Yelle is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, November 8, at Crescent Ballroom.EXPAND
Yelle is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, November 8, at Crescent Ballroom.
Maciek Pozoga

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

What’s in store for the concert scene in Phoenix this week? A diverse mix of shows, to be honest.

It kicks off with the space rock shenanigans of Nik Turner's Hawkwind at The Rebel Lounge and the emotive sounds of singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen at the Crescent Ballroom.

And that’s just Monday.

The rest of the week includes shows from Ministry, Yelle, Cults, Waterparks, and Will Hoge.

Full details about each of these gigs can be found below in our list of the 10 best concerts in Phoenix this week. (And for even more options, check out our online live music listings.)

Nik Turner of Hawkwind.
Nik Turner of Hawkwind.
Randall Michelson

Nik Turner's Hawkwind
Monday, November 6
The Rebel Lounge

Vocalist-flutist-saxophonist Nik Turner has drifted across the seas of space and time with numerous unusual musicians since the late ’60s. He’s one of the few performers to have collaborated with both hippie rockers, such as Randy California’s Spirit, and punk royalty, including The Damned, The Ruts, and The Stranglers.

Turner is best known for his years with the spacey British prog-rockers Hawkwind, and tonight he appears with his latest incarnation of that long-running group. No matter what he calls his various backing bands, you can expect to hear such Hawkwind classics as “Silver Machine” (which was covered by The Sex Pistols) alongside trippy anthems by Turner’s more recent project Space Ritual.

Even with his head in the clouds, Turner usually manages to channel his psychedelic divinations with driving hard-rock force. Falling James

Singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen.
Singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen.
Courtesy of High Road Touring

Noah Gundersen
Monday, November 6
Crescent Ballroom

There's something about the voice of Seattle singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen – it's evocative and haunting, the type of wail that sticks you can't shake for days after you first hear it. Gundersen has previously written songs and toured with his sister, Abby, on backup vocals and violin, and his brother, Jonathan, on drums.

There are a few other members of the touring band, but the most powerful part of the songs is the combination of Noah and Abby's voices. Genetics help family bands achieve a scary-close vocal blend, and the Gundersens take full advantage of this. To hear the two sing harmonies on songs like "Poor Man's Son" is to swim in a velvet sea of sonic bliss. David Accomazzo

Al Jourgensen of Ministry and his evil twin, Loki.EXPAND
Al Jourgensen of Ministry and his evil twin, Loki.
Wally Reeves

Ministry
Tuesday, November 7
The Van Buren

For many fans of heavy music, it just doesn’t get better than Ministry. The guitars, samples, and heavy percussion – along with the screamy, sneering vocal delivery of a guy who may be the first cousin of Satan himself – have made Ministry one of the greatest underground musical exports from Chicago.

For this fan, January 31, 1990, was the true game changer. That’s when Ministry played the Americana Ballroom in Phoenix and totally destroyed the place. Chain link fence was set up in front of 75 percent of the stage, and Al Jourgensen was the ringleader of evil for the night.

That’ll likely be the case again on Tuesday, November 7, when Ministry play on Van Buren Road yet again. This time it’s at The Van Buren, and Death Grips is opening. In the 27 years since Ministry’s Americana Ballroom show, a lot has happened with Jourgensen and company, even if there haven’t been many remarkable records. But the good Ministry stuff is good enough to transcend many of the less-than-memorable records that have happened in the meantime. And really, 1996’s Filth Pig had some really fun moments.

Hell, if you like Ministry, you probably like all of their records, even if recent releases mostly have been box sets and “best of” compilations. Tom Reardon

The current lineup of The Dead Boys.EXPAND
The current lineup of The Dead Boys.
Courtesy of Plowboy Records

The Dead Boys
Tuesday, November 7
Club Red in Mesa

The validity of a band calling themselves The Dead Boys with a lineup featuring just Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz is going to be justifiably debated by punk enthusiasts. Even if Jimmy Zero and Jeff Magnum were back in the ranks, a Dead Boys minus the late Stiv Bators is never going to sit right with many.

But screw it, let’s be kind. There are many young punks out there who never got to see The Dead Boys, so, much like when The New York Dolls or The MC5 reformed, this offers an opportunity to hear tunes like “Sonic Reducer” performed by a couple of the guys who recorded them. Controversial? Sure. Fun? Surely. Brett Callwood

Dan Griffith, a.k.a. electronic dance music artist Gryffin.
Dan Griffith, a.k.a. electronic dance music artist Gryffin.
Koury Angelo

Gryffin
Tuesday, November 7
Crescent Ballroom

Dan Griffith, better known as Gryffin, has played Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and this week he will be at Crescent Ballroom.

Born and raised near Silicon Valley in Northern California, he is the son of an electrical engineer. He was studying engineering at the University of Southern California when he became interested in dance music. After seeing Skrillex, he downloaded music production software. He was a natural, his longtime relationship with the piano and guitar having groomed him to be a quality producer.

“I just wanted to make music that my friends liked," Griffith says. "I was making remixes and releasing them on the internet when labels started hitting me up.”

