The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

A Giant Dog is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 17, at The Lunchbox.EXPAND
A Giant Dog is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 17, at The Lunchbox.
Sean Daigle

This weekend offers a few unique live music experiences. There’s a DIY punk picnic, for example, as well as a massive metal fest, a gig at off-the-radar spot The Lunchbox, and the chance to see punk act Fathers Day on Father’s Day.

Of course, there also a variety of more traditional concert-type concerts, like Black Lips at Crescent Ballroom, Brit Floyd’s laser-filled tribute to Pink Floyd at Comerica, shows by Americana act BoDeans and jazz singer Diane Schurr’s at the Musical Instrument Museum, and former Misfits member Doyle shredding it up at Club Red in Mesa.

Read on for full details about each of these shows or check out our extensive online music listings for even more concerts happening in Phoenix this weekend.

The BoDeans
Traci Goudie

Friday, June 16
Musical Instrument Museum

They may not have invented Americana music or even redefined it, for that matter, but the BoDeans were responsible for one of the genre's rare mainstream hits, courtesy of the driving anthem called "Closer to Free." Thrust into the top 10 after being tapped as the theme song for the television show Party of Five, they spawned several respectably selling albums, a tour with U2, and a "Best New Band" designation from Rolling Stone. Over the years, a number of theories have been floated as to how the band chose its name. Even when asked about its origins, singer/songwriter/chief mainstay Kurt Neumann concedes that there's been a lot of conjecture about the source from which it was derived. "Sam [Llamas, the band's cofounder] said it came from The Beverly Hillbillies," he recalls, referencing the show's dimwitted character Jethro Bodine. "But for me, it was the combination of Bo Diddley and James Dean, two indelible rock 'n' roll images." Indeed, when the BoDeans regrouped in 2004 after an eight-year hiatus, it marked the resurgence of a great American rock 'n' roll band, one that's always proudly borne the soul, spirit, and essence of the nation's heartland. And the seven albums that they’ve released since then – including 2012’s American Made, 2015’s I Can't Stop, and this year’s Thirteen – have all featured that have come to define the BoDeans dynamic: riveting vocals, an assertive yet seductive delivery, and an innate passion that elevates each song to searing proportions. Lee Zimmerman

Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, longtime fiend and former member of The Misfits.EXPAND
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, longtime fiend and former member of The Misfits.
Tim Tronckoe

Friday, June 16
Club Red in Mesa

Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein is most often identified as a celebrated member of horror punk act The Misfits, brought into the band at the tender age of 16 in 1980. Originally a roadie for the band, he was taught how to play guitar by his brother, Misfits bassist Jerry Only, and Glenn Danzig. He and his brother helped finance the band by working at their father's screw machine shop. Four years later, the Misfits disbanded, but Doyle's metal and punk rock roots only grew stronger and deeper, with his signature guitar playing style of heavy downstrokes and power chords. He helped found (with his brother) the metal band Kryst the Conqueror, and in 1995 reformed The Misfits after settling a legal battle with Danzig for the rights to the bands' name. He wound up leaving the band in 2001 (save for a couple of one-off performances with the original Misfits lineup last year) in order to pursue other ventures, including his since-renamed act Gorgeous Frankenstein and current solo career. This weekend, Doyle will haunt Club Red in Mesa and perform plenty of new songs and old-school Misfits hits. Davey Suicide, Ikonoklast, In Memory Of, Casket Snatch, and Neuron Spectre open the evening. Lauren Wise

The musicians of A Giant Dog.
The musicians of A Giant Dog.
Sean Daigle

A Giant Dog
Saturday, June 17
The Lunchbox

Indie rock and post-punk fans know that, in general, bands on Merge Records are going to have something good to offer. The label was started back in the late ’80s by Superchunk members Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. Since then, they’ve released a slew of work by reliably great artists like Bob Mould, Mark Eitzel, and King Khan & the Shrines. It’s no wonder Austin’s A Giant Dog made the cut. They’re a perfect fit for the label, with their vigorous blend of rock ’n’ roll. The band’s sound comes from a place where big arena rock and shithole dive-bar punk rock collide. It’s pushy, stomp-y, poppy, choppy, and noisy — sometimes all at once. Andrew Cashen (vocals and guitar), Andy Bauer (guitar), Graham Low (bass), and Daniel Blanchard (drums) create this supercharged outpouring of gritty rock, and singer Sabrina Ellis’ voice weaves through it with a tonal growl that often fits right in the guitar’s pocket, making it punchier when her range shifts deeper or higher. Their first release for the label was Pile, in 2016. On that one, there may be a little more crispness in the production than their early releases, but it didn’t compromise the chaos. In fact, it gave a little brightness to all the ruckus. The new one, Toy, comes out in August. In the meantime, let them destroy you live and in person. Amy Young

