The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
Nicholas Alan Cope
Been waiting for that long-awaited Marilyn Manson and Slipknot show that was supposed to take place in July but wound up being rescheduled? How’s about that DMX gig originally scheduled for last month and also wound up being moved? Well, your wait is almost over.
Both concerts will finally become a reality this weekend, and are part of a busy lineup of shows happening at Valley music venues.
Earl Simmons, better known as DMX.
DMX – Friday, August 19 – The Pressroom
Rap superstar DMX has had a bit of a sordid history in the Valley, to say the least. During a six-year stint living in Cave Creek, he was collared eight different times, frequently by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, on such charges as drug possession, reckless driving, criminal speeding, and probation violation. To his credit, however, DMX isn’t letting his contentious past stop him from performing in Phoenix again, even at a music venue that’s literally next door to Sheriff Joe’s headquarters. (And if that’s not swagger, we don’t know what is.) Such will be the case this weekend when the rapper heads for The Pressroom for a gig that’s certain to include DMX performing all of his hits, including "Get at Me Dog," "Party Up (Up in Here)," and "X Gon' Give It to Ya,” the latter of which was prominently featured on the soundtrack of the blockbuster Deadpool flick from earlier this year. Who knows? He might even bust out with a few tracks from his upcoming untitled album. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Agent Orange – Friday, August 19 – Yucca Tap Room
Singer-guitarist Mike Palm is the only remaining member from Agent Orange’s quintessential early lineup, but he has maintained the Orange County trio’s classic crush of melodic punk and aggressive surf music with a variety of musicians even after manic founding drummer Scott Miller and longtime bassist James Levesque left the band at the end of the ’80s. Although Levesque, who died in 2014, co-wrote several of Agent Orange’s best songs, including “Everything Turns Grey” and “Living in Darkness,” Palm has always been the group’s primary songwriter and musical architect. His metallic spin on surf and punk rock inspired countless later bands, including The Offspring, whose hit song “Come Out and Play” has a guitar lick that echoes Agent Orange’s ode to fast living and fast women, “Bloodstains.” Palm still tears out his jagged riffs with more volume and menace than nostalgic reverence. FALLING JAMES
Ann Seletos and Daniel Shircliff of the Christian Family...and a few other local bands.
The Christian Family – Friday, August 19 – Rips Ales & Cocktails
"Come over here/Let’s make some time,” pleads singer/guitarist Daniel Shircliff at the start of “Baby Wants More,” the Christian Family’s new self-titled, seven-inch EP on Slope Records. The record contains four tracks of stripped-down, gospel- and blues-tinged garage punk perpetuated by Shircliff, who also fronts local garage rockers Freaks of Nature, and drummer/vocalist Ann Seletos from indie minimalists Cherie Cherie. The duo, who started writing music together in 2015, combine to make quite a racket in the name of all things happy and joyful, but don’t let their punk and garage background fool you into thinking the band name, the Christian Family, is some kind of joke. “We’re a punk band with a message of love of joy. That’s what the Christian Family is all about. The message of positivity. I don’t really wanna preach, but we preach positivity,” Shircliff says. TOM REARDON
Renowned singer-songwriter Jackson Browne.
Jackson Browne – Friday, August 19 – Mesa Arts Center
Of all the fiercely talented singer-songwriters to emerge in the 1970s, even among the crowded field of fellow West Coast transplants like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and James Taylor, Jackson Browne has always stood out for his lyricism. Browne's words eloquently captured the heartache, resignation, and bittersweet bewilderment of love lost, particularly on songs like "Late for the Sky," whose opening lines ("The words had all been spoken/And somehow the feeling still wasn't right/And still we continued on through the night/Tracing our steps from the beginning/Until they vanished into the air/Trying to understand how our lives had led us there") are poignant and profound. While Browne is probably best known among the masses for his bigger radio hits, such as "Doctor My Eyes" and "Somebody's Baby," it's the deeper cuts on albums like Late for the Sky and The Pretender that cut the deepest. DAVE HERRERA
Slipknot/Marilyn Manson – Saturday, August 20 – Ak-chin Pavilion
Halloween is coming early this year when metal heavyweights Slipknot and Marilyn Manson bring their equally scary brands of evil to the Valley for their rescheduled date. Earlier this summer, Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor was forced to have emergency surgery after he broke his neck without even realizing it, which forced the band to reschedule the first leg of the tour. Luckily, Taylor has made enough of a recovery that he is still able to perform, and though we may not see the singer banging his head the way we’ve been accustomed to over the years, it appears he and Slipknot haven’t skipped a beat since his return to the stage. If the masks, pentagrams, fire, and lyrics about the devil weren’t enough to make you want to run to church already, then you might need a full-on cleansing after attending what is surely the most evil show of the year. JIM LOUVAU
Waka Flocka Flame
Waka Flocka Flame – Saturday, August 20 – The Pressroom
Waka Flocka Flame is an artist known just as much for his antics on stage as off. The rapper (born Juaquin Malphurs) hit the scene in 2009 with a monster single, "O Let's Do It," which not only spawned a new era of down-South bounce rap, but also ushered a young man with little rap experience under his belt to the forefront of the new-school hip-hop class. While the New York-born, Georgia-bred MC does have a penchant for violent lyrics — his name, "Flocka Flame," bestowed upon him by his mentor Gucci Mane, is an onomatopoeic throw to a "street-sweeping" automatic weapon when it's aimed to fire — there is a cutting eloquence amid the madness. RU JOHNSON
Sara Taylor and Ryan William George of Youth Code.
