12 Fall Concerts to Check Out in NYC

As always, New York has an impressive line-up of musical talent on the schedule this fall. Get a jump on your seasonal plans, and check out a diverse slate of concerts you can see in the city as the weather gets cooler. Get loose at the Forest Hills Stadium with Willie Nelson, see new acts like Lizzo and Mahalia own the stage, and enjoy Big Bird playing with the big band at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Here are 12 concerts to check out after Labor Day in New York City. 

Willie Nelson & Family at Forest Hills Stadium

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is back on the road with his son Lukas, his band, and Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats. See this living legend at the great Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, with folk singer Alison Krauss and Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real as opening acts. September 11. 1 Tennis Pl.,

Kimya Dawson at Market Hotel

Head to one of Bushwick’s best venues for the Kimya Dawson show this September. Formerly of The Moldy Peaches, Dawson gained popularity for her band’s smash-hit songs on the film soundtrack of Juno. See Your Heart Breaks and Shellshag opening the show. Wednesday, September 18. 1140 Myrtle Ave., 914-893-2843,

Lizzo at Radio City Music Hall


Self-proclaimed “bop star” Lizzo is headed to Radio City on her Cuz I Love You Too Tour. Come listen to her belt “Juice,” make jokes, and own this iconic stage in late September. Ari Lennox and DJ Sophia Eris open. Sun, Sept 22 & Tues, Sept 24. 1260 Sixth Ave., 212-465-6000,

Global Citizen Festival at Central Park

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys 

Combining activism and music fandom, the Global Citizen Festival partners with audience members to create lasting change. This year, the September 28 concert will hit the Great Lawn with acts like Queen fronted by Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., and Carole King. Tickets are free of charge, but in order to acquire them you must engage in specific activist actions in the realms of health, gender equality, the environment, and/or education. Download the Global Citizen app to take action and earn points toward your ticket to the concert. September 28. Great Lawn in Central Park,

Carnegie Hall Opening Night Gala

This year is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and Carnegie Hall will celebrate with a series of concerts throughout their 2019-2020 season. Kick off the fall season and the Beethoven Celebration with The Opening Night Gala on October 3. Franz Welser-Möst will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra in the composer’s Triple Concerto. You’ll also hear Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier during this special event. Thursday, October 3. 881 Seventh Ave., 212-247-7800,

The Avett Brothers at Barclays Center

Avett Brothers

Folk outfit The Avett Brothers will play the Downtown Brooklyn arena on October 5. See the four-man band play hits like “I And Love And You” at Barclays. The opening act is rock band Lake Street Dive. Saturday, October 5. 620 Atlantic Ave., 917-618-6100,

Steely Dan at The Beacon Theatre

Donald Fagen and company bring their rock-n-roll prowess to the Beacon Theatre this October for a 6-show engagement. Hear the harmony-rich hits like “Reelin’ In the Years,” played as part of this unique album-per-night line-up. The band will play the entirety of their albums Aja, The Royal Scam, By Popular Demand, The Nightfly, Gaucho, and Greatest Hits, respectively, at each show. October 15-22. 2124 Broadway, 212-465-6500,

Mahalia at Music Hall of Williamsburg

British phenom Mahalia comes to Williamsburg this October, bringing her alt-R&B sound. See the singer-songwriter behind “I Wish I Missed My Ex” after opening acts Sebastian Mikael and JVCK JAMES. Friday, October 18. 66 N. 6th St., 718-486-5400,

A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration at Lincoln Center Jazz

Another important anniversary is coming up: Sesame Street is turning 50! See the incredible Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis play songs from and inspired by the beloved children’s program. Big Bird, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, and several other friends will also be onstage to sing and celebrate their milestone. The program is suitable for all ages and is a great way to introduce kids to jazz! Friday & Saturday, October 25-26. 10 Columbus Cir., 212-721-6500,

Sleater-Kinney at Kings Theatre

Sleater Kinney

Part of their fall tour, Sleater-Kinney will come to the Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn the day before Halloween. Hear their new St. Vincent-produced track, “Hurry On Home,” performed live as the punk trio of Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss tear the roof off the opulent theatre (metaphorically, of course). Wednesday, October 30. 1027 Flatbush Ave., 800-745-3000,

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at Village Vanguard

Visit one of the city’s jazz gems at The Village Vanguard. Come on a Monday night to hear the house band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, play during their standing weekly engagement. Begun in 1966 as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, the band has gone on to play over 2,700 Monday nights since then at this iconic Village club. Hear their big-band sound, winner of two Grammy Awards, any Monday night you please during the fall months. 178 Seventh Ave. S., 212-255-4037,

Angel Olsen at Brooklyn Steel

Angel Olsen

Indie rock queen Angel Olsen brings her new single, “All Mirrors,” and a strong catalog of sensitive, shredding songs to Brooklyn. Come to Brooklyn Steel in East Williamsburg for this late-November show with Vagabon opening at the first show. Friday-Saturday, November 22-23. 319 Frost St., 888-929-7849, 

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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