Think no one in their right mind wants to come to Arizona this time of year? You’d be wrong, bub.
Despite the fact that we’re hip deep in the most tortuous portion of the summer (and all the frightfully hot temperatures and frightening monsoon storms that go with it), we’re about to get a visit from some rather famous names from the music world. And all of ‘em will be coming here to perform during the month of August.
Like Weezer, for instance, as well as Anderson .Paak, Panic! At the Disco, Duran Duran, Weird Al, the Alabama Shakes, Lord Huron, and the Mystery Lights. And that’s just the first half of the month. Adele’s also headed our way (for a pair of concerts, no less) as is Coldplay, Guided by Voices, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Jackson Browne, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Culture Club, and Snoop Dogg.
Oh, and lest we forget, Guns N’ Roses will be putting on its first concert in the Valley in forever.
Suffice it to say, August is loaded up with great concerts, all of which are included in our list of the 30 best shows to see over the next 30 days.
Weezer & Panic! At the Disco – Tuesday, August 2 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
The undisputed lords of revenge-of-the-nerds rock for more than two decades, L.A.’s Weezer still never get the girl, and mainman Rivers Cuomo remains perpetually the teenage dork who awoke, blinking, to find himself fronting a band before thousands of adoring fans. But it’s not the quartet’s cartoonish goofing that’s shifted close to 18 million albums but rather a seemingly telepathic grasp of poignant melody, nostalgic harmony, and adroit arrangement that’s equal parts Cheap Trick, The Pixies and the best of OC punk-lite. Weezer’s co-headlining their current tour, which swing through the Valley in early August, along with Panic! At the Disco, themselves a fairly geeky outfit in their own right. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is also along for the ride and serves as the evening’s opening act. PAUL ROGERS
Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals – Tuesday, August 2 – Livewire
The adjectives used to describe Anderson .Paak’s stage show border on the type of hyperbole reserved for acclaimed films. “Superb” meets “enchanting” meets “memorable”, that sort of thing. For .Paak, it’s something that’s been a long time coming, a L.A.-based artist who through his own mix of soul and hip-hop not only stole the show on Dr. Dre’s Compton album, currently possesses of the year’s best album. At .Paak's Houston debut, he may wiggle around delivering a pitter-patter flow on records like “Come Down” or launch into a spastic tinge of soul with “The Waters," both standout tracks from January's Malibu. It’s a style that even the best have truly found difficult to describe. We just know it’s accessible, it’s sweeping and ultimately, it builds upon grooves and influences from James Brown to Prince and even Kendrick Lamar. It’s free-range expression from a man still coming into his own. BRANDON CALDWELL
Duran Duran – Wednesday, August 3 – Gila River Arena
On paper, Duran Duran shouldn’t have worked. Apparently lifting their entire aesthetic from the already well-established Japan (the band) at the dawn of the 1980s, but with a frontman less pretty and less able than the latter’s David Sylvian, the quintet looked like a tired idea. But, crucially, the double-D had the songs — and still do, to judge by just-released 14th studio album Paper Gods. For all of their visionary grasp of music videos, famously suave fashion sense and swoon-inducing looks, it’s slinky tunes and arresting arrangements that have this band packing the Gila River Arena. The electro-flecked, guest-laden Paper Gods (which features everyone from Janelle Monáe to Lindsay Lohan) is delightfully Duran-y: glamorous, worldly and replete with trademark ecstatic hooks, glossy production, kitschy glitches and Simon Le Bon’s imploring vocals. PAUL ROGERS
Weird Al Yankovic – Wednesday, August 3 – Comerica Theatre
From Michael Jackson and Nirvana on down, Weird Al Yankovic’s signature combo of whimsy and total squareness has sucked the hot air out of plenty of music’s biggest egos, and the list of artists foolish enough to challenge his parodies of their work is a very short one indeed. He created a minor stir when 2014’s Mandatory Fun debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, causing more than one showbiz watchdog to expend valuable column inches wondering how things had come to this. It’s not that hard to figure out, really, as self-important hits like “Happy,” “Fancy” and “Blurred Lines” were crying out for the Weird Al treatment since the moment they came on the radio. You may come for the satire, but you’ll come back for the polka medleys. CHRIS GRAY
The Mystery Lights – Wednesday, August 3 – The Rebel Lounge
