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Your independent guide to the best shows in New York

Concerts in New York - May 2016

Our carefully curated selection of the Best Concerts in New York for the month of May 2016

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: Closes 5th May 2016

Young adult heartthrob and Canadian-born singer-songwriter Justin Bieber has come out of the chrysalis a new artist with a bold new musical statement - 2015's Purpose. Gone are the fizzy teeny-bopper hits of yore, replaced with remarkably slick and mature dance tunes like 'What Do U Mean' and 'Where Are U Now'. Catch him as he embarks on the mammoth Purpose 2016 world tour. More info

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: Closes 26th May 2016

The world renowned Met Orchestra is back! Under the guidance of Music Director James Levine, they'll be showcasing an incredibly diverse repertoire featuring Evgeny Kissin tickling the ivories (rather powerfully) in Rachmaninoff's thrilling Piano Concerto No.2, enchanting soprano Renee Fleming performing a programme of Strauss' works and soprano Christine Goerke and tenor Johan Botha in excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. More info

THE MIDTOWN MEN

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The original stars of Broadway's storming hit musical Jersey Boys are taking the country by storm with a whole new musical act that celebrates the music of the 1960s. The Midtown Men not only perform their acclaimed renditions of songs by the Four Seasons, they will also treat you to more sensational music by The Beatles, The Beach Boys and other great artists from the golden age of Motown. More than just a tribute to a bygone era, this performance will show you - or remind you - of what it was like to see those groundbreaking artists live onstage.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

Count Basie Theatre

May 20, 2016

B.B. King Blues Club

May 21, 2016

: Closes 17th December 2016

The New York native will be belting out his old favorites with the help of his revolving piano, in an on-going series of monthly concerts at this world-famous venue. He has sold more than 100 million records over a career spanning more than 40 years, and reigns as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. More info

: Closes 21st May 2016

Some of the greatest names in hip-hop history gather at the Barclays Center for one special night. Led by Puff Daddy, this concert brings together the biggest stars of Bad Boy records, the music label which pretty much defined hip-hop through the 1990s. More info

: 7th May

It definitely beats roses and chocolates...Treat your mom with tickets to a very special concert at the Barclays Center. In May, the annual Mother's Day Good Music festival returns with an even more stacked line-up of RnB greats than usual. The line-up includes Keyshia Cole, Tank and Ginuwine. More info

: 5th May

Can you believe it? 2016 sees the 125th anniversary of the opening of Carnegie Hall, one of the world's most famous concert venues. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the trustees are inviting some of music's most eminent artists to perform in a one-off gala on the very date that the Hall opened! Confirmed guests for the gala include regulars Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming and Lang Lang, as well as Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Jessye Norman and James Taylor. More info

: Closes 13th October 2016

The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to New York as part of its annual touring season at Carnegie Hall. This year Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the respected musicians plus special guests Jan Lisiecki and Lang Lang across three special evenings. More info

: Closes 26th May 2016

Still riding on the success of composing Broadway hit musical Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper continues to tour across the country. Her newest tour comes in support of the 80s icon's brand new album, Detour, where she'll be diving headlong into country music. And now pop fans have two reasons to rejoice! For six special nights, she'll be joined by Boy George! More info

: 28th May

Hatsune Miku is not just any pop star. In her native Japan, she has sold a staggering amount of records, been featured in video games, manga, cosplay and holds the distinction of having been sent to space in a rocket, twice. But just what is it about this 16-year-old star with two shining turquoise pigtails and a never-ending wardrobe? More info

: 17th May

For the first time, the British indie-rock four piece are embarking on US tour dates, after a wildly successful show at 2014's Cochella. As the sound of a generation, the 1975 encapsulate all the joy, heartbreak and hate of growing up, through their electro pop sound. Catch one of their upcoming intimate gigs whilst you can! More info

