The Nine Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
Adele is scheduled to perform on Monday, November 21, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
It’s pretty safe to say that for most of you, the week ahead is going to be dominated by the Thanksgiving holiday. In other words, several days packed with friends, family, and feasting, as well as some drama thrown into the mix for good measure.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a little time here or there to get out and go see a concert.
You’ve certainly got a few options to choose from this week, even with the understandable slowdown in the live music schedule due to the holiday. There are definitely a few “can’t miss” concerts happening, include Adele coming back to town for a makeup date and several hometown heroes returning to their old stomping grounds.
Here’s a look at the best concerts and music events happening in Phoenix this week.
The ska's the limit for up-and-coming Hellcat Records act The Interrupters.
The Interrupters – Monday, November 20 – Pub Rock
In 2016, it’s pretty difficult to argue against the belief that ska is dead — or at least in a deep coma. However, the LA-based four-piece known as the Interrupters makes a pretty strong case that the energetic style is alive and well, with catchy, upbeat ska-punk tunes reminiscent of genre pioneers like Rancid and Goldfinger. Amy Interrupter, the group’s vocalist and frontwoman, lends the group its characteristic sound with a husky drawl that’s eerily similar to that of Tim Armstrong. Earlier this year, the band released its sophomore album, Say It Loud, which sees the Interrupters settling into their sound by adding a horn section and finding the perfect balance between the breezy vibrancy of the music and the unsettled angst of its subject matter. JOHN NICHOLL
Adele is back in Phoenix this week to make good on that canceled show.
Adele – Monday, November 20 – Talking Stick Resort Arena
What more is there to say about Adele? Both her Phoenix shows (the one last summer and the one rescheduled for this week) have been sold out for ages. Pop stars with that kind of pull are few and far between these days, but Adele has managed to conquer pop radio ever since 2009, her powerful voice able to melt the hearts of even the most cynical pop-music haters. She’s an atypical pop star as well. She doesn’t sell sex; Vice praised her Rolling Stone cover from last year as being “daring” for not catering to the male gaze. Not only did “Hello,” the single from her most recent album, 25, break all sorts of records on its way to the top of the charts, 25 sold more than 3 million copies the first week it was on sale. That’s insane even by inflated, pre-internet-piracy standards. Adele has numerous accomplishments under her belt, but let’s not forget an oft-overlooked, but very impressive one: In 2012, she sang one of the best songs to ever kick off a Bond movie, the Oscar-winning “Skyfall.” Adele returns to the Valley this week for a makeup date for her concert that was postponed from mid-August due to illness. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
The members of Escape the Fate.
Escape the Fate – Tuesday, November 22 – Joe’s Grotto
The Las Vegas-based quintet Escape the Fate is a refreshing anomaly on the post-hardcore scene. Sure, the bandmates have enough morbidity in their often-screamed lyrics for an entire Warped Tour but they've also got the blowouts, gnarly tattoos, and, most important, cock-rock swagger of a Sunset Strip hair band. In fact, a lot of that death and dying stuff is tongue-in-cheek, the band members claim, meant to piss on the run-of-the-mill mopery of their peers. But still, they give up respect for their scene forerunners. In fact, the group got its big break after winning a radio station contest for new bands, judged by none other than My Chemical Romance. Soon came a tour with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect, and a deal with the legendary Epitaph Records. October of last year marked the release of the band's latest full-length, Hate Me, a 10-song collection of ear-pummeling and gut-wrenching ditties that pack the sort of emotional punch you’ve come to expect from Escape the Fate. ARIELLE CASTILLO
Lydia – Wednesday, November 23 – Mesa Arts Center
Don’t ask Leighton Antelman to explain how his dream-pop outfit, Lydia, composes songs. Like Lydia’s music, which is full of hazy edges and misty melodies, Antelman’s answer provides a vague guide to the band’s musical aspiration. “There’s a lot of different randomness. I’m not really sure,” he says inconclusively. “We all have our own mini studios in our houses, and we all write our first ideas — the melodies or harmonies — separately. Once we have these, we get together and try and mash together a couple ideas and go with one of whatever and see what happens. I think that’s a lot where it comes from.” Whatever the process, the outcome works for the Gilbert-based trio. The sound is both dreamy and poppy, yet it has an alt-edge to it. There are unexpected harmonies and lush passages, moments of longing and angst. Vocals float in the ether above the music, creating a roller coaster of emotions. The generally sunny disposition that permeates Lydia’s earlier work took a darker turn on Run Wild, the band’s most recent effort. Plodding and brooding at times, Antelman says Run Wild isn’t as “summer-ish” as 2013’s Devil. The current tour finds the band expanding even further, adding a complete string section for the first time, something the band’s wanted to do for several years. GLENN BURNSILVER
Amber Giles, a.k.a. Mija, is coming home for the holidays.
