The NYC concert scene is action-packed this month.
Daylight savings ends this month (March 13) so it’s about time to spring forward with longer nights out and more reasons to enjoy live music. The world’s heartthrobs, headliners and “heroes” are top-of-mind this month with alternative rock band Fall Out Boy headlining Madison Square Garden on March 4 with support from AWOLNATION, not to mention inspiring singer-songwriter Rachel Platten who plays two sold-out nights at Irving Plaza March 10 and 11. Australian newcomer Troye Sivan mesmerizes fans March 1 and 2 at Webster Hall, rockers Iron Maiden blast into Madison Square Garden on March 30 and R&B vixen Tinashe takes her throne March 12 at Webster Hall. Crowds seeking some nostalgia will get their wishes granted when The Who Hits 50 play at Madison Square Garden on March 3, folk rock artist Jackson Browne performs Town Hall March 3, while David Cassidy breaks hearts all over again March 11 at BB King. Soul singer Andra Day gets jazzy Webster Hall on March 25, pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen gets sassy March 25 at Terminal 5, and newcomer Rozes‘ vocals hypnotize fans March 11 at the Knitting Factory. Dutch DJ Hardwell spins a heart-pounding set March 3 at Marquee while Colorado EDM duo Big Gigantic blow the speakers March 11 and 12 at Terminal 5. Folk/hip-hop band Judah & The Lion take over Gramercy Theatre March 31, Vance Joy enjoys a two-night stint at Beacon Theatre on March 29 and 30 and quirky pop artist Melanie Martinez delights March 24 at PlayStation Theatre. Our spotlighted acts are others that are not to be missed this month in New York…
Pop music’s current It-boy Shawn Mendes hails from Canada and is just seventeen-years-old. With his global hit “Stitches” making a huge impact in 2015, the singer-songwriter enjoyed a busy summer on the road for Taylor Swift’s sold-out “The 1989 World Tour.” Mendes headlines his first-ever show at Radio City Music Hall on March 5, where he is sure to play his current tune “I Know What You Did Last Summer” now burning up the charts and featuring Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello. Mendes’ approachable sound – soulful vocals with guitar-strumming melodies should solidify him for a long career in music. Mendes’ delicate, ballad “Life of the Party” will be another song to listen up for – off his now re-released #1 debut album “Handwritten Revisited.” Some surprises will definitely be in store at Shawn Mendes’ show, perhaps some unexpected covers as well as a likely performance of the “Oh, Cecilia (Breaking My Heart),” the reboot of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia,” which Mendes recorded with British band The Vamps.
March marks one year since soul singer Leon Bridges broke in the U.S. at SXSW in Austin, TX; he takes the stage two nights at the Beacon Theatre, March 7 and 9. The Texas singer’s debut album “Coming Home” was released last summer to critical acclaim and is now Grammy-nominated for Best R&B Album, bringing back a classic R&B sound from another generation. Bridges’ smooth, inviting voice can be felt on the cooing title track as well as the funky, mid-tempo tune “Smooth Sailin'” and his gospel roots will empower concert-goers on the timeless song “The River.” Bridges’ effortless vocal abilities have already been heard on Saturday Night Live, alongside Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the American Music Awards and his song “So Long” appeared in the Will Smith film “Concussion.” With numerous comparisons to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, Bridges may very well perform some memorable throwback tunes from some of the greats.
Jamestown, New York folk-pop/alternative singer Natalie Merchant returns to New York’s Beacon Theatre on March 11. As a solo artist, Merchant’s 1995 debut “Tigerlily” became a 5-time multi-platinum record with feel-good, bluesy track “Carnival,” funked-up guitar-happy “Jealousy” and the warm, introspective “Wonder.” She followed this success with the timeless “Kind & Generous” and appeared at the famed Lilith Fair festival. Long-time fans of Natalie Merchant also know she was the lead singer of the late 80s/90s band 10,000 Maniacs, known for the harmonious “These Are The Days,” “What’s The Matter Here” as well as “Candy Everybody Wants,” not to mention their cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” and Patti Smith’s “Because The Night.” Merchant’s voice carries wonderfully in any room and she plays the piano beautifully – expect some fantastic musicians up on the stage with her.
Rihanna has found love in a perfect place, all over the charts and the radio. With her much-delayed, highly-anticipated eighth album “Anti” finally released at the end of January, the pop superstar commands Barclays Center on March 27 and 30 for a memorable night of massive hits, from the inescapable “Umbrella” to “Diamonds” to “FourFiveSeconds.” With thirteen #1 singles, Rihanna is the youngest and fastest solo artist to reach the top of the Billboard charts. She has amassed a major following due to her infectious tunes and varied sounds ranging from pop and R&B to reggae and electronic, as evidenced by hits like “SOS,” “Hate That I Love You,” “Rude Boy” and “Only Girl (In The World).” Her headlining shows are a blend of sultry, seductive pop anthems mixed in with stirring, emotional ballads such as “Take A Bow,” “Unfaithful” and “Stay.” Rihanna is simply one of the entertainers of her generation and offers popular songs for just about everyone. Having recorded most recent single “Work” with Drake and everyone else from Eminem to Calvin Harris, Coldplay to Jay Z, special guests are entirely possible.
Finally, “The Music of David Bowie,” a special evening at Carnegie Hall celebrates the glam rock icon March 31. The sold-out tribute also has a date of April 1 at Radio City, but the March event features performances by Bette Midler, Heart’s Ann Wilson, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell, Cyndi Lauper, The Roots, The Mountain Goats, Robyn Hitchcock, Jakob Dylan, Bettye LaVette and Cat Power. This varied roster of superstars proves how influential David Bowie was to so many songwriters, musicians and lead singers. Fans can expect the extravaganza to include once-in-a-lifetime versions of Bowie hits like “Heroes,” “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Young Americans,” “Fame,” “Under Pressure” and many more. The man who made the legend of Ziggy Stardust larger than life may have left the world January 10, but his artistry and cultural impact will forever remain on the minds and in the hearts of music’s greatest creators and fans alike.
(Photo Credit: Jimmy King)