The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
The Toasters are scheduled to perform on Saturday, January 21, at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe.
Courtesy of Next Big Thing PR
This weekend is a historic one for reasons that are painfully obvious by now. Like it or not – and we’re guessing most of you lean towards the latter option – the Donald will become the POTUS on Friday and assume leadership of the free world, all while having the planet’s second-largest nuclear arsenal at his stubby little fingertips.
For those eager to keep abreast of all the inauguration hullabaloo, we’ll be dishing it up over on our news blog and on Twitter. If you’re seeking a respite from the madness, at least for a few hours, or just want a keen distraction, consider attending one of the great concerts happening around Metro Phoenix this weekend. (And for even more live music options over the next few nights, check out our extensively updated online concert calendar.)
Steve Tyrell – Friday, January 20 – Musical Instrument Museum
Steve Tyrell has 15 tracks on his latest album, That Lovin' Feeling, an unusually large number of tunes for a contemporary release. (Its made up of classic R&B songs from the early 1960s.) "I had wanted 16," he says. "There are just so many great songs out there. It isn't hard to find songs to record; the problem is deciding what to leave out." Music from That Lovin' Feeling is at the center of Tyrell's latest tour, which swings through the MIM this weekend, and each song has a little something personal about it, a connection between Tyrell and the songwriter or original singer. "You can't just do a whole bunch of songs; you have to have some reason for doing them." Along with the title track, there's "Good Good Lovin'," "Chapel of Love" and "Rock and Roll Lullaby." B.J. Thomas, who first made "Lullaby" famous, joins him on the track. "Oh man, that song made me cry because me and B.J. went through so much together back in the day." There's also "Hound Dog," a nod to Presley, one of Tyrell's friends. Among Presley's biggest hits was "Suspicious Minds," a tune by Mark James that Thomas had recorded on one of his earliest albums. "About a year after that, [James, Thomas and I] all became friends with Elvis and he did it." OLIVIA FLORES ALVAREZ
Lana Del Rabies
Night of Neuralgia — Friday, January 20 — Fine Art Complex 1101 in Tempe
In light of the recent election, female Noise artists are coming together to perform a special show in solidarity for women’s rights on Inauguration Day. Nasty Women Night of Neuralgia #4 is fourth in a series of experimental music and noise nights that began back in September in Phoenix. This event, taking place at Fine Art Complex 1101 gallery in Tempe, is also in solidarity with the initial Nasty Women exhibition in New York City, which aims to stand up for women’s rights in the wake of the Trump presidency. The Nights of Neuralgia series are intended to be a source for all experimental music and include both electronic acts and live bands. When booking the series, Scott Mitting (who has his own noise act, 20 Ft. Neon Jesus) noticed a lack of female presence in the scene. One of the performers, Sam Anguilo (who performs as Lana del Rabies), said that she is usually the only girl booked at shows she plays. “I haven’t had a single female performer booked at the Nights of Neuralgia until this fourth one,” Mitting said. “I invited a few before, but the timing hadn’t worked out. The impression that I got was that a lot of girls have been doing experimental music at home and hadn’t been invited. I think that’s true of guys as well though, not just women. There wasn’t a place to bring that experimental music. We are hoping to create a hub for all things experimental so it can spawn other themes of more specialized things like power noise, and start showing more specialized shows. Events like Nights of Neuralgia are our way of getting to find out about each other.” KAYLA CLANCY
Eighties songstress Taylor Dayne.
Courtesy of Danny Zelisko Presents
Taylor Dayne — Friday, January 20 — Talking Stick Resort
Unless you slipped into a coma during the mid-eighties, you couldn't have missed dance-pop sensation and Paula-Abdul contemporary Taylor Dayne, who produced '80s gold like "Tell It to My Heart" and "Love Will Bring You Back." "All you needed back then was a blowdryer and a dream." Yes, Dayne actually said that. Unfortunately her hair, like everything else from the '80s, has been defused. But her dance-worthy, leg-warming, ozone-destroying style will never die in the hearts of those who attended prom in 1989. ERICA K. LANDAU
Jerusafunk is the Valley's only klezploitation band.
Jerusafunk – Friday, January 20 – The Lost Leaf
Wait a second, you might say – Phoenix has a Jewish funk band? It's true. And as its name implies, Jerusafunk skillfully blends traditional klezmer with the ass-bopping sensibilities of R&B rhythms, tossing in jazzy twirls here and there. Using instruments such as bass clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet, the band attacks its southeastern European roots with sarcastic, hip-gyrating Afrobeat sensibilities. Oddly enough, no one in the band is actually Jewish. And with nine core members, plus three rotating drummers, Jerusafunk is far from being the smallest band in town. Its origins began with lovebirds Jessie Demaree (clarinet) and Chris Del Favero (guitar, vocals), who have been dating for several years. They founded the band in Flagstaff four years ago while students at Northern Arizona University, then briefly moved to Phoenix, where they joined forces with Isaac "Ike" Parker (bass) and Bryce Broome (drums, percussion). In true Gypsy spirit, the lovers took a two-year schlep around South America, eventually returning to the Valley, where the couple almost immediately started Jerusafunk again. This third incarnation wasted no time gigging like hell, playing at DIY venues both past and present. Yet, Demaree is quick to highlight the band's more blithe performances, such as the time they all played naked: "We got the cops called on us at a house show in Tempe, and we were like, fuck it, let's go to our house, have a little after-party." They’ll all have their clothes on this weekend when Jerusafunk hits up the Lost Leaf. TROY FARAH
The members of Marching Church.