Fk a Genre Tour – Wednesday, November 23 – The Pressroom
Valley native Amber Giles, better known by her stage name Mija, is returning to her hometown this week via her latest project, Fk a Genre, which – as we noted in this week’s issue of New Times – is “more than just a mixtape or tour but rather is a mentality of being open to any kind of music.” As such, a majority of the Fk a Genre events have featured varied lineups curated by Giles that include high-profile DJs and EDM artists. “I wanted to give artists basically a platform where they could come in and feel free to do anything that they wanted, regardless of any expectations of what they generally play or generally come from,” Giles says. “We never actually told anybody what they had to do going into the party because we don’t have any specific rules or regulations. We just wanted to bring people together and basically inspire each other.” Each Fk a Genre party is considered to be “like an art piece, from start to finish,” that is essentially its own entity in each city that's also different from your average festival or club show, she says. Phoenix’s stop, for instance, will feature Jack Beats, Nosaj Thing, Rob Garza from Thievery Corporation, Ardalan, Durante, and (of course) Mija herself. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Red Fang – Wednesday, November 23 – The Rebel Lounge
Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang is a breath of upbeat, stoner-rock fresh air. Well, upbeat for the genre. The 11-year-old band flat-out rocks, combining the best elements of the Palm Springs-area desert-stoner scene (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) with the punk/metal hybrid ideology that fans of Mastodon and the Melvins crave. Melodic yet powerful with a good dose of seriously pent-up, sludge-y anger, Red Fang delivers the goods, as they say, especially on its latest album, Only Ghosts, which boasts a whopping 12 tracks on the special edition (Relapse Records) and came out in October. Interestingly enough, Joe Baresi (Tool/Queens of the Stone Age knob-twiddling duties) mixed the record, so the connection to Red Fang’s desert brethren is more than just apparent in sound. “Cut It Short,” which is the second track on the record, is strongly reminiscent of Kyuss and QOTSA but morphs near the 2:10 mark into its own unique creation. Vocalist/guitarist Bryan Giles and lead guitarist David Sullivan create an interesting dynamic of noisy guitar and vocals throughout the record that make this latest Red Fang album well worth any discerning fan’s time. Having toured with many of the best heavy hitters in stoner and progressive metal over the last half-decade or so, Red Fang has honed some considerable live chops as well. TOM REARDON
Phunk Junkeez are in the house.
Phunk Junkeez – Wednesday, November 23 – Marquee Theatre
The legendary rap-rock band – who’s party-hearty hits "Me ‘n’ Yer Girl" and “I Love It Loud” were staples of '90s alternative radio and popped up in flicks and video game soundtracks – return to their old stomping grounds of Tempe for a special Thanksgiving weekend concert on Wednesday, November 23. And they'll have their original lineup (including Soulman, K-Tel Disco, DJ Roachclip, Jumbo Jim, Disco Danny Dynamite and Jeff O'Rourke) to boot. Zoom, Interfate, Bent Self, Guerilla Party, and Fire Glass are also on the lineup. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $25, balcony seating is $45. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Blunt Club promoter and artist Adam Dumper.
The Blunt Club’s Bluntsgiving – Thursday, November 24 – Valley Bar
Adam Dumper has plenty to be thankful over the last several years. He’s had a prolific career as both a painter and graphic artist, been a member of local groups The Insects and Drunken Immortals, helped influence the Valley’s hip-hop scene, and promoted several DJ nights across the Valley, including the long-running joint The Blunt Club. Despite the success of his many endeavors around town, the 43-year-old artist and impressario, who goes by the moniker “Dumperfoo,” is hoping to expand his horizons and seek out other challenges. Hence his upcoming more to Portland with his current girlfriend at the end of November. While many of the local nights that Dumper is involved with will continue to go off, Dumper will be putting Phoenix in the rearview. “[It’s] time for a new chapter,” he stated on his Facebook page recently. “So yeah, it’s been fun AZ hope i left a good impact on this state and we hope to see our friends before we go.” And one of the places he’ll be hanging with his nearest and dearest will be at The Blunt Club’s annual Bluntsgiving event on Thursday, November 24, at Valley Bar. The Turkey Day affair will serve as Dumperfoo’s official going-away party and will include hot spins from Pickster One, DJ Element, DJ Organic, Tricky T, DJ M2, PNYCE, and Fact135, as well as live performances by The Insects and Mouse Powell. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Attendees of last year's Red Monkey party.
Red Monkey – Thursday, November 24 – Monarch Theatre
Thanksgiving is a time for traditions both good and bad, whether it involves gathering at Grandmama's house for the annual government-sanctioned gorge on mashed potatoes and stuffing or tolerating your creepy uncle's yearly onslaught of awful jokes. Meanwhile, local house music godfather Pete "SuperMix" Salaz will once again be staging his Turkey Day tradition, the RedMonkey dance party at the Monarch Theatre on Thursday, November 24. As in years past, the Thanksgiving throwdown is subtitled "Work That Turkey" and will feature Salaz and a few of his nearest and dearest laying down house music hits in abundance. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
122 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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