Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week
Want to get in a show this week? There are plenty of concerts over the next five days around Metro Phoenix to choose from, as you can see for yourself by viewing our extensive online concert listings.
And we're fairly certain that there's something for everyone, regardless of your particular tastes.
White Denim - Monday, February 10 - Crescent Ballroom
After a smattering of respectable LPs and EPs released over the past five years, difficult-to-pigeonhole rockers (even that term seems inapplicable or reductive) White Denim might be either the jammiest indie rockers ever or the most indie rock of jam bands. The White Denim sound is indebted to psychedelic classic rock, yet not exactly tethered to it. And on their sixth LP, Corsicana Lemonade (2013), the Texas foursome delivered an unexpectedly mellow chill-out record.
The more relaxed approach means precious little when it comes to White Denim show, though. By all accounts, Corsicana's songs have been recast with urgency in a live setting. Think of a noodlier, crunchier Doug Martsch of Built to Spill fronting the Drive-By Truckers or the Allman Brothers. In other words, prepare yourself for lots of crowd-pleasing guitar solos.
The band's Phoenix date comes a mere four days after a scheduled TV appearance on Conan, an indication that the club shows of today quickly may become the concert engagements of tomorrow for White Denim. -- Derek Askey
Jon Rauhouse - Tuesday, February 11 - PMA Local 586
Jon Rauhouse wasn't sitting around Grammy night waiting to find out whether Neko Case's The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, to which he contributed guitar, pedal steel, and trombone, won the award for Best Alternative Album. Ever the working musician, Rauhouse was on tour with the Case band. "No, we were playing in Houston and heard [that the album had lost to Vampire Weekend] right before we went on," Rauhouse says. "Silly me. I thought it was going to be Nine Inch Nails."
Rauhouse isn't sure exactly how Case's album, with its subtle blend of indie rock, gospel, and Americana, compares to Trent Reznor's moody electronic rock, but he's not worried about it, either. Four-plus decades into a career as a musical journeyman, he's too busy to spend much time thinking about accolades. In addition to contributing to Case's live show, he's working with his own Jon Rauhouse Orchestra in Phoenix, which is readying an album and scheduled to perform at the Professional Musicians of Arizona Local 586's union hall. He's a veteran of the Union, having paid his dues since the mid-'90s, and he's a vet of the Valley roots scene.
"I'm pretty old," Rauhouse says. "When I started playing in Tempe in the late '70s the drinking age was 19." But he's feeling good about Phoenix's scene in 2014: "It's funny, because a lot of people think they need to go to some other 'hipper' town, but trust me: A lot of those towns are closed to outsiders and are very competitive. The people here right now are very accepting of all types of things and genre, and there are a lot of places to play for all levels of musicians." -- Jason P. Woodbury
Zappa Plays Zappa - Tuesday, February 11 - Celebrity Theatre
Frank Zappa needs no introduction . . . or does he?
Though considered one the 20th century's greatest composers by critics, much of his music, wasn't accessible to mainstream audiences. Songs like "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" and "Valley Girl," a duet with daughter Moon Unit, broke through, but only enough to present Zappa as a novelty act. His passion for composition that pushed the boundaries of modern rock by incorporating elements of jazz, rhythm and blues, disco, and electronic and classical music was lost on most ears.
That, however, is changing though a series of Zappa Plays Zappa tours orchestrated by his son Dweezil, who is determined to preserve his dad's legacy while simultaneously introducing it to a new generation of listeners.
"People under the age of 30 didn't really know that much about my dad's music," Zappa says by phone from his Los Angeles studio. "They might have known his name, might have heard the kids' names, but the majority of what his music represented was lost on that generation. -- Glenn BurnSilver
David Vincent Wolf
Young the Giant - Wednesday, February 12 - Comerica Theatre
When you listen to Mind Over Matter, the new album from Young the Giant, it is impossible not to notice the different energy coursing through the band's collective vein. With his throaty cries, frontman Sameer Gadhia sounds as if he's expelling personal demons, and Mind undeniably is more propulsive than the band's 2010 breakthrough self-titled album. As guitarist Eric Cannata notes, much can be attributed to a watershed moment Young the Giant had early in the recording process, when writer's block and the pressure of trying to deliver a solid sophomore release weighed heavily on the band's shoulders.
"We felt some pressure to reconnect with these fans we'd made after touring so long on the first album, and we got to a point where we had maybe a month or two of writer's block," Cannata says. "I think, one day, we just woke up and decided we were going to try something different and try to step outside our comfort zones and experiment with sounds. We wrote the title track, and from that point on, we felt that we were limitless in what we could do with our sound."
The comparatively down-tempo rock strains of the band's debut are largely absent on Mind. The jangly rock of "Anagram" will have you dancing in circles in no time, "Daydreamer" is a soaring pop rock track that sounds like a distant cousin of Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," and the driving rock 'n' roll of "In My Hope" is an unstoppable force. There are moments when the band slows things down to give the listener time to breathe ("Firelight"), but the musical emphasis is one of pushing forward rather than becoming stagnant. -- Brian Palmer
The Booze Bombs - Thursday, February 13 - Blooze Bar
Whether you like it or not, winter visitors have invaded the Valley en masse. Some we can tolerate, others we despise. A good example of the former is German rockabilly foursome The Booze Bombs. Consisting of a quartet of bombastic, hepcat Berliners, the group has made it a regular habit to visit the Valley around this time of year, staging performances at numerous local rock clubs for Phoenix's hepcat brigade.
To wit: The Booze Bombers played several shows locally last month (including gigs at the Rhythm Room and Chilly Bombers) before hitting up bars and venues across the southwest. There about to head back to Das Fatherland, but not before one final Phoenix performance on Thursday night at The Blooze during its weekly rockabilly to cap off their latest visit to the states. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Find any show in the Valley via our online concert calendar.
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