The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in July 2016
The Claypool Lennon Delirium are scheduled to perform on Saturday, July 30, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Courtesy of the Windish Agency
We’re about to hit what’s known as the dog days of summer, a period of the summertime that’s particularly loathsome due to the fact its muggy as hell outside and no sign of relief on the horizon (save for the occasional monsoon storm).
Thankfully, we’re also about to roll into a particular stretch of great concerts happening around the Valley. A number of notable names and rock legends will be headed our way in the next few weeks, including Brian Wilson, Steven Tyler, Boz Scaggs, and Modest Mouse, just to name a few. This month’s slate of shows also includes long-awaited visits from the Flight of the Conchords and the Dixie Chicks, as well as performances by such greats as Fitz and the Tantrums, Dashboard Confessional, Jill Scott, and Lyle Lovett. You’ve also got the chance to catch your first glimpse of Les Claypool and Sean Lennon curious collaboration, which invades the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on July 30.
Read on for details about all of the best shows to see in Phoenix this month or check out our extensive online concert calendar for even more gig happening around Metro Phoenix in July.
Gerald Gillum (a.k.a. G-Eazy).
G-Eazy & Logic – Saturday, July 2 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
When Gerald Gillum says he’s getting money, he means it. And whether going by Young Gerald or G-Eazy, one thing is certain when it comes to his hip-hop: The man has bars. When he killed it on the English hip-hop radio show Fire in the Booth, it was just a tidbit of the 26-year-old Oakland-bred MC’s talent for rhyming, as he obviously saved his best lyrical content for his records. For Eazy, like many rappers who possess the ability to tear it up freestyle, the flow seems incredible when it’s going down, but after a few listens, it becomes obvious that while the punchiness and wordplay is definitely strong coming straight off the dome, his more nuanced raps and complicated flows come when he is afforded the opportunity to flesh out an idea on paper.
G-Eazy’s newest record, When It’s Dark Out, has an undeniably Eminem-esque feel to it, but that has far less to do with Eazy’s skin color then it does with his cadence and delivery. Though even with what clearly is a heavy influence from the legendary Detroit rapper, it’s also easy to hear a litany of other influences, like mid-2000 East Coast battle rap and, of course, a hint of the G’s hometown hyphy music in the leather jacket-wearing, brash-talking rapper’s repertoire. JEFF MOSES
Thee Commons – Saturday, July 2 – Valley Bar
L.A.’s Thee Commons are a nonstop kind of band; their last release, Rock Is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors, was a collection of a long run of self-released and creatively robust EPs, chronicling a band in enthusiastic conversation with a galaxy of influences. And now they’re back not much more than a year later with Loteria Tribal, a ferocious new album of cumbia-garage-punk that matches the energy of Los Saicos — whose unhinged vocals and spaced-out guitar live on in Thee Commons — to plenty of vigorous, “Interstellar Overdrive”–style psychedelic instrumentals. They’ve added in some versatile saxophone work and even a few rapped verses on “En el Sol,” too. Live, they’re fearless, confident and ready to go off-script at a moment’s inspiration. It’s wild stuff, just as it absolutely should be. CHRIS ZIEGLER
The madness and mayhem of BroLoaf's Annual Patriotic Metldown.
BroLoaf's Annual Patriotic Metldown – Saturday, July 2 – Yucca Tap Room
Packing as much color and chaos as the conclusion of any fireworks spectacular, the ribald and rowdy punks of BroLoaf skewer pretty much everything associated with the Fourth of July and 'Murica in off-kiler fashion during their Annual Patriotic Meltdown at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe. Lead singer Ben Brah and his gang of misfits serve up a PBR-soaked burlesque of three-chord thunder and humorous theatrics at the party that typically includes comedy, costumes, calamity, and over-the-top chants of “USA! USA! USA!” This year's celebration takes place on Saturday, July 2, and will also feature performances by The Dark Hearts, HellRancho, Old Fashion Assassin, Nuclear Beach Party, and (of course) BroLoaf. We’d also be willing to bet that doppelgangers of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be involved somehow. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Bret McKenzie (left) and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords.