The Mystery Lights clearly own a time machine. Many garage bands have the gear or the chops or the voice or the look, but not many have the whole package wrapped up as tightly or as neatly as the Queens, New York, by way of Salinas, California, 30-somethings, who are touring this summer to support their first full-length LP. Their eponymous debut on WICK Records, which is an offshoot of Daptone Records, came out on June 24, and it is a full-on barnburner of soul-tinged garage rock in the vein of the Yardbirds, or Billy Childish and Thee Headcoats — think the Fuzztones meet vintage Mudhoney with Eric Burdon Jr. on vocals. Singer/guitar player Mike Brandon has been doing some version of the Mystery Lights since high school (2001, to be exact), and is pumped up about the new record and their current tour. “We’re really excited about this record. People seem to be really into it. We’re going to tour for four weeks. Once we’re back, we’re going to start working on another record, but we might also do another tour in September. We’ll be on the road for the next four weeks, though, for sure,” Brandon says. TOM REARDON
Earthless – Friday, August 5 – Crescent Ballroom
The members of San Diego instrumental psych-rock trio Earthless are not concerned with showing you how many notes they can play. They simply want to rock out and rock out for a long time, and for everyone to have a good trip while they’re doing it. While albums such as 2013’s From the Ages are epic studio journeys that take the listener through many psychedelic hills and valleys, the band really shines when they can jam out in a live environment, as heard on 2008’s Live at Roadburn. The trio’s epic stoner jams — which at times can last through an entire 60-minute set with no respite — can hypnotize, and sometimes result in a rock-overload hangover once the power of the riff finally dissipates. JASON ROCHE
The Rhythm, The Rebel feat. Black Milk – Saturday, August 6 – The Rebel Lounge
Tricky T is no stranger to underground hip-hop in the slightest. In fact, the renowned Valley turntablist and selector has been spinning a lot of jams by artists such as Immortal Technique, the Living Legends, Brother Ali, and similar artists over the course of his extensive DJing career. Ditto for his friend and fellow turntablist David “Fact135” Dimmick. So it seems like a good fit for the pair to team up to run an underground hip-hop night, which they do every month during The Rhythm, The Rebel. The off-the-chain affair, which will be hosted by local rapper RoQ'y TyRaiD and feature live art by The Blunt Club’s Dumperfoo, involves Tricky and Dimmick working the ones and twos along with guest DJs inside The Rebel Lounge with a performance by renowned underground hip-hop artists and acts headlining each edition. This month, it’s Detroit-born MC and producer Black Milk. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Alabama Shakes – Sunday, August 7 – Comerica Theatre
If you haven’t heard the distinctive, bluesy tunes of Alabama Shakes, you’re missing out on one of the best indie-rock bands of this generation. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, an immensely impressive vocalist with a range in both timbre and emotion that is unsurpassed by her contemporaries, Alabama Shakes’ 2015 release Sound & Color is quickly proving to be one of the best records of the year, and might be one of the most impressive sophomore albums of all time. At their upcoming show at Comerica Theatre, expect to be shaken to your bones by Howard’s vocals and the equally excellent band that backs her. Speaking of the band, their playing is tight, their interplay is charismatic and, most important, they don’t overshadow Howard, the true star. Recorded, Alabama Shakes sound plenty great, but live, the experience is totally different in the most awesome way possible. AMY MCCARTHY
Lord Huron – Monday, August 8 – Crescent Ballroom
The LA-based, Michigan-bred folk quartet Lord Huron is the brainchild of its frontman and lead singer, Ben Schneider. Naming the group after the Great Lake where he spent his formative years, Schneider has so far crafted a catalogue of music that’s simultaneously very traditional and yet modern enough to capture our darting attention spans. Lord Huron encompasses the jangling pop of the Head and the Heart; the slower, more reflective moods of Ray LaMontagne; and the rural twang of Trampled by Turtles. The band's latest record, Strange Trails, fully embraces the role of traveling storyteller, of the troubadour, with song titles that read like chapters in a novel, including the record’s singles “Fool for Love,” “The Night We Met,” and the eerie, haunting, '50s rockabilly/surf rock-inspired tune, “The World Ender.” ANGEL MELENDEZ
Matisyahu – Wednesday, August 10 – Marquee Theatre
It's only partially Matisyahu's fault that all his interests conspired to make him the perfect poster to hang next to Bob Marley in your freshman dorm room. That is, lots of teenagers and young adults find meaning and truth in following Phish around and reconnecting with the family traditions and (yes) in listening to a lot of reggae while looking at a poster of Bob Marley. And it's only Matisyahu's fault inasmuch as he was the guy who synthesized all those college-experience touchstones into an incredibly buzzy album, 2006's jam-and-reggae-and-pop Youth.
