Fictionist is scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 22, at Valley Bar.
Fictionist is scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 22, at Valley Bar.
Trevor Chrisensen

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

We ain’t gonna lie to you: It’s going to be absolutely miserable in the Valley this week.

As you’ve probably heard by now, we’re getting the business from a massive heat wave over the next few days that will jack temperatures up to dangerous levels and make us all question why we’d want to live in this part of the world.

In other words, hell on Earth.

In all likelihood, y’all should probably stay indoors during the daytime, preferably within close proximity to either the air conditioning vent or an open freezer (your choice).

Things will be a bit more tolerable after dark, however, which will allow you to go outside for a few hours and do something, including going to a concert. And, thankfully, almost every show on the following list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week (save for Thursday’s visit by this year’s Vans Warped Tour) will happen at an indoor venue, all of which feature air conditioning.

Read on for full details and try to stay chill. (For even more shows happening this week, check out our online concert calendar.)

Blood Incantation
Monday, June 19
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Denver-born death metal act Blood Incantation, who take their name from the work of H.P. Lovecraft, balance both technicality and brutality while also shrouding their din in a cocoon of progressive atmospherics, displaying an ambition that goes far beyond showing how heavy they are. You can hear it on the band’s first proper full-length, 2016’s Starspawn (Dark Descent Records), which showcased some of the best all-around musicianship to be found in metal last year. The result is a compelling, complex album that reveals new tricks with each listen, from another newer death metal band with a bright future ahead. On Monday, June 19, Blood Incantation will take over the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe. Gatecreeper, Qrixkour, and Nigrummagia will open the evening. Jason Roche

GirlpoolEXPAND
Girlpool
ANTI Records

Girlpool
Tuesday, June 20
The Rebel Lounge

“I said I faked global warming just to get close to you,” Harmony Tividad discloses on “It Gets More Blue,” from Girlpool’s second album, Powerplant. She and her musical partner, Cleo Tucker, don’t turn the lyric into a joke. Instead, their intimate voices braid together in a gloriously breezy harmony just as the guitars get louder and surround them. The duo, who relocated back to L.A. after a spell in Philadelphia, are now joined by Miles Wintner, a drummer who adds more power to Girlpool’s folk-based songs. Several of the new tunes, such as “Static Somewhere” and “123,” start out with spare beginnings with the emphasis on Tucker’s and Tividad’s soft, confidential vocals before the tracks blossom into heavy and hard-driving pop-punk anthems. Falling James

The metalheads of Morbid Angel.EXPAND
The metalheads of Morbid Angel.
Alex Solca

Morbid Angel
Tuesday, June 20
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Since the debut of an extreme metal classic in 1989, Altars of Madness, Morbid Angel have mastered the art form of extreme metal, producing some of the most evil-sounding heavy metal music in existence. With a foundation of musical technicality that is nothing short of sorcery, the roots of the Florida-bred band are steeped in the occult and worship of the beast, but have moved towards more dark, spiritual, and esoteric themes, such as Sumerian deities, mythology, and even ancient incantations and witchcraft. Morbid Angel are included with their peers in Deicide and Cannibal Corpse as being the most successful first wave of American death metal bands. Ironically, what is considered to be the band's most satanic album, 1993's Covenant, was the first album released by a death metal band on a major record label (a subsidiary of Warner Bros) and is still ranked among the some of the best-selling death metal albums of all time. This week, Morbid Angel invades the Marquee Theatre in Tempe with support from Suffocation, Revocation, and Withered. Alex Distefano

Futurecastle
Wednesday, June 21
The Rebel Lounge

After parting ways with emo band Taking Back Sunday, guitarist Matthew Fazzi devoted his attention to a multitude of side projects. One of them was Happy Body, Slow Mind, now known as Rare Futures. The band gathered inspiration from groups like Jellyfish, Mutemath, and Soundgarden and churned out Fazzi's own brand of progressive, groove rock. After re-leasing their latest album, This Is Your Brain on Love, earlier this spring, Rare Futures have embarked on an offshoot project. Now, the Brooklyn-based band teams up with the Gavin Castleton of The Dear Hunter to form Futurecastle and reinterpret songs from '80s legends Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears, Chicago, and Sade. Their collaborative album is called FutureCastles EP, and it's only available online in a limited edition. Their self-professed "space-aged, boudoir-themed" collaborative tour kicked off June 8 and lands in the Valley this week. Lindsay Roberts

Musician and professional surfer Donavon Frankenreiter.
Musician and professional surfer Donavon Frankenreiter.
Rodney Brusiel

Donavon Frankenreiter
Wednesday, June 21
Crescent Ballroom

Donovan Frankenreiter first got on a surfboard when he was 10, became addicted within five minutes, and turned pro when he was 16. But his isn’t the story of the typical surf bro with a guitar turned professional songwriter. Music came late to Frankenreiter. It wasn’t until after he and his wife started having kids — a time when many musicians are searching for reliable work — that Frankenreiter signed his first record deal. The similarities between working as a surfer and working clubs across the country were immediately apparent. While traveling the world as a professional surfer, Frankenreiter met fellow wave rider and musician Jack Johnson through Johnson’s parents, who rented him a room on Oahu, Hawaii. The two became fast friends, and in 2002, he signed a deal with Johnson’s Brushfire Records and released a self-titled solo album featuring Johnson and G. Love and the kind of acoustic beach fare you’d expect from a surfer turned songwriter. Frankenreiter’s latest offering, though, his ninth studio record, The Heart, was inspired by love and chance, both of which he had in spades while in the studio. Jacob Uitti

Read on for even more concerts happening this week in Phoenix, including Big Sam's Funky Nation, the Vans Warped Tour, and Mr. Big.