Flight of the Conchords – Sunday, July 3 – Comerica Theatre
They came, they saw, they Conchord — kind of. After gaining a cult following thanks to their Emmy-nominated HBO series of the same name, the expertly coiffed comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie) laid a little low, enjoying the kind of success that still spawns an array of GIFs and Tumblr posts. Now, everyone’s favorite New Zealanders have returned to the stage with the “Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords” tour. Fans can expect to hear favorites “The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room),” “Carol Brown,” and “Business Time,” along with new material, including a song about being gym sex buddies, “Fuck You On The Ceiling,” and the twosome’s signature clever banter. Irish comedian and musician David O’Doherty will open. JANESSA HILLIARD
XIXA – Sunday, July 3 – Valley Bar
Tucson’s XIXA has performed several times in Phoenix over the last three years as Chicha Dust, drawing its original name from the form of Peruvian psychedelic cumbia that inspired the band. The name change to XIXA reflects a change in sound, as the now six-piece band began writing their own songs and moving away from the traditional cover songs they adopted at the start. In February, XIXA released its debut album, Bloodline, on the influential Barbès label that released the Roots of Chicha compilation that first introduced Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan to the music. “We just knew that we had something unique there, and slowly we started to incorporate some of our own songs, and the sound took more of a rock ’n’ roll approach and separated us from the more authentic cumbia bands around,” Lopez says.
Having both played as sidemen in Giant Sand, Lopez and Sullivan each put their own solo projects on the backburner as Chicha Dust began growing more popular in Tucson and Phoenix as well, their blend of Latin rhythms and psychedelic guitar rock finding an instant connection with audiences no matter if the lyrics were in Spanish or English. Now, XIXA has shed its cover-band roots, having developed a more complex and unique sound that’s already made a strong impression on European audiences during an April-May tour. “We came from a rock ’n’ roll background, but we were obsessed with this chicha thing,” Sullivan says. “It was the perfect time, because we were naturally finding in that music where each of our personalities fit in in natural ways.” ERIC SWEDLUND
Dillon Francis will be plenty prepared for his appearance at Maya's Fourth of July pool party.
Dillon Francis – Monday, July 4 – Maya Day and Nightclub
Thanks to our beloved Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment, we Americans enjoy the freedom to express ourselves however we choose to do so. When it comes to ultra-eccentric electronic dance music DJ/producer Dillon Francis, it means that he’s free to bust out with whatever hilarious or bizarre bits he can think of, which he does quite often on his Instagram and Snapchat accounts. That includes dressing up as a doughnut, showing off his personal piñata, Gerald, doing coke off an iPad, or poking fun at the excesses of the DJ world. He also shares his latest sounds, which are typically of the moombahton and electro-house variety, including his latest track, "Candy." You’re guaranteed to hear it being blasted at Maya Day and Nightclub in Scottsdale on Monday, July 4, when Francis headlines the Independence Day pool party at the club. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Pop princess Selena Gomez.
Selena Gomez – Tuesday, July 5 – Talking Stick Resort Arena
The cult of celebrity is freaking weird, at best, and at its worst, it is horrifying. Is there possibly a balance that can be struck when someone is attractive, talented, and outgoing enough to put themselves out there in front of the world, yet still just a person like the rest of us? Is it even possible to have any semblance of normality when you are someone like Selena Gomez? Even if you get to have those normal moments, they are still probably clouded by the most intense mix of paranoia, fear, insecurity, and, no doubt, an intoxicating blend of the surreal and ridiculous. And then, on top of it all, the shadow of Mickey Mouse, the musk of Justin Bieber, and the pressure of the bubblegum-pop world weighing down on your tiny shoulders as you attempt to distinguish yourself from people like Arianna Grande … If it were silence, it would be deafening, but instead, it’s just soul crushing and deadening. How can you not feel sorry for Selena Gomez? We know how. Buy a ticket to her concert and dance the night away, because if you don’t, Taylor Swift will fix upon you the stone-cold, soul-killing stare of death possessed only by pop stars. TOM REARDON
Chicago – Wednesday, July 6 – Celebrity Theatre
“25 or 6 to 4” is a heavy piece of music. Listen to it with a head full of good, Grateful Dead-quality acid, and your life will change. Seriously. It is likely the dudes in Chicago were on to something pretty righteous when they recorded this song back in 1970 for their eponymously titled first album. It’s also the bane of existence for almost every stoner rock band ever because they all try to figure out how to do a good cover version, but it ends up with the same conundrum: What to do about the totally kick ass horns in the song? Several bands have tried it, but most of them have failed miserably, except for Bruce Foxton, who played bass with the Jam. His version is excellent (although still looking up at the original with the awe of a tiny fanboy at a comicon), but then again, he was in the Jam and besides Chicago, the Jam is also one of the best bands ever to periodically employ some horns. Chicago is more than one song, though, and even though they ventured into some silly mashup of pop-soaked soft jazz for a good portion of their career, they totally bring it live. If you can stand the suburban version of Riverdance, you’ll have a good time at their show. TOM REARDON
