MarchFourth is scheduled to perform on Friday, June 2, at Crescent Ballroom.EXPAND
MarchFourth is scheduled to perform on Friday, June 2, at Crescent Ballroom.
Andy Batt

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

So, got any plans for this weekend? Like maybe getting out of town (since it’s technically summertime and all), attending a Diamondbacks game (since they’re doing well this season), or just chilling out in front of Netflix (since there’s new flicks and shows on tap).

All three are cool with us. But if you’re down for catching a memorable concert, there are plenty of those happening, too.

If you’re into metal, both All Hail the Yeti and Vader will be grinding at gigs around the Valley on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Alt-radio favorites Bush also have a concert taking place this weeknd, as do country-pop superstars Lady Antebellum, jazz-swing act Hot Club of Cowtown, and burgeoning rap star XXXTentacion.

There are also dance music events and pool parties planned, including gigs by Crizzly and Lost Frequencies, as well as a cosplay rave.

Want to know what else is on tap? Check out our list of the best shows in Phoenix this weekend or hit up our extensive online concert calendar.

The members of Lady A: (from left to right) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood.EXPAND
The members of Lady A: (from left to right) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood.
Eric Ray Davidson

Lady Antebellum
Friday, June 2
Ak-Chin Pavilion

No doubt other critics do all sorts of mental gymnastics to rationalize listening to Lady Antebellum. This one decided the relentlessly sunny Nashville trio must function as some sort of control group, a way for folks like us to say of other pop-country artists, "Well, they're better than Lady Antebellum, anyway."

But there's nothing wrong with Lady A. Their über-wholesome brand of country music is far, far removed from the honky-tonks, redoubts of violence, heartache, and sin. It's so positive it barely seems even possible. They're very, very popular, as are their uptempo numbers like "Lookin' for a Good Time," "Our Kinda Love," and "Perfect Day.” Those songs alone are replete with images of skipping rocks, afternoons at the lake, nights by a campfire, the open highway, and even what sounds like a one-night stand in the making (risqué!). There's lots of action going on, but very little drama and zero conflict.

On the other hand, their best songs, such as bouncy single "Downtown" and monster crossover ballad "Need You Now," at least take place inside something approaching the real world: the singer scolding her partner to take her out once in a while (damnit), and then of course in the throes of that late-night phone call she knows she will regret in the morning, but just doesn't care. That's good stuff. Chris Gray

DJ S3RL will headline the Imaginationland Cosplay Rave this weekend.EXPAND
DJ S3RL will headline the Imaginationland Cosplay Rave this weekend.
Spacekitt3n

Imaginationland Cosplay Rave
Friday, June 2
Club Red in Mesa

Now that Phoenix Comicon is most certainly in the rearview, it’s probably time you put your costume back in the closet, right? Not so fast, bub. There are still plenty of opportunities for folks to sport their geek-related get-ups in the days and weeks ahead, the first of which is happening this weekend over at Club Red in Mesa. The first-ever Imaginationland Cosplay Rave will take place on Friday, June 2, at the venue and offer electronic dance music fans of a geeky bent the chance to get down and go hard while wearing costumes.

Australia-born happy hardcore producer S3rl will headline the 18-plus event, which kicks off at 7 p.m. in Club Red’s east theater. The soundtrack will feature hardcore, gabber, and drum ‘n’ bass — and the lineup will include such local DJs as Rize, Mako, Maromi, Zeus, Underdown, and Kore. Benjamin Leatherman

MarchFourth performs at the Crescent in 2015.EXPAND
MarchFourth performs at the Crescent in 2015.
Melissa Fossum

MarchFourth
Friday, June 2
Crescent Ballroom

What started in Portland, Oregon, as a Fat Tuesday party back in 2003 has evolved into a must-see national act. MarchFourth’s high-energy and rousing sounds bring to light the deepest grooves of funk, swing, rock, and jazz, and their style pulls from an array of influences, like Sergeant Pepper leading a freaky Cirque du Soleil performance from the bandstand or European Gypsy camps stumbling upon the rhythms of Brazilian jungle tribes.