Brit Floyd in concert.
Brit Floyd in concert.
Patrick Healey

Brit Floyd
Saturday, June 17
Comerica Theatre

Will the real Pink Floyd please stand up? Actually, the real one has decided to sit it out for the foreseeable future, but in its place stands the live spectacle known as Brit Floyd, perhaps the closest thing to the real McCoy. With a syncopated psychedelic light show complete with video and laser projection, a full band including horn section and background vocals, and the ability to pull anything from Floyd's diverse catalog, musical director Damian Darlington says Brit Floyd is the ultimate Pink Floyd experience. Darlington formed Brit Floyd three years ago after a 17-year stint with Australian Pink Floyd Show, which, as you can guess, is an Aussie Pink Floyd cover group. His reasoning? Simply because he felt he could do it one better. "There is much more attention to details in every aspect of the show, from the music to the visuals to the lighting," he says. "Everything is that much more perfected and there's a passion coming off that stage. ... It's a coherent, emotional journey through Pink Floyd's catalog." That includes several songs from the band’s 1977 album, Animals, in honor of its 40th anniversary. Glenn BurnSilver

Remember Sister Hazel? They're back ... in country form.
Remember Sister Hazel? They're back ... in country form.
Brian Hall

Sister Hazel
Saturday, June 17
Crescent Ballroom

Of all the generic pop-rock bands that dominated the airwaves in the 1990s, Sister Hazel was one of the most successful. In 1997, you couldn't go more than about five minutes without hearing "All for You," the year's most popular song and Sister Hazel's biggest hit. You're probably unaware of this, but the band has released six albums since 2000, including last year's Lighter in the Dark, which came after a six-year break from recording and features an entirely different sound. More specifically, country. According to a 2016 interview, frontman Ken Block and his bandmate Drew Copeland have been writing in Nashville for the past 10 years, and the transition into country was a pretty natural fit. The tracks on Lighter in the Dark sound like every other Sister Hazel song you've ever heard in your life, thanks in large part to Block's distinctive voice. In the nearly 20 years since Sister Hazel's biggest success, it's pretty clear that they've not deviated much from the original formula. What this album does feature, though, is a sort of doubling-down on the folksiness that made Sister Hazel such a stark contrast to the grungier acts of the mid-1990s. Amy McCarthy

The Pistoleros, circa 1997.
The Pistoleros, circa 1997.
Kelly Sedei

The Pistoleros
Saturday, June 17
Rockbar Inc. in Scottsdale

Tempe’s main drag, Mill Avenue, used to be a serious destination for lovers of live music. These days, there’s little to write about on that front from that area of town, since most of the hotspots are bars and dance clubs where recorded music is played, or DJs provide the soundtrack. But there still are plenty of folks around who remember bands that defined that 1990s sound and brought people out in droves, like Gin Blossoms and the Chimeras. Both of those bands featured the now-departed Doug Hopkins, who formed the latter roots-rock band with Mark and Lawrence Zubia, Scott Andrews, and Mark Riggs. They saw some member changes, and Gary Smith and Thomas Laufenberg took the place of Hopkins and Riggs (who is now back in the band), got fancy record deals, and changed their name to The Pistoleros. Since then, there have been other bands featuring the members, as well as time spent apart. But right now, after 25 years in existence, they’re going strong — doing live shows and getting ready to release their sixth full-length. The band maintains a soulful thread through such alt-country tunes as “Another Time, Another Place” and more straight-forward rockers like “Love Street.” Each is delivered with guts and a fiery edge that gets stuck under your skin. Amy Young

Even more big concerts are happening this weekend, including the DIY Punk Picnic, Black Lips, and AnneFest.

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