There is no escaping the shadow Governors Ball will cast over New York City’s show-going scene this weekend. Whether you missed out on badges, drying your salty, resentful tears with a signed poster of André 3000, or have been too busy scoffing from your Black Flag-wallpapered cool dungeon to care (Childish Gambino? Mwahaha, tasteless fools), the reality is this is Governors Ball’s weekend, and we are just brunching in it. But have heart, badgeless masses, there are still plenty of killer shows to go around, all you have to do is check out our Top 5 Non-Gov Ball Shows of the Weekend, grab tickets, and then get out there and have fun while your friends cower in staph-infected port-a-johns and savor every last molecule of their $9 Bud Lights. And let’s be honest, for true music fans—Mountain Dew-backed neo-Woodstockism aside—it doesn’t get much better than that.
5) Delay, Shellshag, Martha, Giant Peach at Death By Audio
With the news of long-tenured Bedford Ave coffee spot Verb’s closure arriving yesterday, Death by Audio further cemented its status as one of the final remaining vestiges of “old” Williamsburg. Pandemic-level gentrification be damned, the South 2nd warehouse hideaway continues to kill it this weekend—as it has every weekend for years—with this ripping show headlined by Ohio punk kings Delay and Don Giovanni stalwarts Shellshag. Martha and Giant Peach round out the bill, which, at $7, costs about the same as a New Orleans cold brew from one of the shiny new caffeine outposts and offers no excuse not to get out there and keep it OG.
Friday, doors at 7pm
4) Angel Haze, The Death Set, Bad Rabbits at House of Vans (FREE!)
It just wouldn’t feel like summer without free shows at House of Vans, and controversy magnet/MC Angel Haze apparently gets that, kicking it off this weekend with an eclectic show featuring Australian art punks The Death Set and Boston-based R&B heads Bad Rabbits. If you’re looking to avoid the Gov Ball lines, then House of Vans’ free Heineken/limited toilet combination probably isn’t for you, but let’s be honest, neither can be much worse than your average Monday-Friday L train commute anyway.
Saturday, doors at 7pm
3) Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Shitkill at Europa
Hardcore is back in a big way in 2014, with absolutely atomic albums from the likes Trap Them and Crowbar picking up where 2013 crossover standouts like Nails and White Widows Pact dropped the bloody baton. It just so happens that this Europa-hosted throwdown features two of the year’s best in Ringworm and Enabler (seriously go listen to the latter’s La Fin Absolue Du Monde; it picks up you by the spine and does not let go), who are sure to turn in raucous supporting sets for Eyehategod, the New Orleans sludge legends whose latest self-titled opus—which bids farewell to longtime drummer Joey LaCaze—is a must-hear for fans of everything heavy. If you’re looking for a good way to slam out those workweek demons, your search ends here.
Saturday, doors at 8:30pm
2) Summer Thunder: Pissed Jeans, Cold Fronts at Union Pool (FREE!)
One of the first times I ever went out in Williamsburg, my roommate at the time told me “Union Pool is where you go if you want to get laid.” Seconds after stepping through the door, a drunk woman leaned over and slid her hand up beneath my jacket, slurring “hey boyyysss” over the din of the at-capacity bar. In other words, it’s comforting to know that some things are just as they seem, much like Pissed Jeans, a no-bullshit scuzz punk quartet from Bumblefuck Pennsylvania who are set to hit the aforementioned North Brooklyn party pit on Saturday afternoon for the latest installment of their Summer Thunder series. This one is totally rad and completely free, so make sure show-up early because, as we all know, the best things in life are first come, first serve.
Saturday, doors at 2pm
1) Fucked Up, Big Ups, In School at Bowery Ballroom
Following in the time-honored tradition of unjustly panning straight-up rock n’ roll records that follow critic-boner gratifying conceptual behemoths (see: Local Business vs. The Monitor), Pitchfork wasn’t terribly gracious to new Fucked Up’s latest slab anthemic hardcore punk, Glass Boys, last week. Don’t let that dissuade from scalping your way into this record release rager, however, because not only is Glass Boys perhaps Fucked Up’s most buoyant and intoxicating entry yet, but local-boys-done-good, Big Ups, are also on the bill, still riding the discordant feedback waves of their January debut, Eighteen Hours of Static. If you’ve got the cash and the wherewithal, this one is more than worth that dreaded weekend trek over the bridge.
Friday, doors at 8pm
Goin’ Up The Country
Skaters, The So So Glos, and more at Camp Lenox
Hail To the King, Baby
King Khan & The Shrines at Music Hall of Williamsburg