5 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
DJ Mustard will drop into Scottsdale over Memorial Day weekend.
It's Memorial Day weekend, but that doesn't mean live music stops. Check out our picks for live music this weekend, and visit our comprehensive concert calendar for more options.
DJ Mustard — Sunday, May 29 — Livewire
DJ Mustard is just 25, but already he's established himself as a top hit maker and premier hip-hop producer. Though you might not know his face, you've probably heard his signature tagline "Mustard on the beat, ho" on any number of ubiquitous hits in the past few years. Undoubtedly, Mustard's club-friendly, uptempo beats have managed to worm their way into your life somehow. His first major hit was the quadruple-platinum "Rack City" by Tyga, and it wasn't soon after that he scored another smash with 2 Chainz "I'm Different." YG's `My Nigga" was also a huge success for him, and practically every major rap artist to emerge in the past few years has a DJ Mustard-produced track somewhere in the mix. Rihanna even tapped him for a track on ANTI, giving Mustard some art cred to throw on top of his pile of platinum records. What does that mean for you? It means that getting the opportunity to see Mustard step out from behind the curtain is a chance to see a legend-in-the-making in person. Hip-hop heads should head on out. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Otep — Friday, May 27 — Joe's Grotto
Otep Shamaya is no stranger to controversy. She challenges every status quo in heavy metal, feminism, and well, the music industry in general. She welcomes the chance to stand up and speak out for those with no voice, or who risk too much to use it. As a result, the singer/poet/activist/screamer/illustrator/rapper is often the target of much anger and venomous insults, whether it's from a misogynistic mosher or pissed-off politician. Now on Napalm Records and having just released the extremely strong Generation Doom, Shamaya has showed that age and success haven't mellowed or softened her. She's still the badass growler everyone fell in love with a decade ago. LAUREN WISE
Built to Spill
Built to Spill — Sunday, May 29 — Crescent Ballroom
Before indie rock was a thing, like the hip, Urban Outfitters thing we know today, there was Built to Spill, one of the most indie of indie bands to ever indie. Which is kind of confusing, because the band has been on Warner Bros. Records for most of its career, but whatever: Built to Spill is still, like, indie, you know? What does "indie" even mean, anyway?
Twenty-three years and eight albums later, the Boise group still is defining what independence means in modern rock, returning with its latest indie opus, Untethered Moon. If your '90s nostalgia tank was running on empty, saturnine songs like "Never Be the Same" and the peach-fuzz rock on "Another Day" should assuage that indie itch. "Living Zoo" opens like a slowed-down version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Pin" before crashing into a Galaxie 500-like pensiveness. It's indie rock to rule them all, and, in the darkness, bind them. TROY FARAH
Skrillex performs at FORM Arcosanti on Saturday, May 14, 2016.
Skrillex — Saturday, May 28 — Talking Stick Resort
It's easy to hate on Skrillex or even just razz the dude, probably since the erstwhile screamo frontman, once known as Sonny Moore, is sui generis and a polarizing figure in electronic dance music who provides critics with plenty of ammunition. Many have sampled the haterade when it comes to Skrillex, but would probably agree that when it comes to his overwhelming success, the 26-year-old is unassailable. Like it or not, Skrillex and his style of EDM helped light the fuse on electronic music's resurgence in 2011, gave it a massive paradigm shift, won several Grammys, fostered the careers of producers like Seven Lions and Jack Beats (via Skrillex's popular vanity label, OWSLA), and has made more money in a single year than you'll see in six lifetimes.
Accordingly, Recess, Skrillex's debut full-length, charted higher than any of his previous releases, including his breakthrough 2010 EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Although Skrillex has dabbled here and there outside his usual subwoofer-quaking stomping grounds, Recess, as did the 2013 EP Leaving, expanded his palette considerably, this time with shades of ragga, funk, jungle, dancehall, disco, reggaeton, and both indietronica and indie rock mixed in with his usual grinds and wobbles. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Clutch is opening for Lamb of God at Comerica Theatre.
Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Lamb of God — Friday, May 27 — Comerica Theatre
Clutch is difficult to classify in terms of genre. This would also have been cool to talk about with one of the dudes who makes the music. Originally, they had a sound that resonated loudly with East Coast hardcore and metal, which made them a great fit on the aforementioned 1994 Sepultura tour representing the heavy sounds happening east of the Mississippi. It was a great show to see, actually, because outside of Sepultura, the other three bands on that tour were all still discovering their sound.
Over the years, though, Clutch drifted heavily towards the stoner rock genre, cranking out some pretty heavy tunes on records like their self-titled second effort, Clutch (1995), Elephant Riders (1998), and From Beale Street to Oblivion (2007). The band has explored elements of the blues, and even a little funk at times, but has fairly consistently remained steadfast in pounding out listenable, high-energy rock music that weaves around Fallon’s typically astute social commentary. TOM REARDON
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