: 22nd May

One of the most successful rock acts to come out of England in the Sixties, The Zombies recently reunited in 2006 after a 30-year hiatus, with all members of the band, past and present taking part in new touring shows! This year, the Odyssey and Oracle Tour, designed for the United States, sees the group once again together, with original members Chris White and Hugh Grundy join Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent performing their seminal 1968 album of the same name. More info

: 5th May

​ABC's Nashville is an acclaimed peak into the lives of Nashville country music stars, focused on the struggle between fading star Rayna James and rising talent Juliette Barnes. A fifth season is lined up for next year, but in the meantime, stars of the show (many of whom have successful careers outside the show itself) are heading out on tour once again to showcase some of the series' best tracks. More info

: 14th May

Recognised for her eye-catching outfits and glamorous stage persona as well as her virtuoso pianist skills, Wang is a rising star in international classical music, hailing from Beijing and from a musical family to boot. At the tender age of 11, Wang was accepted to the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, making her the youngest ever student. Wang is touring the US to give you a taste of why she is being hailed as one of the most promising young classical artists to come out of China, following in the footsteps of peers such as Lang Lang. More info

VICTOR MANUELLE

Known to his fans as El Sonero de la Juventud ("The Singer Of Youths"), Manuelle is part of the highly successful group of Latin singers that came to prominence during the Nineties, that also included Marc Anthony. In fact, he is currently tied with Anthony for the most number-one singles in the Billboard Tropical Songs chart.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

Bergen Performing Arts Center

May 07, 2016

St. George Theatre

May 08, 2016

: 7th May

Get ready to jig, polka and reel to Gaelic Storm, fine purveyors of traditional and innovative Celtic rock and folk! For over 15 years, they have brought their unfailing energy and humour to audiences all over the world, whilst continually exploring new music. Last year saw the band release their 10th record, Full Irish, celebrating their incredible career igniting the party! More info

GENERATION AXE: STEVE VAI, ZAKK WYLDE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, NUMO BETTENCOURT & TOSIN ABASI

There's riffage galore on this latest generation Axe tour, which collects some of the finest guitar players the world has to offer and packs them all onto one stage. This awesome fivesome is headed by Steve Vai, who honed his skills across numerous projects over the years, playing with David lee Roth's post Van Halen supergroup, Whitesnake and Spinal Tap.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

NYCB Theatre at Westbury

May 06, 2016

Count Basie Theatre

May 09, 2016

THE RIDES

This blues supergroup trio are back on the trail around the country in support of their latest studio album, Pierced Arrow. Guitarists Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboardist Barry Goldberg have all seen huge success in their respective careers, and formed in 2013 following a benefit concert performed by the three; their debut joint album Can't Get Enough reached number 39 in the Billboard charts.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

Bergen Performing Arts Center

May 11, 2016

Town Hall Theater

May 12, 2016

: Closes 12th May 2016

A pioneer in commercial electronic music, English-born New Wave star Numan very much still enjoys a loyal following in the new millennium. Famous for his hits "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars", Numan continues to record and perform live, with a follow-up album to 2013's Splinter currently in the works. His seminal 1979 album The Pleasure Principle continues to be held up as an early trailblazer of electronic music. More info

: 17th May

In a career that started off with a bang in 1960's NYC, by way of Swingin' London and a cool collaboration with the Beatles, it was 1970 that brought Sweet Baby James (and his eponymous record) to public notice, displaying an epic and haunting maturity that seemed far beyond his 22 years and leading to his becoming part of a peerless group that defined that era, including Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and many more. More info

: 14th May

One third (or fourth, depending on who is feuding with whom) of folk rocks biggest super-group, Graham Nash is often credited with being the glue that keeps the trio making sweet music together, and having penned some of their greatest hits including Marrakech Express and more. This summer the former Hollie heads out on an intimate tour, bringing you an evening that delves far into his remarkable six decade career, to show you the real Graham Nash. More info