Sammie Williams, better known as "Big Sam."EXPAND
Sammie Williams, better known as "Big Sam."
Andy Goetz

Big Sam's Funky Nation
Thursday, June 22
Musical Instrument Museum

When you think of a bandleader, you'd typically think of a trumpet or saxophone player. But Big Sam, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, refuses to let that image go unchallenged, as he takes the stage by storm with his trombone and larger-than-life dance moves. Sam's been playing with bands since he was 19, and he's only gotten more lively as he's gained experience playing with Dave Matthews Band and even playing on Monday Night Football alongside U2. But don't let his credentials qualify his superb musicianship — just wait until you hear him play. As our sister publication Westword described it, the band's music is a "cocktail of improv, warped keys, and soul-driven funk, and will leave you hard-pressed to find a better dance-til-you-drop party anywhere else." Matt Wood

Crowd surfing at last year's Vans Warped Tour.EXPAND
Jim Louvau

Vans Warped Tour 2017
Thursday, June 22
Fear Farm

Turn away, jaded music fan. It's that time of year again, when kids not old enough to drink head to a local outdoor venue for a day of bands you've probably never heard of but have more Facebook likes than you can fathom. You were those kids once, but you've grown old, you probably have a day job, so you really don't need another afternoon out in the sweltering summertime heat. Save your cynicism for something that truly deserves it. This year the Warped Tour turns 23, which is crazy if you ever went to one back in the late '90s or early '00s. How has it survived this long? Because the formula works. Keep the prices low, pack in a ton of bands that are popular but not quite stars and give the fans the chance to meet their heroes and the crowds will show up, no matter how hot it gets in Arizona in the midst of summer. Still, maybe you're not entirely sure how to fill your day at Warped. With 70-plus bands on the bill, you can't be expected to know everyone. And that's okay. This year’s lineup includes Futuristic, Hawthorne Heights, Goldfinger, Adolescents, GWAR, Acacia Strain, Memphis May Fire, Attila, CKY, Dance Gavin Dance, Strung Out, Save Ferris, Valient Thorr, William Control, and dozens more. Cory Garcia

The musicians of Mr. Big.
The musicians of Mr. Big.
Courtesy of TKO Booking

Mr. Big
Thursday, June 22
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Mr. Big was formed by former David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan. After parting ways with Roth in the late '80s, Sheehan cherry-picked talented musicians from other successful bands to form his own Los Angeles all-stars. Signed to Atlantic Records, they didn’t have much success stateside until their sophomore album Lean Into It and its second single, “To Be With You.” While the album was recorded in 1990 and '91, and released before Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit radio and wiped out L.A. hair metal with genocidal fury, “To Be With You” happened to eke out its success at the very end of the year, making its presence something of a holdover while the sound from Seattle was redefining the charts. Every listener has guilty pleasure songs, those recordings that we just find irresistible, despite several red flags to our better judgment. And Mr Big’s “To Be With You” should qualify as the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, but we feel no shame rocking out to it, either in the car or at the band’s June 22 show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Chaz Kangas

The Supersuckers back in the day.
The Supersuckers back in the day.
Courtesy of Sub Pop

Supersuckers
Thursday, June 22
Rhythm Room

The Supersuckers started when, as a boy in Tucson, lead singer and bassist Eddie Spaghetti heard "My Sharona" by The Knack, which hooked him on rock 'n' roll. He formed the Supersuckers with a group of friends in the late '80s. "I was more interested in forming a band with guys I liked to hang out with than looking for guitar virtuosos, so I found a ragtag group of drunks." That motley crew relocated to Seattle right when the grunge movement exploded to national attention. "That was super-cool," Spaghetti says. "Moving to Seattle was like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black and white to color. There was Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden all playing. It was amazing." They signed to Sub Pop (the same record label Nirvana was on) but weren't easy to typecast into the super-serious, woe-is-me scene America came to associate with Seattle. The Supersuckers had a lighter tone and embraced the ridiculous, right down to Spaghetti's trademark cowboy hat. The band would eventually find its voice and build a two-decadelong career touring around the country. David Rolland

The members of alt-rock band Fictionist.
The members of alt-rock band Fictionist.
Trevor Chrisensen

Fictionist
Thursday, June 22
Valley Bar

Provo, Utah-based Fictionist wants to make your troubles melt away, and the band can do it in any number of ways. Singer Stuart Maxfield channels a slightly less throaty Caleb Followill over crunchy, stratospheric guitars on tracks like "Swept Away" and chilled acoustic moments like "Still Reaching," and groovy distortion and thick drums would make "The Real Thing" right at home on a '70s rock album. But the music is fun, above all else. Guitar-heavy instrumental "Figure in the Fog" has a solitary, recorded-in-a-large-empty-room feel to it, and when it's paired with the grandness of "Great Escape," the scale and sweep of the record becomes apparent and acts as a languid build-up to the main event. Elsewhere, the echoing, ethereal sound of "Silver Girl" makes it the perfect track to blast with your car's window down (just wait until it cools off a little). Maxfield and co. write songs you can't help responding to, whether it's with an urge to play air guitar on "Swept Away" or to sing in agreement when Maxfield cries, "You are the only one," on "Distraction." That's exactly why Fictionist is so appealing. Brian Palmer

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