6 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Week
The Gin Blossoms are playing Tempe's block party for New Year's Eve.
It's New Year's Eve on Wednesday night. So if you haven't already, start figuring out where you're going to be and if you need to wear a suit. Here are our picks for what you should be doing Wednesday night (and Monday and Tuesday as well). Also, check out our comprehensive New Year's Eve picks, and browse our full concert calendar for more options.
It's been about a decade since Andrew Jackson Jihad gestated in Phoenix's sunburned underbelly, and in that time, the duo of Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty have gone from plucky downtown balladeers to full-band folk punk heroes. AJJ had a 2014 most groups would kill for, touring the country, covering Stone Tempe Pilots for the Onion's respected pop culture site The A.V. Club, and releasing their fifth studio album, Christmas Island, on SideOneDummy Records. The album shows off a wit none dulled by the band's longevity. Bonnette spouts darkly hilarious but deeply humanist messages on songs like "Kokopelli Face Tattoo," crooning, "Hey, dude, I hate everything you do, but I'm trying really hard to not hate you." The album is the band's most diverse and accomplished, employing Elephant 6 psych-pop and rousing power pop -- each noise soundtracking Bonnette's emotional breakdowns and stream-of-consciousness rants, which string together sad kids in abandoned houses behind the Arby's, drone operators, and Bad Lieutenant II in a way that not only makes sense, but hits like an affecting punch to the soft stuff. "I think I like my pretty pretty ugly," Bonnette sings, and you want to high-five him forever. JASON P. WOODBURY
Among the six big name DJs that are coming to Rawhide for New Year's Eve, perhaps just Flosstradamus can say they danced with Yo Gabba Gabba -- LIVE. The Chicago-raised DJs J2K and Autobot definitely performed the "Peanut Butter Stomp" with the stage versions of the acid-trip-conceived characters of the hit children's TV show. If you're reading this, there's about a 98 percent chance you've never been to a Yo Gabba Gabba show, but if you've been to any major dance music festival in the past two years -- Coachella, Electric Forest, Electric Daisy Carnival -- chances are you've seen them (or were too fucked up to remember). Getting their start in the mid-2000s, the duo started to climb the neon ladder of dance-music fame when the genre smashed into mainstream airwaves like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, and began leaking into pop and hip-hop. Their style is a mash-up of hip-hop, trap, and electro with hardcore sprinkled into some of their newer songs, incuding "TTU." You don't just chill to Flosstradamus. If your head doesn't bob like you have a heroin addiction or are suffering from a stroke, you're doing it wrong. AMANDA SAVAGE
How many of you can truly say, "I'm a soul man?" Many of you are eliminated right off the bat because you are either a "soul woman" or not into soul music. Some of you might be "soul man"-ish or sort of into the whole soul thing, but there a really only a small handful of true soul men. Sam Moore is such a man, and with his partner Dave Prater, they became Sam and Dave, and they turned the world on its ear when they recorded the Isaac Hayes/David Porter song "Soul Man" in 1967. Who knows? Without that amazing rendition, there may have never been a Blue Brothers, but we digress. Moore even re-recorded "Soul Man" in 1996 with Lou Reed, so he's clearly an artist unafraid to take chances. Moore, who also had hits with songs like "Hold On! I'm Comin'" and "I Thank You" has been a Valley resident for many years and to show his local pride, he's doing a New Year's Eve show to help usher in the new year with both style and, dare we say it, some soul. TOM REARDON
Local radio station 101.1 FM The Beat's Epic NYE party will take place at the Pressroom and feature a gig by legendary rapper (and Geto Boys member) Scarface, as well as beats from DJ Jaba One, food trucks, drink specials, best dressed contests, a photo booth, and more. 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 online, $50 on the day of the event. VIP options range from a $200/$250 package that includes two tickets, a private reception, and a private table to the $400 package with a two-person couch, private bar and personal cocktail service, and more. A pre-party reception and meet-and-greet with Scarface is also available for $400 in advance, $500 at the door. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Want to know where the members of The Love Me Nots will be spending the final, fleeting moments of 2014? If you've been a follower of the renowned local rock 'n' roll act over the past few years, you've no doubt aware of their annual tradition of gigging on New Year's Eve over at the Yucca Tap Room. This year is no exception as The Love Me Nots will bid adieu to 2014 and say hello to 2015 onstage at the Tempe music venue during their headlining set. Fellow locals Fairy Bones, The Dead Eyes of London, and Le Zets will provide support. The evening starts at. 9 p.m. Admission is free. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
It wouldn't be a New Year's Eve in the Valley without this spectacular staple, which will take place along Mill Avenue and feature a massive mix of live entertainment, food trucks, interactive activities and games, outdoor dance clubs, family fun zones, beer and champagne gardens, access to multiple bars and restaurants, the midnight countdown and confetti blast, and other distractions and festivities. Local bands and DJs will perform on multiple stages and the lineup includes Gin Blossoms, The Pistoleros, Walt Richardson, Murrieta, The Senators, Keltic Cowboys, Pandy Raye and Company, Aaron Burroughs, Craig Davis, Chicks With Picks, and others. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Online admission is $20. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.
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