The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
Wavves is scheduled to perform on Thursday, July 21, at Crescent Ballroom
Looking for a great local concert to check out this week? Look not further. We’ve got the lowdown on biggest and best shows happening at Valley music venues over the next several nights, all of which are worthy of both your time and money.
For instance, if you're eager to witness Steven Tyler's new country-rock solo efforts, this week offers you the chance to do so, since the iconic Aerosmith frontman is scheduled to hit Comerica Theatre on Wednesday.
He's not the only legend due in town over the next few days, as reggae royalty Stephen Marley and folk queen Buffy Sainte-Marie are both headed our way. And with it being summertime and all, it shouldn't come as any surprise that there ample opportunities to partake in some nostalgia, thanks to visits by '90s favorites The Offspring, Goo Goo Dolls, and Eve 6.
If these gigs aren't necessarily what you're into, take a gander at our extensive concert listings for more options.
Jenn Wasner (left) and Andy Stack of Wye Oak.
Wye Oak – Mondau, July 18 – Crescent Ballroom
Named after the former state tree of Maryland, Baltimore duo Wye Oak craft a mysteriously engrossing sound that belies their plain appellation. The ambidextrous Andy Stack masterfully manipulates his drum kit, keyboards, and electronics — often simultaneously — to construct a wall of hazy sound behind singer-guitarist Jenn Wasner’s melodic reveries. The duo’s fifth album, Tween, features songs that didn’t fit in thematically with Wye Oak’s previous recordings, Civilian and Shriek, but it’s more than just a collection of leftovers. With glassy guitars and watery vocals that culminate in a crescendo of shimmering electronics, “No Dreaming” nonetheless ends up feeling like a dream. Wasner’s spidery plucking sets up the stormy, psychedelic passages of “Too Right,” one of several tracks that slowly build momentum and clock in at more than five minutes. FALLING JAMES
Robby Takac (left) and John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls.
Goo Goo Dolls – Tuesday, July 19 – Comerica Theatre
Though this band from Buffalo, New York, will most likely go down in musical history as being a part of the '90s alt-rock scene, they formed in the '80s, and their self-titled, first full-length release featured a grit-tier sound and overall faster tempo that fit in all right with the punk bands they shared stages with in those days, like ALL, the Doughboys, Gang Green, and SNFU. Though they weren't quite as hardcore as some of those aforementioned acts, they had the energy to keep up, flowing on a slightly gentler stream through that same vein. It was easy to see in that first effort the big love they had for that handful of pre-1986 Replacements records. They must've been thrilled years later when they got Paul Westerberg to co-write their song, "We Are the Normal," that appeared on their 1993 album, Superstar Car Wash. What they did in the early '90s was trade some of that chaos in their initial sound for the radio-rock hooks and structure that got the masses engaged in what they were do-ing. There's been some lineup changes, but original members John Rzeznik (vocals, guitar) and Robby Takac (vocals, bass) maintained a constant presence throughout, as 2016 marks the band's 30th year. AMY YOUNG
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Tuesday, July 19 – Musical Instrument Museum
Coming out of the same Toronto coffeehouse scene as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young in the early '60s, Buffy Sainte-Marie was an impressive songwriter from the start, composing several notable tunes — such as the harrowing but beautifully chilling ballad "Codeine" — that were covered by Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Bobby Darin, Gram Parsons, and Cher. But she also had a distinctive voice with a mesmerizing vibrato, as she sang fiery, contrarian anthems about Native American identity. Given her musical importance and considering how rarely Sainte-Marie tours, it would be a big event any time the Hawaii-based singer comes to town. But the fact that she's still creatively thriving makes this more than a nostalgia fest. FALLING JAMES
Stephen Marley – Tuesday, July 19 – Marquee Theatre
Many musical offspring have faltered under the pressure of trying to live up to the level of greatness once bestowed on their popular forebearers. Stephen "Raggamuffin" Marley has refreshingly bucked those odds, and has in fact, become a modern-day legend of reggae music in his own right, and has done so for now more than three decades. What has been a big influence for the eight-time Grammy Award winner is the lesson imparted by his deceased famous father, the legendary Bob Marley: "Do it for the love and not the fame," Stephen Marley says. No strangers to the live stage, the young "Ragga" and his siblings would dance on stage at their father's shows when they were toddlers. And as if his birth was part of some pre-destiny, it was to accomplish one thing. "I was born with a mission and purpose to free people's mind and soul with music," Marley explains. Marley has followed in his father's footsteps in creating a music that applies one basic, central theme of universal love and understanding. MARK C. HORN
Piper and Skylar Kaplan of Puro Instinct
Mark Squires/Force Field PR
Puro Instinct – Wednesday, July 20 – Valley Bar
Few bands of the moment embody the begrudged Hollywood image quite like Puro Instinct. The duo of sisters Piper and Skylar Kaplan, Puro Instinct was once one of the buzz bands of the moment — 2011 saw the release of their heralded Headbangers in Ecstasy, a woozy, of-the-times record that brought the likes of Pitchfork knocking. There's moments on that record that feel like Stevie Nicks through a lens of chiffon and horse tranquilizers, slightly angular guitar hooks and flowing melodies that were more than befitting of Mexican Summer, their record label. Then, the band broke up. The Kaplan went relatively quiet, the touring band dispersed, and one couldn't help but wonder if drugged-out, lo-fi vibes had become unfashionable, as their label mates had moved on to slicker pastures.
