Music in New York City means sold-out concerts in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, tour stops by global superstars at Barclays Center, awe-inspiring subway performances and world-class theatrical productions both on and off-Broadway.
However, lesser known are the hidden-gem venues whose history and prowess make them integral to New York City’s musical identity. Mostly ideal for visitors seeking a more intimate concert-going experience this winter.
Here are 9 hidden gems in New York City’s Music Scene.
Apollo Theater (Harlem, Manhattan)
The historic Apollo Theater, celebrating its 85th anniversary, plays a key role in developing emerging African American and culturally diverse artists and launching the careers of icons like Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix through its Amateur Night series.
Upcoming performances include the Wow Festival 2019 on 15 March 2019, and Jose Gonzalez and The String Theory 21 March 2019.
Brooklyn Steel (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Brooklyn Steel has grown into one of the most popular music halls on the East Coast since last year’s music scene resulted in five nights of sold-out concerts by the rock band LCD Soundsystem.
Upcoming concerts include the rapper Noname from 5 to 6 January 2019, Beirut on 10 to 11 February 2019 and Nils Frahm on 29 to 30 March 2019.
Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, Queens)
The landmarked Flushing Town Hall, from a historic landmark, has evolved into a dynamic multidisciplinary venue with music, dance and cultural events. Performances like those from Talavya on 25 January 2019 and Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks on 1 February 2019.
Kings Theatre (Flatbush, Brooklyn)
The Kings Theatre has been a Brooklyn staple for nearly 90 years, originally serving as one of five original “Loew’s Wonder Theatres.” Now, after undergoing the $95-million restoration of its 1929 design, it has been reopened as a state-of-the-art live performance venue with 3,000 seats.
Notable upcoming performances include Toni Braxton 10 February 2019, Metric and Zoé on 18 February 2019 and Snoop Dog on 3 March 2019.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts (Jerome Park, the Bronx)
The 2,300-seat Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, now in its 38th season, acts as a canvas for artists from a wide array of cultures and disciplines. The Bronx’s premier concert hall is currently undergoing an expansion and renovation, expected to debut late next year.
Despite that, here are the venue’s upcoming highlights: Roberto Roena on 26 January 2019, Hector Acosta on 16 February 2019, and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard on 30 March 2019.
Music Hall of Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
The Music Hall of Williamsburg has earned recognition as one of the best rock clubs in the United States. It can hold 550 people and was built with acoustical design in mind, allowing for the best concert-going experience possible.
Upcoming shows include Thursday on 27 to 28 December, Margo Price on 31 December 2018, The Lemon Twigs on 18 to 19 January 2019, Mandolin Orange on 8 February 2019, and Teenage Fanclub on 14 March 2019.
Rough Trade NYC (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Rough Trade is a record shop that doubles as a music venue and has grown into a staple of the independent music community since opening in Williamsburg in 2013. Upcoming performances include Lankum on 5 January 2019, Feeder on 8 February 2019, and Mike Krol on 5 March 2019.
St. George Theatre (St. George, Staten Island)
Staten Island’s St. George Theatre has been one of New York City’s most beloved cultural spots for nearly a century. Following a recent multimillion-dollar renovation, the historic 1,900-seat theatre now offers all the luxuries of a modern state-of-the-art performance venue.
Upcoming concerts include Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with the David Johansen Band on 21 December, Little Anthony and the Imperials on 19 January 2019, Kool and the Gang 15 February 2019, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson on 3 March 2019, and Celtic Woman 21 March 2019.
Terminal 5 (Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)
Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, Terminal 5 flaunts a multilevel space holding 3,000 people in five distinct room environments. The venue regularly presents concerts by hip-hop stars and some of the most famous electronic DJs in the world. Acts coming to the Terminal 5 stage this winter include Nghtmre on 22 December, Nao on 2 February 2019, and Enrique Bunbury on 23 March 2019.
For more information about upcoming concerts and events in New York City, visit the NYCgo official website.