Youth Code – Saturday, August 20 – Crescent Ballroom
Industrial duo Ryan William George and Sara Taylor gather beats for their music from the noise surrounding them. They'll record hydraulic noises from a bus or, in the case of the bass line on their song "Sick Skinned," a filtered and distorted sound. Sometimes the pair – he's 37 and she's 28 – go on "dates" just walking around their neighborhood in LA, banging on pipes and recording the results. Together, the pair are known as Youth Code, which has come out of nowhere to widespread critical acclaim. Their raw, stripped-down reinvention of industrial music has won raves from critics.
Too punk for industrial, too danceable for punk, the group's Black Flag-inspired bass lines produce a sense of dread and helplessness. They prefer old-school synths, filters, and sequencers to computers. "Computers make people lazy," George says. Vocals distort beyond the point of humanity, creating not so much melodies as layers of rhythmic noise. Their beats resemble metal scraping against metal, and their drum sounds are like shotgun blasts. "Without vocals, we'd just be weird techno," Taylor says. George adds: "A good sound is something that is harsh and fucked up." NICHOLAS PELL
Hardstyle DJ/producer Tim Shopp.
Ronnie C. Photography
Phobia – Saturday, August 20 – Mind's Eye Studio
The world can be a very scary place to live in right now. As a matter of fact, there are any number of things to be fearful about these days, including global warning, terrorism, the Zika virus, or even a potential Donald Trump presidency. The promoters behind this weekend’s Phobia dance party would like to help you forget about such concerns, if only for a few hours, by offering a place to get down and go hard. The rave-like event, which is returning for its second year on Saturday, August 20, will feature eight straight hours of hardstyle, hardcore, and similar EDM genres inside Mind’s Eye Studio, 43 West Sixth Avenue in Mesa. The lineup includes such headliners and special guest DJs as Kevin Kaos, Tim Shopp, Skruffeh, Hartshorn, Waffle, Extreme Team, and Thumper, all of whom will be making their first-ever appearances in Arizona. A slew of locals – Mrotek, The Wicked, DJ Maromi, Rize, Arctus, DJ Mako, Warbird, and Mamo – are also scheduled to perform. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart.
Heart, Joan Jett, and Cheap Trick – Sunday, August 21 – Ak-chin Pavilion
Normally the prospect of sitting out at a show at Ak-chin Pavilion in the middle of the dog days of summertime is the stuff of night terrors — something akin to frying an egg on the sidewalk. But every so often, there's a show that makes it worthwhile, and one of 'em just is happening this weekend: A triple bill of Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Cheap Trick. Talk about swoon-worthy. The trio of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have been touring the United States this summer, offering the '80s nostalgia tour you never knew you wanted, and will rock 'n' roll into the Valley on August 21 during what we expect will be a sweltering summer evening. This is some serious, big-hair, classic-rock riffing action here. Like, bringing us down, down, down on our knees, ready to surrender action. We could sing the lyrics and air-guitar here all day, so we'll stop while we're ahead. Suffice it to say that's the kind of show this will be. JEFF GAGE
Courtney Marie Andrews.
Courtney Marie Andrews – Sunday, August 21 – Valley Bar
Courtney Marie Andrews is always in flux, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. The Phoenix-born and -raised folk artist has spent the better part of her adult life in some state of movement, never lingering in one place for too long. Though Arizona will always be home – “It’s nice to see people that knew you before you were you,” she says – her roving lifestyle lends well to the music she creates. It’s this constant change that has inspired her latest record, the brilliant and multifaceted Honest Life, a body of work that’s equal parts coming-of-age and full-throated, fleshed-out Americana. K.C. LIBMAN
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