: 20th May

Sam Beam aka Iron and Wine has teamed up with fellow indie artists Jesca Hoop to produce a gorgeously chilled out duet album, Love Letters For Fire. Borne out of Beam's love of classic duets that he had grown up with, he had toyed with the idea of a duets album for some time, but never finding the right voice - until Hoop's music reached him through the radio! Now mere months later, the pair are taking this new record on the road across the States. More info

: Closes 8th June 2016

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," is considered one of the world's foremost interpreters of American standards, especially for Irving Berlin's work. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace in London. He is currently serving as artistic director in Indiana at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. More info

: 29th May

Now celebrating 50 solid years since the first airing of their TV show in America, The Monkees are back for another tour of the country, complete with a brand-new album set to be released in July, Good Times. This tour lineup will comprise the remaining members; Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (Michael Nesmith will be sitting this one out, guys). Good Times will also feature new material written with guest artists such as Noel Gallagher, Rivers Cuomo and Ben Gibbard, with producing duties taken on by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne fame. A new sound in the works perhaps?! More info

: Closes 20th June 2016

The sixteenth season of Broadway by the Year arrives at the Town Hall in New York this year. A revue of musical theatre's greatest hits, 2016 sees creator Scott Siegel concentrating on a different decade every show. The critically acclaimed Broadway by the Year features Tony nominees and winners, along with a sprinkling of surprise guests. More info

: 9th May

Horrorcore fans unite - Insane Clown Posse are on tour and they're taking you along for the ride. Know what you're getting in for though, their hip hop isn't for the fainthearted and neither are their fans who go by the name of Juggalos and have their own annual gathering. More info

: 18th May

Yes co-founder Jon Anderson and French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty has been discussing making an album together for over three decades, and so when it finally happened, Better Late Than Never proved to be a fitting title. Released last year, the acclaimed record saw the duo revisiting tracks from both of their mighty discographies, as well as introducing some brand new tracks. More info

: 15th May

The kings of fell good vibes and funky grooves, Kool and the Gang scored some of the most iconic hits of the disco era. Their signature tune is of course 'Celebration', and they were also part of the Saturday Night Fever phenomenon, with their track 'Open Sesame' featuring on the massively successful soundtrack. More info

: 3rd May

The band behind the international mega-hit 'SAIL' returns with a new tour just in time for summer! Fronted by Los Angeles native Aaron Bruno, AWOLNATION burst onto the music scene back in 2011 with their first record Megalithic Symphony, a crashing synth pop roller-coaster ride. More info

: 22nd May

He saw the bulk of his solo, commercial and critical success in the late 70s and 80s, beginning with the release, in 1977, of "Lucille". Prior to that Rogers was frontman for a successful country-rock group The First Edition, with whom he had the hits "Just Dropped in (to See What Condition my Condition Was In)" and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town". Rogers' smooth personal style (well manicured greying beard, salt and pepper hair and slick suits) and raw, achingly emotive voice proved perfect for romantic ballads and 'storytelling' songs. More info

: 15th May

World music was never the same after The Gipsy Kings. Blending flamenco, Latin rhythms, western pop and jazz, their lightening quick guitars have been stunning audiences worldwide for over three decades. You'll know their version of The Eagles' 'Hotel California' that appears in The Big Lebowski, and their cover of 'You've Got a Friend in Me' from Toy Story 3 that gets Buzz's hips a-shaking. More info

: Closes 16th May 2016

The prodigious Mac DeMarco may have been termed the 'goofeball prince of indie rock' by Pitchfork, but his work ethic is nothing to joke about. In the last four years he's released two full studio albums (2 & Salad Days), as well as 2015's mini-LP Another One. Each release has seen him move further away from the garage stomp of his debut album to gentle and enthralling pop songwriting, powered by his unmistakable guitar playing. More info

: Closes 26th May 2016

The Moody Blues star shows no sign of slowing down at 68 years old, touring for seven months of the year. With his voice has been heard the world over, he is known principally as the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for the Moody Blues, he possesses an enduring talent that has helped to define the last 45 years. During that time the band has sold 55 million albums and received many awards for his work. More info

