The new year brings some of the best musical acts to NYC
We kick off the New Year refreshed for what’s to come – and in the world of live music there is a lot to look forward to. Newcomers, rising stars and marquee fixtures shine bright over New York City in January, as we ring in 2016. After two Radio City shows last year, Joe Bonamassa returns bigger and better at Carnegie Hall January 21 & 22 (see this month’s interview!). UK pop sensation Jess Glynne lifts spirits at Webster Hall January 20. Canadian R&B breakout Alessia Cara gets real January 26 at Webster Hall. Billy Joel paints the town January 7 at Madison Square Garden, alt-rock band Panic! At The Disco shake things up at Le Poisson Rouge January 14 and 90s R&B trio SWV delights January 21 at B.B. King Blues Club. Norwegian electronic artist Kygo turns up the volume January 21 at Barclays Center, UK indie rock band The Go! Team strikes up Brooklyn Bowl January 21. For the best of the rest, look below at other stellar acts this month…
Darlene Love will forever be celebrated as one of the the industry’s finest performers. Prior to going on her own as a solo artist, she recorded as a back-up singer for the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, The Righteous Brothers, Tom Jones and many more. The popular singer whose career spans five decades and who has been honored with a 2011 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame plays B.B. King Blues Lounge January 2 following some holiday shows that included one of her signature songs, the upbeat “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” In addition to 60s hits like “He’s A Rebel,” “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” and “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?,” Darlene is expected to play many tunes from her recent release “Introducing Darlene.” It is her first album of original pop material in 27 years, arranged and produced by E Street Band member Stevie Van Zandt, including first single, the Elvis Costello-penned “Forbidden Nights.” Darlene Love collaborated on the record with many other famous friends such as Bruce Springsteen, Linda Perry, Jimmy Webb, Desmond Child, Joan Jett, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil so expect to hear some of these new songs as well as old favorites.
Birmingham, Alabama six-piece St. Paul and The Broken Bones reign over the city two times this month – first, at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on January 15 with the legendary Roseanne Cash opening and then on January 16 they headline Bowery Ballroom. The Southern rock/America band led by singer Paul Janeway, along with Browan Lollar on guitars, Jesse Phillips on bass, Allen Branstetter on trumpet, Andrew Lee on drums, Al Gamble on keys, Chad Fisher on trombone and Jason Mingledorff on saxophone, the guys recently opened for The Rolling Stones and their unique blend of classic soul and with elements of gospel is felt best during their live performances. The band debuted their first album “Half The City” in 2014 and have already graced the small screen playing Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. From the bluesy, heart-wrenching “Broken Bones and Pocket Change” to the soulful, horn-centered “Call Me” to the bright and upbeat “Sugar Dyed.” St. Paul and The Broken Bones have been known to cover Radiohead, The Beatles and Otis Redding in the past, so some surprises are in store for both shows as the possibility of new tunes from their upcoming 2016 album. With Janeway’s musical foundation mostly in church, aside from growing up hearing lots of the Stylistics and Sam Cooke, his vocal prowess is a force that rarely comes around.
UK band MUSE have an electrifying live production, which makes its way to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center January 27 followed by Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center on January 29. The Grammy Award-winning rock trio (Best Rock Album for “The Resistance” in 2011) were again nominated for a Grammy for their seventh album “Drones,” also the name of their current tour The Drones World Tour. Led by Matt Bellamy’s passionate, stadium-ready vocals, guitars and keyboards, he joins bandmates Chris Wolstenholme on bass guitar and drummer Dominic Howard for what is sure to be an explosive evening of live music. Having previously toured with U2, MUSE wrote the song “Survival” for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and performed at the Closing Ceremony. From previous hits “Uprising” and “Resistance,” the electronic-tinged “Madness,” and newer material like “Dead Inside” and “Psycho” the band offers a dramatic and powerful catalog of songs that span rock opera and classical with high energy. Upstate New York band X Ambassadors is the opening act on tour.
Bruce Springsteen is one of America’s musical heroes, with 20 Grammys to his name, an honoree of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and a recipient of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors. Springsteen plays with his longtime E Street Band January 24 and 27 at Madison Square Garden as well as his home state of New Jersey January 31 at the Prudential Center. The rock icon joins his band for “The River Tour” in celebration of his 1980 album which was recently released as a box set called “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection.” With anthemic and relatable songs that range from “Born To Run” and “Dancing In The Dark” to other favorites like “Born In The U.S.A.” and “Glory Days,” Springsteen will bring the house down every night. Some other powerful moments to look out for could include live renditions of “Streets of Philadelphia” and inspiring newer tune “The Rising.” It doesn’t matter what night you attend, a Bruce Springsteen show will certainly unify the crowd in song with hands up and roaring applause reverberating way beyond the arenas.
(Photo Credit: MUSE / Chino Lemus)