Since then, he's released some less-buzzed-about albums, cut back on the beatboxing a little, left Hasidism, and shaved his beard. Which would leave his college-kid market a little less perfectly triangulated than it used to be, except that his 2013 album, Spark Seeker, is influenced in part by ideas from Kabbalah. Religiously, it might be more syncretic than usual, but musically, you'll recognize it as a Matisyahu album: poppy, vaguely world music filled with uplift that signifies spiritual enlightenment, whether you wear your hair in sidelocks or not. Whether he wears his hair in sidelocks or not, too. DAN MOORE
Monsieur Periné – Thursday, August 11 – Musical Instrument Museum
How did a Colombian, French-influenced, gypsy jazz band by the name of Monsieur Periné become one of the most exciting emerging artists in Latin music? At one point, even people in Colombia didn't think they were from there. Lead singer Catalina García was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, on the country's Pacific coast. In the 1970s, Cali was known as the cinematic center of the country until the collapse of the Colombian film industry during the drug wars of the '80s. Now it's better known for its salsa music scene.
Monsieur Periné's musicians Nicolás Junca and Santiago Prieto were obsessed with the gypsy guitar sound of Django Reinhardt, which they learned to imitate from watching movies. These types of guitars were not sold in Colombia, so they had to order them online. Meanwhile, Garcia's grandparents enrolled her in a school where she could learn another language. Knowing she would learn English anyway, they sent her to a French school in Cali. All of these elements come together in Monsieur Periné. Colorful costumes and theatrical performances evoke the spirit of Colombia’s old cinema. Gypsy jazz, swing, salsa and cumbia set the rhythms for a dance party. It’s as if Django Reinhardt was Colombian. EDDIE COTA
Rebelution – Thursday, August 11 – Comerica Theatre
Despite the genre's radical roots, there's something about modern reggae that makes it difficult for fans of classic reggae to fully embrace. Perhaps because it's so easy to denigrate modern reggae as passionless music for stoners — smoke weed, tinker with a guitar, and become a rock star. Mix the same, monotonous melody with laid-back vocals and electric guitars that pop with the tempo of the beat and you suddenly have a record praised by every tokin' rocker in the country — something with the feel-good vibe of Bob Marley but none of the activism.
Modern reggae practitioners Rebelution have something else going for them. Like many of their weed-rock predecessors, they formed in college over a love of California beaches, laid-back music and, presumably, marijuana. (Considering their second album is titled Room to Grow, it's hard to doubt these assumptions are off-base.) But rather than smoking their way through school, it seems the Santa Barbara four-piece actually got hip to social issues and progressive politics. When you blend care with crafty, less-cliché melodies and a serious stance on fun, you have a fully realized group gaining some well-deserved steam. Or smoke. They look the same from a distance. CHRISTINA CALDWELL
Slim Cessna's Auto Club – Sunday, August 14 – Crescent Ballroom
For as long as the folk songs of hillbillies and Appalachian wailers have been called "country songs," the genre has been the province of those tip-toeing between grace and damnation — Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, the Louvin Brothers, and others for whom the pursuit of holiness often took a backseat to the pleasures of sin. For more than two decades, Slim Cessna's Auto Club has played country songs but expanded outward as well, incorporating elements of punk, rockabilly, gospel, and rocksteady, all the while evoking Christian dread, employing fire-and-brimstone wit, and singing bloody murder ballads.
