Music in New York City is many things. It is sold-out concerts in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, tour stops by global superstars at Barclays Center, awe-inspiring subway performances and world-class theatrical productions both on and Off-Broadway.
Lesser known are the hidden-gem venues whose history and prowess make them integral to New York City’s musical identity and ideal for visitors seeking a more intimate concert-going experience this winter.
Apollo Theater (Harlem, Manhattan)
Celebrating its 85th anniversary next year, the historic Apollo Theater plays a key role in developing emerging African American and culturally diverse artists and launching the careers of icons like Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix through its Amateur Night A pillar of the Harlem community, the Apollo presents additional programming throughout the year, including dance, theater, spoken word and more.
Upcoming performances include the Amateur Night Holiday Special (12/15/18), Wow Festival 2019 (3/15/19), and Jose Gonzalez and The String Theory (3/21/19) (apollotheater.org).
Kings Theatre (Flatbush, Brooklyn)
The Kings Theatre has been a Brooklyn staple for nearly 90 years, originally serving as one of five original “Loew’s Wonder Theatres.” The 20th-century movie palace underwent a $95 million restoration of its 1929 design and reopened in 2015 as a state-of-the-art live performance venue with 3,000 seats.
Notable upcoming performances include Toni Braxton (2/10/19), Metric and Zoé (2/18/19) and Snoop Dog (3/3/19) (kingstheatre.com).
Music Hall of Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
The Music Hall of Williamsburg has earned recognition as one of the best rock clubs in the United States since opening in 2007. The Music Hall holds 550 people and was built with acoustical design in mind, allowing for the best concert-going experience possible.
Upcoming shows include Roosevelt (12/3–4, 2018), Thursday (12/27–28, 2018), Margo Price (12/31/18), The Lemon Twigs (1/18–19, 2019), Mandolin Orange (2/8/18) and Teenage Fanclub (3/14/18) (musichallofwilliamsburg.com).
Rough Trade NYC (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
First opened in 1976 in West London, Rough Trade is a record shop that doubles as a music venue and has grown into a staple of the independent music community since opening in Williamsburg in 2013.
Upcoming performances include Haerts (12/4/18), Chelsea Jade (12/12/18), Lankum (1/5/19), Feeder (2/8/19) and Mike Krol (3/5/19) (roughtradenyc.com).
George Theatre (St. George, Staten Island)
Originally unveiled in 1929, Staten Island’s St. George Theatre has been one of New York City’s most beloved cultural spots for nearly a century. Following a recent multimillion-dollar renovation, the historic 1,900-seat theater now offers all the luxuries of a modern state-of-the-art performance venue.
Upcoming concerts include Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with the David Johansen Band (12/21/18), Little Anthony and the Imperials (1/19/19), Kool and the Gang (2/15/19), Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (3/3/19) and Celtic Woman (3/21/19) (stgeorgetheatre.com).
Terminal 5 (Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)
Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, Terminal 5 flaunts a multilevel space holding 3,000 people in five distinct room environments. The venue regularly presents concerts by hip-hop stars and some of the most famous electronic DJs in the world.
Acts coming to the Terminal 5 stage this winter include Bomba Estero (12/12/18), Illenium (12/13–15, 2018), Nghtmre (12/22/18), Nao (2/2/19) and Enrique Bunbury (3/23/19) (terminal5nyc.com).
For more information about concerts and events in New York City, visit NYCgo.com/music.
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