Jon Bellion – Wednesday, July 6 – Crescent Ballroom
Jon Bellion cites Kanye West as an influence, he even went as far as dropping out of college to take on music as a career. Just like Yeezus himself, it seems like his determination paid off. Bellion wrote the hook to the Eminem and Rihanna single, "The Monster," and ever since then Bellion's been slowly garnering more and more attention. As a pop artist, Bellion has let the rap influence change up the usual pop artist plan of action by releasing a slew of mixtapes before a proper release. The latest is The Definition which opens on probably the most recognizable thing Kanye West has ever said (well, on an actual song), "Wait 'till I get my money right," and filled to the brim with grandiose pop ballads. H. DREW BLACKBURN
The Falcon may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts, kid.
The Falcon – Wednesday, July 6 – Pub Rock
Earlier this year, guitarist Brendan Kelly and his bandmates in punk rock act The Falcon released Gather Up the Chaps (Red Scare), which is the second full-length LP in the band’s 12-year existence. For fans of the Lawrence Arms or Alkaline Trio, the sound of the Falcon is definitely a departure of sorts, even if there are unmistakable similarities to the musician’s other projects. Kelly explains this best, actually. “It’s very, very dark. I usually don’t think of dark and fun going together,” Kelly says. Nevertheless, the Falcon’s effort is certainly a fun but dark punk-rock record. Kelly’s vocals add some serious edge to songs like “War of Colossus,” where Kelly sings during the opening verse: “You hate that boy in the mirror / You hate that boy in your clothes / I’m kinda starting to hate that boy too / I don’t give a shit if he knows.”
The theme of “War on Colossus” is pretty heavy, but the way it is packaged into a minute and 47 seconds will please jaded old-school punks and younger poppy-punk fans alike. Other stand-out tracks on Gather Up the Chaps include “Hasselhoff Cheeseburger,” whose name alone is worthy of attention, and “If Dave Did It,” which weaves a tale of jealousy and potential for murder. Considering the success of the band’s other projects, it would be easy to consider the Falcon a side project, but Kelly doesn’t see it that way. “I consider the Falcon very much as important as anything else I do. Right now, it’s my main band,” Kelly says. For a pro like him, to just “mail it in” wouldn’t be good enough at all. TOM REARDON
Troubadour extraordinaire Todd Snider.
Todd Snider –Thursday, July 7 –Musical Instrument Museum
It's hard to choose just one song as Todd Snider's musical calling card, but a halfway decent choice is "Alright Guy," from his 1994 debut Songs for the Daily Planet. He starts that one off by ogling Madonna's Sex book and ends up swearing "maybe I'm dirty and maybe I smoke a little dope / But it ain't like I'm going on TV and tearing up pictures of the Pope." One of the wittiest troubadours anywhere, Snider is a constant thorn in the music business' side with a wicked ear for satire ("Talkin' Seattle Grunge-Rock Blues") and a deep appreciation for music history, calling his 2004 album East Nashville Skyline. No slacker this one, Snider is turning out to be a pretty good scamp himself. CHRIS GRAY
Slightly Stoopid – Friday, July 8 – Mesa Amphitheatre
In a culture that tends to pigeonhole practically everything for the sake of convenience, Slightly Stoopid defy any notion of easy categorization. They even defy their own branding, with an adept combination of reggae, funk, hip-hop, rock, and punk that's far from what their goofy name might imply. Unlike other bands who don't dare to step out beyond their self-prescribed boundaries, Slightly Stoopid wander willingly, and frequently, in fact, into varied terrain, allowing themselves to be taken wherever their muse might carry them. A favorite on the festival circuit, their freewheeling populist appeal has brought them an ever-increasing following — unapologetically dubbed "the Stoopidheads" — since the release of their eponymous debut in 1996. LEE ZIMMERMAN
Brian Wilson – Saturday, July 9 – Celebrity Theatre
Aside from a fiftieth anniversary tour with the Beach Boys a few years ago, Brian Wilson has spent a good part of the last four decades away from the band that he formed in the early '60s with brothers Carl and Denis Wilson and cousin Mike Love and Al Jardine. Since releasing his 1988 self-titled debut solo album, Brian Wilson has gone on to release a number of albums under his own name, including tributes to Disney and George Gershwin. Wilson’s eleventh studio album, No Pier Pressure, was released last year and features guest appearances by She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Nate Ruess and Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities. Wilson says he was trying recapture the mid’60s Beach Boys harmonies on the album. For his current tour Wilson, who will be joined by Jardine and Blondie Chaplin (who had a brief stint with the Beach Boys in the '70s), Wilson will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Beach Boys’ ultra-influential Pet Sounds by performing the album in its entirety.
