Top Five Concerts To See This Weekend, 5/9 - 5/11

DJ Defense.Mekanizm
DJ Defense.Mekanizm
Jim Louvau

There are so many options for concerts this week. Diversity -- that's what Phoenix's music scene is offering. Like hair metal? Catch Skid Row and Black Star Riders on Friday. Goth DJ nights? We got that, too. Punk? Indie rock? Stoner metal godfathers? Yup; yeah; and yes, please. Check out these five concerts should you feel the urge to complain about having nothing to do this weekend.

Black Star Riders - Friday, May 9 - Marquee Theatre

In September 2011, Damon Johnson was given the opportunity of his lifetime.

As a longtime Thin Lizzy fan, he was asked to join the band as full-time guitarist. At that point though, the last lineup of the legendary band decided to record new material under a different name, sort of like the "next evolution of Thin Lizzy."

So Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals), Johnson (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) and the addition of drummer Jimmy Degrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Suicidal Tendency) decided to found Black Star Riders. The band released its debut album in 2013, and the response from old Thin Lizzy fans and new fans of hard rock was positive and enthusiastic -- to say the least. --Lauren Wise   St. Vitus - Club Red - Friday, May 9

In my opinion, you can't talk about doom metal or stoner rock without a mention of Saint Vitus. They've been rocking since the 1970s, and are seen as pioneers of such genres, alongside Pentagram and Witchfinder General -- the latter of which has been recently influencing an array of newer stoner rock bands. The band has had very few lineup changes, but did break up in 1996 before reuniting briefly in 2003. Since 2008 they've been running strong, and are currently working on new material; so pre-drink with some Jack Daniels and head over to this killer show. --Lauren Wise

  Sin-O-Rama - Palazzo - Friday, May 9

DJ Defense.Mekanizm
DJ Defense.Mekanizm
Jim Louvau

By our count, the DJ duo of Defense.Mekanizm and Self.Destrukt have violated at least four of the seven deadly sins (pride, gluttony, wrath, and -- most importantly -- lust) during the debaucherous dance nights they've hosted around town, In other words, the pair is more than qualified to put on an event like Sin-O-Rama, their newest party, which launches Friday, May 9, at Palazzo, 710 North Central Avenue. Those planning to attend should leave their inhibitions at the door, as the decadent nighttime bacchanal, which will take place on the second Friday of every month and offer fetishistic delights aplenty. Night crawlers dressed as nuns, priests, schoolgirls, and pleather-clad princesses grind on each other on the dance floor while Defense.Mekanizm and Self.Destrukt spin industrial, goth, dark electro, and other dark sounds. Needless to say, the dress code will skew toward the freakish and fetishistic, with bondage wear, rubber, vinyl, and other outrageous apparel being encouraged. Drink special will be available until 2 a.m. when the party goes 18-and-over. Doors open at 9 p.m. and won't close until 4 a.m. See --Benjamin Leatherman

  The Sex - Red House Pub - Saturday, May 10

The Sex
The Sex

Beaten down by lineup changes, shitty opening slots on five-band bills, and an indefinable lack of forward momentum, The Sex could have easily -- like countless lesser bands -- unplugged their Marshalls long ago. But this scrappy local punk act may just be getting started. This month, The Sex birthed a physical release (a six-song vinyl EP titled Wet Brain) six years after playing its first gig. Granted, there was that three-year period when band leader Casey O'Brien split town to live in Chicago before the desert and its (slightly) more cohesive rock scene beckoned him home to relaunch the band. A convincing adaptation of late-'70s British street punk, Wet Brain puts The Sex's pile-driving rhythm section (led by the acrobatic drumming of Chadd Curry) and crunchy riffing and melodic flair of guitarist O'Brien on full display. Of course, each band's debut platter has one surprising revelation, and this record's belongs to singer Kate Mexal. A blue-chip barker in a live setting, Mexal delivers a set of more refined, but no less intense, vocals on Wet Brain, somewhat reminiscent of the Avengers' Penelope Houston. Now, with a stable lineup and an exemplary recording, The Sex appears ready to finally get on the radar. --Jay Bennett   We Are Scientists - Rhythm Room - Sunday, May 11

We Are Scientists crafts great songs, tunes that are sincere and catchy slices of indie rock. But the Berkeley trio's primary appeal (besides looking sharp in suits) may lie in its sense of humor. There are the music videos, especially 2005's "The Great Escape," which features the band's members crouched together in a shower. There's also the group's Instagram feed, which shows a poorly Photoshopped pic depicting the past romances of drummer Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain and the cast of The Breakfast Club. And then there's the website, full of advice letters to movie star Rooney Mara. Now five albums into a 14-year career, We Are Scientists adroitly experiments with different sounds on each record, from the relatable exquisiteness of With Love and Squalor (2005) to the synth-laden dance rock of Brain Thrust Mastery (2008). The band's latest, TV en Français, delves deeper into its greatest strength, accessible pop-rock. Like the type of nice guy or girl worthy of meeting your parents, We Are Scientists only gets more lovable the more you get to know 'em. --Melissa Fossum

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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