The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix this Weekend
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas are scheduled to perform on Friday, September 23, at The Rebel Lounge.
Courtesy of Instant Records
Up for seeing a great concert this weekend? If so, we’ve got a few suggestions for y’all. As a matter of fact, we’ve got 10 of 'em, and the list includes shows from a wide variety of genres and formats, from electronic dance music and hip-hop to country and pop-punk.
If you need even more options, be sure to check out our extensive live music listings online. In the meantime, here are the 10 best concerts to happening this weekend in Phoenix.
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas – Friday, September 23 – The Rebel Lounge
Call it rock, call it soul, call it gypsy-jazz, but the only genre we can all agree on when it comes to Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas is "unclassifiable." The charismatic leading lady and her jazz-trained band hail from Detroit, where they have soaked up the influences of the gritty streets and added a little bit of Wanda Jackson and Dolly Parton. The band of six has just as flirty yet tenacious a stage presence as its recordings imply, balancing onstage banter with growling chords and hip-shaking melodies. Their R&B foundation makes for a sultry backdrop to bouncing cabaret rock and funky blues, a rich sound with a dark side. They're still touring in support of their debut full-length, 2015's Secret Evil, so you'll definitely hear their single "Tired Oak" along with the rest of their dance floor-packing tunes. BRITT WITT
The Skatalites – Friday, September 23 – Valley Bar
If anything is going to take you back to your high-school ska phase, it's going to be this show at Valley Bar starring famed Jamaica outfit the Skatalites. Originally founded back in 1964, the band was instrumental in forming the rude-boy sound by collaborating with iconic artists including Prince Buster. Unlike many of their contemporaries from ska’s first and second waves, the Skatalites are still around to this day, having survived and endured though multiple breakups and hiatuses. Much of the band's original lineup – they feature have a four-piece brass section – still rocks steady on signature tracks and hits as such as "Guns of Navarone" and "Garden of Love." Local ska act 2Tone Lizard Kings will open the evening and the duo of DJ Beat Betty and DJ FullStop (a.k.a. the Phoenix City Sound System) will spin dancehall, rocksteady, and skank-worthy music between sets. CHANDLER LEVACK
The members of Iration (from left): Joseph Dickens, Adam Taylor, Micah Pueschel, Cayson Peterson, and Micah Brown.
Iration – Friday, September 23 – Marquee Theater
More than a year after the release of their fourth full-length LP, Hotting Up, the Hawaiian-bred, Southern Californa-based group Iration is still going strong. And their still on the road, spreading their gospel of good times, positivity, and tropical fun via their multi-faceted version of reggae. Formed in 2004 near the University of California, Santa Barbara, and originally a reggae cover band, Iration quickly captured the drunken imaginations of the local college crowd and have been at it ever since. Part of their success lies in the accessibility of their music. Comforting and familiar, their reggae certainly wears its influences on its sleeves. “Our influences are too many to name. Obviously reggae and island music, rock, hip-hop, pop, soul, blues, et cetera. It's all in there if you look for it,” says Micah Pueschel, the band’s easygoing guitarist and vocalist. “Songwriting is democratic in that every band member has a say in what they play on each song.” ABEL FOLGAR
Underworld: Tartarus feat. Goldie – Friday, September 23 – Nile Theater
It's impossible to talk about drum 'n' bass without mentioning seminal U.K. DJ-producer and all-around renaissance man Goldie. Born Clifford Joseph Price and raised in West Midlands, England, Goldie first made a name for himself as an '80s b-boy whose breakdancing and graffiti bombing exploits would get him featured in Afrikaa Bambaataa's cult documentary Bombing. He would even go on to battle with another future electronica star, Robert "3D" Del Naja of Massive Attack, another Bristol-based graffiti artist from those the early days. But Goldie's real claim to fame would be as an era-defining jungle and drum 'n' bass producer in the '90s. Early releases under the Ajax, Rufige Cru, and Metalheadz monikers would establish him as a forward-thinking studio wizard who pioneered classic B'n'B production techniques. His big breakthrough came in 1995 with the release of Timeless, a groundbreaking album that combined jungle breakbeats with epic symphonic arrangements and soulful vocal themes. It would top the U.K. charts while making Goldie a household name around the world. This weekend, he pays a visit to the Valley to headline Underworld: Tartarus dance party at the Nile Theater that will also feature performances by LNY TNZ, Megalodon, and Junkie Kid. SEAN LEVISMAN
The current lineup of Blink-182.
Will Fisher/CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Blink-182 – Saturday, September 24 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Former Blink-182 singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge, notable in the 2000s for having one of the cheapest signature model guitars available on the market, told the press last year that he quit the band he founded to dedicate himself to chasing UFOs. Yes, that is a real thing that happened. The man who sang such ubiquitous hits like “All The Small Things,” “Adam’s Song,” and “Dammit” is now a full-time extraterrestrial hunter. His former band hasn’t let that stop them, though. The remaining members, drummer Travis Barker and bassist Mark Hoppus, swapped Alkaline Trio singer Matt Skiba in for DeLonge and have released a new album, California, which is the group’s seventh full-length album. The album has spawned a pretty successful single, “Bored To Death,” and overall, things look as bright as ever for the trio. Longtime fans accustomed to DeLonge’s archetypically angsty voice might find Skiba’s pipes a little too normal for them, but in general, Skiba’s influence on the band seems to have been rather stabilizing. The band is bringing A Day To Remember and All Time Low with them on tour. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Steve Aoki will be doing some celebrating in Scottsdale this weekend.
