This weekend’s slate of shows boasts all the hallmarks of the summer concert season in the Valley. There’s nostalgia aplenty, a locals-only showcase, and even a theme party.
Thanks to the fact that Rob Thomas and Santana each have separate concerts around town, you’ll be able to hear their 1999 mega-hit “Smooth” performed on two different days at completely different venues. It won’t be the only bending of the space-time continuum this weekend, as The Van Buren will be transforming into a 1970s roller disco on Friday night.
If you prefer more modern (or even experimental) sounds, burgeoning electronic dance music producer Volvox will provide techno mastery at One One Bar in Tempe, and noise artist Lav Andula will mystify the crowds at Valley Bar. Elsewhere, Bob Log III will be serving “boob scotch,” local metal bands will battle for supremacy, and D.R.I. will unleash frenzied hardcore.
Details about each of these shows and music events can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley from Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 23. And for even more live music, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Headbang for the Highway Battle for Summer SlaughterFriday, June 21
Club Red in Mesa
Death metal acts from around the Valley and throughout Arizona will square off on Friday, June 21, at Club Red in Mesa during a heavy-duty battle of the bands. At stake is an opening slot at the annual Summer Slaughter Tour when it comes to Phoenix in August, and we’re guessing that the competition will be just as fierce as the music.
Participating bands include Celestial Exile, Dead World Reclamation, Malnourished, Ocean Harvest, DovahKiin, Alchemy, and I Smite Thee. Expect plenty of heavy riffs, relentless grinds, and Cookie Monster-style vocals. Suffice it to say, you’ll want to bring some ear protection. The battle begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman
Bob Log IIIFriday, June 21
At Bob Log III’s show, he probably won’t get shot out of a cannon. Rest assured, though, if the opportunity arises, he’ll be dressed for it. The one-man-band’s ensemble is completed by a helmet that is rigged to include a telephone receiver microphone. While that headgear is certainly a focal point, once Log digs into his blues-punk tunes, your eyes get mesmerized by all the other goings-on. There’s the slide guitar work with some intricate finger-picking, the drum section operated by each of Log’s feet hitting corresponding pedals, and the throaty vocals that drip with sass and twang. Tunes like “Shake a Little, Wiggle it, and Jiggle it Too,” “Boob Scotch,” and “Manipulate Your Figments” throw this blues-tinged ’50s-style rock and roll dance party into action.
Log, who grew up in Tucson, has been playing Delta blues since his teenage years and was in a couple of other bands before going solo. From 1990 to 1996, he was one half of the lo-fi blues duo Doo Rag, who spent a good chunk of time on the road supporting acts like Sonic Youth. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on stage — or on Log’s lap, in particular — at his live show on Friday night at Valley Bar; it’s a common occurrence at his rowdy shindigs. This one starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15. Amy Young
Roller Disco Dance PartyFriday, June 21
The Van Buren
It’s a good thing that the floor of the main room at The Van Buren is quite sturdy and durable, considering a good portion of it will be put to the test this weekend. A flock of roller skaters will glide about while doing The Hustle, The Bump, and maybe even the whole YMCA routine on Friday, June 21, during the latest Roller Disco Dance Party at the venue.
The interior of The Van Buren will be transformed into a 1970s roller rink, complete with glow-in-the-dark digs and retro arcade games, as attendees wheel about while dressed in period fashion and costumes. Meanwhile, the members of the Hi-Dreams DJ Collective will spin classic disco tunes and boogie tracks to help folks shake their groove thangs.
Dancing will also take place on The Van Buren’s stage for those who don’t want to strap on skates. The disco inferno starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. If you’re down to skate, there will be an additional $3 fee (which includes mandatory skate rental). Benjamin Leatherman
Dee Dee BridgewaterFriday, June 21
Musical Instrument Museum
Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater could be considered a Renaissance woman. Born Denise Eileen Garrett, she’s gained fame on Broadway, in concert, and on vinyl, winning three Grammys and a Tony in the process. She hosted her own radio show on NPR and served as a United Nations ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. A read through her bio reveals a who’s who of the great jazz artists she’s performed with, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, and Max Roach among them. She’s also emulated others, recording a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald (Dear Ella) and an album dedicated to the songs of Kurt Weill (This Is New), and appeared onstage as Billie Holiday in Lady Day, a role that won her the Laurence Olivier Award for her portrayal. And let’s not forget that other notable role of fictional fame, Glinda the Good Witch from The Wiz, which garnered Bridgewater her first Tony in 1975. On Friday night, she’s scheduled to perform at the MIM starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $43.50 to $63.50. Lee Zimmerman
VolvoxFriday, June 21
One One Bar in Tempe
Ariana Paoletti, better known as Volvox, has earned a certain success and status in the electronic dance music underground over the last decade. And she’s done so with her enormous talents at conjuring mesmerizing mixes of techno, acid house, and electro beats.
A self-taught artist and DJ who gorged herself on industrial and EBM music as a teen, Paoletti spent her college years becoming entrenched in Boston’s underground scene (including stints at famed goth joint Manray). Moving to Brooklyn in 2011, she’s held down residencies at influential nightspot Bossa Nova Civic Club and events like the popular UNTER parties, becoming what Sleek Magazine calls "a spearhead of [NYC’s] underground techno scene." A self-described “techno mädchen,” Paoletti’s also appeared at influential festivals like POP Montreal, opened for the likes of The Black Madonna and Legowelt, and performed sets in Australia and Europe.
This weekend, local EDM collective Techno Snobs are bringing her to the Valley this weekend for a gig on Friday at One One Bar in Tempe. Shelby Athouguia and Court will open the night, which gets going at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. Benjamin Leatherman
Santana Saturday, June 22