Every week, I try to put together the five best shows of the week. If it was totally my opinion, I would be directing you to some really far out places, so in everyone's best interest, I take in ... everyone's best interests, mixed in with a little of my own personal tastes, to give to you the five best shows of the week. This week features a handful of bands which are playing two nights, as well as a couple of free options.
1. AmericanaramA Festival featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Beck
Performing on Friday and Saturday in the New York City-area; however, never making it within the city limits, this traveling festival featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket (only on Friday), Beck (only on Saturday) and Ryan Bingham has something for everybody. Friday at Pier A Park in Hoboken is truly festival style, as the whole venue is general admission, while Saturday at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater has the benefit of being the only date on the tour that features Beck on the lineup. Unfortunately that is at the expense of My Morning Jacket; however, whichever night you choose, they should both be great. Tickets can be found here for a range of prices.
2. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Soulive and Anders Osborne at Central Park's Summerstage on Monday, July 22
In a story I told here, I once skipped Wynton Marsalis at the Newport Jazz Festival to see Trombone Shorty. The "Treme" star is a bonafide superstar performer and the show is set to take place at arguably one of the best outdoor venues in Manhattan. Opening up for Trombone Shorty is the incomparable pair of opening acts in Soulive and Anders Osborne. Soulive's "Bowlive" shows are always a highlight for music fans, as for two weeks during March, the band takes over the Brooklyn Bowl. You will not want to miss this fantastic lineup with tickets available here.
3. fun. with Tegan and Sarah at Hudson River Park on Monday and Tuesday, July 22-23
Fresh off an interview with our own Elena Sheppard, fun. is coming to the brand new Pier 26 (well, the pier has been there, but they just put a stage up) for two great nights with Tegan and Sarah. Though fun. has never been my favorite band, they write extremely catchy songs, and everyone that I know that has been to one of their shows has come away extremely pleased.
I know this isn't the most ringing endorsement, but how can you beat that view? Tickets are available through Ticketmaster here.
4. Free Shows! Superhuman Happiness on Wednesday and Foxygen Thursday
Everyone loves free music. Especially when it comes from the caliber of band playing. Wednesday night features Superhuman Happiness at the Damrosch Park Bandshell as a part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Thursday night, Foxygen is performing at Pier 84 in Hudson River Park with Thao Nguyen and her backing band, the Get Down Stay Down. Between these two shows, as well as the many other free offerings around the city, you should have plenty of options without spending a dime.
5. Woods at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, July 27
When I saw Woods, it was almost by accident. I walked into the student union, heard music, and followed the sounds. An hour and a half minutes later, I found myself still there, at the front of the crowd, wanting to hear more. For just $12, you can see them for yourself at what was voted the best rock club in America. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster here.
6. Honorable Mention
Because we are down to just five, I figured I would give a quick rundown of one show per day for people with all sorts of musical tastes. If I had to pick one, go to one night of Phil Lesh and Friends as he is performing with an all-star cast behind him - John Scofield, John Medeski, John Kadlecik, and Joe Russo.
Phil Lesh & Friends - The Capitol Theater - Monday and Tuesday, July 22-23
New Order with Holy Ghost! - Williamsburg Park - Wednesday, July 24
James Murphy - Output - Thursday, July 25
The Gaslight Anthem with the Bouncing Souls - Friday, July 26
Robert Plant - Prospect Park Bandshell - Saturday, July 27
Yes - The Capitol Theatre - Sunday, July 28