The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
Keb' Mo' is scheduled to perform with Taj Mahal at Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Wednesday, June 7.
Prepare yourself: A few guitar gods will invade the Valley this week, as will outlaw country artists, gothy rockers, folk-punkers, and indie favorites.
That’s because such acts and artists as Yngwie Malmsteen, Jaime Wyatt, The Birthday Massacre, Days N Daze, The Cave Singers, and Keb’ Mo’ are are headed to town for shows.
And you can get the details on their performances (as well as gigs by Hurray for the Riff Raff, Whores, JMSN, and Jackie Greene) by checking out our rundown of the best concerts in Phoenix this week.
And if you need even more live music in your life, our extensively updated online concerts listings have even more shows for your considerations.
Swedish guitar monster Yngwie Malmsteen.
Monday, June 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Eddie Van Halen may have put the art of shredding on the map with 1978’s “Eruption,” but Yngwie Malmsteen spent the entire 1980s taking the blueprint, adding influences from 18th- and 19th-century classical music, and blowing the concept up into a grandiose display of guitar histrionics. The Swedish-born musician initially broke through as a teenage prodigy with early-’80s L.A. metal band Alcatrazz. Malmsteen’s guitar-hero status emerged with his Rising Force project in the years that followed. His neoclassical shred-guitar compositions took center stage and influenced a wave of musicians welding metallic loudness with over-the-top technicality, which continues to this day with modern acts such as L.A.’s own Exmortus. Malmsteen has at times become shorthand in metal circles for guitar excess, but when it’s as shamelessly bombastic as this, it’s all good. Jason Roche
Like all good outlaw country musicians, Jaime Wyatt has a past.
Monday, June 5
Since its '70s heyday, “outlaw country” has become marketing shorthand – a reach across to the aisle toward urban cowboys or “country for people who don’t like country.” Then there’s Jaime Wyatt, the latest country songwriter to break out of L.A.’s increasingly vibrant, twang-centric scene. Her biography makes her the outlaw country answer to 50 Cent. She got her first record deal at 17, which led to song placements on the Wicker Park soundtrack but little more. After that deal dissolved, Wyatt moved to L.A. and received another recording contract, which also went nowhere. In the depressive aftermath, she developed an addiction to hard drugs, part of a desperate tailspin that led to her robbing her dealer and spending eight months in jail. There’s a narrow line between authenticity and procuring literary material. The books and poems of Nelson Algren, William S. Burroughs, and Charles Baudelaire are populated by the seedy underworld characters they encountered. In Wyatt’s case, the songs on her latest album, Felony Blues, are short stories riddled with psychic carnage. There are love doxologies and gin-soaked lamentations cloaked in gorgeous arrangements and a forlorn stardust wail. Think Bonnie Raitt with a backstory closer to Boosie. Jeff Weiss
The Birthday Massacre
The Birthday Massacre
Monday, June 5
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale
The Birthday Massacre are heavy on the edges with a strong pop sensibility that has been charming fans for more than 15 years. The Canadian-born gothic rock/dark wave band – which includes such colorfully named musicians in its lineup as lead vocalist Chibi, rhythm guitarist Rainbow, lead guitarist Falcore, and drummer Rhim – nails the art of combining sublime and tender moments with bold guitars and dramatic synths on its latest album, Under Your Spell. Show up early to their gig at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale to check out like-minded dark rock openers Army of the Universe and Ludovico Technique. Liz Ohanesian
Monday, June 5, and Tuesday, June 6
Musical Instrument Museum
Developing the rootsy edge that inhabits Jackie Greene’s latest album (and first in five years), Back to Birth, has been a long time coming. Though Greene was once hailed as the “new Dylan” for his acoustic guitar/harmonica soirées during the coffeehouse period that informed much of his teenage years, his initial albums displayed a wider stylistic range, from 1970s pop to classic rock to soul and blues. The seeds were there, but it was only after being drafted to play with The Band’s Levon Helm, and later the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir (in separate projects) and his time in the final iteration of the Black Crowes, that Greene has hit upon his most fully realized and deeply centered project to date. A laid-back, earthy California vibe full of lush harmonies and strum-along chords bolsters Greene’s work. Add the richness of honest, homespun tales and Greene’s music unconsciously shades toward The Band, Jackson Browne, The Black Crowes, and even one clearly B.B. King-inspired number. At the core is a simplicity that recalls the purity of songwriting, the kind that doesn’t require anything more than a back porch to reproduce — though Greene’s stage performance only strengthens the music’s resolve. Glenn BurnSilver
Houston thrashgrass band Days N Daze.
Courtesy of Days N Daze
Days N Daze
Tuesday, June 6
This Houston band founded in 2008 has accrued upward of 34,000 likes on Facebook. Although they rightly have dubbed their music “thrashgrass” – it's largely acoustic, and also, well, really, really fast – Days N Daze are more complicated than that, like the way they weave trumpet into the songs on 2013's The Oogle Deathmachine, one of their many releases available on Bandcamp. Likewise, their lyrics tackle prickly themes like terrorism and environmental devastation alongside more recreational pursuits; apparently, they've spent at least one night in jail. And they’re also constantly on the road, having toured Europe and played Quebec's Amnesia Rockfest alongside the likes of blink-182, Rise Against, and Ice Cube. This week, their latest tour bring them to Trunk Space, where they’ll headline the Sweet Release Fest, which will also feature performances from folk-punkers We The Heathens and locals like Sad Kid and Diego Galvan. Chris Gray
Read on for more of our concert picks for this week, including the The Cave Singers, TajMo, and Whores.
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