Instead of bitching about the weather, like we usually do here, let's instead think of reasons why 113-degree temperatures are actually good. After all, if you live in Phoenix during the summer, the world is your sauna, am I right? And to think some folks like to be indoors when they need to have a good sweat. Suckers. And why use your stupid oven to bake cookies when you can just put a baking sheet on your dashboard? And where would the window tinting and black-out curtain industries be without Phoenix summers, I ask you? Nowhere, that's where.
So be thankful for the heat, as it is the source of luxury, food, and commerce.
Most of these concerts take place in venues with air conditioning and cold beer. So check these out, browse our comprehensive concert listings if you would like to see more options, and stay hydrated, Phoenix.
Japanese metal occupies a unique place on the musical landscape. Typically loud and abrasive -- and often unrestrained -- the genre has a cult-ish following in the United States. Yet, if any band stands to reach out to a wider audience, it's Boris.
This three-piece, if anything, is more experimental and prog-oriented, burying catchy rhythms beneath a seething froth of noisy guitars, propulsive drums, and heart-beat-skipping bass lines. In many places, Boris' music, to the untrained American ear, sounds as though it could be any number of metal-like genres. The band members, however, simply consider their brand of music "heavy."
"Being 'heavy' makes what we are, I think," says drummer Atsuo in an e-mail. "But we are 'heavy' in a different way from heavy metal."
"We never called ourselves a metal band," bassist Takeshi adds. "I find it interesting we are often called metal in Europe and the States. Metal music in the West is much broader in reach and more avant-garde than in Japan."
Perhaps the band's constant intensity -- even in the quietest moments -- imparts that heavy feeling. Sure, the band offers plenty of metal-like moments, from scorching guitar leads to thundering rhythmic romps and screamo vocals. But heavy only touches the surface of Boris' varied sound, which also includes gentle, spaced-out interludes and power pop anthems. If anything, the band has more in common with Iron Butterfly than Iron Maiden. --Glenn BurnSilver
There's that saying "the more things change the more things stay the same." In the 22 years since Tori Amos released her debut album, Little Earthquakes, the world has changed dramatically, but the singer has stayed remarkably true to herself. Of the topical and occasionally confrontational nature of her music, she says, "I think at different times, the songs have chosen to grab issues that are out there. It isn't always like that."
In what many consider her commercial peak in the 1990s, she was known for her activism, wildly visual music videos, and theatric singles, which dealt with themes regarding feminism, sexuality, and religion. Her first single, "Me and a Gun," dramatically recounted her getting sexually assaulted after a show in Los Angeles when she was 21 years old. "Cornflake Girl" was inspired by a novel about an African woman undergoing genital mutilation. Amos defiantly asks the Heavenly Father if he needs "a woman to look after" Him in the chorus of "God," from her second album, Under the Pink, which turns 20 this year. Parents of '90s teenagers were so focused on their sons being influenced by grunge and gangsta rap that they ignored the fact their daughters were being swayed by a ginger who could tickle more than the ivories with songs like "Icicle," which talks about masturbation. --Jason Keil
For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars. Every year since 2006, the 38-year-old has spent a good chunk of his time on the road entertaining fans with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. In February, Bentley released Riser, his seventh studio album. The record's second single, "I Hold On," became his first song to climb to the top of the country airplay charts. In addition to his hits, Bentley is known for his energetic live show. But as Riser proved to even the most dismissive of critics, Bentley's career isn't slowing down anytime soon. --Daniel Kohn
A rapper recently told me that if he didn't release a new song every two weeks, he would feel anxious, like he was becoming irrelevant. While few artists hold their own feet that close to the fire, the sentiment reflects a reality in the music industry: produce frequently, lest you lost the attention of your audience. Wolfmother didn't let this reality force them into action. After the band released its self-titled debut album in 2005, the band seemed poised to become the next big thing in rock 'n' roll, but the band fell silent for four years. Singer Andrew Stockdale parted ways with longtime bandmates Myles Heskett and Chris Ross and forged ahead with a new rhythm section, releasing Cosmic Egg in 2009. Though the album was pretty good -- New Times named it one of the best albums of 2009 -- it lacked the vitality of the band's first album. In March, the band released New Crown just its third album in a decade. The album provides more of the classic rock-influenced Wolfmother sound fans love, and the fact that the band can play a venue as large as the Marquee despite such a glacial production rate in this day and age is a testament to the quality of the music. --David Accomazzo
Jesika Von Rabbit is perhaps California's ultimate postmodern, intergalactic pop provocateur. First thrust upon this unsuspecting world as co-founder of groundbreaking freakno rock oddballs Gram Rabbit, the buxotic blonde vixen became such an inescapable force in her Joshua Tree-adjacent headquarters that she even has her own menu item (Nachos Von Rabbit) available at cosmic desert honky-tonk Pappy and Harriet's. Now operating as her own free agent, Von Rabbit's solo assault comes in the form of a characteristically sizzling, celestial psych-disco sound -- with wildly redefined versions of songs by everyone from The Dickies to Garth Brooks -- while the kinetic stage presentation is significantly enhanced by a writhing trio of dancers. After you flip, trip and slip down this rabbit hole, you'll never want to come back. -- Jonny Whiteside
This Cali-based band incorporates elements of catchy melodies and impressive instrumentals, hardcore punk, symphonic and death metal. The members have been seen as a huge influence for the future of metal, even though they've been around since the late 90s. Pub Rock is a fantastic place to catch this band, with the intimate surroundings, inexpensive whiskey, and close-knit mosh pit. --Lauren Wise
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