In that time, the band has developed a reputation as a tremendous live act, and it's well deserved. Led by two frontmen, band namesake Slim Cessna and the wild-eyed Jay Munly, the group's shows feel like violent, apocalyptic hootenannies or gothic church services where the preachers have dipped into sacramental moonshine. JASON P. WOODBURY
Guns N' Roses – Monday, August 15 – University of Phoenix Stadium
Guns N' Roses were the greatest cock-rock band of the late '80s; their epoch-defining Appetite For Destruction came factory-installed in the tape deck of every IROC, Mustang and Firebird of the time. For one blazing moment, they embodied everything transcendent in American life, everything orgiastic, flamboyant in form and fashion, drug-thin (because they were all on all the drugs), brimming with maudlin extravagance and a total contempt for the world outside their own bleary Paradise City. This world is not perfect, so we will likely not be getting a hologram of 1987 Axl Rose on GN'R's current "Not in This Lifetime" tour, else we’d be seeing a heavy uptick in births next spring. Original members Slash and Duff are back in the hot tub time machine, so there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling like a space brain one more time tonight. TEX KERSCHEN
Old Crow Medicine Show – Tuesday, August 16 – Comerica Theatre
Seventeen years and eight albums into their career, Tennessee string band Old Crow Medicine Show still play with the wide-eyed charisma of a pack of buskers. Like any good roots outfit, they're best experienced live. Old Crow's seven members look and act like a party onstage—a party brimming with banjos, mandolins, and bluegrass soul. With singalong-style performances and a charming sincerity that hasn't wavered through the many lineup changes they've seen over the past few years, this group continues to light up stages wherever the road takes them. Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, the talented alt-country/folk rock performer who’s 2015 album The Firewatcher's Daughter was a smash success, will open the evening along with Americana duo The Secret Sisters. CARENA LIPTAK
Guided by Voices – Tuesday, August 16 – Crescent Ballroom
One of the more prolific bands in rock history (21 albums and counting), Guided by Voices has managed not only to have a hearty discography but also the ability to consistently write quality songs, keeping rabid fans addicted while getting new admirers to jump aboard the band's eclectic ark. The songs' lengths and production values may vary, but the result is the same — a unique sound that engages splashes of several kinds of rock, including lo-fi, pop, punk, garage, psychedelic, and progressive.
Any GBV fan will tell you that the band's live show is something not to be missed. The band is definitely not afraid to drink a beer or 20, and from beginning to end, it's not just any old show. Booze-injected and loaded with energy, band camaraderie, and plenty of Pollard's signature leg kicks, it's a goddamned experience. It's like dropping the band and a few hundred diehard fans and other music lovers into a great big envelope, sealing it up, and handing the package over to a giant who shakes the whole thing vigorously for a couple of hours, dropping everyone out at the end in a sweaty, smiling stupor. It's sincere and fun. AMY YOUNG
Adele – Tuesday, August 16, and Wednesday, August 17 – Talking Stick Resort Arena
After the untimely death of Amy Winehouse in 2011, the world was ready to worship another British retro-soul diva, and Adele was perfectly positioned to be next in line for the throne. The young British songstress and engaging soul-pop stylist whose vocals reveal real warmth and charisma was already a major presence in the U.K., but the London native’s career really took off that year with the release of her second album, 21, which vaulted her into superstar status. Then came 25 last year, which sold 20 million copies worldwide and cemented her as an icon. The album demonstrated her talent for selling a song persuasively and intelligently without resorting to nostalgic tics. The problem with being a pop goddess is that there’s little room for error, such as when the previously infallible singer was distracted by technical difficulties at this year’s Grammy Awards. The truth is, the 28-year-old Adele is still evolving and always will be. FALLING JAMES
The Gipsy Kings – Thursday, August 18 – Celebrity Theatre
If nothing else, the Gipsy Kings hold the distinction of being the soundtrack to one of the great moments in comedic history. If you've never seen The Big Lebowski, you should stop what you're doing right now and change that. But those sane souls who have seen the Coen brothers classic will remember the scene we're talking about. The immortal Jesus Quintana pulls up his purple socks, grabs a bowling ball, sensually teasing it with his reptilian tongue, then rolls a sultry strike — all in glorious slow motion. "Fuckin' Quintana," The Dude says. "That creep can roll, man." The scene is perfect and hilarious in every way, but the glue holding the whole thing together is the Gipsy Kings' flamenco rendition of "Hotel California." Formed in the South of France in 1978, Gipsy Kings come from a Spanish Romani heritage. With 13 studio albums and a pair of live records to its name, the Gipsy Kings seek to use new technologies to distribute its old world sounds. DAVID ROLLAND
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