Concertgoers at the Crescent Ballroom on Friday, June 2, may not know what they are getting themselves into, but after attending this weekend’s show, there’s a good chance that MarchFourth will be on your list of live favorites. Maybe it’s the five-piece percussion corps using harnesses made from bicycle parts, the seven-part brass section that includes trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, or the 20 musicians and performers donning mismatched marching band uniforms — including crowd-surfing stiltwalkers, or the fire dancers. Yes, fire dancers. Get thee to this show. Lauren Farrah

Skating Polly rolls into Mesa this weekend.
Skating Polly rolls into Mesa this weekend.
Angel Ceballos

Skating Polly
Saturday, June 3
Nile Theater in Mesa

The stepsister duo Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse met when their parents started dating. Soon, the pair were writing music together with instruments lying around the family home. “I was 12 or 13, and I was kind of like a moody teenager who thought I was too cool to hang out with my little sister,” Bighorse recalls. Obviously, she got over it pretty quickly, because in 2009, by the time she was 14, and Mayo was 9, the two had started Skating Polly in Oklahoma City.

“We just started bonding over music, and when we weren’t writing songs together, or drawing comics for our band,” Mayo says, “we’d go on walks to the park and each take an earbud and listen to Sleater-Kinney, The Dandy Warhols, Nirvana, or The Clash.” Along the way, while making their self-described “ugly pop,” the sisters have received acclaim from some of their musical heroes, including Exene Cervenka of X and Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland.

Skating Polly’s latest project is a three-song EP titled New Trick (released in April), a collaboration with Louise Post and Nina Gordon, co-frontwomen of Veruca Salt. The partnership gelled right away. “It usually takes a little time to feel comfortable to write songs with someone, to really be that vulnerable,” Peyton says, “but it came so naturally and quickly.” The result is moodily fun, fuzzed-out pop with layered harmonies. Peyton and Mayo, known for being multi-instrumental, bring an assured, raw emotional range to their music rather than prettily truncating it. As the lyrics in "Louder in Outer Space" suggest: “Can you hear that harmony? / I can hear it in my sleep / I can hear it even louder in outer space.” The band recently added brother Kurtis on drums, and New Trick was produced by Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Sunny Day Real Estate). Sativa Peterson

The members of All Hail the Yeti.
The members of All Hail the Yeti.
Kristin Vahl

All Hail the Yeti
Saturday, June 3
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

All Hail the Yeti breathe a welcome waft of Southern/stoner swing into metalcore’s twitching corpse, producing an intriguing take on this endlessly sliced ’n’ diced subgenre. Teetering between being a compelling blend of influences — including nu-metal, thrash, and ’80s metal — and a master-of-none mélange, what really elevates AHTY from the teeming trenches of angry underground metal is the L.A. quartet’s gift for insistent, almost poppy hooks, which, with more glossy production, wouldn’t have sounded out of place on heyday MTV. Certainly last year’s sophomore full-length, the semi-conceptual Screams From a Black Wilderness, is a vast, visceral leap forward from their eponymous 2012 debut, often hitting that bleak yet melodically memorable backwoods roar seldom heard since Corrosion of Conformity’s Deliverance nearly a quarter-century ago. Paul Rogers

Gavin Rossdale of Bush.
Gavin Rossdale of Bush.
Joseph Llanes

Bush
Sunday, June 4
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

The post-Cobain era of alternative rock was very kind to Gavin Rossdale and his band, Bush. The rock act’s multiplatinum debut record, Sixteen Stone, thrust them into the mainstream and made Rossdale the crush of 16-year-old girls around the world. And why not, considering he played the role of handsome-but-sensitive rock star very well? But let's face it, Bush happened to be in the right place at the right time, and how can you blame them? While they never achieved the commercial success of Sixteen Stone, they formed more of their own musical identity on 1999's The Science of Things before calling it quits after 2001's Golden State. After an eight-year break, Rossdale re-formed the band and was forced to replace original guitarist Nigel Pulsford and bassist Dave Parsons, who declined his invitation for a reunion. These days, the former grunge heartthrob is a family man who isn't looking to recapture the '90s and has no problem playing for 40-year-old women or the dudes who used to rock out to “Everything Zen” when it played on alt-rock radio hourly during Bush’s heyday. Jim Louvau

Read on for more fantastic concerts and gigs happening this weekend, including Hot Club of Cowtown, Vader, and XXXTentacion.

