It's Labor Day, which means that basically all the concert promoters in town are giving their staffs the day off Monday. That means that while most everyone doesn't have to work today, there's not much to do tonight, at least not musically. That doesn't mean the rest of the week is bare, however. Here are a few concerts to keep your whistle wet until the weekend, when a slew of arena shows will hit the Valley.
For more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar.
Tab Benoit - Tuesday, September 8 - Rhythm Room
Baton Rouge-based guitarist Tab Benoit is an artist for whom geographical context is everything. As a solo performer and songwriter, Benoit has specialized in just the kind of swampy picking and throaty, rough-around-the-edges singing you would associate with his home turf. But though he's a true bluesman, he's not afraid to switch up styles within the genre. He traverses the edges of soul, rock, and even Chicago-style blues, all bound together by a funky, low-end-favoring aura that just sounds humid. But his dedication to his motherland goes beyond just preserving Louisiana music traditions. Benoit is also dedicated to preserving Louisiana itself and is heavily involved in efforts to promote conservation of the state's coastal wetlands. WESTWORD
Lenny Kravitz - Wednesday, September 9 - Comerica Theatre
What would you do if you suffered what we in the media have so lovingly termed a “wardrobe malfunction” in a very public setting? It’s one thing to gawk at those famously afflicted by such faulty clothing (we’re looking at you, Janet Jackson), it’s another thing to experience such a thing yourself. Lenny Kravitz was up there with Helen Mirren and John Oliver as celebrities we’d never expect to have any such issues, up until a few weeks ago. That’s when his pants ripped open on stage in Sweden in early August, exposing his privates in all their glory. Photos of the incident went viral, and Kravitz initially appeared to take it in stride — the headlines were all versions of “a guitar solo so sick his dick came out” — but then had his representatives send vaguely threatening takedown notices to websites that posted the photos. Poor guy. So it’s in that vein that Kravitz will bring what we can only assume are slightly looser pants to Phoenix for his second appearance in the city this year. The first was, of course, as a cameo during the Super Bowl halftime show, where he briefly played and sang a duet with Katy Perry on “I Kissed a Girl.” Hopefully his second time around he’ll last longer than a minute. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
El Ten Eleven - Wednesday, September 9 - Crescent Ballroom
El Ten Eleven has opened numerous shows for Hook, the founding bassist of New Order and Joy Division, and his son Jack Bates. At one point, Hook told El Ten Eleven bassist Kristian Dunn that he should try playing a six-string bass. Dunn even got to try out the alternative rock legend’s Fender Bass VI and wrote a song about the experience, “Peter and Jack,” for the band’s new Fast Forward record. “That six-string is all over this record,” Dunn says. “It’s their fault that the band took a change in direction slightly. So it’s a little dedication to them.” Long known for playing a doubleneck guitar/bass, Dunn set the signature instrument aside entirely for Fast Forward. Drummer Tim Fogarty again mixes acoustic and electronic drums, while Dunn played a six-string bass and a fretless bass and explored some new effects pedals that help give the new record its distinct sound. ERIC SWEDLUND
House of Lords - Thursday, September 10 - Club Red
House of Lords was a management project of sorts for KISS' Gene Simmons, who in the ’80s was signing bands to his label, Simmons Records. Originally the third solo album from Angel keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, SImmons insisted on a singer change, adding vocalist James Christian to the mix. Two decades and 10 albums later, the band is still chugging along and releasing new material, though Christian remains the only original member. The music sounds straight from the ’80s — think Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, etc. — so if you're looking for a place to dive back in time for a night, Club Red fits the bill. DAVID ACCOMAZZO