Music, but Make It Outdoors
After a long drought, live music has started to return to indoor New York City venues, and I – like many – am thrilled.
But there are still few things that I love more than summer outdoor concerts. How many opportunities do we city dwellers really have to marry our love of fresh air with the sensory pleasure of live music? And who doesn’t love the taste of chaos that comes with seeing the phrases “weather permitting” or “rain or shine” on a ticket?
Here at Summer in the City, we’re especially excited about the return of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to Prospect Park’s Lena Horne Bandshell – a place we love for its convenience and a series we love because it’s mostly free.
The opening night of the summer series kicks off Saturday with a show with neo-soul singer Ari Lennox, rapper Kamauu and R&B artist Nesta. Performers to watch include The Roots on August 12 (a paid show, although proceeds will benefit the festival), Skip Marley on August 13 and Wizkid on September 11, as well as screenings of “Wattstax” on August 5 and “In the heights ”, August 26.
Grab a drink or a bite to eat near the park (the restaurants at Park Slope and Prospect Heights are the closest), then enjoy an evening stroll to the bandstand before sunset.
Or maybe rock is more your bag. If so, head to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. On Saturday Bright Eyes, a beloved band of mid-year moody millennials, will take the stage, along with Waxahatchee and Lucy Dacus (two artists I’ve spent far too much time texting the Times pop music editor).
Need more time to plan? In August, performances by Wilco and Sleater-Kinney on August 21, the Dropkick Murphys and Rancid on August 28, and My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard (from Alabama Shakes) on September 10 and 11. Also in the borough, on Sunday, Grupo Rebolu will bring its modern Caribbean sound to the outdoor stage of the Queens Theater in Corona Plaza.
The Capital One City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage festival is already well underway in Central Park, Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens and the Coney Island Amphitheater. They organize various events every weekend, some of them with live streaming components. (This Saturday, the Central Park site will host The Originals, a collective of hip-hop pioneers, joined by another, Slick Rick.)
Chances are, if you keep your ears open and walk around to the music, you can find something similar in your neighborhood. And city parks have a list of outdoor shows if you’re looking for clearer shots.
We want to hear about the gems of summer in your neighborhood. What are the spots, people and events that make summer great? Send us a note with your advice at [email protected] clock.com.