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NYC's 10 Best Summer Shows Under $20

NYC's 10 Best Summer Shows Under $20

Picture of Austin Seidel
Updated: 12 December 2015
New York is an iconic music city–with its streets being the center of genres as wide-ranging as jazz, rock, and blues. However, iconic does not have to mean expensive. In fact, New York maintains a constant supply of affordable, innovative shows year round, and especially in the summer. Read on to discover 10 amazing summer performances for under $20.

Son Lux at Rough Trade, July 23

Hailing originally from Colorado, Son Lux now calls New York City his home and base, making 1970s-inspired trip hop tracks from Manhattan. In addition, he also composes soundtracks—and has scored films such as The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and the upcoming movie, Paper Towns, based off of John Green’s popular novel. Rough Trade, a record store in Williamsburg, will be hosting Son Lux on July 23, so be sure book tickets now.

Son Lux at Rough Trade, 64 North 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA + 1 718 388 4111

HOLYCHILD at Baby’s All Right, July 16

Even though HOLYCHILD just released their first full-length album, The Shape of Brat Pop to Come in June 2015, this newcomer duo from Los Angeles carries confidence. Using ironic and witty lyrics to critique popular culture, HOLYCHILD’s music pleasantly shouts—a characteristic of theirs that especially shines through on flashy tracks such as, “Money All Around” and “U Make Me Sick.” Catch HOLYCHILD’s glittering “brat pop” at Baby’s All Right, a trendy bar-restaurant venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

HOLYCHILD at Baby’s All Right, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY, USA + 1 718 599 5800

Field Mouse at Bowery Ballroom, July 17

Field Mouse is the otherworldly project of two SUNY Purchase graduates, Andrew Futral and Rachel Browne. Blending shoegaze-y synthesizers with rock guitar, Field Mouse creates music that is simultaneously soft and harsh—most likely inspired by Futral’s and Browne’s life in New York City. See these New York natives live at the Bowery Ballroom, located in one of the most trendy neighborhoods in NYC.

Field Mouse at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 260 4700

Photo from Mr. Twin Sister
Courtesy of Mr. Twin Sister/©Kimi Selfridge

Mr Twin Sister at Bowery Ballroom, July 24

Even though Mr Twin Sister has frequently been compared to the Cocteau Twins, a Scottish rock trio from the 1980s and 90s, this Brooklyn-based band mixes disco and 80s new wave to form something modern and magical. Tracks from their self-titled album, such as “Rude Boy” and “Blush” are examples of their eclectic influences and style, with the Bowery Ballroom as a fitting venue to catch this up-and-coming band.

Mr Twin Sister at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 260 4700

Sylvan Esso at Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, July 25

Sylvan Esso manages to merge folksy vocals with minimalist electronic music—and their successful merging of the two has resulted in a performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and a #39 spot on Billboard’s top 200 albums. This up-and-coming band is play for free in NYC, so don’t miss their show at Celebrate! Brooklyn, one of New York City’s most popular outdoor arts festivals.

Sylvan Esso at Celebrate Brooklyn!, 62 West Drive, Brooklyn, NY, USA

© Rob Kulisek

Ducktails at Bowery Ballroom, August 7

Ducktails began in a shed as Matt Mondanile’s solo project and now plays regularly on alternative radio stations around the world. Specializing in dreamy pop tracks, Ducktails incorporates saxophone and piano into their music, resulting in diverse albums that contain something for everyone. With three studio albums and a fourth on the way, Ducktails shows no signs of stopping their synthesizers—especially not at their upcoming NYC show.

Ducktails at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 260 4700

TV Girl at The Studio at Webster Hall, July 29

Los Angeles is the base of this indie pop duo—a duo that ultimately aims to “end up at a party with Aubrey Plaza.” TV Girl’s music shows influences of the Beastie Boys and classic video game soundtracks, with one of their most popular tracks being “If You Want It.” TV Girl ultimately blends sampling with songwriting—and their show on July 20 at Webster Hall, New York’s largest nightclub, won’t be something to miss.

TV Girl at The Studio at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 353 1600

Lust for Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg, August 1

Lust for Youth began as a Swedish band known for dark and moody electronic music. However, after releasing their latest album, Lust for Youth now combines catchy choruses with 1980s-inspired synthesizers—perfect for a summer show or soundtrack. Before buying tickets and heading over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg, be sure to listen to “Illume” and “Running,” warm, pop-y tracks fit for the summertime.

Lust for Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 486 5400

Thurston Moore at Bowery Ballroom, August 6

Even though Thurston Moore might be known as one of the leading masterminds behind Sonic Youth, an influential NYC punk band from the 1980s, he has also recently embarked on other group and solo projects. In 2014, he released his latest album, “The Best Day,” featuring a more acoustic—but still noisy and discordant—take on rock. Thurston Moore and his band will be playing at Bowery Ballroom on August 6. Don’t forget to book tickets in advance to see one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists.

Thurston Moore at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 260 4700

Glass Animals at SummerStage, Central Park, August 9

Glass Animals hail from Oxford, England, and released their debut album, Zaba, in June 2014. This eclectic pop group is currently signed with a label founded by Paul Epworth, the producer behind Adele and Florence and the Machine. Glass Animals creates fun, funky, and seriously catchy tracks—the kind that have a tendency to get stuck in your head. Catch Glass Animals and their catchy music in early August at SummerStage, New York’s largest free performing arts festival.

Glass Animals at SummerStage, Central Park, New York, NY, USA +1 212 360 2777

By: Austin Seidel