped down form, New Ways combines jazz, folk, and R&B to create a palette that’s both retro and contemporary. 

Get Tickets To Leif Vollebekk's Dec 10 Show @ Bowery Ballroom

Cate Le Bon/Bradford CoxMyths 004 

Cate Le Bon/Bradford Cox - Myths 004 It’s not often that two indie rock stalwarts come together to collaborate. It’s even rarer when said collaboration works out as well as Myths 004. Cate Le Bon brings her illustrious and intricate composition skills and pairs them with Bradford Cox’s sinister and disjointed melodies. Each artist also brings to the table an immense appreciation for every possible genre (folk, post-punk, house music, free jazz, electronic, experimental) and meshes them perfectly in unison. Despite being such a short endeavor, Myths brings so many intriguing tastes and colors to the table. 

Charly BlissSupermoon EP 

Charly Bliss - SupermoonOne of rock’s most competitive bands, Charly Bliss has already followed their sophomore LP with a hot and heavy extended play. Supermoon is both sugary and salty; bratty and compassionate; present and historic. Some tracks, like the opener Feed, feel nostalgic for the pop aesthetic of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, while songs like Heaven sound akin to early Breeders records. Unlike some of their more detached peers, Charly Bliss is untainted by irony. Instead, they opt for unabashed angst and blatant earnestness.

Get Tickets To Charly Bliss' Nov 13th Show @ Webster Hall

Anticipation Albums

La RouxInternational Woman of Leisure 

La Roux - International Woman of LeisureAfter being part of the electronic sound that ended the first decade of the millennium, La Roux quietly faded into obscurity. The British pop star was able to maintain a solid following in Europe, but she was never able to repeat the success she had with breakout songs like Bulletproof or In For The Kill. Now, the 31-year-old is back with a new track that maintains the same vintage synth pop sound without being redundant. International Woman of Leisure is a sign that La Roux might be in for a revival.

Twin PeaksOur World 

Twin Peaks - Our WorldThe Chicago-based rock group has made what was once an exclusive b-side available on streaming. Once a part of the burgeoning garage rock scene, the Twin Peaks as of late have evolved into a more sentimental and heady band that stresses production and songwriting over beer-soaked anthems. Our World might be the best example of their progress: beautiful vocal harmonies combined with feel-good, yet vivid instrumentation.

Get Tickets To Twin Peaks' Dec 6th Show @ Webster Hall


Wiki - PestoThe brainchild behind legendary New York rap group Rat King is about to drop a new album on Friday. Wiki’s latest single, Pesto, is a raw and fiendish track that finds the young rapper spitting spite over skeleton percussion. The full LP, OOFIE, is out November 8. 


November Concert Calendar: Can’t-Miss Shows

While temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter, entertainment across the Tri-State area is really starting to heat up. There’s no better antidote for that winter-induced cabin fever than hitting up your favorite venue for a concert—and November is shaping up to be a great month for can’t-miss shows all around town. 

As usual, Brooklyn is stacked with some killer indie shows. And there are major acts coming to town, too. We get it––the entertainment options are endless. Sometimes overwhelming. That’s why we’re here. Each month, we’re highlighting some of the premier shows coming to town––headlining acts, up-and-coming stars and even a few hidden gems––so you can plan your calendar. 

Want a taste of the best shows the Tri-State area has to offer? Check back each month and we’ll give you the rundown of what you can’t miss.

A-List Shows

These are the New York shows you do not want to miss. Mark your calendars!

Dead & Company

Friday, November 1 at Madison Square Garden

Diving into your first Grateful Dead show may seem a little daunting. But if you like old-fashioned jamfests with John Mayer’s signature voice and lead guitar thrown into the mix, this is probably a good bet for you. The Dead are legendary for the exhaustive live shows and, with three original members on-board, this should be a good time at MSG.

Get Your Tickets to Dead & Company

Ariana Grande 

Tuesday, November 12 at Barclays Center

There are quiet indie shows. And then there are real spectacles, which is where pop megastar Ariana Grande comes in. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of musical taste, it’s hard to ignore her stunning voice and ability to turn a simple concept into a pop banger. Go ahead, turn the lights down, put on thank u, next and get ready—because on November 12, the party’s going to be in Brooklyn.