Marching Church — Saturday, January 21 — The Rebel Lounge
As “Best of 2016” lists piled in, you might have noticed Marching Church popping up on a few of the more esoteric critics’ picks. Although the Copenhagen-based project (which started as a solo pursuit, but incorporates a full band now) has technically been around for six years, the band had remained relatively dormant until 2015 with the release of This World Is Not Enough, only to be followed up one year later with Telling It Like It Is. Frontman Elia Bender Rønnenfelt (better known, perhaps, in Danish art-punk group Iceage) is known for melding ambience and rock into one cohesive statement — offering sparse, anxious landscapes and melancholic motifs over fuzzed-out instrumentals. While Telling It Like It Is still serves up plenty of those moments, it also has a driving tempo to glue it all together, all, of course, embellished by Rønnenfelt’s grizzly moan. You can catch Marching Church live on tour with Bernardino Femminielli, Body of Light, and Draa. HEATHER HOCH
SkaFest – Saturday, January 21 – Yucca Tap Room
The Toasters have the distinction of being America’s first ska band, even though their leader is of English descent, and have been playing tight, groove-laden riddims since 1981 and shaping a sound that endures today. In many ways, the Jamaican roots-based band are trapped between the late-1970s 2-Tone second-wave ska revival and today’s more popular thirdwave ska bands like Sublime with Rome, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Reel Big Fish. The Toasters, says founder Robert “Bucket” Hingley, are “the missing link between the two waves.” True. When Hingley immigrated in 1979, America had not yet been fully introduced to ska, though the scene across the pond was buzzing with bands like The Specials, Madness, the English Beat, and The Selector. Working off the 2-Tone blueprint, yet adding edgier guitars and a sometimes more aggressive horn section, The Toasters pioneered an original ska style right for the American palate. Thirty-five years later, it still tastes great. Catch a mouthfull for yourself this weekend when the band headlines the SkaFest at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, which will also feature the rude boys of such local acts as 2 Tone Lizard Kings, Warsaw Poland Bros., Bowcat, The Effects, and Jack the Cat. GLENN BURNSILVER
Robby Krieger — Saturday, January 21 — Marquee Theatre
Robby Krieger’s influence on rock history cannot be overstated. As a founding member of the Doors, Krieger’s guitar lines are some of the most innovative and recognizable of the era. From the bouncy scales of “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” to the flamenco-inspired noodling on “Light My Fire,” Krieger’s style is all his own. Originally a classical acoustic player, he first picked up an electric guitar after seeing a Chuck Berry concert in Los Angeles, but during the early Doors gigs he was playing the band’s repertoire on acoustic. You can hear some of those early shows (none of the acoustic ones, unfortunately) on the recently released London Fog 1966, which was recorded during the Doors’ earliest gigs at the Sunset Strip dive bar for which the album is named. The set comes just in time for the Doors’ 50th anniversary, which Krieger is celebrating in 2017 by touring and playing the band’s music. Krieger’s son Waylon will handle vocal duties, and they’ll be joined by Phil Chen on drums, Ty Dennis on bass, and keyboard player Nathan Wilmarth. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
T.O.S.O. is Zac White, Evan Dorney, Marc Ellis, and Eric Ellis.
T.O.S.O. Fest – Saturday, January 21 – Trash Wasteland
Tempe’s psychedelic grunge-rockers T.O.S.O are going to throw an epic DIY festival. Rather than throwing the freakish shindig in a commercial space, T.O.S.O. has decided to stick to their gritty-punk DIY vibe and host the event at their very own Trash Wasteland: 1011 East Alameda Drive. That’s right, it’s the band’s house. There will be more than 20 local bands, three stages, visual artists, installations, comedy, and an Art Garden. With T.O.S.O.’s infamous stage theatrics, and an attitude of artistic anarchy that will allow bands to do whatever they want, who knows what will happen. This all-ages festival takes place all day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lineup encapsulates a multitude of genres ranging from noise, prog-rock, punk, hip-hop, rap, psych-rock, and folk. The band chose to throw a music festival at their house rather than a traditional venue so they could create a more open and comfortable space for performance art, support unknown bands, avoid the costs of venues, and have more control in creating immersive festival grounds. The festival proceeds support local bands and the making of T.O.S.O.’s next record. KAYLA CLANCY
Dead of Winterfest 2017 – Saturday, January 21 – Club Red
Speaking of a chance to see some of the local scenes best acts, Dead of Winterfest brings probably about 65% of them to the stage at Club Red. We’re talking hardcore, death metal, hard rock, punk, technical metal, melodic metal, sludge metal—it’s all here like a decadent buffet of metal for your soul. Presented by Apalling Events, expect to see Warhead, Deadspawn, Scattered Guts, Singularity, A Lapse of Ethos, Phoenix & Dragon, Stormbringer, Unholy Monarch, Abiotx, Elivagar, Worm, False Flag and more. Seriously—do not miss this one! LAUREN WISE
John Jorgenson Quintet – Sunday, January 22 – Musical Instrument Museum
When you're feeling saucy, gypsy jazz is the music that soothes the soul. And the only man with suitable credentials to deliver your musical medicine is Grammy-winning guitarist John Jorgenson with his instrumental quintet that includes rhythm guitarist Doug Martin, bassist Simon Planting, jazz violinist Jason Anick, and percussionist Rick Reed. By incorporating elements of Latin, Romanian, classical, rock and Greek traditions into their special blend of music, these pioneers of the gypsy-jazz genre are able to transport you to another world of relaxation and groove. AMANDA PARSONS
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