Steel Panther is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 24, at The Van Buren.EXPAND
Steel Panther is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 24, at The Van Buren.
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

If you’ve had your fill of family and need to get out of the house (and away from kith and kin) for a few hours during the holiday weekend, consider hitting up one of the following “can’t miss” concerts.

It includes a two-night stint by Say Anything (who will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2007 album, In Defense of the Genre) and the Meat Puppets annual Thanksgiving weekend show, as well as gigs by Kishi Bashi, Molotov, DJ Swamp, and Steel Panther.

If you need even more options, be sure to check out our extensive live music listings. In the meantime, here are the 10 best concerts to check out this weekend in Phoenix.

The legendary Meat Puppets.
The legendary Meat Puppets.
Jaime Butler

Meat Puppets
Friday, November 24
Crescent Ballroom

If you’re just shy of 40, Meat Puppets have been making music longer than you’ve been alive. The Phoenix-based band started back in 1980 by brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood — guitar/vocals and bass/vocals, respectively — and drummer Derrick Bostrom, who hasn’t been a member since the band went on their first hiatus in 1996.

But this past summer, Bostrom hooked up with the Kirkwoods to perform at the band’s 2017 induction into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Their signature blend of punk rock has always exemplified the ethic of the genre more than the in-your-face sound it’s equated with.

Moving away from the hardcore sound early on, the band started incorporating country and psychedelia into their rock and roll and created a unique style that made them a longtime underground favorite and inspiration to tons of bands. Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. are a couple of acts that have cited Meat Puppets as influences, especially their first couple rof ecords. They got a good chunk of radio play in ’94 with the single “Backwater," and continued adding members to their diehard fan base. Fifteen albums under their collective belt, see the well-seasoned Kirkwood brothers and current drummer Shandon Sahm tear it up in downtown Phoenix. Amy Young

L.A.'s No Parents.
L.A.'s No Parents.
Courtesy of No Parents

No Parents
Friday, November 24
The Lunchbox

Los Angeles band No Parents live up to that name through their songs. The band’s music sounds like the result of a volatile collision at the crossroads of hardcore punk and hooky garage rock — and even more like a group of feral teens who were left alone in a room with a lot of sugary candy and a stack of Jay Reatard records.

No Parents seemingly do not give a fuck about anything other than shredding through songs like “History,” which they performed in May on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly. During that two-minute spot, the band gave the late-night TV-watching world a taste of what their live performances are like: a mischievous mix of chaos-laden rock and roll delivered with energy and determination.

The band’s full-length release, hits you in the face right off the bat, with its fast and ferocious first track, “You Got Snaked.” That song takes little breaks from the driving guitar and pounding drums to lock you into some quick-but-catchy grooves. Local bands Nanami Ozone, Dadadoh and the POC, and Sonoran Chorus will help keep No Parents’ Lunchbox show a night of rowdy rock. Amy Young

Shady Park's outdoor bar park.
Shady Park's outdoor bar park.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Shady Park’s Two-Year Anniversary
Friday, November 24
Shady Park

Two years ago, local restaurateur Scott Price launched Shady Park, a combination bar, pizzeria, and cocktail lounge near Arizona State University in Tempe. Out back is its best feature, the expansive open-air "bar park" that was inspired by out-of-the-way bars and taverns Price encountered in Europe that were cloistered amid forests.

Ringed with trees and featuring a recessed seating area, the bar park also offers a weatherproof sound system and a stage. And over the past few years, it’s hosted a helluva lot of shows, including gigs by local bands, touring artists, and DJs almost every weekend. We’d even go so far as to say it carries on the legacy of the old Sail Inn, the now-defunct spot that featured shows on a large outdoor stage.

This weekend, Shady Park celebrates its two-year anniversary with a party on Friday, November 24, featuring DJ/producer Muzzy Bearr in the mix. The event begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $10-$15. Benjamin Leatherman

Sorxe set out to shatter the preconceptions of experimental metal.
Sorxe set out to shatter the preconceptions of experimental metal.
Jason Cakebread/FATCAKE Media

Sorxe (Record Release Show)
Friday, November 24
The Rebel Lounge

In 2012, Sorxe was founded by staple members of the local metal scene on the premise that the creation of music and energy comes from within. And, of course, they wanted to shatter the preconceptions of experimental metal.

As a band with two bass players, they certainly up the ante. Listeners can expect a buffet of technical songs to choose from, whether it’s a fast-paced headbanger or a drawn-out jam that explores different genres in sections with haunting interludes.

The band stretched the boundaries with their last album, which included a four-panel digi-pack CD with original artwork — always thinking about the creative side of things — and their newly released six-song EP, Matter & Void, is more experimental and psychedelic than ever before. This weekend, Sorxe celebrates its release at The Rebel Lounge with support from Sympathizer and Dueño. Lauren Wise

DJ StoneypieEXPAND
DJ Stoneypie
Jim Louvau

Friday Night Funk
Friday, November 24
Crescent Ballroom

Friday nights in Phoenix are a dance wonderland as nightclubs and other venues across the Valley come to life with booming beats, bright lights, and moving bodies. That includes the lounge at the Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, which becomes a dance destination whenever DJ Stoneypie’s event Friday Night Funk takes place.

