Longstanding Chicago rock staple Wilco have proven themselves to not only be one of America’s most reliable bands in terms of studio releases, but one of the great live acts of rock music. They seem to tour non-stop, but the demand always stays at feverish levels because you know that you are always going to get a top quality show from Jeff Tweedy and co.

Although they released Schmilco last year (via their own dBpm Records), they hadn’t properly brought the tour to us in New York, save for a special Rough Trade NYC in-store performance last fall for fans who bought the record. They righted that this month, with a four-night run of shows at Beacon Theatre.

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Jens Lekman has done it again with his increasingly joyful new album Life Will See You Now, which was released in February via Secretly Canadian. Late last year we saw him test out some new songs during his most memorable solo show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, a show which he admitted was a part of a tour around major cities in order to raise funds for a much larger tour for the new album this year.

Well here we are, and Jens has been hard at work touring the new album, bringing the tour to New York for a pair of dates, including Bowery Ballroom on March 18, which I caught (he also would played MHOW and a solo show at Rough Trade). Both Bowery and MHOW featured a hushed opening performance from Lisa/Liza.

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All photos by Jayson Yee

On March 18 Ezra Furman returned to New York for a performance at Rough Trade NYC. This current tour sees him backed by his band the The Boyfriends, comprised of bassist Jorgen Jorgensen, keyboardist/guitarist Ben Joseph, drummer Sam Durkes and saxophonist Tim Sandusky. They brought his 2016 EP Big Fugitive Life (released via Bella Union) to life at the show, along with selections from throughout his discography.

Find photos from Furman’s performance posted below (along with the setlist), all taken by our photographer Jayson Yee.

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All photos by Dana Pacifico

It was a long wait for Blossom, Milky Chance’s long-awaited follow up to their 2013 debut album, Sadnecessary (both released via Lichtdicht Records). They have been making up for lost time by playing a quick and sweet “Before Blossom” tour of small clubs around the world giving fans a taste of the music before the drop. Le Poisson Rouge on March 17 was final stop of the tour and marked the official release of Blossom to the world with a livestream and all.

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On March 16 Devendra Banhart returned to New York to play to a sold out crowd at Webster Hall. The show came in support of his 2016 album Ape in Pink Marble, released via Nonesuch Records.

Support came from Rogov and H. Hawkline, both of which also played in Banhart’s band. They each played brief sets of about 15-25 minutes before Banhart took the stage and delivered an impressive 23-song set that included songs from the new album but mainly cuts throughout Banhart’s career.

Find the setlist posted below, along with a gallery of photos from the night.
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All photos via Dana Pacifico

L.A. singer (via Cleveland, Ohio) Alina Baraz hopped on the scene back in 2015 when her and producer Galimatias developed a working friendship over facebook and dropped the dark, sonic EP Urban Flora.

She’s due for a big year, preparing the release of her debut album this year via Mom + Pop Music, as well as a pretty huge opening gig for a little band known as Coldplay later this fall.

On March 16 Baraz played to a sold out Music Hall of Williamsburg, performing tracks off of the EP, as well as a little preview of what’s to come. Our photographer Dana Pacifico was on hand to capture all the action, find her photos from the show posted below.

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On March 14, James Mercer and The Shins kicked off a 2-night run of very sold out intimate shows in New York at Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, with Music Hall of Williamsburg following the next day. The shows came a few days after the release of The Shins new album Heartworms that was released via Columbia Records.

Despite the blizzard, the show went on as planned and featured a set that was very faithful to old favorites, as well as the new material from Heartworms. The Shins will be back for a much larger NYC date this summer, where they’ll play BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park on June 15. Tickets for the show are currently still available.

Find the Bowery Ballroom setlist posted below.

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On March 14 New York experienced quite a nasty blizzard, an unusual experience in mid-March. Parts on New York north of the city were hit a little bit harder than the city itself, but it made travel rather difficult. But the storm didn’t stop some shows from continuing on, including Sting’s sold out show at Hammerstein Ballroom.

The show was a rather intimate affair for an artist like Sting, who could of course, have easily played at even larger venues. But the show was a nice in-between for fans to catch him in a medium-sized venue, a little larger than his last stop at Irving Plaza, and much smaller than his shows at Madison Square Garden last year with Peter Gabriel.

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You don’t go see The Flaming Lips to see a show, you go for a true experience. The group has amassed a devoted passionate fanbase over the years, that not only has them repeatedly coming back for more, but also has them dressing up in colorful costumes, literally becoming a part of the show itself.

Following their bizarre team-up with Miley Cyrus, The Flaming Lips returned with new album Oczy Mlody via Warner Bros. Records. It’s impressively the 14th album from the long-standing Oklahoma rockers, and it still offers some new surprises from a band whose not afraid to push the boundaries of their oddball electronic soundscapes. They’ve been hard at work in support of the new record, bringing their tour to New York for a stop at The Space at Westbury in Long Island on March 11.

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