The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
D.R.A.M. is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 8, at Crescent Ballroom.
Happen to have some disposable income socked away? It might come in handy this week, considering all the great concerts happening over the next few days at music venues around Phoenix.
To wit: Burgeoning hip-hop star D.R.A.M., whose hit track “Broccoli” was one of the biggest breakout songs of 2016, will stop by Crescent Ballroom for what we’re sure will be a packed show. Also on tap this week is the return of Dashboard Confessional, which should come as good news to fans of the legendary emo/alt-rock act, particularly those who missed DC’s performance last summer.
It’s also a big week for metal fans as Alcest, Mayhem, and the costumed chaos-bringers of Lordi are all due in town. Meanwhile, this week’s slate of concerts include gigs by such taste-making indie acts as Austra and Joan of Arc, as well as the full-tilt roots-rock boogie of the Legendary Shack Shakers.
If none of these shows suit your tastes, hit up our online concert listings, or check out the other shows we believe are worthy of your time and money this week.
Melina Ausikaitis, Theo Katsaounis, Tim Kinsella, and Bobby Burg of Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc – Monday, February 6 – Valley Bar
Joan of Arc may be one of the most pretentious bands in existence, but it also puts on a kick-ass live show. The group doesn't come off its throne above the city of Chicago often, but when it does, it almost always ends up snagging a few converts along the way. Nearly every one of its songs relies heavily on noodling guitars that eventually collapse into epic power chords before completely falling apart into a noisy mess, while singer Tim Kinsella makes the postmodern rounds, tapping into the psyche of Gertrude Stein or Samuel Beckett at any given moment to deliver lyrics that don't make a lick of sense. As long as you can get past all of that, Joan of Arc is an incredible live band that will definitely leave you asking for more — even if you don't know what you want more of, exactly. THORIN KLOSOWSKI
Pavlo – Monday, February 6 – Musical Instrument Museum
Acoustic guitar casanova Pavlo is an infectious mix of traditional Greek plucking, frenetic flamenco runs, and a home-spun story that could only come from wilds of Canada. His work is full of chops-heavy runs and romantic flights of fancy — think Rodrigo Y Gabriela with a Mediterranean flair, and more aimed at lovers than fighters. CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN
Young the Giant
Courtesy of Big Hassle
Young the Giant – Tuesday, February 7 – Marquee Theatre
Alt-rock band Young the Giant are currently touring in support of their excellent third album, Home of the Strange, and its content couldn’t be any more timely. The lyrics in the new material deal with singer Sameer Gadhia’s Indian heritage and American identity — a little bit of enlightenment that the country perhaps needs in the midst of this most insane political climate. Home of the Strange is also the band’s second album for the Fueled by Ramen label, a onetime underground-rock subsidiary of Warner Music Group, after putting out its self-titled debut on metal label Roadrunner. Tracks like “Amerika” and “Something to Believe In” suggest that the band has found its edgy, emotive groove. BRETT CALLWOOD
Katie Stelmanis of Austra
Austra – Tuesday, February 7 – Valley Bar
Katie Stelmanis, the songwriter behind the Canadian electronic group Austra, does not see the band’s latest release, Future Politics, resonating with the public as a good thing. “People have been grateful that the album exists,” she explains. “I never sought to make a political record to teach people something. I think that because the album is ultimately an emotional response to everything that is happening in the world, people are really connecting with it.” You can hear some of those ideas in the single “Utopia.” In the second verse of the dance anthem, Stelmanid elegantly sings, “My work is valid/I can prove it but I know/A woman screams/She’s looking for meaning.” Our phone conversation takes place days after women marched around the world to fight the fear that the newly elected president will encroach on their rights and values. The album, released on Inauguration Day, might not have elicited the same reaction had it been released a year ago. Future Politics wasn’t inspired by the dark dystopia where crime and poverty run rampant frequently described by President Donald Trump in his speeches. It was a reaction to books that gave Stelmanis the idea of a future where the finite world isn’t obsessed with infinite growth. In her vision, society creates technology that works to combat climate change and the greed that is synonymous with capitalism. JASON KEIL
You'd smile like that, too, if you had the kind of year that D.R.A.M. had in 2016.
D.R.A.M. – Wednesday, February 8 – Crescent Ballroom
There's a buzz surrounding the 28-year-old rapper D.R.A.M. and his hit song “Broccoli” (featuring Lil Yachty) which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart last year. It was one of many big things to happen to the “trappy-go-lucky” artist (whose moniker is shorthand for “Does. Real. Ass. Music.”) He toured with the likes of Wiz Khalifa and Chance the Rapper, saw his tracks blow up on radio, and even scored a Grammy nomination. Even better, his critically-acclaimed debut album Big Baby D.R.A.M. features the Queen of Neo-Soul Erykah Badu on the track “WiFi,” a sexy, tongue-in-cheek R&B song. In other words, his jovial and light-hearted mood during his concerts, such as this week’s show at Crescent Ballroom, is well-earned. MIKEL GALICIA
The members of You Blew It!
