Raise Your Hands

NYC’s best venues play home to epic concerts

One thing’s for sure if you’re visiting New York City in July: it’s hot. Why not complement your sweltering days with cool, equally-thrilling nightlife in the form of a concert? After all, New York is one of the nightlife empires of the world and there’s nothing like a stadium or arena show in the steamy concrete jungle. Locals and out-of-towners alike know that a Big Apple show can often have extended set lists, special guests, unique cover song choices and of course dedications to one or all five boroughs of the city. Beyond the theater and dinner, a live show is the perfect main event for your week and a memorable way to celebrate with a night on the town.

Three blockbuster events heat up July starting with pop sweetheart Katy Perry whose Prismatic World Tour boasts elaborate costume changes and a colorful set design, along with those catchy-as-heck tunes to remind you of your Independence Day celebrations with “Firework,” new hit “Birthday” or the always sassy “California Gurls.” What’s notable about Perry’s new act is that it sounds more like a theme park experience than anything, with 3D-style “Prism-Vision” glasses, over-the-top choreography and visuals and an action-packed set list of hits, not to mention a Madonna cover. Catch Katy Perry July 9 at Madison Square Garden and July 24-25 at Barclays Center (Brooklyn) with music duo Capital Cities supporting both dates with their platinum-selling smash hit song “Safe and Sound.”

Run…don’t walk, if you’re looking for New York royalty on stage. Look no further than Jay Z’s July 11 show at MetLife Stadium where his “Drunk In Love” wife, chanteuse Beyoncé co-headlines this epic showdown. The millennial generation Bonnie & Clyde’s fittingly titled On The Run tour promises a non-stop show of hits from Jigga’s “Big Pimpin'” to Bey’s “XO.” The lovebirds are known to include guest vocalists, so be on the lookout because anyone is fair game, including rumored stars Lady Gaga and Kanye West. On past tours, Jay Z and Beyoncé have brought out a who’s who of guest stars at their shows with Jay including Drake, Swizz Beatz and Nicki Minaj while Beyoncé has invited up Solange, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. With their recent promo in the form of short film “Run” featuring Hollywood icons Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Rashida Jones, Kidada Jones and Guillermo Diaz, it’s a safe bet there will be scores of celebrity sightings.

Finally, Bruno Mars, who now holds the record for the Most Watched Super Bowl Halftime Performance after his dazzling 2014 appearance takes his Moonshine Jungle tour to Madison Square Garden with Pharrell Williams July 14-15. During the opening of the tour in Los Angeles, a star-studded roster of celebrity superstars cheered on Mars including Matt Damon, Lea Michelle, Tom Hanks, and Jessica Alba, among others, with Bruno dedicating his final cover song “Rock With You” to Quincy Jones, who was also in attendance. One of the two nights, Pharrell was joined by Gwen Stefani for a special performance of “Hollaback Girl.” Fans can expect crooner favorites “When I Was Your Man” and “Just The Way You Are” from Bruno and possibly “Rock Star” from Pharrell’s N.E.R.D. days as well as his now career-defining international hit “Happy” on this superstar billing.