The semi-regular dance party features Stoneypie, a.k.a. Tara Lopez, spinning a variety of sounds inside Crescent’s lounge, including soul, disco, boogie, breaks, ‘90s tracks, garage house, and future funk. Best of all, there’s no cover, which should leave you plenty of cash for drinks and whatnot. The latest edition of Friday Night Funk takes place on Friday, November 24, and starts at 11:30 p.m. Benjamin Leatherman

The ribald rockers of Steel Panther.EXPAND
The ribald rockers of Steel Panther.
F. Scott Schafer

Steel Panther
Friday, November 24
The Van Buren

What if, in a perfect world, the music genre you love the most was the only one in existence and lived on forever? Steel Panther imagines this to be true, and this weekend the glammish four-piece brings a full-on heavy-metal throwback show to The Van Buren for the first time.

The best part? Steel Panther isn't just a tribute — it is also an equal mockery of the sometimes androgynous, hair-dominating days when Poison and Motley Crue owned MTV. The band gets it right by aiming right at the crotch of the genre, zeroing in on the humor of the oversexed days of Sunset Strip hair metal while balancing it with original and true-to-form hook-heavy songs.

Just imagine: 10 years from now, some dudes born in the '90s will be wearing greasy mops and smoking fake cigarettes on stage, attempting to pull off a semi-accurate Strokes tribute, and it won't be nearly as funny. Bree Davies

DJ Swamp headlines the latest Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh.EXPAND
DJ Swamp headlines the latest Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh.
Courtesy of the artist

Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh feat. DJ Swamp
Friday, November 24
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

It’s pretty safe to refer to DJ Swamp as a legend at this point. And rightly so, considering his list of accomplishments over the last two decades. In 1996, the renowned turntablist won the DMC World Championship during his first year in the DJ biz after a show-stopping performance that concluded with him spinning up a pitch-shifted version of “Smoke On the Water" and then smashing his records. It wasn’t his only over-the-top theatrical stunt behind the decks, as Swamp is renowned for such tricks as lighting his vinyl on fire or spinning records in midair.

His talents aren’t just limited to showmanship, however, as his skills at scratching, juggling, and transforming turntables and wax into weapons of sounds are considerable. Swamp spent several years as Beck’s official DJ during the late ‘90s, invented several influential DJ tools (including the “skip-proof scratch tool”), and had his work featured in numerous films. He’s also performed alongside such artists as Daft Punk, The Prodigy, The Crystal Method, Method Man, and most recently with Ministry on their current tour.

Swamp’s pretty legendary here in the Valley, too. He’s been a regular visitor over the years and has spun at raves, concerts, and club events around town. This weekend, Swamp returns to headline the latest Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe on Friday, November 24. And we’re guessing he’ll have plenty of tricks and stunts up his sleeve. The event starts at 7 p.m., and locals like DJ Reflekshin, Illfranklyn, and DJ KNS Bigandbad will also perform. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Max Bemis of Say Anything.
Max Bemis of Say Anything.
Courtesy of Equal Vision Records

Say Anything
Saturday, November 25, and Sunday, November 26
Crescent Ballroom

The first decade of this millennium was heavy with emo and pop-punk sounds. In those days of extreme, melodic feelings, Los Angeles band Say Anything got its start. The Warped Tour alum is led by singer/guitarist Max Bemis, a memorable figure in the genre. He penned the group's seven albums, including 27 personal songs for the band's 2007 two-disc album In Defense of the Genre. It's jam-packed with fancy featured artists and is one of the band’s most famous releases.

Bemis and Say Anything’s current tour celebrates the 10th anniversary of In Defense of the Genre and will stop at Crescent Ballroom for a two-night stint this weekend. The first evening will feature the band performing every tracks from the first disc, as well as songs from their self-titled fourth album. On Sunday, they’ll tackle the second disc of In Defense of the Genre. Liz Tracy

Kishi BashiEXPAND
Kishi Bashi
Courtesy of Joyful Noise Records

Kishi Bashi
Sunday, November 26
Valley Bar

Kaoru Ishibashi (a.k.a. Kishi Bashi) came straight out of Berklee with a degree in film scoring and went right into performing, first with Barnum's Kaleidoscape and then with his own group, Jupiter One. Along the way, he had stints with Regina Spektor and Sondre Lerche, and he was also a touring member of Kevin Barnes's experimental pop band Of Montreal.

These days, Ishibashi focuses on his Kishi Bashi project, for which he has crafted simple songs with a symphonic, elevated feel: Think the kind of colorful, energetic music that Dan Deacon would write, but even more pop-oriented. Tom Murphy

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
Courtesy of Molotov

Sunday, November 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Need to brush up on your Spanish curse words? Listen to Molotov, Mexico's legendary, socially conscious rap-metal band that features a guitarist (Tito Fuentes), two bass players (Micky "Huidos" Huidobro and Paco Ayala), and an American-born drummer (Randy Ebright) who moved to Mexico when he was 14 and is now affectionately dubbed "Gringo Loco."

Band members switch off on instruments and share lead vocalist duties, which requires singing in Spanglish. Our favorite tune? The Latin-polka-influenced "Frijolero" ("Beaner"), a song that highlights the intensity and absurdity of racism along the Rio Grande. Lyrics go, "Stay on your side of the goddamn river / Don't call me gringo, you beaner" and then, "No me llamesfrijolero, pinche gringo puñetero" (translation: "Don't call me beaner, fucking gringo jackoff!"). Deirdra Funcheon


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