72° Good Evening
72° Good Evening

Phoenix, Beach Fossils and others playing NYC in July

Our look at bands hitting the indie scene.

Phoenix plays Brooklyn Steel five nights this July.

Phoenix plays Brooklyn Steel five nights this July. Photo Credit: Getty Images for KROQ / Kevin Winter

Madison Square Garden might be the core of the city's music scene, but down the steps into Brooklyn basements and tucked away in Village lofts there has been hidden rock and roll gems in New York since music first crossed the Hudson.

From Queens to Coney Island, every night of the week brings the sounds of up-and-comers, returning rockers, or your new favorite four-piece playing out of a Bushwick studio.

And if that all might seem underwhelming, we’ve got you covered. Here are four bands you should get to know — or revisit all over again — before they hit New York City.



Flash back to the summer of 2009 when it was near impossible to escape Phoenix’s “Lisztomania,” a perfect slice of danceable indie-pop that dominated commercials, alternative radio, and the inside of your head. Fortunately for anyone who catches the four Frenchman during their five-night stay at Brooklyn Steel, the rest of their discography is just as endlessly pleasant. The perfect band for a warm summer night in New York. (Brooklyn Steel, July 5-7, 9-10)

Song to Stream: “Lisztomania”

Beach Fossils

A good portion of the world got an odd introduction to Beach Fossils: the Brooklyn band was cast, with no acting experience, to play fictional band The Nasty Bits on Martin Scorsese’s 1970s rock-drama “Vinyl.” (In the show, the band is fronted by James Jagger, as in son of Mick). The show only lasted a season, but this trio has been creating incredible lo-fi guitar pop since 2009. Atmospheric like a bass note played in a dream — think The Strokes having a chill-as-hell luau with the Beach Boys — with frontman Dustin Payseur leading the way with practically whispered stories of New York. (Terminal 5, July 7)

Song to Stream: “Down the Line”

Thank You Scientist

Thank You Scientist is for anyone who likes a good electric violin solo alongside their noodle-guitared prog rock. Weird, wild and just a ton of fun, this seven-piece band out of Montclair, New Jersey has been tearing up the indie scene since Revolver Magazine singled out their dynamic debut, “Maps of Non-Existent Places,” as “Album Of The Week” in 2014. Come for the complex riffs, stay for the horn hits and just a hint of theremin. (Brooklyn Bazaar, July 18)

Song to Stream: “Mr. Invisible”

Coheed and Cambria

You don’t have to understand the sprawling, intergalactic sci-fi story that makes up the backbone of this band’s lyrics, but it should give you an idea of the level of “epic” Coheed and Cambria strives for. Bolstered by the distinctive voice of bushy-haired frontman Claudio Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever’s Black Sabbath-like shredding, this four-piece from Nyack, New York, has transcended its Warped Tour brethren to become one of the best hard rock bands of the last few decades. Their latest single — the driving 10-minute monster-jam “The Dark Sentencer” — is classic Coheed wonkiness. (Ford Amphitheater, July 21)

Song to Stream: “The Dark Sentencer”


Pioneers of the New York punk scene as we know it, Television rose to prominence in the 1970s as mainstays at the East Village’s now-defunct CBGB alongside The Ramones and Patti Smith. More than four decades later and the band’s inimitable blend of garage fuzz and surprisingly improvisational punk is as striking as ever. This is a chance to see legends play to a city they helped change forever. (Elsewhere, July 31) 

Song to Stream: “Marquee Moon”


Entertainment photos & videos