The 710 Chronicle Release Party feat. Afroman – Sunday, July 10 – The Pressroom
After Joseph Foreman made his first tape in the eighth grade — a tune about getting kicked out of school for his sagging pants — he embarked on a career of creating chilled-out, misbehavior-themed bangers under the moniker Afroman. Since releasing his first album in 1998, Afroman has released nine studio full-lengths and one EP (last year’s The N-Word). He’s best known for the hit singles “Crazy Rap (Colt 45 & 2 Zig Zags)” and “Because I Got High” — the latter of which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2002. Not one to be pigeonholed, Afroman was even part of the 2010 Gathering of the Juggalos lineup. With his double-neck eighteen-string ax at his side, Afroman cranks out upbeat, hip-hop/funk tunes that feature good-humored verses, many of them focused on getting cooked. JOHN NICHOLL
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band – Tuesday, July 12 – Mesa Arts Center
Singer, songwriter, film actor, and big band leader (or, to trade on the name of one of his more steadfast ensembles, "Large Band" leader) Lyle Lovett found his ill-fated marriage to actress Julia Roberts and a piled-high pompadour earning him more tabloid time than any amount of accolades accorded his craft. However, given that the press carried over to the mainstream marketplace, there was some positive afterglow left over from time spent in the celebrity spotlight. That's been especially helpful to this eclectic artist, who's never been content to simply settle on any one musical style or to coast on past successes. Indeed, over the course of his two-decade, Grammy-strewn career, Lovett has successfully melded blues, brass, country, and contemporary. Low-key and unassuming, his style speaks for itself. LEE ZIMMERMAN
Taste of Chaos Tour – Thursday, July 14 – Comerica Theatre
The Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos tour returns to the Valley for the first time in seven years, but it doesn’t look anything like its old self. After the long hiatus, the tour is back boasting a dreamy lineup of bands for the emo scenesters of the mid-2000s era. Previous lineups of this tour featured post-hardcore and metal bands more befitting of the tour’s name. Co-creator Kevin Lyman, who also created Vans Warped Tour, originally intended Taste of Chaos to be a winter counterpart to the successful summer festival, but ran into a shortage of bands big enough to fit the bill and brand. It’s also worth noting that the return of Taste of Chaos coincides with the return of Dashboard Confessional. Seven years ago, frontman Chris Carrabba put the band on hiatus to pursue other music ventures, but the flame was rekindled after a brief tour with Third Eye Blind last year. This won’t just be a night of nostalgia, though. Dashboard Confessional, Saosin and the Early November have all released new music this year to carry on the emo revival. MIKEL GALICIA
Deerhoof – Saturday, July 16 – Crescent Ballroom
With their jagged juxtapositions of art rock, punk and noise, Deerhoof have always been an especially intense band onstage. Guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodríguez ram together intricate psychedelic riffs with massive slabs of hard-rock power over drummer Greg Saunier’s complicated, jerky rhythms. Singer-bassist Satomi Matsuzaki provides even more contrast when her poppy vocals float cheerily over all that aural chaos. Last year, the Bay Area quartet released their first live album, Fever 121614, an LP and video that was recorded in Tokyo. The record is a good introduction to the strange world of Deerhoof, ranging from the quirky pop of “Paradise Girls” and the stop-and-start guitars of “Fresh Born” to the propulsive interstellar journey “Let’s Dance the Jet” and the full-blown punk clamor of “Come See the Duck.” FALLING JAMES
Dixie Chicks – Sunday, July 17 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
It has been a long time since the Dixie Chicks have made headlines in country music, but maybe that’s because they got tired of all that attention. You might recall a teeny-tiny, pretty minor little incident where Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines criticized then-President George W. Bush while performing in London, and the shitshow that then ensued. The Chicks' albums were burned, their lives were threatened and their careers were seemingly over. But praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, because the Dixie Chicks are back on the road and headed our way later this month.