Then, at a Red Bull Sound Select show-case in Echo Park, Los Angeles, Puro Instinct reappeared. Now a duo, there was a reformed strength to the Kaplans, debuting a sound that was decidedly more '80s, a barbed version of the pop they had rode to popularity. Autodrama, Puro Instinct's latest release, is the embodiment of that LA performance. Muscular, dark, and dreamy, it takes the strength of the synth-driven tracks in their previous iteration, layers them against Skylar's glassy guitar lines and becomes a vehicle for even more personal tomes that are tempered by age, experience, and rebirth. K.C. LIBMAN
Reckless Kelly – Wednesday, July 20 – Musical Instrument Museum
Since the Braun brothers moved to Austin 16 years ago, their band Reckless Kelly has always been considered a part of the Texas music phenomenon, but they've also always managed to stand slightly apart from that whole thing. To its credit, the band has never used the beer-taco-Mexico-tequila-Texas-Texas-Texas-more-beer lyrical template that most of the so-called Texas music bands wore like a frat pin. From the beginning, Reckless had real songs and, when they didn't have anything new, they'd rev up amazing covers of Led Zeppelin or Elvis Costello to fill the void.
Steven Tyler – Wednesday, July 20 – Comerica Theater
There are a lot of things you associate with Steven Tyler. Silk scarves, scraggly mustaches, and halcyon days gone by aside, Tyler isn’t exactly the kind of guy you expect to record a country album. More than 40 years after the bad boys from Boston first made their mark on rock 'n’ roll, though, Tyler is embarking on a truly bizarre solo project as a country artist. During a “surprise visit” at the Grand Ole Opry last September, Tyler told the audience that he would soon be releasing his first solo country album, which isn’t coming until later this month.
He’s already released two singles to his adoring fans via Twitter and after just hearing these two tracks, it is clear that Tyler is going all-in on this country music thing. He didn’t just release an album of mostly rock tracks and market them to country audiences. No, this is going to be a country album, and it is going to be totally fucking insane. Last year, Tyler released “Love Is Your Name,” the lead track from this forthcoming album. The song leads off with plenty of fiddle, sounding much like something you’d hear from Tim McGraw or Keith Urban or some other generic male country artist. Tyler’s characteristic blown-out voice immediately reminds you that yes, this is the guy who once performed “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion.” AMY MCCARTHY
The '00s put Eve 6's heart in a Vitamix.
Eve 6 – Wednesday, July 20 – Pub Rock
When Eve 6 emerged in 1998, the group revealed itself as a smarter Blink-182 and a less self-pitying Everclear — a bit pop-punk with brusque, almost post-grunge vocals dealing with dark subject matter. The group's debut album went platinum on the strength of the single "Inside Out," but things haven't always been easy for the La Crescenta, California, band. Eve 6's third album, 2003's It's All In Your Head, was seen as more experimental and failed to meet the same massive sales as their previous albums. At the time, RCA was restructuring itself to cater more to American Idol contestants, which also meant dropping Eve 6 from the label's roster. Shortly afterward, the band went on hiatus for three years, but when Collins and Fagenson decided to rejoin forces in 2007, Siebels was more invested in his other band, the indie pop outfit Monsters Are Waiting. It wasn't long after Siebels rejoined that they wrote and released the band's fourth album, Speak in Code, in 2012. Maybe it's more pop than punk, unlike previous efforts, dealing with much of the same subject matter as before: girlfriends, parties, nighttime. But it definitely proves that Eve 6 never lost its edge. TROY FARAH
Wavves – Thursday, July 21 – Crescent Ballroom
Wavves live up to their name with pummeling, surf-punk chords and tempos topped by Nathan Williams’ poppy vocals. Much like Wavves’ 2010 album, King of the Beach, the San Diego quartet’s new album, V, slams with plenty of punk sound and fury, contrasted by Williams’ melodic singing. A track like “Flamezesz” sounds like the Descendents trying to sound like the Beach Boys, while “Heavy Metal Detox” accelerates more like euphoric pop-punk than grungy metal. An agoraphobic Williams claims to be happiest when he’s withdrawn from the world, as he chants “Having fun when I’m alone/I don’t have to put on a show,” but his bandmates make the song sound cheery anyway, as they drag their singer out of bed with relentlessly energetic power chords. FALLING JAMES
Dexter Holland of The Offspring.
The Offspring – Thursday, July 21 – Marquee Theatre
It's time to locate the CD binder somewhere in a closet. Thumb through the inserts, and as nostalgia washes over, pull out 1994's "required listening" album for angst-filled teenagers and brush up on the Offspring's Smash. It’s the record that exposed the Huntington Beach, California, band to mainstream audiences and provided its sustained success thereafter. "The songs are as fresh as ever," says Offspring guitarist Kevin John Wasserman, aka Noodles, while acknowledging that many of the tracks have been staples of the band's set list for years.
Smash holds the record for bestselling album on an independent label (Epitaph), and its songs appeared in films such as American Pie 2, Orange County, and Idle Hands, and its videos enjoyed extensive airplay on Total Request Live. Noodles looks back on the success and acknowledges that the Offspring "didn't expect to be on MTV at all!" Then the backlash from self-proclaimed punkers rolled in. "All the people calling us sellouts seemed to be young to the [punk] scene and wanting to keep [the scene] to themselves," Noodles says. "They thought, 'Nobody gets this stuff. I'm the only one who gets it.' Well, guess what? Twenty years after punk was originally heard, people get it, and it's not just you. Sorry, you're not as special as you'd like to think." So, all you elitists trying to mask your jealousy and spewing "sellout" invective have only one thing left to do for the Offspring: Kiss their ass — 16 million times, actually, once for every time Smash was purchased and yours wasn't. CALEB HALEY
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.