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.
Donald Glover has it all wrong. At least from a historical perspective, anyway. How many times does the actor-turned-musician thing work? Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time," anybody?
But for the most part, Glover doesn't fit the mold. Though he is best known for his role as Troy Barnes on NBC's criminally under-appreciated show Community, he also is a successful stand-up comedian and writer. And he has maintained a steady hip-hop career, rapping as Childish Gambino over samples of Sufjan Stevens and other "indie-tastic" artists (and if you listen closely, you can hear him featured in 30 Rock's breakout Halloween jam "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah").
Glover is funny, for sure. His work a mix of bravado and insecurity, Childish Gambino is a joke. Glover's lyrics are humorous from time to time, and, yeah, he yanked "Childish Gambino" from a Wu-Tang name generator, but Glover takes his music seriously. -- Mike Escoto
If the sacred steel movement has a visionary leader, it's Robert Randolph, a ferocious, enormously talented steel guitarist who has deftly overseen his band's transition from the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey, to the world's premier stages. Randolph's always sliced and diced considerable secular influences into his fervid gospel sound, and that was even more the case with the Family Band's 2006 album, Colorblind.
That album had a guest shot from Dave Matthews, an assortment of ballads amidst the rousing rave-ups, and a thorough airing of influences from the likes of Sly, Hendrix and Stevie Wonder. Plus, Randolph's also proved he can go head-to-head with guitar greats such as Eric Clapton, who traded licks with him on Colorblind. -- Rick Mason
It's disarming to see a band from Orange County spell their name with the U.K. spelling of the word "colorist." Maybe it's a warning sign to some obnoxious level of pretentiousness, like an American affecting an accent after marrying a Brit, Gwyneth Paltrow-style. Thankfully, there's nothing too ostentatious in the Colourist's music: uptempo pop rock destined to spark an intellectual dance party.
The Colourist came together last October. Guitarist Adam Castilla and drummer Maya Tuttle were both in the band Paper Thin Walls, who in late 2007 won the "Dream Gig" contest, with the prize being a spot playing the VIP after-party following Led Zeppelin's December 2007 reunion concert in London. Perhaps that exposure helped the Colourist (rounded out by bassist Kollin Johannsen and Justin Wagner; all four members sing) to attract the kind of early success they've had so far. -- Albert Ching
Hip-hop fans were shocked when West coast rapper Dom Kennedy left us high and dry in the summer of 2013. The smooth-talking Casanova has been a staple of his fans' summer playlists since his debut in 2008 with the seasonally appropriate single "Watermelon Sundae." Nearly every summer since, we've seen a new release from Kennedy.
Whether he just wanted to troll us all, or prove to us that he's capable of selling records in the wintertime, Kennedy sat on the release of last year's Get Home Safely until October. Luckily, it was well worth the wait. Though Interscope attempted to sign him before the album's release, Kennedy still remains an independent artist and founder of label Other People's Money. -- Vanessa Quilantan
Although the Expendables hail from further up the California coast than most '90s third wave ska bands, the guys carry on the same spirit. The sound leans heavier on Upsetters-style reggae grooves, and lets up on Operation Ivy's punk energy. It's at once soothing and uplifting - perfect jams for the beach, or the after-party.
Over 16 years, the Expendables have earned a strong following, and have hit the road with in support of their most recent effort, 2012's acoustic album Gone Soft. Along for the show are like-minded reggae hybrid acts Stick Figure, Seedless, and The Zoo. The lineup is cohesive, yet diverse enough to keep it exciting all night. -- Travis Newbill
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Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.