: 7th May

Legendary guitarist Buckethead heads out in 2016 for his first tour since 2012. Real name Brian Patrick Carroll, Buckethead has spent his whole onstage career behind a Halloween inspired mask, with a KFC bucket perched on his head. His ominous appearance has created an almost mystical aura around him, backed up by his transcendently good guitar playing, blending metal, blues and prog with stunning effect. More info

CHRIS ISAAK

With over 25 years of performing behind him and twelve albums to boot, Chris Isaak is still every bit a star today as he was in the 1980s, when he emerged onto the scene as country music's blue eyed boy. With latest album First Comes the Night released last year, Isaak is heading out on tour again across North America and Canada.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

NYCB Theatre at Westbury

May 05, 2016

Wellmont Theatre

May 19, 2016

: 4th May

King of geek pop Ben Folds has embarked on yet another adventurous collaboration for his new album. He's teamed up with six-piece New York instrumental outfit yMusic and the resulting album, in Folds' own words, is "a record we've never heard before". They're heading out on tour in support of this joint effort, so expect to hear a wealth of new material mixed in with choice picks from Folds' lengthy solo career. More info

: 20th May

A former opening act for Eric Clapton, Cray has played alongside John Lee Hooker and now has a pair of Fender Stratocaster guitars named after him. He has released a number of albums that have reached the top of the Billboard Blues chart, and in 2011 was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame for his achievements. This summer he's released a double CD and video package called "4 Nights of 40 Years Live", celebrating the best of his music over his long career. More info

: 14th May

Delbert McClinton is a multi-talented American blues musician and songwriter, whose instrumental repertoire includes the guitar, piano, and harmonica. McClinton began his solo career in the 1970s and has released almost thirty albums since then. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, but relocated to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue his career in the music industry. More info

: 31st May

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience will celebrate the life and music of his father - the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. The incorporates multimedia aspects into the concerts, including rarely seen home movies of him and his dad, plus anecdotes from his life, giving background context to the songs that he chooses to perform. All these elements combine for a truly heartfelt show that is more than a tribute concert, without bombarding the audience with filler. More info

: 15th May

Beginning his career by entering amateur contests, sneaking into clubs and recording his forst song when he was just fourteen years old, Paul Anka has gone on to become one of the greatest songwriters in history and has achieved unprecedented success in every venue: stage, screen, television, and recording. His musical compositions are internationally known and have been recorded by the greatest names in the entertainment industry during a music career spanning over half a decade! More info

: 9th May

Tegan & Sara are an Indie pop-rock dup from Canada made up of two identical twin sisters. They released their first full length album in 1999 and have built up a strong fan following in their fourteen year career. More info

: Closes 22nd May 2016

The English progressive trance band from London has seen a phenomenal 2015 with the release of their Best Dance Record Grammy nominated third album, We Are All We Need and are set to continue that success in 2016 with Anjunabeats Volume 12 from their prolific cult record label. In support of their upcoming Acoustic release, the trio will be touring Stateside for a truly roof-lifting experience! Glowsticks at the ready.... More info

DARK STAR ORCHESTRA

The Grateful Dead have been resurrected in the form of Dark Star Orchestra. Formed in 1997, this tribute band came up with the novel idea of recreating complete sets from The Grateful Dead's gigantic list of concerts. They adapt their playing and sound depending on what era of Dead they're tackling on the night, and while they slavishly recreate the sound of the band down to the minutest detail, the band often embark on epic improvisations that would make their heroes proud.