Dim Mak 20th Anniversary Tour – Saturday, September 24 – Talking Stick Resort
The last 20 years have been one helluva roller coaster ride for Steve Aoki and his label, Dim Mak Records. Not that he’s complaining or anything. Both rose from relative obscurity in the LA dance music scene (Aoki launched Dim Mak back in 1996 while living in the dorms of the University of California, Santa Barbara) and became prominent and influential tastemakers in both the DJ and indie music world over the last two decades. Dim Mak and Aoki were both early adopters of groundbreaking performers and genres, including showcasing such artists and acts as Bloc Party, Dada Life, The Bloody Beetroots, MSTRKRFT, Datsik, and dozens of others early on in their respective careers. Aoki’s currently in the midst of the Dim Mak 20th Anniversary tour, which fetes the label’s milestone occasion and will visit Talking Stick Resort this weekend as a part of the final Release pool party of the season. Aoki will headline the event (natch) with support from such Dim Mak artists as Autoerotique, Caked Up, Dirtyphonics, Garmiani, and Max Styler. And befitting the occasion, Aoki’s likely to bust out with some birthday cake. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Fat Joe – Saturday, September 24 – The Pressroom
Did you think Fat Joe was dead? You were probably thinking of Big Pun, the larger-than-life New York rapper who will be forever linked with Fat Joe and Terror Squad. It’s understandable, since if you don’t pay close attention to hip-hop, you haven’t heard much from Fat Joe, who hasn’t had much crossover success since releasing Make It Rain in 2008. But that changed this year when he and fellow Terror Squad rapper Remy Ma released “All The Way Up,” which has exploded both on radio and on YouTube, where the music video has garnered more than 60 million views since late March. It’s a welcome return to form for Fat Joe, whose slick, silver-tongued lyrics are smoother than polished chrome rims and whose nimble rhyme schemes recall the best of ’90s East Coast hip-hop. The man that could have signed Eminem (Joe admits that an unsigned Marshall Mathers approached him six times with demos) isn’t bringing Remy Ma with him, but be on the lookout for their collaborative album, which should drop in the near future. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara – Saturday, September 24 – Livewire
Indie duo Tegan and Sara, identical twin sisters with the surname Quin from Calgary, have toured with their fellow countryman Neil Young and had their track "Walking with a Ghost" covered by The White Stripes. Their connection to their music and each other is clear during their live shows. The openly gay musicians' frank discussions about their childhood, politics, and touring have become a hallmark of their renowned performances. "It started out as a hobby and a fun, passionate way to be creative. It happened to snowball into a really amazing and successful career. We try to be respectful with what we say and how we use our power and try not to use our stage as a soapbox. We are aware of the power we've accumulated because of what we do, but we really try to be socially responsible, great humanitarians, and we try to be great spokespeople for the things we believe in but mostly what we do is try to make music that we're proud of," Tegan says. JASON KEIL
Martin Stääf, better known as Liquid Stranger.
Courtesy of Warpath Group
Liquid Stranger – Saturday, September 24 – Monarch Theatre
Watchu know about Liquid Stranger? In reality, probably not as much as you think. Sure, you've probably heard a tale or two about the reclusive, enigmatic producer/DJ over the years, but most of it likely is untrue. For instance, despite the sinister dubstep-influenced sounds and ultra-mysterious aura he cultivates, the Swedish-born EDM artist who goes by Martin Stääf when he isn't performing or producing is actually a nice guy. Though it's true he's highly trained in multiple martial arts and an internationally known commodity, he's admittedly "just a fuzzy nerd at heart" who prefers to spend most of his time in his North Scottsdale studio dabbling away on his banks of synthesizers. "I think I have different sides and different faces," Stääf says. "There's a lot more to me and to my music than most people think." And while his audio creations vary between face-melting dubstep grinds and more ambient electronica, he always tries to grab attention with his sounds. "When I play shows, I play music that's very in your face or that basically commands the people to dance," he says. "You need music that really grabs the people's attention." Stääf will attempt to do just that when he brings his Weird and Wonderful Tour to the Monarch Theatre this weekend. Fellow EDM artists Bleep Bloop, Perkulator, and Shlump provide support. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Elizabeth Cook is in the drivers seat of her career.
Elizabeth Cook – Sunday, September 25 – Musical Instrument Museum
Flashing a sassy wit and equally brassy voice, Elizabeth Cook established herself as one of country music’s brightest 21st-century talents on 2007’s Balls and 2010’s Welder, where she celebrated loving mullet-wearing dudes even while mining past pain in songs like “Heroin Addict Sister.” Apart from the religious-themed Gospel Plow EP two years later, Cook’s time since then came to resemble “a boxing match with life,” as she told The Wall Street Journal this year. The results of such tribulations are revealed on new album Exodus of Venus (Thirty Tigers), as the Florida native sings “you can fall to pieces some other day” with strong hints of Stevie Nicks on the title track and straight-up kills honky-tonk tunes like “Straitjacket Love.” Even Cook’s many fans, either from her previous albums or Sirius/XM Outlaw Country hosting gig (or both), are likely to be a little taken aback at such a striking artistic leap forward. CHRIS GRAY
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