Get Your Tickets to Ariana Grande

Hiss Golden Messenger 

Thursday, November 14 at Webster Hall

Let’s face it, Americana has a tendency to stick to a formula. It’s been that way for years. But Hiss Golden Messenger has been almost single-handedly keeping the genre fresh by way of M.C. Taylor’s so-simple-it’s-profound songwriting and a band that’s pretty much unmatched for talent. They’re all veterans in a live setting, so if you’re free on November 14, be sure to check them out. 

Get Your Tickets to Hiss Golden Messenger

FKA twigs 

Wednesday, November 20 at Kings Theatre

FKA twigs is the epitome of a performer, so we’d recommend not passing this one up. Through a series of EPs and one killer LP in 2014, she’s been blending hip-hop, artpop and R&B in her own unique way—and she’s got a new release November 8 as well. So, keep an eye on Spotify for her new material and get ready for a psyched-out jam session at the Kings Theatre.

Get Your Tickets to FKA twigs

Angel Olsen 

Thursday, November 21 at Brooklyn Steel

Angel Olsen has evolved from an intimate indie-rocker to full-blown indie-pop superstar. We’re not too sure how to describe her music—and that’s absolutely a good thing. She’s channeling 1960s psych-rock through a pop filter and creating a unique vision that you don’t want to miss. Her latest release, All Mirrors, is one of the best albums you’ll hear all year.

Get Your Tickets to Angel Olsen

Notable Shows

Looking for more entertainment options? Here are some other incredible artists playing in town.

J.S. Ondara 

Saturday, November 2 at Music Hall of Williamsburg

You may not know his name, but it’s about time you did. Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, J.S. Ondara’s style is extremely familiar, yet unlike anything you’ve ever heard. His debut album Tales of America offers a unique perspective on the American experience, channeling the likes of Paul Simon, Hiss Golden Messenger and his original inspiration, Bob Dylan. 

Get Your Tickets to J.S. Ondara


Monday, November 4 at Brooklyn Steel

In our book, Clairo is defying the odds in the best ways. How do lo-fi, bedroom-pop recordings amass hundreds of millions of listens on Spotify? It starts with an extremely relatable set of songwriting skills. The essence of great pop music is a sound and style that connects, and with her dreamy, chill anthems she’s making it look effortless. Clairo’s music is so stunningly simple it almost seems too easy—maybe that’s the entire point. 

Get Your Tickets to Clairo

The New Pornographers 

Thursday, November 7 at Brooklyn Steel

It’s insane that this indie supergroup released their first album almost 20 years ago, because with their latest LP they sound more relevant than ever. The New Pornographers’ sound is a sum of its parts, featuring incredible work from Neko Case, Den Bejar, A.C. Newman, et al. If you’ve ever wanted to drift off to some irresistibly catchy indie-pop, check them out.

Get Your Tickets to The New Pornographers

Chastity Belt 

Wednesday, November 13 at Elsewhere

The closest thing you’re going to get to a living-room jam session is a Chastity Belt show. This band excels at making lo-fi indie-rock seem big—or making big indie-rock seem accessible. Either way, if you’re into shimmering guitars and a style inspired by ‘90s heavyweights like Pavement and Modest Mouse, this’ll be a great time.

Get Your Tickets to Chastity Belt

The Roots 

Saturday, November 16 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

If The Roots are playing, you should go. Enough said. While they haven’t released a full album since 2014, that doesn’t mean their live show has gone stale. Hip-hop has never been better experienced live than with this band. More than that, they represent a group of creatives that have transcended music and are well-established in pop culture. In other words, icons.

Get Your Tickets to The Roots


Tuesday, November 19 at Barclays Center

Need to exorcise some inner darkness? Well, after a 13-year hiatus, the alt-rock innovators known as Tool have emerged from the shadows with their unmistakable blend of goth-rock and incendiary metal. Say what you will, but they broke new ground in the ‘90s and if you’re a fan of rock in any way, don’t miss a group of legends as they pass through town.

Get Your Tickets to TOOL