The Five Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
Fishbone is playing Rebel Lounge on Thursday, June 23.
If you can manage to make it outdoors without catching heat stroke, there are plenty of live music options this week. Here are our weekly concert picks; if you'd like more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar at www.phxconcerts.com.
Lonesome Wilderness — Monday, June 20 — Valley Bar
Lonesome Wilderness has a great rock 'n' roll sound with a desert flair; the spirit of the Southwest flows through their veins. Take the song "Cigarettes," from the group's self-titled EP, which came out in 2015. The tone and tunings of the guitars (there are three of them) seem to breathe Sonoran dust. The vocals are delivered with a brilliant whiskey rawness, while the rhythm section just ties it up in a nice little rawhide bow. There is also whistling — pretty amazing whistling, actually — and I think that's something that's truly missing from a lot of modern music. MITCHELL HILLMAN
Radkey – Tuesday, June 21 – Pub Rock
No one is entirely sure how a group of teenagers formed a punk band akin to the legendary proto-punk outfit Death. But that's the vibe of Radkey, a soulful punk rock band of literal brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri. It's likely these guys will earn new fans at every show for the sheer enthusiasm and energy of their performance. Plus, the band's songs will make you wonder what year it is and where this music is coming from, until you realize it doesn't matter because what you're seeing is one of the best rock 'n' roll bands going right now. TOM MURPHY
Royce Da 5'9" – Wednesday, June 22 – Pub Rock
When is the last time a man with a legitimate number-one hit in the past decade and who has ghostwritten for both Dr. Dre and Diddy graced the stage at Scottsdale's Pub Rock? Who knows, with a very large possibility of never, is the answer to that question. But that's all going to change when Royce Da 5'9", one half of hip-hop super group Bad Meets Evil (the other half is Eminem) hits the stage at the Scottsdale venue on June 22. Royce has collaborated with a ton of well-known rappers and has found a way to remain at least somewhat relevant since the late '90s. His most recent album, Layers, sold more than 16,000 copies its first week, and when his tour comes to Phoenix, it should be a banger. JEFF MOSES
Fishbone – Thursday, June 23 – The Rebel Lounge
With seemingly every alternative rock band of note reunited to dolefully tour the classics, Los Angeles band Fishbone remains a vital exception to the "play the hits" rule. For 33 years, the group has experimented and evolved, incorporating influences including ska, punk, hardcore, psychedelic rock, soul, funk, reggae, and jazz into a varied and uncompromisingly diverse discography. The band hasn't released solely flawless records, but it's never failed to issue interesting ones.
"That's part of the legacy of the band," bassist and founding member John Norwood Fisher explains. "The minute we stagnate and become a band that just goes over where we've been ... maybe that's okay at some point, but I'm just not there yet. I'm trying to figure out: What haven't we done? What can keep the vibe fresh?" Fishbone's latest, 2014's Intrinsically Intertwined EP, opens with "Unstuck," a song that ranks among the group's best. Under soulful vocals by Angelo "Dr. Madd Vibe" Moore, the band churns a progressive, knotty reggae groove with touches of jazz fusion, funky time changes, and double-bass drum work. Moore sings of the "phone that rings within," employing beautifully anachronistic gospel idiom. "Unstuck" represents the best of Fishbone; more than three decades in, they're still exploring new sounds. JASON P. WOODBURY
Live 101.5’s #BestNightEver feat. The Chainsmokers – Thursday, June 23 – Livewire
In 2014, Chainsmokers achieved a very odd feat: They made a very smart song about something really stupid. "#SELFIE" features a woman talking about typical club stuff and her eventual hookup with her man "Jason." On the way, they talk about outfits, makeup, boys, the guy asleep at the club — and most importantly, the art of self-photography. Selfies are the theme around which the narrative of the song revolves, and the narrator's obnoxiously self-involved demeanor is a pretty obvious jab at the shallowness of club culture. That "#SELFIE" proceeded to blow up and frankly dominate that scene is an odd phenomenon that sometimes happens within subcultures — someone makes a critique that satirizes a culture so well no one within that culture thinks it actually applies to them. The song catapulted them to the top of the EDM scene, and their appearance at Livewire should be packed with not just selfie-takers and overly serious EDM heads, but with those masses in the middle who simply appreciate good house music. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
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