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Attending live shows is an infectious experience. In crowded jam spaces, something intangible is shared between performers and listeners. A living atmosphere—made of energy, anticipation, and curiosity—emanates. Although live music has its charm anywhere in the world, one city that stands out is New York. With venue variety, impressive performer lineups, rich music history, and forward-thinking musical approach, watching concerts in NYC is an unparalleled experience. Keep reading to learn more about what sets this city’s concerts apart.

NYC has a venue for everyone

Though stretched for real estate, NYC is packed with music venues. The sheer number of music hubs and diversity of listeners means that there is a perfect venue for every listener. For those looking to experience massive halls and stadiums that have held the most iconic performers of all time, catch a show at Forest Hills Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, or Madison Square Garden. For excessive grandeur, Kings Theatre and Beacon Theatre are staples in the city, dazzling attendees with lux embellishments. For more intimate, off-the-path choices, delve into the bounty quirky, eclectic spaces. Little bohemian Barbes, sweet and refreshing Pete’s Candy Store, folk-focused Jalopy Theatre, and multi-genre Music Hall of Williamsburg are sample of what the city contains. No matter what type of music and atmosphere is wanted, some nook or cranny in the Big Apple will hit the spot.

NYC is a stop on nearly every major music tour

NYC is as much an imagined place as a real one; featured in movies, television, books, and music, it is embedded in the collective conscious of the world. Being such an emblematic city, NYC is go-to place for the world's biggest, boldest tours. Within the next month or so alone, countless stars and new sensations will fill venues. Among these artists are: Joan Baez, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, Ed Sheeran, Paul Simon, Lenny Kravitz, Fall Out Boy, Childish Gambino, BTS, Hozier, Billy Joel, Angel Olsen, Mac Demarco, and Neko Case. NYC’s music scene is the place to be for Broadway and musicals, too. The United States’ premier shows got their start in the city. Recent shows include Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. Hamilton New York tickets are also very popular. For those who are constantly bummed that their favorite musicians skip their closest city, remember that NYC is practically guaranteed a spot on the tour.

NYC is loaded with historic significance in the music industry

Historically, NYC is a center of music development, recording, and performance, carving the sounds that would come to touch the country and the world. When elite jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong made way to NYC for higher gig pay, other jazz artists--the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald--followed. With so many great minds and performers in one space, popularity of the genre grew and innovation flourished. In the 1940s through the 1960s, Greenwich Village was the center of folk revival, as Bob Dylan, Jan Baez, Woodie Guthrie, and countless others reintegrated the genre into protest and activism. Music was resistance. During 1970s disco craze, figures like Cher, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and Donna Summer crowded its club scene; Studio 54 became synonymous with disco fever and party life. In dodgy clubs, cramped spaces of the city, and the make it or break it stage of CBGB, punk and alternative artists ranging from Blondie to the Ramones ignited, eventually blasting onto worldwide radars. The attitudes of many musical movements and genres were crafted in a uniquely New York way, as talent, opportunity, grit, and struggle came to a head. In this way, attending concerts in NYC is a tribute to music history and a contribution to the emergence of tomorrow’s sounds.

NYC holds a pivotal place in music progression moving forward

The state of culture is in a phase of tremendous change, largely due to the pervasiveness of internet and social media. Music has been affected by this shift. Artists can bloom overnight by posting music onto Bandcamp or YouTube. Artists can collaborate and record across state lines using internet technologies. Artists can use the digitization digitization of music to make accessing new music instantaneous. This decentralization is a mixed bag. For NYC, it spurred a revitalized DIY spirit among creators. In terms of performance spaces, it has given way to hodgepodge spaces such as ShapeShifter Lab, IBeam and Douglass Street Music Collective. Concerts in NYC bring listeners to the verge of what is to come, the trends and sounds that will shape decades of music to come.

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