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25 Best Concerts in December in Phoenix

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Brian Setzer Orchestra - Monday, December 15 - Celebrity Theatre

Brian Setzer doesn't strut his musical stuff with the Stray Cats much anymore, but the Minneapolis-based Grammy-winning musician has expanded his rockabilly repertoire to include feisty solo songs and reworked holiday classics. Setzer brings his 18-piece orchestra to the Celebrity Theatre as part of his annual Christmas Rocks! Tour, with a wide array of material spanning his swing-based early days to instantly recognizable seasonal anthems given added zest. Los Angeles blues-rock trio the Record Company opens. -- Erik Thompson

Corrections House - Tuesday, December 16 - Club Red

In the Internet age, it is pretty much impossible for anyone with a computer to be surprised by a band. However, Corrections House -- a veritable supergroup of notable metal and experimental musicians -- has managed to keep info about what they do vague at best. Yet despite this secrecy, the web buzz has been rampant with the sludge/stoner metal community, whose shared anticipation of performances and releases is based on the names of individuals involved alone.

The quartet features Bruce Lamont of Yakuza, Sanford Parker of Nachtmystium, Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod, and Scott Kelly of Neurosis. Now, a band featuring any one of these names would be worth seeing a hundred times. But with all four of these individuals on stage at once, how could the performance be anything less than a bacchanalian night of ripping post-Sabbath riffs and hulking hits? -- David Von Bader

HIM - Wednesday, December 17 - Marquee Theatre

Finnish rock band HIM is known for causing a lot of weird controversy. First, a lot of people get angsty when it comes time to define their sound -- the band has been categorized as everything from slow alt-rock to melodic metal to gothic metal. But they've been around since 1991, and they're the only Finnish rock band to achieve a gold record in the United States. The band's members -- including frontman Ville Valo, bass player Mikko Paananen, and guitarist Mikko Lindstrom -- have an interesting array of influences, including The Stooges, KISS, Black Sabbath and Neil Young.

The band's eight studio albums span fast and heavy to mournful and rainy-day-friendly; the fifth album, 2005's Dark Light, was the band's breakthrough album in the U.S, partially because Bam Margera from the show "Jackass" loved the band so much you couldn't go one episode of his show without seeing HIM's signature heartagram symbol painted on his wall. HIM's most recent album, Tears on Tape, was released in April 2013. For the album, Valo mined inspiration from doo-wop of the '50s and '60s, examining personal relationships and the history of his favorite musicians. Or, as he puts it, "It's a love letter to the musicians I love." -- Lauren Wise

Nekromantix - Friday, December 19 - Yucca Tap Room

No one does psychobilly quite like Nekromantix -- and few other bands have managed to make a standup bass, or any other instrument, nearly as famous as the group themselves. And though Kim Nekroman remains the only steadfast member in this, his namesake band, this year saw another change in the lineup. Lux, the group's first female member and one hell of a crazy drummer, announced her departure after five years. Taking her place is Adam Guerrero of LA-based psychobilly band Rezurex. Check out the new and improved lineup when the Nekromantix roll through the Yucca on December 19 for "Not-So-Silent Night," a two-stage extravaganza that will also include The Adolescents, Ten Foot Pole, Masked Intruder, Left Alone, Broloaf, and a half-dozen other punk acts.

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