7 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Week

Janiva Magness plays for benefit of the kids this week in Phoenix.
Janiva Magness plays for benefit of the kids this week in Phoenix.
Jeff Dunas

A new month, a new slate of shows to tide you over until the new year. Check out our recommendations, and browse our comprehensive concert listings for more options.

OBN III's - Monday, December 1 - Yucca Tap Room

With unlimited sweat, furious finesse and hook-heavy musical manners, OBN IIIs are the bastard child of Flamin' Groovies and Radio Birdman, just as their latest slab Live in San Francisco documents.

Pitchfork has claimed them as retro-"townies" reinventing the anti-college rock of the 1970s, even likening them to floppy-haired heroes Van Halen and Blue Oyster Cult. Think again, and take off the revisionist glasses. OBN III's kind of grit and determination seems a lot less like the black-light poster crowd of rusted Mustangs and stinky hashish and a lot more like Budweiser slamming, take-no-prisoners garage-rock rioters from vintage MC5 to the Cynics, the Greenhornes and Zen Guerrilla. This would never have been heard on FM airwaves alongside REO Speedwagon and Asia. DAVID ENSMINGER

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King Parrot - Tuesday, December 2 - The Underground

Australia's King Parrot inflects their chaotic thrash and grindcore with a sense of fun in odes to pitting it up on their 2012 debut Bite Your Head Off. On Tuesday, December 2, the band will swoop by the Underground in Mesa for a special performance. JASON ROCHE  

Janiva Magness - Wednesday, December 3 - Rhythm Room

The blues songstress with a voice with power like a steamroller returns to her one-time home of Phoenix for the second time in the latter half of 2014. This time, though, it's for a good cause. The concert is a fundraiser for Blue Star Connection, a nonprofit that puts musical instruments into the hands terminally ill children. The organization says it has donated instruments to more than 25 music therapy programs at hospitals nationwide, including a recent donation to Mesa's Cardon Children's Medical Center. Joining Magness on stage will be Rhythm Room owner and harmonica slinger Bob Corritore and young blues singer Sadie Johnson. DAVID ACCOMAZZO

Alex Clare - Wednesday, December 3 - Crescent Ballroom

For many listeners, their first introduction to Alex Clare came courtesy of "Too Close," the catchy tune played during the recent Internet Explorer commercials. There's more to Clare's music than that, though. Melding intimate vocals with drum-heavy tracks, Clare showcases his range as an instrumentalist and vocalist on Lateness of the Hour, his debut release. While his peers continue to dance around in the realm of heavy bass drops, Clare conveys a spectrum of emotions through the sheer expressiveness of his voice and the overall dynamics of his instrumentation. BRITT CHESTER

KMLE's Not So Silent Night - Thursday, December 4 - Comerica Theatre

KMLE looks to continue its annual tradition of kickstarting the holiday season by hosting a country music festival at Comerica Theatre, this year dubbed the Not So Silent Night. Fans of the yearly celebration will find a neo-country lineup with Big & Rich headlining the bill atop fellow country radio denizens Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, and Gloriana. Big Kenny and John Rich of Big & Rich released their hybrid country album Horse of a Different Color in 2004, and now are partially to blame for paving the way to the modern-day bro-country musical stylings of stars like Jake Owen. Additionally, Darius Rucker (formerly of Hootie & the Blowfish) melds with the lineup by bringing his own up-tempo, Hootie-with-a-fiddle country music style along to the party. Though none of the evening's musicians is necessarily fast-tracking to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the other side of the coin says that fans aren't out to judge technicality during a holiday concert festival. Instead, they seek feel-good tunes of escapism and partying, to which these artists are perfect suitors. CALEB HALEY  

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Related Locations

Yucca Tap Room

29 W. Southern Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85282




105 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85210



Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003



Comerica Theatre

400 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003



Celebrity Theatre

440 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008-6205



Rhythm Room

1019 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85014



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