The 5 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Stephen Stills in 1983EXPAND
Stephen Stills in 1983
By Eddi Laumanns a.k.a. RX-Guru / CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here are our picks for the best concerts happening this weekend. Check out our comprehensive concert calendar for more options.

Stephen Stills - Friday, November 4 - Musical Instrument Museum
For Stephen Stills, 1968 was a particularly good year. Sure, his band Buffalo Springfield had imploded in a mass of clashing egos. But the Byrds had also recently kicked David Crosby to the curb, and the latter, Stills's old pal, was looking for a collaborator. Crosby had taken to the Florida coast in order to chart his next move, and it was here, aboard a 59-foot, twin-mast schooner called The Mayan, that he and Stills got together to compose. The pair's first effort would result in the song "Wooden Ships." And once the two were back in Los Angeles and Graham Nash was added to the equation, history would become theirs for the making. Indeed the next year's eponymous Crosby, Stills and Nash would not only spawn two Top 40 singles ("Marrakesh Express" and "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"), it would mark the beginning of a legacy that endures more than four decades later. Call it a legacy of song. In addition to the aforementioned hits, that milestone album also included the tunes "Helplessly Hoping" and "Long Time Gone," either of which any American of a certain age can undoubtedly sing in his or her sleep. JOHN HOOD

Sum 41EXPAND
Sum 41
Courtesy of Big Picture Media

Sum 41 - Livewire - Friday, November 4
We found this quote from Sum 41 in our archives from more than a decade ago:

"Everybody thinks we're assholes," Sum 41 guitarist Dave Baksh says. "We're Canadian; it's impossible."

Phoning from one of the asshole capitals of Los Angeles, the Bel Age Hotel near Sunset Strip, Baksh and his band are taking a breather from an extended road trip with punk legends Unwritten Law. The plan is to knock out a round of headlining dates before embarking on a summer tour as openers for none other than Mötley Crüe.

"What else can you think?" Baksh enthuses. "Pure excitement. It's still kind of surreal. We've been fans of the Crüe for a long time, and Tommy Lee and our singer, Deryck [Whibley], are friends."

The 5 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend (3)
Jeremiah Toller

Keller Williams - Marquee Theatre - Saturday, November 5
According to Harry Nilsson, one is the loneliest number. But for singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, one is more than enough. Unlike one-man bands of old, Williams doesn't have cymbals on his knees, horns under his arms, taps on his toes, or a drum on his back. Rather, Williams has propelled the art of the solo performer into the modern age with the help of electronic effects. Williams' weapon of mass construction is the sequencer. Mastering what he calls "live phrase sampling," looping and delay effects allow Williams to harness a snippet of sound and, with the touch of a button, put that sound into a looped rotation. He then works around that sample, layering on more guitar, bass lines, keyboards, and drums, slowly building each song's foundation, all the while singing over the top. The result is a cacophony of sound that is far beyond what one man should normally be capable of creating — to the point that one naturally assumes there's a whole band backing him. GLENN BURNSILVER

Sacred ReichEXPAND
Sacred Reich
Bradley Hewitt

Sacred Reich - Saturday, November 5 - Club Red
Thrash metal powerhouses and current crushers of the European festival circuit, Sacred Reich is one of the best and most consistent purveyors of heavy as fuck, killing your neck muscles, head banging brutality around. Bassist/Singer Phil Rind is always quick with disarmingly honest opinions and hammering bass lines, guitar players Jason Rainey and Wiley Arnett add a layer of guitar sound second to none in their field, and drummer Greg Hall is one of the most underrated drummers in heavy music. Put it all together and what you have is a god damned good time. If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of their EP, Surf Nicaragua and see if don’t end up rocking the fuck out. TOM REARDON

Upcoming Events

North Mountain Blues, Brews, and Arts Fest - Sunday, November 6 - North Mountain Brewing
Fall festival season is upon us, Phoenix. It’s the perfect time of year to wander around in cordoned off parking lots or under tents outside, beer in hand, listening to live music while perusing vendor booths and crafts tables. And it’s exactly the sort of time the North Mountain Blues, Brews & Arts Festival plans on providing. Plus, you get to sip on a variety of old favorites and newly tapped kegs from Sunnyslope’s neighborhood brewery, like the James Brown Imperial Soul or the CardinAle Red. Musical entertainment includes JC & The Juke Rockers w/ special guest Jim Glass, R.D. Olson, Smokestack Lightning, and Sistahs Too.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 8, at North Mountain Brewing Company, 522 East Dunlap Avenue. Festival entrance on Eva Street, between Fifth and Seventh streets. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12.50 at the gate. Kids younger than 12 get in free. Visit www.nmbluesbrewsandartsfest.com or call 602-705-5446. JANESSA HILLIARD


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