In the late '90s and early 2000s, few acts frightened the collective sensibilities of American parents more than Slipknot and Marily Manson. On the 20th anniversary of Manson's Antichrist Superstar and 15 years removed from the massive success of Slipknot's IOWA, the two groups will collaborate for the first time since Slipknot percussionist Joey Jordison appeared in the music video for Manson's reinterpretation of "Tainted Love." It's amazing that it took this long for them to go on tour together, but good things come to those who wait. Neither act is in its prime anymore, but the grandeur of Slipknot's live act remains undisputed; Manson has become something of of sordid uncle of industrial rock and metal. He's worth visiting if only to hear the older stories of his heyday. (Note: this show was rescheduled from earlier in the summer due to Corey Taylor of Slipknot's surgery.) MATTHEW KEEVER
Heart, Joan Jett & 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 month: A triple bill of Heart, Joan Jett and the Black Hearts 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
DIIV – Monday, August 22 – Crescent Ballroom
DIIV's musical style falls somewhere between shoegaze and dreampop. (Think My Bloody Valentine meets early Deerhunter.) It sounds a piece from the modern era, yet very reminiscent of the early '90s. Every fuzzed-out song on the band's latest offering, Is the Is Are, is laced with nostalgia and beauty like a hazy daydream, which is a product of principal songwriter Zachary Cole Smith's battle with drug addiction. His turmoil floats on waves of melancholy indie pop on the album's title track, whose title means something to a sober Smith, I'm sure. While Smith's lyrics expose his vulnerable side and inner demons, the album is a lofty one at a whopping 17 tracks. This is definitely a band with a lot to say. There's even a track with Cole's longtime girlfriend, actress/model/musician Sky Ferreira. JUAN VARGAS
Coldplay – August 23 – Gila River Arena
Quick, name the last Coldplay song you listened to. Chances are good it came during their lackluster gig during the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl, one of only a handful of performances they’ve staged in recent memory. In fact, it's been a quiet stretch the past couple years for (one of the many) band(s) formerly known as "The Next Radiohead," what with the conscious uncoupling and all. Chris Martin and company didn't even hit the road to promote their last LP, 2014's relatively low-key Ghost Stories. Coldplay's last tour came three albums ago, in support of 2011's Mylo Xyloto. (Their last visit to Phoenix goes back even further as it took place seven years ago on the heels of Viva La Vida.) All that's changing this year as they’ve been crisscrossing the globe since March in support of their latest studio album, A Head Full of Dreams, which went No. 1 on iTunes and sold elling more than 3 million copies since its debut. It seems safe to say Coldplay still have plenty of starpower, and their absence from touring should do nothing but help move tickets this time around. JEFF GAGE
Culture Club – Tuesday, August 23 – Celebrity Theatre
The millions of words written about Culture Club frontman Boy George’s androgynous image, is-he-or-isn’t-he sexual orientation and torrid personal life (everything from serving time for false imprisonment to a paparazzi-pleasing opioid dependence) have all too often obscured the man’s marvelous voice and his band’s ultra-cultured pop compositions. Equally potent on the dance floor and poignant the morning after, CC’s supple, signature sound doses new wave–y rock & roll with Caribbean, Latin and blue-eyed American accents around George’s suggestively soulful, knowing croon. The singer’s remarkable personal odyssey makes contemporary Culture Club shows mass celebrations not only of their one-band hit parade (10 Top 40 singles in the United States alone), but also of the very fact that Boy George still shows up at all. PAUL ROGERS
Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa — Wednesday, August 24 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Would seeing Snoop Dogg in concert be awesome? Of course. Would seeing Snoop Dogg with Wiz Khalifa perform in the most suburban venue in town be even more awesome? You better believe it. It's a curious thought if the parents who plan to escort their kids to this show even know who these artists really are. After Khalifa and Charlie Puth's 2015 hit "See You Again" crossed over into every imaginable radio format, moms everywhere were suddenly under the impression that they were Wiz fans. Watching them realize that the majority of this show will likely be about smoking pot will be entertaining in and of itself, almost as much as watching the crowd attempt to smoke in the most sanitized pavilion around. And, of course, Snoop Dogg is the man. All in all, there's a lot of entertainment to be witnessed at this show. SELENA DIERINGER
The Go-Gos – Thursday, August 25 – Comerica Theatre
There were other girl groups before them, but when the Go-Gos burst on the scene during punk’s prime in the late ‘70s, they did for rock ‘n’ roll what the suffragettes did for women’s rights in the early 1900s. Along with the Bangles, they shattered the stereotypes that dictated rock was a realm populated exclusively by machismo poseurs and players. They did so thanks to their ability to write their own songs and play all their own instruments. Their efforts quickly paid off, making them the first self-contained female band to top the Billboard charts. Early albums Beauty and the Beat and Vacation spawned giddy hit songs, including “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and Vacation’s title track.
