Here are our picks for the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. For more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar.
Cyndi Lauper – Friday, October 7 – Talking Stick Resort
In terms of animal comparisons, Cyndi Lauper would best be categorized as a chameleon, considering the way she’s adapted and changed her sound over the last few years. However, as far as personality goes, she’s a leopard — a leopard who doesn’t change her spots or give a damn what people think. Case in point: her latest record, Detour. It’s an apt
Playboy Manbaby, Father Figures – Friday, October 7 – Crescent Ballroom
Playboy Manbaby and Father Figures have teamed up with local label President Gator to release a seven-inch EP featuring new songs from both bands. These two groups make an unlikely team — both ostensibly fall somewhere under the vast "punk rock" umbrella, though they are each part of two local scenes that don't often overlap. Yet both bands offer some of the best and catchiest tunes being made by Valley bands, and this concert features
Endless Bummer Fest - Friday, October 7 - 51 West
Casa Butthole Record Collective doesn't just have one of
Tears for Fears – Friday, October 7 – Comerica Theatre
While Tears for Fears wasn't the most credible name to drop during the Brit band's 1980s heyday, their tunes have time-traveled well. What they lacked in
Valley Queen – Friday, October 7 – Last Exit Live
“How come every hour feels like Sunday?” singer-guitarist Natalie Carol wonders in a languid daze on “Make You Feel,” the B-side of Valley Queen’s 2014 debut single, produced by Lewis Pesacov (Fool’s Gold, Best Coast). The Arkansas transplant instills a lulling romantic mood, her clear voice arcing slowly like a comet over her band’s gentle ’70s country-rock backing. The LA quartet pumps up the soul on their 2015 follow-up, “Who Ever Said,” a retro ballad distinguished by Carol’s persuasively hopeful entreaties. Bassist Neil
Big & Rich – Saturday, October 8 –Arizona State Fair
Talk to Kenneth Alpin of country duo Big & Rich about his influences, and you’ll be surprised. Alphin’s got an eclectic taste in music, and as he rattles off recent songs that he finds either inspirational or just downright intriguing, there might not be a country song to be found. Among his choices are AWOLNATION’s “Sail,” Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” Bastille’s “Pompeii,” and Avicii’s collaboration with Aloe Blacc. It’s a left-of-field list that calls to mind what made Big & Rich so popular in the first place. On Horse of a Different Color, the duo’s 2004 debut record,
Failure – Saturday, October 8 – Livewire
In 1990, when glam metal was the biggest thing going in Los Angeles, Failure formed, influenced by
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Springtime Carnivore – Sunday, October 9 – Valley Bar
Gravity gave Greta Morgan a gift and a broken fibula. Working as a skilled tightrope tripper, fatigue set in from constant touring in the circus and she fell three stories. Recovering in the wake of her broken dreams, she taught herself piano and created Springtime Carnivore. "I've been playing ever since," Morgan said in a letter to fans. "Inside me were all these songs about all these things I've seen and all these places I've been. Just came pouring out like tears." It's a nice origin story, but it's not exactly true — as in, it's totally false. As a founder of indie rock groups The Hush Sound and Gold Motel, Greta Morgan Salpeter wanted to break away from her past, so she hijacked her own narrative and dropped the third name. TROY FARAH
ZZ Top – Sunday, October 9 – Talking Stick Resort
Known as much for an abundance of facial hair as for the music, Houston's ultimate blues-rock masters' astounding career hasn't slowed down much over 45 years. ZZ Top has never lost the ability to combine a hip-shaking groove and some of the most tonally unique and technically