Music Musts for May

Catch These Acts Springing Up Around the City

The summer season is around the corner, the nights are longer, and we are ready to rock. French composer Jean-Michel Jarre plays his first-ever New York City show at Radio City Music Hall on May 20 after a decades-long career and his first Grammy nomination this year. Our interview with the storied electronic producer can be found here.

Also in town are Atlanta rapper Future, who takes over Barclays Center on May 19, British band The xx, who grace Forest Hills Stadium both May 19 & 20 with Sampha, Irish indie-rock band Two Door Cinema Club, who play Brooklyn Steel May 1, and Chicago DJ Kaskade, who lights up Hammerstein Ballroom both May 16 & 17.

UK rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen take the stage May 6 at Brooklyn Steel, heavy metal band Mastodon smashes Hammerstein Ballroom May 11, D.C. rapper Wale rhymes May 25 at Irving Plaza, and synth-pop duo Marian Hill delights May 22 at Brooklyn Steel. UK soul singer Jacob Banks stirs the crowd May 4 at Mercury Lounge, Dada Life gets silly at All New Warehouse in Brooklyn May 20, rapper T.I. thrills May 8 at B.B. King Blues Club, Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun inspires May 10 at Terminal 5, and R&B singers Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benet join forces for two shows at B.B. King Blues Club on May 2 & 3. For the best of the rest this barbecue season, look no further…


Tim McGraw & Faith Hill – May 4 – Prudential Center
Tim McGraw
Country royalty Tim McGraw & Faith Hill have joined forces in 2017 with a new record on its way as well as the return of their Soul2Soul World Tour coming to the Prudential Center on May 4 (they will return to the region October 27 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center). The married country singers have toured since 1996 on McGraw’s Spontaneous Combustion tour, followed by their first round of Soul2Soul, which started in 2000 and continued in 2006.

The duo, who still record solo albums, signed a joint record deal with Sony earlier this year, and the first single from their first duets record is “Speak to a Girl,” which they world-premiered last month on the Academy of Country Music Awards. The frequently honored Male Vocalist and Female Vocalist Of The Year will likely play a number of their previous duets including the recent “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” “Like We Never Loved at  All,” “Let’s Make Love,” “Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me,” and “It’s Your Love.” With millions of records sold to each of their names, some of Tim’s and Faith’s solo hits will be in the mix, like Tim’s “Something Like That,” “Live Like You Were Dying,” and “Humble and Kind” and Faith’s “There You’ll Be,” “This Kiss,” and “The Way You Love Me.” Atlanta group The Shadowboxers open the Newark date. (Photo Credit: Becky Fluke) 


Jo-Jo – May 2 & 3 – Irving Plaza
26-year-old Boston native JoJo returned on the scene last year with her third album Mad Love, her first in 10 years. But she’s back and playing Irving Plaza on May 2. The “Leave (Get Out)” singer who  launched her career with that single at the age of 13 still plays the hits like “Baby It’s You,” “Too Little Too Late,” “How to Touch A Girl” and “Anything,” which samples Toto’s 1982 smash “Africa,” but her new material is just as compelling.

With a pop voice that leans R&B, she’s as impressive vocally as her contemporaries on three- song comeback EP “III” (aka “Tringle”), like the  house banger “When Love Hurts,” introspective ght song “Save My Soul” and the heart-wrenching “Say Love.” On her new record, title soul track “Mad Love” and “F*ck Apologies” showcase a mature set of songs from a young woman with life experience and powerful pipes to match. But her anthem, the self-worth ballad “I Am.,” is the most earth-shattering vocal of all. (Photo Credit: Brooke Nipar) 


Ryan Adams – May 2 & 3 – Beacon Theatre
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Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ryan Adams delivers the Prisoner Tour to the Beacon Theater May 2 & 3. Adams’ signature song “New York, New York” will certainly be on the set list, as well as “Let It Ride” and “Lucky Now” and fans are likely to hear a Taylor Swift song like “Welcome To New York,” since the folk rocker covered her entire 1989 album.

Adams’ 16th album Prisoner speaks to every human about being “trapped in a quest for love,” beautifully captured on new single “Doomsday” as well as tracks  “Breakdown” and “Outbound Train.” With an emotive vocal style and guitar skills to match, Adams has collaborated with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Counting Crows to Norah Jones, and he’s produced albums for Willie Nelson, Jesse Malin, Jenny Lewis and Fall Out Boy. With his expansive musical work, Adams has been known to cover some greats like Johnny Cash, Bryan Adams, Oasis, Madonna, and Backstreet Boys, so expect some possible surprises.


Metallica – May 14 – MetLife Stadium & May 17 – Nassau Coliseum
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Bay Area heavy metal band Metallica returns to New York with two tri-state-area shows after  playing Central Park and Webster Hall in the fall. The WorldWired 2017 North American Tour comes May 14 to MetLife Stadium and May 17 to the Nassau Coliseum with Avenged Sevenfold on both dates and Volbeat joining on the 17th.

Having sold over 100 million albums worldwide and won eight career Grammys, the 2009 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees are one of the most electrifying bands in the world, with vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo leading the pack. With their anthemic song “Enter Sandman,” hits like “Nothing Else Matters,” “Until It Sleeps,” “I Disappear,” and new singles “Hardwired,” “Moth Into Flame,” and “Atlas, Rise!,” the raucous show will leave new and longtime fans satis ed with a rock experience by one of the most storied bands in modern music, all in a stadium setting.
(Photo Credit: Herring-Herring)