This show is happening at multiple venues in May 2016:

Count Basie Theatre

May 12, 2016

The Space at Westbury

May 14, 2016

: 13th May

The Grammy-winning husband and wife duo Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are hitting the road on the Wheels of Soul Tour this Summer, with a handful of solo dates towards the end of the year. Comprised of slide guitar virtuoso Trucks, the feisty vocals of Tedeschi and a backing band of killer brass and rhythm section musicians, the Tedeschi Truck Band do southern-fried soul like no one else's business. More info

: 20th May

Akin to the Mickey Mouse Club, Kidz Bop is the Number One brand in children's music, churning out family-friendly versions of today's pop hits, sung by the industry's future stars. The Kids Bop Kids, including Ashlynn, Bredia, Matt and Grant, are heading out on the 2015 'Make Some Noise Tour' and bringing their effervescent, feel-good music with them. More info

: 22nd May

Hailed as the most popular children's singer in the English-speaking world, Raffi has enriched the lives of generations upon generations of children with his educational, entertaining and genuine songs. If you were born in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, chances are you're acquainted with the hit songs Baby Beluga, Bananaphone and Down By The Way. More info

: 6th May

Considering his father was the late great psychedelic-jazz-prog space wizard, many might assume that his son Dweezil has some big shoes to fill. However, the prodigious guitarist and producer came into his own as a solo performer in his own right, mesmerizing audiences with his technical prowess on the axe. He's regularly on the road with the Zappa plays Zappa ensemble as well as the Experience Hendrix Tour. More info

: 13th May

Get ready to relive the golden days of pop with ABBA: The Concert, the world's best ABBA tribute act, as they tour the US. Formed in 1996, this highly successful and astoundingly accurate group has toured the world extensively and clocked over 1000 shows - each one featuring at least two members of ABBA's original rhythm section. More info

: 18th May

Hold on to your stetsons ladies and gents, because the 2016 Country Megaticket is rolling into town this Summer, bringing country music's biggest stars along with it! This all-inclusive ticket will allow you to see all of the headline artists over a series of dates at your chosen venue, so get ready to dance and singalong to the upbeat anthems of Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert, Darius Rucker, Dierks Brentley, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Hank Williams Jr and Chris Stapleton​, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban! More info

: 6th May

The English Beat (or The Beat as they're known in their native UK) surprised fans last year with the announcement of a new record in the works. Their first studio album since 1982's Special Beat Service, Here We Go Love is being funded through the crowdfunding site Pledgemusic and is due for release later this year. More info

: 5th May

You know the voice. As a member of rock band Chicago, Peter Cetera lent his vocals to some of the biggest singles of the 1970s, such as If You Leave Me Now, Old Days and Baby, What A Big Surprise. He departed the band in 1985, but proved just as popular as a solo artist, with his theme from the movie Karate Kid II (The Glory of Love) and his duet with Amy Grant (Next Tome I Fall) both topping the Billboard chart. More info

: Closes 14th May 2016

Composed of 15 top soloists, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is one of the world's leading large jazz bands ensembles. Their current band leader (and artistic director) is the great Wynton Marsalis, famed trumpeter and composer, who has played with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Dizzy Gillespie. More info

: 12th May

Alt-rock Texan natives Blue October have risen through the ranks to become a platinum selling rock band since forming in 1995 with a body of work that includes modern rock hits like "Hate Me" and "Dirt Room" and the #1 VH-1 smash, "Into The Ocean." Now about to release their eighth studio album Home in April 2016, they will once again hit the road in support of their latest effort across the country. More info

: 6th May

The Urban Dictionary defines as 'Getting the Led out' as: 'It basically means that you are rocking out to some Led Zeppelin which is probably the best band ever to grace our Earth.' On a mission to bring the legend of Plant, Paige et al to the stage, this is no ordinary tribute show. Passionate about the 'Zep, these guys are committed to playing you the tunes in with the greatest respect and musicianship, whilst sharing the Led love. More info

: 21st May

If you love Youssou N'Dour, this is the show you have to see. Described by Rolling Stone as Africa's 'most famous singer alive', Youssou N'Dour is the bedrock of Senegalese music, revered nationwide both as a performer, and as an enthusiastic supporter of new African artists. More info

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