Here are our picks for the best concerts in Metro Phoenix happening Monday through Thursday of this week. For more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar.
Turnpike Troubadours - Monday, October 5 - Marquee Theatre
The world is rapidly waking up to Oklahoma's Turnpike Troubadours, whose new self-titled LP recently reached the Top 5 of iTunes' country albums chart in the pre-order stage. At this point the Troubadours are a well-known commodity in Texas, reportedly selling more than 200,000 copies of their two previous albums. And sure, close-to-home delights abound on the new album – Cajun frolics “The Bird Hunters” and “Bossier City,” honky-tonk romp “7 Oaks,” or Tulsa two-step “Easton & Main” – but radio-ready country-rockers “Ringing In the Year” and “Long Drive Home” suggest the Troubadours' days as a regional phenomenon could be more numbered than ever. Even their galloping Old 97's cover, “Doreen,” sounds like a hit. CHRIS GRAY
Counting Crows - Monday, October 5 - Comerica Theatre
Music and mental health have a complicated, reciprocal relationship. Songs can simultaneously settle and exaggerate moods, augment intellect, numb pain, recall thoughts good and bad. Many of music's most magnificent figures have grappled with various degrees of mental instability, experiencing the revelatory peaks and troughs of the human condition.
Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz is one of rock 'n' roll's most cinematic songwriters. His thoughtful, tortured lyrics paint scenes with pigments of human emotion. People he's met, places he's been, and feelings he's felt are brushstrokes on a musical canvas. Using an off-the-wall analogy, Duritz can conjure a sensation usually confined to a single, insufficient word.
Since his early 20s, Duritz has suffered from what he describes as a dissociative disorder, which can, at times, make his world seem unreal. He perceives everyday scenes like a projection on a movie screen. These experiences create abstract associations between concrete things, as do many of Duritz's lyrics. DYLLAN FURNESS
Aterciopelados - Tuesday, October 6 - Crescent Ballroom
The name Aterciopelados, which translates to ‘velvety ones,’ comes from a line — “aterciopelada flor de la pasión” (velvety flower of passion) — from French author Simone de Beauvoir. Described by Time as ‘Colombia’s hottest rock band,” Aterciopelados, made of the duo of bassist and producer Héctor Buitrago singer and guitarist Andrea Echeverri, do pay homage to their roots with a blend of Latin and Caribbean styles, including flamenco, bolero, and reggae. But every lick from Andean pan flutes is balanced by a backbone of punk and contemporary rock, even adding elements of electronica. They identify with tradition and their homeland with fervent warmth but are just as comfortable with textures all over the place. Perhaps more importantly, Aterciopelados’ music, especially Echeverri’s sharp lyrics, have drawn focus to topics like feminism, environmentalism, and violence in Colombia. TROY FARAH
Symphony X - Wednesday, October 7 - Marquee Theatre
Symphony X created one of the best metal concepy albums of all time with 2000's The New Mythology Suite. This is a power-metal-meets-classical attack on the senses, and an epic tale that delves into the ancient secrets of Ancient Egypt, the lost continent of Atlantis, and magnificent recollections of forbidden technology held by these ancient civilizations. Symphony X succeeded in creating a perfect album that mixes the right amount of soothing, mind bending and virtuosic classical interludes with songs based on symphonic, heavy metal. It is the prefect music, weaving power metal, early thrash and progressive rock, into story line of ancient spiritual knowledge from humanity's past. Truly an adventure in heavy metal antiquity and mysticism. ALEX DISTEFANO
Sham 69 - Wednesday, October 7 - The Rebel Lounge
Hailing from the town of Hersham, England, Sham 69 espoused an overt class-populist politic that stood in stark contrast to the 1977's art-school-fused English punk scene. This contrast pops up in everything from the name of the band (taken from soccer graffiti "Hersham 69!"), their use of sport-style chants ("Oi!") to their lyrics: "Conservatives, communists/They're all the bleeding same." Leaning neither left nor right, Sham 69's lyrics attacked elitism on all sides. But in their effort to unite the kids, they ended up struggling with the same problems that undermine the working-class street-punk movement of today — including the politically disparate and just-plain-violent skinhead movement. ALEKS PRECHTL