The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

At the Drive-In is scheduled to perform on Monday, May 8, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.EXPAND
At the Drive-In is scheduled to perform on Monday, May 8, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Courtesy of Nasty Little Man

So, did y’all survive Cinco de Mayo? We hope so, considering all the rowdiness that took place over the weekend. You might have even been wise enough to just stay home, saving your disposable income for a more worthwhile opportunity to go out and have a good time.

Like, you know, possibly while checking out a great concert or dance night around town. Maybe even one happening this coming week. If that’s the case, we’ve got 10 recommendations, each of which is worthy of your time and money.

There’s At the Drive-In’s long-awaited return to the Valley, as well as shows featuring Tift Merritt, Rival Chorie, Wale, Hot Buttered Rum, Marcia Ball, and others.

And if you’d like some additional options, try eyeballing our extensively updated online concert calendar.

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.
Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.
Courtesy of Yep Roc Records

Tift Merritt
Monday, May 8
Musical Instrument Museum

Tift Merritt’s music falls somewhere between folk and Americana, maybe even alternative country, but the real enduring trait of her nearly 20-year music career is poignant storytelling that speaks to everything from her days growing up in North Carolina to her times living in Paris, and more recently her experiences of motherhood. She’s often compared to other singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris, and she’s worked with Elvis Costello and Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, who produced her latest album Stitch of the World. Her delicate voice and smooth guitar strumming will be a match for the intimate setting of the MIM's musical theater. Mikel Galicia

DJ Organic lays it down at Motown on Mondays.EXPAND
DJ Organic lays it down at Motown on Mondays.
Benjamin Leatherman

Motown on Mondays Phoenix
Monday, May 8
Bar Smith

Motown on Mondays is on the move again. After spending the past month or bouncing around town doing one-off events at various bars, the local dance night has finally found a new home: Bar Smith. Starting on Monday, May 8, MOM will take over the lower level of the downtown Phoenix club every week and feature remixes of funk, soul, R&B, disco, and (yes) Motown hits from local DJs. And at their first session at Bar Smith, MOM resident Tricky T will be joined on the turntables by DJ Organic, DJ Akshen, and DJ M2. Local drummer Mike de la Torre of funk band Dr. Delicious will provide accompaniment, and painters Orlando Allison and Enuf will do live art. The night kicks off at 9 p.m., and there's no cover. Benjamin Leatherman

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In
Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In
Mike Brooks

At the Drive-In
Monday, May 8
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Following the success of their album Relationship of Command in 2000, fans and music critics alike were left puzzled and broken-hearted when At the Drive-In called it quits in 2001. The split, which seemed like a classic case of irreconcilable differences, was actually more about burning out rather than breaking up. In a recent interview with Fuse, guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López noted, “We were just always on the road. We know now that it’s important to just let things be and let everything just flow with ease.” And things seem to be doing just that for At the Drive-In. Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala just released their fourth full-length album, In.Ter A.Li.A, which picks up right where the band left off 16 years ago. The record’s first single, “Governed by Contagions,” is a smart, in-your-face punk rock song that leaves you wanting more. Which is exactly what At the Drive-In plan to give to their fans, who can take a cue from the new album’s lead track. Bixler-Zavala hauntingly sings: “Brace yourself, my darling/brace yourself for a flood.” Emily Roberts

The members of Rival Choir.EXPAND
The members of Rival Choir.
Courtesy of Facedown Records

Rival Choir
Tuesday, May 9
The Rebel Lounge

When it comes to the post-hardcore genre, lyrics often take a backseat to the heavy chug of guitar, rapid double bass on the drums or the earth-shattering sound of an 808. On the rare occasion that you find good lyrics in post-hardcore, they’re often drowned out by an attempted growl that sounds more like a screech. Amid the vapid couplets that are part and parcel of metal music, Rival Choir’s lyrics set them apart from their contemporaries Norma Jean and Counterparts. They read like poetry that oozes with introspective disdain. The band’s latest album, I Believe, Help My Unbelief, showcases a maturing sound that intertwines melodies with your typical metalcore chug. Not so typical is how Rival Choir frontman Josiah Lyle uses songs as a confessional for his emotional struggles. In the song “Poured Out,” for example, Lyle seeks salvation by writing out his thoughts. But the endeavor proves fruitless. “I am stuck on repeat regurgitating everything that’s inside of me, screaming the same words for all these years,” he sings. “God, why is my trust outweighed by my fears.” Raw, soul-bearing, and questioning religion — it’s exactly what this band does best. Lindsay Roberts

The current lineup of Eyes Set to Kill.EXPAND
The current lineup of Eyes Set to Kill.
Courtesy of Century Media Records

Eyes Set to Kill
Tuesday, May 9
Club Red in Mesa

The last few months have been busy for post-hardcore/melodic metalcore act Eyes Set to Kill. They’ve got a new single out (a raging grindathon entitled, “Break,” which dropped in March), a new album in the works (their first since 2013’s Masks) that’s reportedly due out later this year, and are currently in the midst of a new tour. Eyes Set to Kill is also boasting a mostly new lineup, owing to the fact that bassist Tiaday Ball of The World Over fame and guitarist A.J. Bartholomew, who also screams along with front woman Alexia Rodriguez on certain songs, have been added to the roster. It’s nothing new for the band, which has seen 13 different members – including Rodriguez’s sister Anissa, who split back in 2016 – come and go since it’s debut 14 years ago. The music’s still as angsty and energetic as ever, however, which should please local Eyes Set to Kill fans who flock to their hometown show this week at Club Red in Mesa. The Nearly Deads and Bad Seed Rising will open the evening along with locals At My Mercy, Eclipses for Eyes, and ... um, The World In My Eyes. The eyes have starting at 7 p.m. Benjamin Leatherman

Read on for more great shows happening around the Valley, including Wale, Marcia Ball, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.



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