Rockin’ in the City

The action-packed concert season begins.

Basketball isn’t the only March Madness to jump for in New York this month – this is when the concert season really starts to pick up all over the city. Pop stars, folk singers and marquee names will shine bright for all to see. In addition to the following spotlighted artists, New York City Monthly recommends Grammy Song of the Year nominee Hozier who takes over the Beacon Theatre March 6 and Hammerstein Ballroom March 22 with BRIT-nominated singer-songwriter George Ezra. DJ/producer Steve Aoki whips up his best mixes March 13 at Hammerstein Ballroom, March 20 singer-songwriter Andy Grammer will be joined by folk-pop duo Alex & Sierra at Webster Hall and on March 24-25 Queens rapper Action Bronson takes over Terminal 5.

One of the world’s biggest bands – Maroon 5 – coasts into Madison Square Garden March 5 and 6 in support of their recent fifth album “V” which reunited all original six band members. Though “Harder To Breathe” and “This Love” in 2002 and 2004 are known as their breakthrough hits, respectively, the band has actually been together since 1994. The Grammy-winning pop/rock band has had one of the most consistent runs in modern music led by energetic lead singer Adam Levine and his sweet tenor vocals. From “Moves Like Jagger” and “Makes Me Wonder” to “Love Somebody” and new hit “Sugar,” the band has a knack for uptempo, danceable fare as well as inspiring songs such as “She Will Be Loved,” “Payphone” and “Daylight.” MAGIC! and Rozzi Crane join Maroon 5 on their World Tour dates in North America. Those who grab their subway “Maps” and head over to MSG can expect a night full of surprises and party “Animals.”

Doo-wop swept back into pop culture as of last summer thanks to pop star Meghan Trainor and her Grammy-nominated “All About That Bass,” up for Record of the Year and Song of the Year last month, off her debut #1 album “Title.” Trainor’s #1 single was followed up with the equally-catchy “Lips Are Movin'” and she made waves with other album tracks “Dear Future Husband” and the album’s title track. At the core, Trainor is a singer-songwriter, having penned or co-penned every song on her record. Trainor jumpstarted her career writing for Rascal Flatts and Hunter Hayes and she was a co-writer on the current Fifth Harmony banger “Sledgehammer.” Meghan Trainor headlines her first outing, That Bass Tour, with two dates at Irving Plaza, March 13 and 15 with supporting act Sheppard. Look out for Meghan’s critiquing alongside The Voice coach Blake Shelton on Season 8 of the reality competition this spring.

Brooklyn-born singing sensation Neil Diamond is one of the best-selling artists of all time with 125 million records sold. The “America” singer tours the world the better part of 2015 with North American dates first and a stop at Barclays Center March 26. The global icon is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a Kennedy Center honoree with a vast songbook that includes “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Forever In Blue Jeans,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Shilo,” “I Am…I Said” and arguably his most recognizable hit, “Sweet Caroline.” Diamond also penned “I’m A Believer” which he recorded and was later popularized by The Monkees’ cover and “Red Red Wine” which gained commercial success moreso in the 80s from UB40. Diamond’s shows have been said to be memorable with elements of folk, country, pop and rock, sweeping melodies and relatable lyrics that keep the crowd in unison.

The only foreseeable “Problem” this month would be failing to snag tickets to Ariana Grande’s The Honeymoon Tour, which sashays its way over to Madison Square Garden March 30 and 31. Though it will be her first headlining MSG dates, Grande is no stranger to the venue, scoring the coveted slot as performer for the NBA All-Star Game last month. Grande’s had quite the year, performing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and scored major hits with the aforementioned “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea, the Zedd-produced banger “Break Free,” girl-power anthem “Bang Bang” with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj and The Weeknd-assisted “Love Me Harder,” all off her second consecutive #1 record “My Everything.” Grande has become a darling in the fashion world and in addition to strutting through her current hits, she is expected to perform her previous singles “The Way,” “Baby I” and “Right There,” which introduced the world to her effortless, cooing R&B power. British band Rixton is Ariana Grande’s supporting act.

(Photo Credit: Anton Oparin / Shutterstock)