Concert Masters

An October to remember at the city’s top music venues

Smoke Break video bts (credit_ Lee Cherry)

Fall is in the air though it’s nothing but red hot in New York City this month when it comes to live music. October has a number of electronic acts coming to town including superstar Zedd who plays Madison Square Garden for the first time October 2 (Editor’s Note: See our interview with Zedd in the coming pages). Elsewhere, sibling duo Disclosure take over Madison Square Garden on October 24, Kaskade delights at Pier 94 also on October 24 and Duke Dumont thrills October 22 at Terminal 5. Latin music is also a big highlight for the month with Marc Anthony and Carlos Vives October 8 at Barclays Center and J Balvin and Becky G at the Best Buy Theater October 1 (also Ricky Martin below). Rock legends The Who shake things up with Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers on two dates—October 25 at the Prudential Center and October 27 at Madison Square Garden. Art Garfunkel plays Carnegie Hall on October 3, Heart’s Ann Wilson rocks out for two show at City Winery on October 7, Garbage celebrate 20 years October 24 at Kings Theatre, and Duran Duran, Adam Lambert and Rachel Platten stir up Fresh 102.7 Fall Fest October 8 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds croon over at BAM October 6, R&B breakout Tinashe smolders at Webster Hall on October 26, Gary Clark Jr. brings his guitar coolness October 28 and October 30 to Terminal 5, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell lights up the Beacon Theatre October 18 and 19, Hanson gets groovy October 16 and 17 at Irving Plaza, Swedish hit maker Tove Lo gets sassy October 21 at Terminal 5 and Belgian phenomenon Stromae hits Madison Square Garden October 1 with Janelle Monae. Here are our other top picks for the month…

Some of the greatest, most lasting tunes of the 1970s came from Bill Withers, the soul singer-songwriter who was inducted at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On October 1, a respected roster of musicians play Carnegie Hall for “Lean On Him: A Tribute to Bill Withers” including D’Angelo, Ed Sheeran, Sheryl Crow, Aloe Blacc, Michael McDonald, Amos Lee, Ledisi and more. The “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day” singer’s tribute will be helmed by musical director Greg Phillinganes, who worked with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, while longtime event producer Michael Dorf presents the event. Withers has not performed live in decades, so it’s unclear if he will take the stage, but he will surely be in attendance during the sing-a-long, which promises to have all performers reinventing Withers’ 1973 “Live at Carnegie Hall” LP in full. From 1971 breakthrough “Ain’t No Sunshine” to the 1981 hit “Just The Two of Us” with Grover Washington, Jr., Withers’ Grammy-winning hits will be performed with many different renditions, by additional artists like Anthony Hamilton, Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’, Gregory Porter, Kathy Mattea, Branford Marsalis and Jonathan Butler. All profits from the concert will benefit the Stuttering Association for the Young, a meaningful organization to Withers, who stuttered as a child.

Vermont native Grace Potter takes the largest stage of her career—playing Radio City Music Hall for the first time on October 3, with Trampled by Turtles providing tour support. Potter comes off a hot summer opening for rock legends The Rolling Stones and Neil Young. She’s been at it for years—since 2002 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals have churned out five albums, and 2015 marks the first time Potter has made a go as a solo act, releasing “Midnight” in August. Potter’s longtime collaborators from the group, her drummer and college sweetheart husband Matt Burr, guitarist Scott Tournet, electric guitarist Benny Yurco and bass player Michael Libramento are still involved, not to mention veteran rock producer Eric Valentine and some other musical names like Audra Mae, Noelle Skaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums, Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips and Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age. The folksy, roots-y sounds of Potter’s past are still evident, though her other new bandmates would have to be tempo and genre, offering a diverse roster of songs from pop to funk to dance-pop. It’s a welcome departure from what we’ve expected, though fans will still probably have an appetite for early songs like the gospel tune “Nothing But The Water,” “Toothbrush And My Table” and “Ragged Company” as well as more pop-friendly songs like “Paris (Ooh La La),” “Medicine,” “Stars” and Potter’s guesting vocal on Grammy-nominated Kenny Chesney duet “You and Tequila.” Grace Potter is simply a musical force—she’s got the old soul of icons like Janis Joplin, the heart of a Bonnie Raitt and the pop appeal of Sheryl Crow. Listen up for some explosive rock moments, powerful vocals from Ms. Potter and a variety of harmonies and instrumentation.

Five of music’s best come to Times Square’s Best Buy Theater October 6 for the fundraiser “All for the Hall,” benefitting The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum including members Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris, Grammy winners Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and songwriting icon Paul Simon. Mezzanine seats are available for $100, individual seats and VIP tables are on sale at various levels starting at $1,000 or $10,000 for a table of 10, all supporting the museum’s education programs, including the Taylor Swift Education Center. Now in its eighth year on the road, “All for the Hall” has had events previously in New York and Los Angeles, not to mention several in the Nashville area. The organization established in 1961, opening the museum on Music Row in 1967 where it lived since renovating and relocating in 2001 to downtown Nashville. Here, visitors can see Elvis Presley’s 1960 “Solid Gold” Cadillac limousine, Patsy Cline’s cocktail dress and Johnny Cash’s black suit as well as the gown Carrie Underwood wore when she won “American Idol.” Paul Simon will likely play a combination of his hits like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I Am A Rock,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Sound of Silence” and “You Can Call Me Al.” Brad Paisley will pull from 15 years of hits like “I’m Still A Guy,” “I’m Gonna Miss Her” and “Water.” Superstar Carrie Underwood also has lots to choose from including “Jesus, Take The Wheel,” “Temporary Home” and new single “Smoke Break.” Vince Gill will likely play “When I Call Your Name,” “One More Last Chance” and “Go Rest High On That Mountain.” From Emmylou Harris’ 26 albums, fans may hear “Together Again,” “Two More Bottles of Wine” and “Making Believe.” Those lucky enough to attend “All for the Hall” might even get lucky with some collaborations between the performers.

Ricky Martin is without a doubt one of the biggest Latin pop stars of the last 15 years, taking over Madison Square Garden October 8 with tour support from reggaeton star Wisin and Mexican duo Ha*Ash. Martin’s “One World Tour” finds the Puerto Rican Grammy and Latin Grammy-winner shaking his “bon-bon” across North America in Spanish and English in support of his 10th album “A Quien Quiera Escuchar” (“Who Will Listen”). With 85 million albums sold worldwide and six titles hitting #1 on the Billboard 200, it’s no surprise Martin has recorded with everyone from Jennifer Lopez (“Adrenalina”) to tour mate Wisin (“Frio”), from Christina Aguilera (“Nobody Wants To Be Lonely”) to Pitbull and even had his own episode on “GLEE.” Martin is a world-class entertainer, a singer, dancer and songwriter with charisma to boot. Hits range from “La Bomba,” “She Bangs,” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” to more Spanish fare like early hit “Maria,” “Jaleo,” ballad “Tu Recuerdo” and the anthemic Spanglish tune “Vida.” Mainstream breakthrough “The Cup of Life” should be a highlight and Martin will likely play new tune “Mr. Put It Down” which features Pitbull. “The Voice Australia” (3 seasons) and “The Voice Mexico” (1 season) coach will soon be a producer and judge on Simon Cowell’s new reality competition show “La Banda,” which premiered last month. Get ready to be on your feet for most of this Ricky Martin party, the energy doesn’t stop once he hits the stage.

(Photo Credit: Lee Cherry)