The Talent Rises as We Head Into Fall
The temperatures will start to cool down soon, but Brooklyn’s music scene remains as hot as ever. Our borough continues to spawn and nurture new talent while also attracting top acts from beyond its borders. Here’s a sampling of what the next several weeks have to offer, with an emphasis on local performers.
Big Thief headlines two shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 11th and 12th. Led by vocalist/songwriter Adrianne Lenker of Prospect Heights, the band is touring in support of their critically acclaimed sophomore album, Capacity.
Maybird, who call both Brooklyn and Rochester, NY, home, are at The Knitting Factory on September 14th, 21st and 28th. They will be supported each of those nights by different local bands: Evolfo; Corbu and Steady Sun; and Gillian, respectively.
Sam Reider, a local jazz pianist turned folk musician whose debut full-length album, Too Hot to Sleep, is “in the works,” performs with his new band, Human Hands, at Barbés on September 19th. Hope Debates & North 40, Brooklynites specializing in old-school country music, will be at Bar Chord in Ditmas Park on September 20th. The next evening, Scott Sharrard, who spent the last decade as lead guitarist for the late Gregg Allman’s band, brings his Brickyard Band across the East River to Bar Chord.
Early Fall Festivals
On September 21st, Jalopy hosts the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival’s Opening Night Gala, with Park Slope’s Annie Keating and DUMBO-based trio Everything Turned to Color joining bands from the heartland. Over the following three days, more than 50 acts will perform at seven locations along the Brooklyn waterfront. Among Brooklyn-based artists scheduled to appear at the festival are Alex Battles, The Brother Brothers, Aron Blue & the Bootleggers, Bobtown, Stella Branstool, Dylan Charles & The Layton Sisters, The Defibulators, Ana Egge, Abby Hollander, Pete Lanctot & the Stray Dogs, Jesse Lenat, The Maybelles, M Shanghai, and Rench.
Brooklyn Comes Alive returns to Williamsburg for its third year on September 23rd and 24th, with two full days of supergroups, tribute sets, and collaborations featuring members of Umphrey’s McGee, The Disco Biscuits, The String Cheese Incident, Trey Anastasio Band, and dozens of other artists. Brooklyn Bowl, The Hall at MP, and Music Hall of Williamsburg, all within a 10 minute walking radius, are the host venues.
On Oct. 1, the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk presents Chicago, led by founding member and Brooklyn native Robert Lamm, who was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Among other October music highlights in Brooklyn, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (that’s Dead as in Grateful) play Brooklyn Bowl, Oct. 5-7 and 12-14, while Jonathan Coulton performs at Bell House Oct. 6. Coulton and fellow Brooklynites They Might Be Giants are among the notable contributors to the forthcoming Spongebob Squarepants Broadway musical. DJ Questlove’s Thursday night Bowl Train series at Brooklyn Bowl gets a local spin on Oct. 26 with Talib Kweli as guest DJ. Jangle-pop punk-rockers Beach Fossils, whose new album, Somersault, is out on frontman Dustin Payseur’s own local label (Bayonet Records), play Brooklyn Steel on Oct. 28.
Upcoming headliners at Barclays Center include Roger Waters (Sept 11-12), Paul McCartney (Sept. 19 & 21) Ed Sheeran (Sept. 29-Oct.1), Bruno Mars (Oct. 4) and Katy Perry (Oct. 11), while Kings Theatre presents En Vogue (Sept. 16), Keith Sweat & Tamar Braxton (Sept. 29), and Ben Folds (Oct. 21). Shows at Pioneer Works in Red Hook include Nels Cline (Sept. 13) and Esperanza Spalding (Oct. 6).