Burgeoning EDM superstar Crizzly.EXPAND
Burgeoning EDM superstar Crizzly.
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency

Release Pool Party feat. Crizzly
Saturday, June 3
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

When Texas native Chris Marshall first decided to try his hand at music, it was from behind his computer keyboard. “I was a nerd, just to be straight up,” Marshall says. “Whenever I was home from school, I’d just be online all day, looking up music. I fell in love with dance music because it was newer; it was really fresh. And that’s how I met a bunch of people on Myspace and started connecting.” By the time he graduated high school, he was throwing his own raves in San Antonio. But it wasn’t until 2010 that he started focusing on music production. He developed a style that blended dubstep, trap, and several other genres, and began releasing music under the name Crizzly. Since then, Marshall’s star has been steadily on the rise. He’s played numerous festivals, including Lights All Night on his 21st birthday and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, where things have been known to get pretty lit. Right now Crizzly is finishing up the Ninja Nation Tour with Datsik and Virtual Riot, but he’s got Middlelands and Michigan’s Electric Forest coming up later this year. He’s also working on a release for the label Insomniac. In the meantime, Crizzly will co-headline one of this weekend’s Release pool parties at Talking Stick along with fellow EDM producer Arius. Molly Mollotova

Hot Club of CowtownEXPAND
Hot Club of Cowtown
Valerie Fremin

Hot Club of Cowtown
Sunday, June 4
Musical Instrument Museum

Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys combined the au courant hot jazz with the fiddle music of their Southwestern upbringings and invented Western Swing in the early 20th century. Similar influences and instincts led to something called rock 'n' roll a couple of decades later, yet Western Swing remains a classic American dance music that never sounds dated. Asleep at the Wheel revived it 40 years ago (and are still swinging full-speed ahead), and the Hot Club of Cowtown are damn fine 21st-century practitioners. Fiddler and smooth singer Elana James and Djangoe-sque guitarist Whit Smith met through a 1996 Village Voice ad seeking compatible pickers and realized their blend was a match — the kind that starts a fire. Add one upright bassist (currently Jake Erwin) and they had themselves a combustible trio that nailed Bob Wills' tunes ("Ida Red"), Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust"), and original compositions. Michael Simmons

XXXTentacion
Sunday, June 4
Livewire in Scottsdale

True story: Florida-born rap star XXXTentacion was released from jail only a few months ago. He’s more than ready to put that behind him, however, as he’s been touring constantly and performing at festivals like Miami’s Rolling Loud. That’s not to say he’s not down for stirring up trouble now and again. During his first post-jail interview on a Miami radio station, the “Look at Me!” rapper made headlines when he called out Drake for jocking his flow on "KMT." XXX might use his gigs to further his beef with the More Life rapper to a head, especially if he disses Drake during his sets. XXXTentacion might also debut music from one of several projects he’s got going this year, including such studio albums as Bad Vibes and 17, as well as his mixtape I Need Jesus. Tony Centeno

Soundwave Pool Party feat. Lost Frequencies
Sunday, June 4
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

His name is Felix De Laet, but he’s better known to the electronic dance music world by his stage name, Lost Frequencies. He achieved a small, but considerable amount of fame for his singles, “Are You With Me” and “Reality” in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The 23-year-old vocalist and producer crafts elegantly pretty and silky dance grooves, at home on a darkened dance floor or gently spilling from the speakers situated above an outdoor veranda overlooking a tropical landscape. Aptly enough, Lost Frequencies will headline the latest Soundwave pool party at Maya Day & Nightclub on Sunday, June 4. The 21-and-over event starts at noon and admission is $10.Angel Melendez

You don't know the power of metal's dark side until you hear Vader.EXPAND
You don't know the power of metal's dark side until you hear Vader.
Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

Vader
Sunday, June 4
Club Red in Mesa

Most well-known Viking rock has come out of Scandinavia. Long before Mayhem murderously imploded, though, Poland's Vader played some of the darkest, most brutally intense death-metal thrash to ever emerge from behind the Iron Curtain. In the early days, the act promoted itself through an underground network of tape trading and became the first Polish metal band signed to a Western European label. Although the band's albums and song titles are rife with chuckle-worthy references to horror fiction and movies and the occult, the music is searingly precise. And like any other speed-demon heshers, the players blitz the fretboard — but they also make their sludgier riffing seem incredibly forceful. Tom Murphy

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