By his own admission, he veers toward a pop sound – and considers himself a “melody guy.” He calls his music “cloud house,” which is an EDM and future house cousin. Press play on his 2016 hit “Heading Home” and imagine two smiling models walking down the beach and blowing kisses at the camera. Or try “Whole Heart” and envision a couple holding each other close with a setting sun in the distance. As the beat becomes more urgent, their lips touch in a moment of passion. His latest, “Feel Good,” features the familiar voice of Daya – she starred on “Don't Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers. Elvis Anderson

Singer-songwriter Will Hoge.
Singer-songwriter Will Hoge.
Andrew Southam

Will Hoge
Wednesday, November 8
The Rebel Lounge

In a time when singer-songwriters are as plentiful — and nearly as indistinguishable — as the corporate coffee shops lining the streets of tony shopping districts, Will Hoge stands out like a homegrown roaster serving his hand-picked beans in a secondhand mug in some bohemian boutique.

Hoge's raspy, soulful voice is as expressive as it is authentic: Every word he sings sounds geniunely heartfelt, like he's lived it, whether he's indulging his Southern-rock roots on cuts such as "Pocketful of Change," doing his best Otis Redding on "When I Get My Wings," or singing with a pained resignation on ballads like "Goodnight/Goodbye."

And Hoge's songs are affecting even when he's not doing the singing: Just ask the Eli Young Band, which has made "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," a song Hoge co-wrote, a country staple. Dave Herrera

Yelle singer Julie Budet.EXPAND
Yelle singer Julie Budet.
Maciek Pozoga

Yelle
Wednesday, November 8
Crescent Ballroom

It’s not easy for American bands to break through to pop success. When the Backstreet Boys got started, they were strategically marketed in Europe first, then brought back to the States after they’d already built a fan base.

Imagine, then, the near-insurmountable odds stacked against a French-speaking electro-pop band. You’re sweating, right? And yet that’s exactly the kind of language barrier Yelle waved aside with just one MySpace (yes, MySpace) single. After two albums, Yelle even had pop king Dr. Luke, the guy behind every Katy Perry and Ke$ha song you’ve ever loved, asking to work with it.

Yelle, fronted by singer Julie Budet and creative partner GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier), now have three LPs and a decade of success behind them. More than three years into touring, these two are hitting the Crescent Ballroom to bring their legendary effervescence to a Phoenix dance floor. Kat Bein

Pop-punk band Waterparks.EXPAND
Pop-punk band Waterparks.
Courtesy of Equal Vision Records

Waterparks
Wednesday, November 8
The Van Buren

When you’re a teen, there’s magic in the combination of heartfelt lyrics with smart-aleck wit, largely because being a teen means thinking everything is somehow the most important thing in the world or a complete joke. It’s a particular type of alchemy that made me fall in love with Blink 182 when I was a teen and I suspect plays a large part in why Waterparks will be playing to sold-out crowds in Chicago, Philly, Atlanta, and New York over the next few weeks.

Yeah, I know, I’m romanticizing youth a bit here, but when I listen to Waterparks, I’m reminded of everything that I loved about pop-punk when I was that age. Double Dare, their most recent album, is not a “cool” record because in a world where rock music isn’t hip, pop-punk gets even less respect, but it’s an effortlessly good record full of songs that are catchy and hit some real solid emotional beats if you go along with it. Waterparks delivers those songs very well live, be it the acoustic buildup and tension release of “21 Questions” or the big-league-sounding chorus in “Royal.” Cory Garcia


D.R.I.
Thursday, November 9
Club Red in Mesa

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, better known as D.R.I., started out as a speedy hardcore band in Houston in the early '80s.

The band was renowned for its short songs, its leftist politics and the frenzied passion of its playing. D.R.I.'s appropriately-titled, landmark 1987 album, Crossover, lived up to its name by introducing a sound that fully integrated breakneck hardcore rhythms with a thrashy guitar attack, which the group had been developing all along.

Marketed in the late '80s to both metalheads and hardcore fans, D.R.I. seemed to find an easy audience in anyone who loved aggressive music with anti-authoritarian lyrics. During the course of four more albums, up to 1995's Full Speed Ahead, D.R.I. mastered a sound that can be heard in virtually all metal and punk hybrid groups today. Tom Murphy

Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults.
Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults.
Shawn Brackbill

Cults
Thursday, November 9
Crescent Ballroom

Rarely has a band with such upbeat, accessible music had its identity and origins so shrouded in mystery — initally, anyway.

Cults is not, in fact, some witch-house project, or even a black-metal band, as its moniker might suggest. Instead, it's a New York duo with a knack for post-tropical pop melodies. Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin started the band while students in 2010, and they released three of their handful of songs on an EP with no expectations. Within a year or so, Cults was approached by Gorilla vs. Bear, who offered to put out a vinyl release for the band, and over the past few years, they’ve released EPs and full-length albums via Columbia Records and it’s imprint, In the Name Of.

While often lumped in with summery electro-pop groups like Beach House, Cults actually brings to mind the kind of cults you wouldn't want to join, but does so with a playful abandon. Tom Murphy

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