If ever there was a time to support local independent music venues, it's right now. We’re deep into the summertime, a period that’s traditionally harsh on local music spots, as owners and promoters struggle to get crowds to turn out for shows amid the sweltering heat.
It also happens to be Independent Venue Week, an annual event in the vein of Record Store Day that takes place from July 8 to 14 this year and encourages music fans to check out concerts happening at locally owned spots in their area.
Our list of the best live music gigs in the Valley this week features several shows taking place at local indie venues, including Radkey at The Rebel Lounge, Snailmate at The Lost Leaf, Amyl and the Sniffers at The Rhythm Room, and Horse Jumper of Love at The Lunchbox.
There are big-ticket shows happening this week, too, including pop star Shawn Mendes at Gila River Arena in Glendale, ‘80s hitmaker Howard Jones at the Celebrity Theatre, and alt-rock favorites Guster at The Van Buren.
Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts in the Valley this week. And for even more live music happening around town, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Jet Black Alley CatMonday, July 8
The Rebel Lounge
Nashville’s Jet Black Alley Cat are a five-piece band that sport the fashion and flair of '70s rock stars with a very modern indie pop sound. They’re also a little bit glam, a little dream pop, and a whole lot of fun. Lead singer Joe Wilkinson is the seductive sort of frontman who causes his female fans to swoon with his open shirt and lithe dance moves. Check them out in concert on Monday night at The Rebel Lounge. Patternist, Headstrum, and The Borrowers will open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Angel Mendez
RadkeyTuesday, July 9
The Rebel Lounge
Radkey are a band of brothers. Once you listen to the siblings – Dee, the oldest, sings and plays guitar; Isaiah, the middle child, sings and plays bass; and Solomon, the youngest, plays drums — get down, you'll be instantly sold and subsequently convinced that the "rad" part of their name isn't just a coincidence. The Radke brothers, who hail from St. Joseph, Missouri, were weaned on their dad's record collection, and the three possess a proficiency that belies their age. They’ll be at The Rebel Lounge on Tuesday night. Local band Dadadoh will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Dave Herrera
SnailmateTuesday, July 9
The Lost Leaf
Local musicians Kalen Lander and Ariel Monet have no plans to slow down. This summer, the musicians behind the synth-pop meets hip-hop sounds of Snailmate will embark on a month-long tour throughout the western U.S., including stops in Colorado, South Dakota, and Montana. It's nothing new for the pair, as they're constantly on the road, including a six-month, 156-date tour around North America last year. Because of these extensive tours, Snailmate are just as much a band made by the road as they are by Phoenix. Vocalist/keyboardist Lander and drummer Monet are always thinking of the next step, the next trip.
Lander and Monet began making music as Snailmate in January 2015. The duo's friendship budded as both of their bands were dissolving (Monet was in Sister Lip, Lander was in an act called TKLB?). From there, the two discovered they had the same interests and goals, so Lander learned how to play the keyboard, and they haven't stayed still since.
Before heading out on their newest tour, the duo have a few local gigs scheduled, including a show on Tuesday evening at The Lost Leaf in downtown Phoenix. It’s free to attend and starts at 9 p.m. Tanner Stechnij
Bob SchneiderTuesday, July 9
Who is Bob Schneider? It's not an easy question to answer. Though Schneider has carved out his own unique niche as an artist, he's always been difficult to define, straddling genres, finding a bit of mainstream success that didn't necessarily play to his strengths, and possessing a songwriting style that's equally comfortable being cheesy or thoughtful. Regardless, it's fair to say that as both a songwriter and a performer, Schneider is a restless artist who keeps finding new corners to turn in his work. A beat-of-his-own-drummer type, Schneider had some success with two albums on Universal — Lonelyland (2001) and I'm Good Now (2004) — but is better represented by his own self-released records.
In turn, Schneider is a good representative for (Keep) Austin (Weird), often holding down weekly residencies in his hometown and collecting two dozen Austin Music Awards over the years. Schneider's current tour comes on the heels of Burden of Proof (2013), King Kong (2017), and Blood and Bones (2018), three albums that combine elements of funk, country, and soul with his mellow folk-rock, creating varied arrangements and a lush and layered sound. You can hear it during Schneider's show on Tuesday at Crescent, which starts at 8 p.m. Carolina Story opens. Tickets are $25 to $40. Eric Swedlund
Amyl and The SniffersTuesday, July 9
The Rhythm Room
Amyl and The Sniffers play rock and roll of the garage, punk, and glam variety and play it well. The Australian-born band also plays it quite fiercely, blasting out their grimy hooks and roaring riffs in take-no-prisoners fashion. Led by charismatic frontwoman Amy Taylor (a blonde firecracker who prowls the stage) they’ve gotten crowds to go rabid at gigs around the world with their relentless rock theatrics, including a ferocious set at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival last month. After dropping a half-dozen EPs over the last three years, Amyl and The Sniffers released a self-titled LP on ATO Records earlier this year, which packs just as much as their previous efforts.
