9 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
Fuck the Facts are scheduled to perform on Sunday, November 29, at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe.
Did you survive the annual government-endorsed gorge and awaken from your food come yet? Good. You’ll probably want to get busy working off some of the excessive amount of calories you consumed over Thanksgiving, and we’ve got a few suggestions on how to do so.
Consider rocking out, shaking a tail feather, pumping your fist in the air, or merely bobbing your head and awkwardly shuffling in place at any of the following outstanding concerts scheduled to take place this weekend around the Valley. (Or check out our constantly updated online concert calendar for even more live music options over the next few nights.)
At the very least, it gets you out of the house and away from the pile of leftovers in the fridge that are probably tempting you.
Meat Puppets - Friday, November 27 - Crescent Ballroom
Over the course of their distinguished 30-plus years in the music industry, Meat Puppets have brazenly ignored trends, hype, and expectations, while simply going about things their own distinctive way. Formed by brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood in the Valley in the early '80s, Meat Puppets were one of the early signees to legendary SST Records, which released all of their records throughout that decade. And while the band have seen their lineup and style shift slightly over the years, the imaginative musical partnership of the Kirkwood brothers has always pulsed at the heart of their idiosyncratic rock numbers. Meat Puppets have experienced a creative resurgence since 2006 (following a four-year hiatus), signing to the seminal Megaforce Records and releasing a string of hazy, psych-rock albums filled with inspired songs that stand proudly next to their distinguished back catalog. ERIK THOMPSON
Mason Jar Veterans Show - Friday, November 27 - The Rebel Lounge
When it comes down to it, the holidays are about reuniting with old friends or perhaps returning to an old stomping ground. Such will be the case in both respects this weekend when Valley hard rock promoter 13th Floor Entertainment presents this awesome jam-out show at The Rebel Lounge, the onetime home of iconic rock venue The Mason Jar. You’ll see an array of local veteran rock acts, each of whom played the Jar way back when, including St. Madness, Destructured, Dive Bar Knights, Throw the Switch, and Empires of Dezire. If you remember the good ol’ days when the Mason Jar ruled the local rock scene, go for the nostalgia. If you’ve never been, go to find your next favorite music venue. LAUREN WISE
Under the Streetlamp - Friday, November 27 - Mesa Arts Center
These guys might be Generation X'ers, but they have a real love for music more often associated with Baby Boomers. The quartet, made up of four lead singers from the popular Chicago cast of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, have a set-list that's an amalgamation of pop tunes from the 1940s to the 1960s. (To get a good idea of what to expect, think The Beach Boys meet The Drifters.) The ensemble — Michael Ingersoll, Michael Gunio, Shonn Wiley and Chris Jones — touches on almost every hit from the "American Radio Songbook," a term they coined to encompass their style of music. Expect to hear some classic Christmas tunes thrown in as well. OLIVIA FLORES ALVAREZ
Pixar in Concert - Friday, November 27, to Sunday, November 29 - Symphony Hall
Before the multi-jillion dollar buyout, Pixar had Disney squirming under its plastic toy cowboy boot. The House of Mouse was flailing — when Pixar released Monsters, Inc., Disney had just put out, what, The Emperor's New Groove? They couldn't beat 'em, so they joined 'em — and though Disney has high-budget lights-and-music spectacles like World of Color, the Phoenix Symphony steps in to give Flick and Nemo a little orchestral love this week with Pixar in Concert. The beloved animation division will present scenes and imagery from its collection of films, set to the harmonies of a full live orchestra. Prepare to laugh, dance, and, should any of those scenes from Up appear, probably tear up a little. Performances will take place on the evening of Friday, November 27, and Saturday, November 28, with a matinee show offered on Sunday, November 29. ERIN DEWITT
Darwin Deez - Saturday, November 28 - Valley Bar
Indie rock musician, vegan, crazy dancer, and melodic do-it-yourself guru Darwin Deez — who cites such diverse influences as Animal Collective, Death Cab for Cutie, and Dismemberment Plan — seems a little too cool to be taking cues from John Mayer. The Brooklyn-based performer is poised to be adored by elitist music website Pitchfork. Deez’s fun and crazy music videos, hippie appearance, and growing popularity across the pond don’t make him seem like an artist who would get excited by someone his parents probably listen to.
