Everclear is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 27, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Everclear is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 27, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Courtesy of Big Picture Media

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Feeling nostalgic for either the heavy metal heyday of the ‘80s or the alt-rock hits of the ‘90s? You’re in luck, pal, since there are a couple of big concerts this week aimed squarely at you.

The metal gods of Iron Maiden will grace us mere mortals with their presence on Wednesday when they invade Talking Stick Resort Arena. One day prior, Art Alexakis and the rest of Everclear will be at Marquee Theatre in Tempe celebrating the 20th anniversary of their hit album, So Much for the Afterglow.

There’s more going on concert-wise than just a few helpings of member berries, however.

Going from the past to the present, this week’s slate of big concerts also includes gigs by hip-hop star Future and burgeoning rapper Russ, as well as the ultra-quirky Quintron and Miss Pussycat, garage punk act White Reaper, and singer-songwriter Alice Smith.

Details on each can be found in the following list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. (And for even more stuff happening, check out our online concert listings.)

The legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band.EXPAND
The legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Chris Monaghan

Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Monday, June 26
Musical Instrument Museum

Just as it’s never clear exactly where the ever-shifting Mississippi River ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins amid the mysterious maze of swamps, islands and sand bars in southern Louisiana, there are no strict borders demarcating the lines between the styles of music that Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays. A simple blues lick might evolve into a back-and-forth funk rhythm before the whole things bursts into full-blown jazz with sophisticated, swinging horn arrangements. On the New Orleans collective’s most recent album, Twenty Dozen, traditional funk and R&B workouts are occasionally intercut with rapid-fire, not-quite-rap vocals. Throughout the record, though, the most expressive vocalizing usually comes filtered through those brassy horns, such as the wildly woozy solo that closes “Don’t Stop the Music.” Falling James

Quintron and Miss Pussycat
Monday, June 26
Trunk Space

Mad science and puppets are two things that go great together. They’re also the two main elements behind Quintron and Miss Pussycat, a dynamic duo whose frenzied, chaotic live shows are experiences so intense they should be added to your bucket list. Quintron and Miss Pussycat sound like some freakishly wonderful mashup of The Cramps and The B-52s. They make music that’s giddy and bratty. Whether chanting about witches at dance clubs or getting facedown in the gutter, they do it with an almost childish glee. To add an extra element of playfulness to their live shows, Miss Pussycat usually opens the proceedings with a full-on puppet show. But the band are more than just high-energy antics and puppetry; they’re a showcase for Quintron’s one-of-a-kind musical innovations. The bandleader is also an inventor, and uses instruments like the Drum Buddy (a five-oscillator, light-activated drum machine) and a custom organ to create the band’s campy and freaky sound. He’s also invented a synthesizer called the Weather Warlock, which uses sensors that detect and respond to changes in sunlight, temperature, and wind. Meaning, it’s an instrument that’s played by the weather. And he developed a hand organ called the Spit Machine that uses saliva in its circuitry. If you need another reason to see them live at Trunk Space, consider this: How many people around your work’s water cooler can say they spent the night watching an organist play a spit-powered machine? Ashley Naftule

Streetlight Manifesto
Monday, June 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Any story about New Brunswick, New Jersey ska-punk heroes Streetlight Manifesto is really two stories. One is about the music, a decade’s-worth of intelligent, clever, and genuinely fun albums that kept the flame going for third-wave ska (a flame vocalist/bandleader Tomas Kolnaky helped ignite in the late '90s with his prior outfit, Catch-22) — long after the genre’s mainstream moment clattered to a close. The other is a story of the band’s turbulent relationship with label Victory Records, a dramatic and tortuous saga full of deceit, snark, and soap opera-level villainy that came to a head in 2013 with the label’s refusal to fulfill pre-orders sold by the band of their then-new album, The Hands That Thieve. This was after Kolnaky announced he intended to self-release (under his Toh Kay solo moniker) an acoustic version of the album. After years of turmoil, hurt feelings, and various lawsuits, however, the matter was resolved this past spring when both parties finally reached a settlement, including giving the band access to its back catalog. Bottom line: the members of Streetlight Manifesto will be in far better moods than ever before when they roll into the Valley for a show at the Marquee Theatre. Jesse Richman

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
Courtesy of the MIM

Alice Smith
Tuesday, June 27
Musical Instrument Museum

A decade ago, this D.C. singer released a superb album called For Lovers, Dreamers & Me that showcased her four-octave range on bouncy, soulful pop confections like "Gary's Song" and "Woodstock," the funkiest song ever to riff on the underwater chorus from "Octopus's Garden." Then she disappeared. Turns out she got signed to Epic Records and spent years toiling on an album that her label bosses decided, in their infinite wisdom, to shelve. She's finally free from major-label purgatory and back with a new album, She, that proves she hasn't lost any of her vocal chops or gift for making pop music sound profound. This week, Smith will visit the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix. Andy Hermann

Everclear is still reveling in the "Afterglow," some 20 years later.
Everclear is still reveling in the "Afterglow," some 20 years later.
Paul Brown

Everclear
Tuesday, June 27
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Art Alexakis is almost refreshingly honest. In an era when a number of bands of yesteryear cling to relevance in an era that long ago passed them by, Alexakis is more than aware of Everclear’s standing in the annals of rock music. “Nostalgia plays a major role, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he says. “It’s all about connecting with the things and feelings you used to have...In the end, we made a record that had an impact on people, and I put so much of myself into that album. It’s so amazingly gratifying.” Rather than trot out a bunch of new tunes when they roll through the Valley this week, Alexakis and his Everclear bandmates are going the opposite route. The band’s current nationwide tour is actually dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the multiplatinum So Much for the Afterglow. The album, which continued Everclear’s commercial roll coming off 1995’s Sparkle and Fade, features tunes like “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone” and “I Will Buy You a New Life.” These tunes were not only popular upon the album’s release in 1997; they still receive commercial radio play to this day. In fact, one might argue the ’90s are in the midst of a resurgence. Hell, Vertical Horizon and Fastball – more relics of the ’90s – are the current opening acts for Everclear. Clint Hale

Check out the next page for even more big concerts happening over the next few nights, including Future, Iron Maiden, and Russ.