Experience Amyl and the Sniffers' raucous sound for yourself when they invade The Rebel Lounge on Tuesday night. Like-minded local rock and punk acts Heavy Breather, Doms, and Man Hands will provide support for the show, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman
Shawn MendesTuesday, July 9
Gila River Arena in Glendale
Truly a product of the social media era, Shawn Mendes gained fame by posting covers to the now-defunct video platform Vine. Since then, the Canadian singer has turned into a force on the charts, becoming one of only five artists to top the Billboard 200 Albums chart before the age of 18. Last year, Time named him to their 100 Most Influential People list. His hit songs include “Stitches” and "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back." He’s also got an unlikely admirer in rapper Kevin Abstract; on the BROCKHAMPTON song “STAR,” the out-and-proud artist admitted, “I don’t fuck with no white boys / Unless the nigga Shawn Mendes.” That’s enough of a cosign for us. Alessia Cara, another artist who got her start posting covers online, will open. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and is officially sold out, but tickets can be found on the secondary market. Douglas Markowitz
GusterWednesday, July 10
The Van Buren
Certain bands – think Flaming Lips, Mudhoney and the like – gain a legion of loyal followers during their career, but never truly break out as full-fledged, arena-filling mainstream superstars. Guster, a Boston-based quartet that formed 28 years ago, certainly fits that bill.
The alt-rock/jangle pop band have released eight full-length studio albums since 1995. Of those eight albums, six have charted on the Billboard Top 200, and four have even peaked inside the Top 40 – the band’s latest, this year’s Look Alive, even debuted atop the Billboard U.S. Indie Albums charts. However, not one of them has even gone gold. What the band have written is a steady stream of quality tunes that has kept Guster in business for going on three decades.
Their current tour in support of Look Alive rolls into The Van Buren on Wednesday night. Desert disco/space blues band KOLARS will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Clint Hale
Horse Jumper of LoveWednesday, July 10
In case you haven’t heard the news, local music venue The Lunchbox – which hosted numerous local and touring bands of the indie, obscure, avant-garde, and experimental variety – is closing its doors on August 1. "It was not an easy decision to make and I am truly heartbroken," venue owner Danny Levie wrote in a Facebook post announcing The Lunchbox’s closure.
Levie also stated that his venue will host show up until the end of July, including this week’s gig by indie band Horse Jumper of Love. The Boston-based “slow rock” trio, which the scribes at Stereogum have described as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” is touring in support of their recently released LP, So Divine, and will perform at The Lunchbox on Wednesday evening. Local indie rock bands Twin Ponies and Dueño share the bill. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10. Benjamin Leatherman
Howard JonesThursday, July 11
Forget the fact it's been more than 30 years since Howard Jones wrote the songs that made him a radio staple. With a string of chart triumphs including tracks such as “New Song,” “Life in One Day,” “Like to Get to Know You Well,” “No One Is to Blame,” “Hide and Seek,” and “What Is Love,” his career has taken him well beyond the status of a mere one-hit wonder. True, he's frequently relegated to classic-rock radio these days, but Jones' creative instincts are still vibrant thanks to his determination to reinvent and reconstruct his musical inventory in ways that lead to new challenges and achievements.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Jones' latest endeavor is Transform, a 10-song LP released back in May that’s earned positive reviews from critics. He’s currently touring in support of the album (and also in honor of the 35th anniversary of his debut LP, Human’s Lib). Men Without Hats and All Hail the Silence are joining Jones on his tour, which rolls into Celebrity Theatre on Thursday night. The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $75. Lee Zimmerman
VansireThursday, July 11
The Rebel Lounge
Minnesota dream-pop band Vansire’s primary members Josh Augustin and Sam Winemiller met as teenagers playing in the high school band and began experimenting with music together. After discovering they were creatively compatible, the two set out to form a band that sounded like Mac DeMarco. An online random word generator had them set on Vansire for the name of their new project, the name of an obscure mongoose. The rest, like their 2019 two-song release, Metamodernity and their 2018 album, Angel Youth, is history. Catch them at The Rebel Lounge on Thursday night. The show starts at 8 p.m. and BOYO and Gabi Jr. will open. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Jacob Vaughn