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Live music doesn’t get any better than this.


Sweaters and hot cocoa always sound better when music is involved. Giving the gift of live music to someone or even yourself will certainly put you in the holiday spirit this season especially with the big names coming to town. New York native Cyndi Lauper plays the Beacon Theatre on December 6 and Z100’s Jingle Ball chimes in at Madison Square Garden December 12 with a range of Top 40 acts including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith, all hosted by Nick Jonas. The one-and-only Cher entertains at MSG on December 15 and 80s duo Erasure light up Terminal 5 on December 30. If these artists aren’t enough to stuff your stockings, check out the other show-stopping concerts this month.

Manchester, UK band The 1975 had one of the catchiest pop songs of 2013 with “Chocolate” and they make their way across the pond December 4 with a performance at Terminal 5. The British foursome offer a danceable form of indie rock with hints of new wave and soul thanks to lead singer Matt Healy’s alluring tenor vocals. The 1975 have continued churning out pop hits such as “The City,” “Sex,” “Girls” and “Settle Down” off the band’s self-titled debut record which topped the charts in the UK and speaks to the desires and challenges of youth today. The 1975’s music has been compared to Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Prince and Talking Heads and they already played the massive Coachella this year as well as several other major festivals including Lollapalooza, Boston Calling, Glastonbury and New York’s Governors Ball.

James Taylor is considered one of the great American songwriters and performers, having inspired many with his calm and compassionate approach to music with positive messages that bring people together on songs like “Handy Man” and “You’ve Got A Friend.” Taylor takes over Madison Square Garden on December 5 for a night of nostalgia from the late 60s, 70s and 80s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is one of the finest balladeers around, who touches people with his effortless guitar, beautiful melodies and harmonica. You can bet on career hits “Fire and Rain,” “Carolina in My Mind,” “Mockingbird” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” which are expected to be sung in unison by fans of all ages. Listen up for some heartfelt and honest storytelling in between some of Taylor’s songs.

Justin Timberlake will “Take Back The Night” at Barclays Center December 14 for one of the most talked-about shows of the season. Mr. “Suit & Tie” is known to be a showman on stage with a lively band, impressive choreography and that signature falsetto that catapulted Timberlake from teen star to global sensation. Though fans will hear plenty from his recent two-part album “The 20/20 Experience” such as “Mirrors,” and “Not A Bad Thing,” get ready for a string of former hits like “SexyBack,” “LovedStoned,” “Rock Your Body,” “Señorita” and Timberlake’s popular ballad “Cry Me A River.” Concertgoers may even get lucky with some smashes from Justin’s NSYNC days. Having collaborated with many major artists over the years like Jay Z, Madonna, Rihanna and Timbaland, Timberlake could have some surprise guests hit the stage.

Elton John is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over fifty top 40 hits and 300 million albums sold worldwide. The pop/rock piano legend comes to Barclays Center with a bang December 31, closing out 2014 with one of the biggest New Year’s parties in Brooklyn. Nowhere in the city will you hear more hits in one place – from “Tiny Dancer” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” in the 70s to “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and “Candle In The Wind” in the 80s to “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” in the 90s – everyone’s favorites will be heard. A Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist not to mention knighted singer-songwriter, Elton John will be the leader of one massive sing-a-long come New Year’s Eve – let’s see who can say – or sing “I’m Still Standing” afterwards.

(Photo Credit: Justin Timberlake: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)