In a recent Reddit AMA, the songwriter, best known for the jangly single “Radar Detector,” was pressed to explain what made his second album, Songs for Imaginative People, so different from his self-titled debut. Deez watched the Mayer concert film Where the Light Is, got “an itch” to play guitar in the style of Katy Perry’s ex-boyfriend, and dedicated his time and energy to learning how to do it. This level of commitment is the hallmark of an artist constantly looking for new ways to move forward with his sound. His latest album, Double Down, builds on his continued search for inspiration. JASON KEIL
Yellowman and the Sagittarius Band - Saturday, November 28 - Cactus Jack's Ahwatukee Tavern
Yellowman has been in the reggae world for almost three decades. Having been credited as the creator of "toasting" — a style of singing-rapping that is now modern-day dancehall delivery — as well as being the first to introduce "slackness," in which the topic of conversation is less about "One Love" and more about tappin' that ass, Yellowman is indeed a name that sits in Jamaican history books when discussing its native musical heritage. Most popular for the now-infamous 1983 reggae/dancehall record, "Zungguzungguguzungguzeng," the unpronounceable song has been sampled by such hip-hop greats as Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., and KRS-One.
Besides his crossover appeal, Yellowman is hailed as one of the hardest-working men in reggae show business. Noted as having produced at least five albums per year as well as more than 40 hit singles since his debut in 1979, this 54-year-old has toured nonstop throughout the world. And the reason for such nonstop action? Death, of course. If anyone knows what it means to overcome obstacles, it's Yellowman. Born an albino in the countryside of Jamaica, he was orphaned as a child and suffered from multiple skin diseases, including skin cancer and jaw cancer, to which he was given only three years to live. That was 1983. Regardless of any life-threatening illnesses, Yellowman is still here, strong as ever. His live shows have been deemed as memorable, high-energy experiences. ESTHER PARK
James Bay - Saturday, November 28 - Marquee Theatre
Listening to James Bay, you can't tell if he's nervous or confident. He'll shift between a warbling, timid voice and a booming, rich tone within the same verse. By manipulating the dynamics of his voice, he leaves you hanging on the whispers only to blow you back with the chorus. He's the kind of vocalist who could go a cappella and bring you to tears in an instant, and you wouldn't even be sure if they were happy or sad tears. MATT WOOD
Trombone Shorty - Saturday, November 28 - Dr. A.J. Chandler Park
Troy Andrews, better known outside New Orleans as Trombone Shorty, is a unique voice in the world of jazz. He grew up in Tremé, the same neighborhood as Louis Armstrong, and has been honing his craft since he was 4. He even played himself in a recurring role on the critically acclaimed HBO series that bears his community’s name. Recently, he used his trombone to give a voice to characters never seen on film: the adults in the new film The Peanuts Movie.
The popular late-night talk show musical guest and NPR mainstay’s embouchure was given a workout as he actually attempted to make his instrument talk to Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus. His mission is to give rock fans a taste of his eclectic mix of jazz, funk, and hip-hop with his band Orleans Avenue, and he is winning over listeners at festivals, though a recent tour with Foo Fighters sadly was cut short because of the attacks in Paris. He also gives back to his neighborhood through a charitable foundation by encouraging students to form their own bands. All that band practice will make parents sound like Andrews’ trombone in a Charlie Brown movie. JASON KEIL
Fuck the Facts - Sunday, November 29 - Yucca Tap Room
Since the late '90s, Fuck the Facts has been a force to be reckoned with in the worlds of both grindcore and metal. The French Canadian crossover band has undergone a few lineup changes, hiatuses, and other challenges, but has returned stronger, making more music and hitting the road. (Their latest record, Desire Will Rot, dropped in August.) Fuck the Facts has been playing music together now for almost two decades, and in that time, the band has seen a lot of changes to the grindcore scene and the metal scene in general. The bandmembers remain firmly rooted in their positive ideals about metal, and gain strength from the community element that the intimate scene brings.
"We’ve always been not completely in the grindcore scene – we’ve often crossed into the metal scene," says vocalist Mel Mongeon. "We find nowadays, when you are in a band that long, you fit into different categories at different times. I think for a while, around 2005-2006, we fit in a bit more with the metal scene, then maybe since 2010 we fit back more in with grind; we're kind of in the middle. With the grind scene, I feel like we are a well-knit underground family. It's pretty peaceful, and there is always a good vibe." ADDISON HERRON-WHEELER
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