Future returns to the Valley this week.EXPAND
Future returns to the Valley this week.
Jim Louvau

Future
Wednesday, June 28
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Future should have been named Present, because it’s hard to think of another rapper who’s been more inescapable over the last two years. The poet laureate of Percocet rap, he’s been dropping records the way some people drop loose change in their couch cushions. Since 2015, he’s released nine records (four studio albums and five mixtapes). And while he’s done pop collaborations with Drake, Miley Cyrus, and The Weeknd, he hasn’t lost his cred with the underground. One of the most surprising things about Future’s work is how compelling it remains, despite the fact that so much of it sounds alike. Using Autotune to smear his voice into a numb, impressionistic moan, he raps exclusively about drugs, sex, and his superiority. But what separates Future from every other rapper flexing on the mic is how cold and weary he sounds. He makes trap hedonism sound absolutely joyless. Pair that hollow, drawn-out voice with inventive productions from beatmaking heavyweights like Mike WiLL Made-It and DJ Esco, and you’ve got some ear candy that keeps its flavor no matter how many times you hear it. Dropping two chart-topping LPs this year, Future’s been taking a victory lap tour across the country. Accompanying him on tour are Migos, possibly the only other rappers in the game having as good a year as Future. Going to their show at Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 28 will be a lot like being on the losing end of a boxing match: The hits just keep on coming. Ashley Naftule

Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.EXPAND
Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.
Brandon Marshall

Iron Maiden
Wednesday, June 28
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Definitely the most dashing debutantes of the New Wave of British heavy metal, Iron Maiden also have a claim to the most famous logo, the giant undead Eddie, courtesy of artist Derek Riggs. Like Eddie, Maiden has a time-worn, instantly recognizable identity. Now, as then, they offer the promise of total escape through their fast tempos, killer riffs, dueling lead guitars, and the historical fantasy fascinations, operatic vocals, and onstage high jinks of their longest-lasting singer, the charismatic Bruce Dickinson, who is also a fencing master and a trained commercial pilot. As a matter of fact, they’ve even got their own Iron Maiden-branded 747, dubbed "Ed Force One." No joke. Tex Kerschen

White ReaperEXPAND
White Reaper
Jesse DeFlorio

White Reaper
Wednesday, June 28
Valley Bar

For most bands, self-identifying as “The World’s Best American Band” would be a tongue-in-cheek declaration. White Reaper aren’t like most bands. Every song on The World’s Best American Band, the Louisville quartet’s new album, sounds like they’re making an argument for claiming that status. White Reaper sound like a band from out of time. There isn’t a single note on the new record that sounds distinctly 2017. Rooted in classic radio rock, theirs is the kind of music that celebrates chicks, muscle cars, and getting tanked on cheap domestic beer. Listening to The World’s Best, you get the impression that members’ record collections begin with Cheap Trick and end with Thin Lizzy. And yet despite the grab-bag of I Love the ’70s influences, White Reaper’s rock ’n’ roll doesn’t sound dated. They make music that sounds utterly present and relevant, even as it waxes nostalgic for a time when David Lee Roth walked the earth with a full head of hair. And to be honest: Who can blame them for looking backward? Especially when it inspires them to write songs like “Eagle Beach” and “Judy French” (whose knotty, Rush-esque guitar riff is the kind of lick that any of their contemporaries would kill to write). Getting baked and watching Dazed and Confused might not be the best model for making an album for most bands, but it works like gangbusters for the boys in White Reaper. Ashley Naftule

Russ
Thursday, June 29
Rawhide Event Center

Hip-hop artist, record producer and singer-songwriter Russ released his debut album, There's Really A Wolf, this year after his successful 2016 singles, "What They Want" and "Losin Control." Now he's making waves across the country with his first headlining tour, which hits the Valley of the Sun on Thursday. The 24-year-old identifies 50 Cent, Eminem and G-Unit as early inspirations and began writing raps as young as 7 years old. But before Russ took his turn at making an album, he produced beats for six years starting at 14. You know, the same age y’all were in the midst of pubery and probably wondering what your were going to do with your life. Diamond Victoria

The Expanders
The Expanders
Josue Rivas

The Expanders
Thursday, June 29
Last Exit Live

Roots-reggae maestros, The Expanders, known for their classic 1970s Jamaican-influenced sound, actually started as more of a dub/jam act while founders, Devin Morrison and John Butcher, were still attending high school in Southern California. After a few changes within the band, including a punk-rock phase, the second incarnation of The Expanders focused on doing acoustic reggae and learning to sing harmonies. “You know, we would listen to The Ethiopians and Bob Marley and they had harmonies,” recalls Morrison, “but we also listened to Bad Religion and NOFX and they have a lot of harmonies as well. So when the punk band ended, we figured we didn’t need a drummer.” The Expanders soon became the top-choice backing band for various legendary Jamaican artists. Following their appearance with John Asher on drums at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 2008, The Expanders’ core four members have remained the same: Morrison (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Butcher (lead guitar/vocals), Chiquis Lozoya (bass/vocals) and John Asher (drums/percussion). Not only have they remained busy through touring and playing multiple headlining shows up and down the West Coast, but the band’s 2015 studio album, Hustling Culture, reached No. 1 on the Billboard reggae chart. David Garcia

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