You Blew It! – Wednesday, February 8 – The Rebel Lounge
We live in the era of the unexpected, an age where spray-tanned reality stars can become president, where legends like Bowie and Prince can die a few months apart, where surprise album releases spring up from nowhere like mushrooms shooting out of the soil after a rainstorm. And in this time of unexpected developments, who could have predicted the second coming of emo? Dance nights dedicated to the genre are flourishing across America, and bands like Into It. Over It., The World is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Modern Baseball, and Orlando’s You Blew It! are picking up the tear-stained torch of their angsty forefathers. Here’s where things get really surprising: Most of the emo revival has been great. You can hear the melancholy guitar sounds of the emo revival firsthand when You Blew It! swings by the Rebel Lounge with All Get Out and Free Throw. You Blew It! are one of the most accessible bands in the nu-emo (they put out an EP of Weezer covers, so they’re not afraid to get their pop on). If you like anathemic, heart-on-sleeve, tears-in-my-craft-beer music, these sad bastards have got the goods. ASHLEY NAFTULE
The men of Mayhem.
Mayhem – Wednesday, February 8 – Club Red
The Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem has created some of the most memorable music ever to seep up from the underground. The act will play its seminal debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, in full during this stop at Club Red in Mesa, supported by fellow black-metal acts Inquisition and Black Anvil. The 1994 album, hailed as one of the most influential works in the genre, includes vocalist Per “Dead” Ohlin, who committed suicide in 1991, and guitarist Euronymous, who was murdered in 1993 by Varg Vikernes of the band Burzum. The current slate of musicians in Mayhem — Necrobutcher, Hellhammer, Attila Csihar, Teloch, and Ghul — played the album in its entirety at Swedish music festivals in 2015. The idea of bringing the masterpiece to live audiences in North America seemed “natural,” according to guitarist Teloch. JUSTIN CRIADO
Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional
Dashboard Confessional – Wednesday, February 8 – Marquee Theatre
If music genres could be classified as seasons, emo would be winter. It’s music for broken hearts, which means cold hearts and cold colors. Emo fans huddle together and scream the lyrics back to the band on stage because they’re trying to keep warm, metaphorically speaking, by finding that passion in the broken-hearted. At least that’s how it used to be anyway. Sure, there are plenty of modern emo acts doing their thing right now, reaching deep down into those ugly emotions, but these days, going to an emo show is not entirely unlike going to see one of the many classic-rock touring shows that hit town on a regular basis. Sure, the bands are younger, but the spirit is the same: traveling back in time via the magic of nostalgia. And there’s a lot of nostalgia to be had at a Dashboard Confessional show. For proof, look no further than the setlists on their current tour, which include such favorites from the DC discography as "Don't Wait,” “Hands Down,” “Stolen,” “Vindicated,” and “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.” Time travel doesn’t exist, insofar as we know, but a performance by Dashboard Confessional comes close. Step into the Marquee Theatre, and take a trip back to a world before smartphones and YouTube, to a magical time known as 2002, and prepare to relive all the awkward emotions that came with being a young music fan. Don’t try and deny it: You still, to this day, know all the words to “Screaming Infidelities” and “Cute Without the ‘E’.” CORY GARCIA
Winterhalter and Neige of Alcest.
Courtesy of Prophecy Productions
Alcest – Thursday, February 9 – Club Red
During the early stages of their development, France's Alcest traveled down the left-hand path of pure black metal. As they evolved, band leader Neige (who on some of the albums in their discography, including 2012’s Les Voyages de l'Ame, plays everything but drums) steered the band into fashioning shoegaze-infused, post-rock dreamscapes. Alcest make their ambition work by underpinning their dreamy harmonies with momentary flashes of black metal. Neige mostly maintains a dulcet tone with his vocals and guitar work but will pepper his songs with black metal cries. Winterhalter, the other member of Alcest, keeps a mostly midtempo beat on drums but will occasionally break into blazing metallic outbursts (though never resorting to unnecessary blast beats). The band has perfected a balancing act that is the musical equivalent of a hypnotist who momentarily lulls you into mentally being on another plane but pulls you back into reality at the last second before you are lost forever. CLINT MAYHER
The Legendary Shack Shakers
Legendary Shack Shakers – Thursday, February 9 – Yucca Tap Room
Called “the last great rock and roll front man” by no less an expert than Jello Biafra, J.D. Wilkes and his Legendary Shack Shakers have been destroying clubs for more than a decade now and show no sign of wavering in their quest to burn down every joint in the land. Touring in support of their 2015 rocker The Southern Surreal, the Shakers attack with punk chaos and performance-art attitude, occasionally concealing themselves behind bluegrass hillbillies-gone-berserk camouflage. Anything goes from beginning to end, the more outrageous the better. Support comes from Las Vegas-based rockabilly act the Delta Bombers and Montreal-born psychobilly trio the Brains, the latter of which serves up “mind-bindingly ear-scorching tracks that grab you by the neck, stare straight into your eyes and dare you to fight back.” Alert the authorities: This show’s gonna be incendiary. CHRIS GRAY
Lordi – Thursday, February 9 – Club Red
All things horror and monsters, legendary band Lordi combines hard rock with strong elements of metal — alternating with each album — in the footsteps of the great shock-rockers KISS and Alice Cooper. Lordi is like a Finnish Tales From the Crypt: The members haunt their fans to satisfy their horror B-movie fix all while appeasing their urge to rock. The band has never been photographed or interviewed without its various costumes, including those of mummies, zombies, demon-like creature, an other worldly warrior and a Predator-like creature. Local metal bands 2 in the Chest and local costumed freaks Goth Brooks provide support. ADAM STEININGER
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