Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend
Multiple big EDM shows and a gig at the Mason Jar(!) await you in today's Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend.
That seems like enough for us, but if you're looking for even more options, check out our complete, sortable concert calendar. We won't be offended.
Legends of the Mason Jar - Anvil (The former Mason Jar) - Friday, September 20
When people hear I'm new to Phoenix, they immediately want to tell me a few things. The first thing is that it may seem hot at that exact moment, but it will in fact get much hotter, so hot that I will surely die. The second thing -- well, something-something Arpaio, probably. But right after that, they want to tell me about The Mason Jar -- specifically, the iteration of the Mason Jar that they grew up with.
It's usually interesting. But Glenn De Jongh -- of The Spiffs, The Urge, and several other bands -- had more reason than most to talk Mason Jar with me when he turned up at our offices a couple of months ago: He was bringing it back. For one night only what is now Anvil will serve as a local rock time machine for what he's calling "Legends of the Mason Jar."
What's turned into a full-fledged reenactment started out as a simple Urge reunion, De Jongh says. "We thought, we have to do it at the Mason Jar, even though it's not the Mason Jar anymore. I mean, that was our Cheers, basically." The new management wasn't receptive at first, but after a few pitches The Urge ended up with a date: Friday, September 20. "As word got out, other bands wanted to play -- hey, if you're gonna do it at the Jar, we wanna play! So now it's just a clusterfuck, really."
But a good clusterfuck, to hear him tell it. "I should have called this thing The Bands that Built the Mason Jar. Because the Mason Jar opened in '79, and all these bands that are gonna play are bands from '79 to '85, most of the bands. The Schoolboys that were huge back then, and ended up getting a record deal on Capitol and had to change their name to Icon. They were huge. And Raven Payne, big favorites from back then."
Soundwave Block Party - Old Town Scottsdale - Saturday, September 21
Soundwave Music Festival is now Soundwave Block Party, which gives away the biggest part of the EDM festival's metamorphosis: It's taking place on a block. Instead of taking over Tempe's Big Surf Waterpark they'll be on the street in Old Town Scottsdale, with Maya Day + Nightclub and W Scottsdale opening all night for revelers looking to get out of the heat.
The change of venue hasn't kept Steve LeVine Entertainment from landing big EDM names--Tiesto and Porter Robinson are headlining, with global acts like Danny Avila, Amtrac, and Treasure Fingers coming down in support. The outdoor stage is 18+, but you'll have to be 21 to get into Maya or W Scottsdale's WET Deck. Soundwave is promising "water and other H20 amenities" to festival veterans worried about the move, but if you're holding out hope someone will construct an enormous waterslide in the street, you might have to wait for next year's edition.
Atlas Genius - Marquee Theatre, Tempe - Saturday, September 21
It's been a mind-blowing couple of years for the rock band Atlas Genius, who've gone from complete obscurity in their native Australia to having record labels around the world knocking down their doors. A lot of this happened simply because they made a song on a lark, posted it online, and then promptly forgot about it, being too busy working their day jobs to think music would take them anywhere. After releasing their debut EP, Through the Glass , in 2012, they released their first full-length album, When it Was Now , earlier this year to critical acclaim.
The '80s-style synth dance rock of "Electric" is hypnotic, "If So" is a compulsively listenable dance pop track, and if you listen to the jangly guitar rock of "Trojans" it will be almost impossible for you not to hear shades of Phoenix's "1901" in the groovy beats and rhythms. Atlas Genius fills much of their record with a lightness and warmth that is inescapable in the best sense of the word. Vocalist/guitarist Keith Jeffery employs a charming, lilted falsetto that augments the spirit and energy of these sun-drenched tracks. When it Was Now is a hell of a good time. -- Brian Palmer
Zedd - Madison Event Center - Saturday, September 21
Anton Zaslavski isn't what you'd call an ordinary DJ. Far from it. Yes, the Russian-German beatsmith is a gifted producer and maestro of the mixers who has rocked unforgettable sets inside numerous nightclubs and at many of the world's top festivals (including Ultra, Nocturnal, and Electric Zoo). But during his musical career, the artist known has Zedd has followed a somewhat curious journey. Zaslavski was classically trained on both the piano and drums as a lad, spent time as a percussionist in a post-hardcore/metal band, and has drawn inspiration from everything from electronic acts like Justice to chamber music when creating his punchy EDM soundscapes.
When Zaslavski brings his Moment of Clarity Tour to the Madison Event Center, 441 West Madison Street, on Saturday, September 21, however, we suspect that his performance might be a bit more electronic in nature, but just as memorable. -- Benjamin Leatherman
No Age - Crescent Ballroom - Saturday, September 21
Noise rockers No Age refuse to be complacent. When the duo first formed, Dean Spunt picked up the drums, an instrument he was completely unfamiliar with, to write the chaotic songs that would later appear on Weirdo Rippers . Three albums later, Spunt is now a skilled drummer, but he continues to create all sorts of strange sounds by double micing his gear and looping feedback.
For the band's latest record, An Object, Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall hand-packed and shipped the first 10,000 copies of the album on major label, Subpop. An Object is a dense record that may baffle some fans, thanks to droning moments that sound more like a tribute to My Bloody Valentine than No Age's previous work, but the experiment works. -- Melissa Fossum
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