The Best Music Shows in NYC This January: Rock, Indie, and More

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for something to do this January? Check out our list of the best music shows in NYC! From rock and indie to classical and more, there’s something for everyone.

Rock Shows

Everyone knows that Coachella is the mecca for all music festivals, but what about all the other great music shows happening in the States? If you’re in New York this January and are looking for a great rock show, look no further than the following shows!

The Strokes

The Strokes are an American rock band from New York City. Formed in 1998, the group is composed of vocalist and lead guitarist Julian Casablancas, rhythm guitarist Nick Valensi, bassist Nikolai Fraiture, and drummer Fabrizio Moretti. Albert Hammond Jr. (lead guitar) and Nickolas Ashford (rhythm guitar) are former members of the band.


Interpol is an American rock band from New York City. Formed in 1997, the group consists of Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), and Sam Fogarino (drums, percussion). The band’s original bass guitarist, Carlos Dengler, left the group in 2010.

Interpol has released six studio albums: Turn on the Bright Lights (2002), Antics (2004), Our Love to Admire (2007), Interpol (2010), El Pintor (2014), and Marauder (2018). The band is currently signed to Matador Records.

Interpol’s musical style has been compared to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and Television. In a 2002 interview, Kessler said “When we were first starting out people said we sounded like Joy Division or Television…and while those may be great bands, I think our songwriting is a bit more sophisticated than theirs.” In an interview with Pitchfork Media in 2009, Banks said “I think our songs tend to be really long and complicated…a lot of them are pretty dense.”

The band has been categorized under various genres including indie rock, post-punk revival, and new wave.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Formed in 2000, Yeah Yeah Yeahs swiftly gained a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands of the new millennium, with their exhilarating blend of art punk, garage rock, and noise pop. The trio’s three full-length albums – Fever to Tell (2003), Show Your Bones (2006), and Mosquito (2013) – have each been certified Gold in the US, and the band has amassed a devoted global following thanks to their incendiary live shows. In 2016, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Indie Shows

If you’re looking for the best indie shows in NYC this January, look no further! We’ve got everything from rock to pop to punk covered. Check out our top picks below.

Vampire Weekend

One of the most highly-anticipated shows this January is Vampire Weekend at Brooklyn Steel on January 16. The group, which last released an album in 2013, is finally making their way back to New York for a string of shows in support of their forthcoming record, Father of the Bride. Tickets are available now.

The National

The National is an American rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio, formed in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), Aaron Dessner (guitar, keyboards), Bryce Dessner (guitar, keyboards), Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Bryce Dessner was invited to join the band as a guitarist after attending college with Aaron. Aaron placed an advertisement for a drummer on Craigslist and recruited his cousin, Bryan Devendorf.

Beach House

Beach House is an indie rock duo from Baltimore, MD. The band consists of Victoria Legrand (vocals, keyboards) and Alex Scally (guitar, keyboards). They have released 7 studio albums: “Beach House” (2006), “Devotion” (2008), “Teen Dream” (2010), “Bloom” (2012), “Depression Cherry” (2015), “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (2015), and “7” (2018). The band is currently on tour in support of their latest album.

Upcoming show:
January 15th – Brooklyn Steel – Brooklyn, NY

Hip-Hop Shows

If you’re a fan of hip-hop, then you won’t want to miss these shows in NYC this January! We’ve got performances from some of the biggest names in the game, including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Travis Scott. Get ready to experience the best hip-hop shows in the city!


One of the most successful hip-hop artists of all time, Jay-Z is a true icon in the music world. His Roc Nation label has helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in music, and his own rapping and songwriting skills are legendary. The Brooklyn-born rapper is known for his groundbreaking albums like The Blueprint and The Black Album, and he continues to wow audiences with his live shows. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, you won’t want to miss a chance to see Jay-Z perform live.


Nas is returning to NYC for a two-night stand at the Beacon Theatre on January 18 and 19. Joined by special guests, the Queensbridge MC will be performing his classic 1994 debut album Illmatic in its entirety each night.

Kendrick Lamar

One of the most successful hip-hop artists of all time, Kendrick Lamar is a Compton-born rapper who first gained mainstream attention with his 2013 album good kid, m.A.A.d city. The record was a critical and commercial smash, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 and eventually being certified double platinum. He’s followed up that success with a string of similarly acclaimed albums, including 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly and 2017’s DAMN., the latter of which won him five Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album. In 2018, he released the soundtrack to Marvel’s Black Panther movie to great acclaim; it earned him another Grammy for Best Rap Performance.

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