The Nine Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
A$AP Ferg is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, May 1, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
If you’re inclined to believe that there’s nothing good happening in the Valley once the heat starts skyrocketing and we slide into summertime, this week’s busy slate of shows might take the thunder out of that particular belief.
For proof, look no further than our list of the best concerts happening over the next several days. (Our online concert calendar is also loaded up with great shows as well.)
Punk legends D.O.A.
D.O.A. – Monday, May 30 – Club Red
Seething, agitated and anarchistic, D.O.A. continues to unleash tuneful and frenzied songs, proving they are far from retired. For more than 35 years, the band has unleashed rock and roll tethered to lumberjack toughness and 'green' environmental issues. They balance flannel-shirt, beer-smeared, hockey-drenched jukebox drunkenness with punk savagery, aggressive politics and worldly wisdom deploring both corporate madness and lazy public attitudes. At the helm, singer/guitarist Joey "Shithead" Keithley has always stared down power by culling the hefty history of leftism. He's not Bruce Springsteen waxing sentimental about rivers and steel towns; instead, he exposes fault lines of religion, police brutality, and economic woes. And he’s truly one of punk rock’s more notable icons. DAVID ENSMINGER
Sumac in concert.
Sumac – Monday, May 30 – Valley Bar
In the world of heavy experimental music, there's nobody with as much clout as Aaron Turner. He founded the seminal re-cord label HydraHead, fronted the post-metal goliath Isis for more than a decade, and has had his hand in so many ground-breaking side projects (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, Jodis, and Split Cranium, to name a few) that it's hard to keep track. After all that time, you'd think Turner would have his process down to a science. But moving from band to band, working in different ways with different people in myriad settings and configurations, he says, has kept things fresh and fun. "I feel there's strengths and weaknesses in each way of doing things," Turner says. "That's why I choose to do so many different things. [It] helps me reassess what I do and figure out better ways of developing my personal craft."
For much of the time since Isis dissolved in 2010, Turner has busied himself with Mamiffer, an eerily beautiful (though not particularly abrasive) band that he and his wife, vocalist/pianist Faith Coloccia, started in 2007. And though he has continued to write and record with musicians of all varieties, either through sparse studio sessions or Internet file sharing, Turner seemed to have put the full-time metal life behind him. In reality, he says, he was quietly constructing Sumac in his head. OAKLAND L CHILDERS
The members of Voivod.
Voivod – Monday, May 30 – The Rebel Lounge
Inspired in part by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, punk, '70s prog and post-punk, Voivod created a kind of metal that could be classified as thrash or progressive metal but doesn't sit simply in either category, because Voivod has always been more adventurous than many of its peers. Instead of having songs about demons, devils, zombies and H.P. Lovecraft creations, Voivod opted for a science fiction-inflected aesthetic as a vehicle for social critique. And it never forgot to write exhilaration urgent and imaginative heavy music to match its creative ambitions.
"We all shared a love for hard rock and progressive rock and some punk rock," recalls founding drummer Michel "Away" Langevin. "But it was mainly when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and hardcore like Conflict, Discharge and Broken Bones came out that we really decided to form a band and make some kind of thrash metal but informed by other things like Killing Joke and also, again, progressive rock music. Mainly the obscure prog like Van Der Graaf Generator and krautrock like Faust and Can and of course King Crimson." TOM MURPHY
Local H – Tuesday, May 31 – Crescent Ballroom
When Local H first emerged at the height of the ’90s-infused, alternative rock–meets-grunge era, many were intrigued that the Illinois natives managed to create a sound that was larger than their two pieces. Yet the band that derived its name from two R.E.M. songs has managed to endure. Now, 20 years after Local H’s seminal As Good as Dead was released, spawning a top-five single in “Bound for the Floor,” Scott Lucas is revisiting that album on the band’s current tour. Adding original drummer Joe Daniels for this tour, Local H will play that album in full, along with a few cuts from their newer material. As Good as Dead remains the band’s strongest effort, and encapsulates an era where a blistering brand of rock ruled the radio airwaves. DANIEL KOHN
Modern Baseball – Tuesday, May 31 – The Pressroom
Modern Baseball began with songwriting duo Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens, high-school friends who moved from Maryland to Philadelphia for college. There, they met Farmer and drummer Sean Huber. In the space of three years, they put together the band, recorded a debut album, Sports, went from basement shows to touring with The Wonder Years and opening for Taking Back Sunday. And though Huber had already graduated, his bandmates have stayed in college through it all. By the time Modern Baseball caught its breath, the band had signed on with its dream label, Boston's Run for Cover Records. Then came 2014's You're Gonna Miss It All, the first time Ewald and Lukens actually wrote songs specifically for an album. Much of the attention the band has earned stems from the true-to-life lyrics of Ewald and Lukens. Equal parts smart and smart-ass, the songs are full of moments and images so relatable it almost seems they're written with you in mind. ERIC SWEDLUND
A$AP Ferg – Tuesday, May 31 – Marquee Theatre
A$AP Ferg is the trap representation for the A$AP Mob, which emerged from Brooklyn a few years ago. His new album features fellow trap lord Future on the chorus of "New Level," and it sets the tone for the rest of Always Strive and Prosper, which came out earlier this year. The album has a nice selection of features, including verses from Rick Ross, Schoolboy Q Missy Eliot, Chuck D, Big Sean, and Chris Brown, among others.