To date, the group has sold more than seven million albums, and the iconic lineup — Caffey, singer Belinda Carlisle, bassist Kathy Valentine, guitarist Jane Wiedlin, and drummer Gina Schock — came to represent the epitome of energy, exuberance, freedom, and fun. Their current series of shows is billed as a Farewell Tour, an outing originally scheduled for 2010 and then postponed. Four of the five members will participate, with Valentine the only exception. “We’re just not going to be touring anymore,” Caffey insists. “We have other things we’re working on, and we may do a benefit date or something like that. It’s not like we’re never going to play together ever again.” LEE ZIMMERMAN
Baroness – Saturday, August 27 – Crescent Ballroom
This Georgia act threw out their reliably sludgy, alt-metal blueprint and introduced ambitious, progressive-rock elements on their sprawling 2012 double album, Yellow and Green. The group’s latest record, Purple, sees Baroness tightening those colliding forces into a streamlined record of equal parts power and beauty. Settling into the comfortable median between the powerful din and riffage of Mastodon and the soaring melodies and musical world-building of ’70s Queen, Baroness twist the adversity they battled after an August 2012 bus accident and channel it into the finest release of their already impressive discography. On tracks such as “Chlorine and Wine,” guitarist/vocalist John Baizley leads a hearty charge of wonderfully layered vocal harmonies and guitar work that integrates the band’s deep-South roots with the grandeur of Brian May. JASON ROCHE
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Monday, August 29 – Crescent Ballroom
British-born psychedelic rock group Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have become one of the hottest tickets in the heavy music scene, on the strength of three albums that are heavily influenced by fuzzy late ‘60s acid rock, with a flair for the occult. The band's vibe would have been equally at home in the Haight-Ashbury scene of that era or the working-class UK scene that birthed the darkness of early Black Sabbath. Their most recent record – 2015’s The Night Creeper – was ranked as one of the best metal albums of last year by our sister publication L.A. Weekly and was described as “spooky, drug-addled doom-metal presented with an early ‘70s-informed production aesthetic and all of the cult lore and murder tales one could ever want from a metal album.” Rock on. JASON ROCHE
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Deftones – Wednesday August 31 – Mesa Amphitheatre
Despite years of rumored conflict and infighting, Sacramento’s Deftones have not only continued to create groundbreaking music, they've persevered within the eye of the storm of their own success — and tragedy. Deftones is the screaming croon of frontman Chino Moreno, the blistering riffs of guitarist Stephen Carpenter, and the tight rhythm section of bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Abe Cunningham. Having escaped the nu-metal stereotype, the band has continued to push the envelope album after album, infusing numerous musical styles and making each album its own unique experience.
Cunningham explains the process of the group's new album, Gore: “It took longer because we took longer to make it, especially the writing part of it. In the past, we always had our allotted time to be creative. This time around, we had the opportunity to break up the writing process, and it was a different approach," he says. "We still make records that, hopefully, people still listen to from start to finish, but it’s going to take a few listens and patience. But that is something that people who listen to us have always been — patient. And even on Adrenaline, there were things that we wanted to try, and it wasn’t until Around the Fur and White Pony, in my opinion, where we actually achieved our goal of mixing all of our musical ideas.” MATTHEW STEWART