White Denim - Crescent Ballroom - Monday, February 10
After a smattering of respectable LPs and EPs released over the past five years, difficult-to-pigeonhole rockers (even that term seems inapplicable or reductive) White Denim might be either the jammiest indie rockers ever or the most indie rock of jam bands. The White Denim sound is indebted to psychedelic classic rock, yet not exactly tethered to it. And on their sixth LP, Corsicana Lemonade (2013), the Texas foursome delivered an unexpectedly mellow chill-out record.
The more relaxed approach means precious little when it comes to White Denim show, though. By all accounts, Corsicana's songs have been recast with urgency in a live setting. Think of a noodlier, crunchier Doug Martsch of Built to Spill fronting the Drive-By Truckers or the Allman Brothers. In other words, prepare yourself for lots of crowd-pleasing guitar solos. The band's Phoenix date comes a mere four days after a scheduled TV appearance on Conan, an indication that the club shows of today quickly may become the concert engagements of tomorrow for White Denim. -- Derek Askey
Panic! At the Disco - Friday, February 14 - Marquee Theatre
Panic! at the Disco (the exclamation point has found its way back) aren't embarrassed by their pop aspirations. For most bands, that translates simply to being catchy, but Panic! are invested in pop to the point that their rock songs carry the heft and production hallmarks of the slickest R&B-flecked modern radio cuts.
It's a crowd-pleasing tactic that shoves past accessibility and moves straight toward world domination, huge overdrive choruses burrowing their way into your brain and nesting somewhere near your cerebral cortex. It's not subtle or nuanced in any way, but subtlety doesn't matter much when you're going straight for the jugular. -- Ian Traas