As members of their ardent fanbase will tell you, the Dixie Chicks are the country world’s first majorly successful girl group. And majorly successful they were. Before their fall, the Dixie Chicks became both the best-selling all-female act in all of music, and the most popular country artists in the entire world. They continued on to even broader mainstream success in the pop and adult contemporary worlds with Taking the Long Way, the Chicks’ 2006 retrospective on the scandal that had fundamentally changed their lives and their careers. That’s ancient history, however, and now is the perfect time for the Dixie Chicks to come back. They’ve already contended with Toby Keith and deranged would-be domestic terrorists, which means they could easily kick Florida-Georgia Line’s ass back to whatever swamp in hell they came from. With just one ultra-feminist glare from Maines, Luke Bryan would be turned into dust. And then, of course, their music would shut up every single naysayer in the genre. You might hate Maines' politics, but you don’t hate her voice. You don’t hate “Goodbye Earl” and that cover of “Landslide.” You just don’t. AMY MCCARTHY
Todrick Hall – Sunday, July 17 – Comerica Theatre
In the days of the Internet, you no longer need pure luck — chance meetings with people who promise favors, drugs and sex — to become a star. YouTube has cut out the middle executive and brought some truly talented people straight to the viewing public for their never-ending consumption. Todrick Hall is one of those success stories. He first became known as a semi-finalist on the ninth season of American Idol and soon started scoring gigs on Broadway and even his own national tour. But he really broke out on YouTube, where there were no publicists or image specialists to keep his sense of humor in check. His updated covers of Disney musical classics and song-inspired flash mobs have earned him millions of hits and subscribers, an upcoming reality show on MTV and his own tour dubbed The Toddlerz Ball, which will stop by Comerica Theatre in mid-July. DANNY GALLAGHER
Steven Tyler – Wednesday, July 20 – Comerica Theater
There are a lot of things you associate with Steven Tyler. Silk scarves, scraggly mustaches and halcyon days gone by aside, Tyler isn’t exactly the kind of guy you expect to record a country album. More than 40 years after the bad boys from Boston first made their mark on rock 'n’ roll, though, Tyler is embarking on a truly bizarre solo project as a country artist. During a “surprise visit” at the Grand Ole Opry last September, Tyler told the audience that he would soon be releasing his first solo country album, which isn’t coming until later this month.
He’s already released two singles to his adoring fans via Twitter and after just hearing these two tracks, it is clear that Tyler is going all-in on this country music thing. He didn’t just release an album of mostly rock tracks and market them to country audiences. No, this is going to be a country album, and it is going to be totally fucking insane. Last year, Tyler released “Love Is Your Name,” the lead track from this forthcoming album. The song leads off with plenty of fiddle, sounding much like something you’d hear from Tim McGraw or Keith Urban or some other generic male country artist. Tyler’s characteristic blown-out voice immediately reminds you that yes, this is the guy who once performed “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion.” AMY MCCARTHY
EPMD – Sunday, July 24 – Celebrity Theatre
It's tough being one of hip-hop's elder statesmen. consider the plight of EPMD, the East Coast duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, who dropped their debut, Strictly Business, while Jay Z was still learning the ropes from Jaz-O and Big Daddy Kane. Best remembered for their '92 hit "Crossover," which ironically railed at concessions to the pop music format over hip-hop roots, they reunited for We Mean Business in 2008. Happily, the record didn't overreach, playing to the duo's classic strengths. While EPMD haven't taken back the airwaves just yet, they serve as a solid reminder that it's possible, however unlikely, to retain some vitality (without starring in children's movies) as you enter your gray years. JASON P. WOODBURY
Jill Scott — Monday, July 25 – Mesa Arts Center