Listening to the lyrics, you might have low expecta-tions, yet A$AP Ferg's mind is firmly focused, zeroed in on storytelling, and wary of the perils of fame and fortune. In fact, you could even call the album a conscious trap album, as much as that might sound like an oxymoron. A$AP Yams, often hailed as the father of the A$AP Mob, died last year, and he gets immortalized on the tribute track "Yammy Gang." The album is a welcome step forward for Ferg, and his concert at the Marquee Theatre should do well to show off the growth he's experi-enced since his 2013 debut. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Giuda – Tuesday, May 31 – Club Red
Technically, Giuda are a band born in Italy in 2007. But spiritually, Giuda come fearsomely formed out of that unjustly obscure but glorious anything-goes 1970s moment between the last Stooges album and the first Sex Pistols album, when hooks were just as important as playing harder-faster-louder and bands across Europe briefly turned rock & roll and T. Rex glam and maybe a little early metal into the same crazy teenage-rebel 7-inch-single thing. It’s a great sound and Giuda do it right, with crushing Eddy Grant/Equals rhythms and glittering, Tony Visconti–style guitar riffs. They don’t come to the United States often enough, and this is their only Valley show, so consider yourself warned, and get ready to (as the song says) clap your hands and stomp your feet. CHRIS ZIEGLER
Brian Jonestown Massacre
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Wednesday, June 1 – Crescent Ballroom
In the past 30 years, few bands have enjoyed as much impact as the psychedelic whirlwind known as Brian Jonestown Massacre. This whole neo-psychedelia revival that we’re enjoying today has its roots in BJM as much as Elephant 6 and The Verve. The band is partially why Tame Impala gets radio play, why groups like Foxygen self-describe as “high-school kids obsessed with the Brian Jonestown Massacre.” Members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spindrift, and The Warlocks all cut their teeth on BJM.
Yet, BJM somehow still have remained relatively underground, with a devoted cult following. The principal driving force behind it all is 48-year old multi-instrumentalist and singer Anton Newcombe. He is outspoken (to say the least), often spouts about the New World Order, and understands music in a way few can. His years of drug abuse gave him a reputation for fits of violence, but these days he’s mellowed out and sobered up. TROY FARAH
The members of Broncho.
Broncho – Thursday, June 2 – Valley Bar
The garage-rock renaissance may have had its day, but Broncho is still riding the wave. The Oklahoma band has proven to be more than just a jangly throwback, though, adding the dissonance of post-punk into its noisy mix. Singer and guitarist Ryan Lindsey’s nasally growl tops off the band’s unique sound. The group has been around since 2010 and has released two records, gaining some traction after the song “It’s On” appeared at the end of an episode of HBO’s Girls in 2014. As for the name? Broncho is the moniker of a fictional character in one of the band’s songs — a piece of a musical puzzle that is still being put together as the Western punk outfit’s star rises. With Moving Units and Winter. BREE DAVIES
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