Top 10 In-Stores 2023

Rough Trade Records

December 28th, 2023

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From mosh pits to intimate performances by some of the greats, 2023 was a great year for in-stores!

Yet again, Rough Trade NYC brought out some of the most exciting events Sixth Avenue has ever seen. We compiled our favorite in-stores this year, asking staff to give their input and share the most memorable moments:


Photo by Becca Lader

This was the start of having hardcore bands play in the shop and it couldn’t have gone better. Celebrating the release of their new EP on Flatspot Records, Scowl played a ripper of a set with folks jumping off the counter and turning the sales floor into a pit. Controlled chaos in the best possible way. More of this to come in 2024!

Caroline Polachek

Caroline Polachek did an in-store signing to celebrate the physical release of her sophomore album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You. Caroline was so lovely and kind and sat down to have a one-on-one conversation with each of her fans that attended – so much so that the event lasted 5 hours. She also signed copies of Desire with personal messages and even spritzed it with a spicy, earthy perfume that’s scent is meant to complement the album. As a fan myself, these personal touches made this event so special, making it my #1 of the year. – Emily

Exclusive copies of Desire, I Want to Turn Into You available now!

The Nude Party

Fellow North Carolina natives The Nude Party brought something truly special to the shop for their in-store. With nearly the entire band, and a pedal steel, they settled into the shop for an intimate acoustic set in support of their new album Rides On. The Nude Party boys top my list of in-stores this year. – Olivia


Like a tornado ripping through Rockefeller Center, the focused energy and physicality was a force to behold and rejoice; performance and audience fusion, reaffirming the unique role of the record store as a place of celebration and congregation. – Stephen

My favorite was the Incendiary event. I haven’t felt that kind of pit energy in a room in a long time; especially in such a small space. It brought me back to a happier time of pits being filled with friends and like minded people. The energy was ferocious and the feeling of community was solid. Stoked to see a pit with “counter” diving in the store. 🤘 More metal and hardcore in ’24!!! – Adrian

Exclusive copies of Change The Way You Think About Pain available now!


Personally such a highlight to have one of my favorite bands in the shop for the release of their new album, Stone. We were treated to some slowed down versions of songs on the new record as well as had a nice interview with the band after their performance to chat about the excitement surrounding the release. – Wesley


Photo by Olivia Cummings

By far one of the most intense and incredible in-stores of 2023, Godcaster brought their signature style and art-rock influence to Rockefeller Center. I have seen these guys multiple times through the years and was so happy to have them play at Rough Trade. Lead singer Judson Kolk‘s performance would make Iggy Pop blush. I will always be in awe of this band and I am excited to see what they have up their sleeve for 2024. – Olivia

Glen E Friedman + Members of Minor Threat

Another year, another amazing Glen E. Friedman book + event to go along with it. This year we were treated to Glen in conversation with Lyle Preslar and Brian Baker from Minor Threat, with Johnny Temple moderating.

Signed copies of Glen’s books available in-store and online!

Sunny War

Photo by Olivia Cummings

Sunny War, the acoustic punk-folk-blues singer, delivered an incredible performance at Rough Trade on February 2nd, 2023, making it my favorite in-store show of the year. She played tracks from her excellent new LP, Anarchist Gospel. Sunny’s journey started busking for tips in Venice Beach, California, and led her to developing and mastering her nimble finger-style guitar technique, bringing it home with a warm, honest conviction in her voice. – Dennis

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett stopped in for a signing in between her residency at National Sawdust in support of her End of a Day soundtrack, out on Mom+Pop records!

Exclusive copies available now!

The Teskey Brothers

With amazing soulful instrumentation and beautifully powerful vocals. The Teskey Brothers made me feel like a cowboy drinking my sorrows away in a far off saloon. I absolutely loved this in-store. – Che


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