Jill Scott confirmed her status as one of R&B’s leading ladies when her 2011 album, The Light of the Sun, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, powered by her hit duet with Anthony Hamilton, “So In Love.” It was a long climb to the top for the Philadelphia native, co-author of the Roots’ “You Got Me” although it’s Erykah Badu’s voice you hear on the group's 1999 hit. However, the next year’s debut Who Is Jill Scott? — produced by another Philly legend, DJ Jazzy Jeff himself — answered that question resoundingly: a confident, funny singer, gifted both verbally and vocally, who seamlessly incorporated her background as a spoken-word poet even as her music flowed freely between jazz, classic soul, hip-hop, funk and gospel. Also an actress who has appeared in everything from Broadway plays, Tyler Perry movies and the lead role in HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Scott jumped from Warner Bros. to Atlantic for last year’s Woman, but fans didn’t seem to mind the switch — or the four-year layoff — when it became her second No. 1 album in a row. CHRIS GRAY
Modest Mouse – Monday, July 25 – Comerica Theater
The guys in Modest Mouse have followed their own stubbornly idiosyncratic path since 1992, when singer Isaac Brock put the band together in Issaquah, Washington. Unlike other groups from the Pacific Northwest, Modest Mouse have always seemed unaffected by grunge, garage rock and other regional trends. Instead, Brock and his ever-evolving lineups — which in the past have included The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and The Helio Sequence’s Benjamin Weikel — have never settled long in one sonic space. On their latest album, Strangers to Ourselves, the band sweeps back and forth from pointedly quirky, Talking Heads–style new-wave funk (“The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box”) to celestial dream-pop (“Of Course We Know”) and hip-hop–flavored psychedelia (“Shit in Your Cut”). Perhaps Brock is just being, ahem, modest when he claims, “Pack up again/Head to the next place, where we’ll make the same mistakes.” New York-based Brand New, who just released the single “I Am A Nightmare,” co-headlines.
Boz Scaggs – Tuesday, July 26 – Mesa Arts Center
Throughout his lengthy recording career — now clocking in at five decades — Boz Scaggs has been a tireless sonic alchemist, whose output is the epitome of musical amalgamation. While best known for the blue-eyed soul and dance grooves of the monstrously successful 1976 Silk Degrees record, a casual listen to his discography also shows dips in the waters of blues, R&B, jazz, crooning, Latin, and rock styles. On his last effort, 2013's Memphis, Scaggs tapped the essence of that city with a record largely of old soul covers.
They were laid down in the city's famed Royal Recording Studios, where producer Willie Mitchell and singer Al Green did their seminal work. Scaggs continues his elegant musical meanderings, tracking mostly further southwest this time, in A Fool to Care, released earlier this year. The dozen songs feature covers written by Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Huey P. Smith, members of the Band, and bluesman Jack Walroth. This one was put together at Nashville's Blackbird Studio in just four days. The material — from a funky, greasy "Rich Woman" and the torchy "Love Don't Love Nobody" to the Latin-infused "Tango on 16th Street" to the '50s balladry of the title track — covers a lot of ground, just like Scaggs himself. BOB RUGGIERO
Fitz and the Tantrums – Wednesday, July 27 – Marquee Theatre
Led by founder and frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, rock and soul stalwarts Fitz and the Tantrums burst onto the national scene in 2011 with their breakout hit, "MoneyGrabber," from their debut album, Pickin' Up the Pieces. Featuring a throwback, soulful sound build around keyboards, sax and the exuberant vocals of Fitzpatrick and co-lead vocalist Noelle Scaggs, the band became unlikely fixtures on radio, continuing to pump out hits with their 2013 sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, which featured the tracks "Out of My League" and "The Walker."
The third album, a self-titled LP that dropped last month on Elektra Records, features 11 new tracks, including the super-poppy lead single, "HandClap," which picks up where more modern-sounding tracks like "The Walker" left off, giving the Tantrums' R&B rhythms and soulful vocals a glossy pop sheen. The track was produced by Ricky Reed of electro-pop group Wallpaper; most of the rest of the new album features production work by Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Foster the People). Their upcoming Valley gig at the Marquee will also feature Arizona native and burgeoning indie pop superstar Zella Day. ANDY HERMANN
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