Here are our picks for best concerts in Phoenix this week. Browse our comprehensive concert calendar for more options.
The Maension - Joe's Grotto - Monday, January 18
The Maension plays an intriguing combination of ’90s grunge and ’00s nu-metal, filled with slogging, heavy riffs and hard-hitting breakdowns that brings to mind Deftones and Korn. The Los Angeles-based quartet released its debut album, ÆVOLUTION, last year, and Phoenix is the first non-L.A. stop on the tour for the group. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
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Never Shout Never - Marquee Theatre - Tuesday, January 19
Never Shout Never is an indie pop band whose wafer-wispy vocals and saccharine melodies call the likes of Owl City to mind (but less barf-tastic). With their ethereal, atmospheric synths and soaring arrangements, they doubtless manage to inspire throngs of teenage girls. BRANDON FERGUSON
2 Chainz - Livewire - Wednesday, January 20
To any artist unsatisfied with their career: take note of 2 Chainz. The rapper had the biggest hit of his career in 2012, “Birthday Song,” in 2012 — at the ripe old age of 35. In the world of music, where youth sells almost more than it does in Hollywood, that’s no small feat. But if it seemed like “Birthday Song” and the other singles off Based on a T.R.U. Story (“No Lie,” “I’m Different”) seemed like they came out of nowhere, you just weren’t paying attention. From the late-’90s until 2011, 2 Chainz was known as Tity Boi, one half of the Atlanta duo known as Playaz Circle. And before you dismiss the moniker as sexist, the rapper says that “Tity Boi” was a childhood nickname that referred to how he was breastfed — his even claims his dad now calls him Tity Man. Playaz Circle had a string of minor hits, and they had a some legit credibility after Ludacris signed the duo early in their career. But 2 Chainz’ greatest success has come after striking out on his own late in his career. Who says musical stardom is for the young? DAVID ACCOMAZZO
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Max Frost - Valley Bar - Wednesday, January 20
Max Frost sounds like your prototypical modern pop star serving up a cool blend of driving dance beats, chunky grinds, silky rhythms, and rich vocals. That we're even talking about Frost is simply the case of him being in the right place at the right time — or rather, one of his songs being found online by the right people. Frost already was a regular on the Austin music scene. Since his early teens he'd been playing the blues until coming to the realization that "the best people who would ever play [blues] have already died, and I was never going to be the guy to pick a particular art form and not be experimental and kind of stretch the boundaries a little more." He decided to pursue a musical career on his terms. He recalled his youth and how Napster opened up his musical horizons through hip-hop, soul, funk, metal, jazz, and other "weird things." GLENN BURNSILVER
T.S.O.L. - Yucca Tap Room - Thursday, January 21
It stands to reason that a band whose history dates back to the late 1970s would have to weather some tough times. For T.S.O.L., the rough patches mostly have come in the form of numerous lineup changes, mostly resulting from personal beefs among the members. In the midst of such a lengthy career, the band has released nearly a dozen albums and performed countless shows to deliver their ferocious, and sometimes political, punk rock. True Sounds of Liberty hails from the land of the blonde and the beautiful — Orange County, California — an area so driven by aesthetic perfection and American greed that it’s no wonder it spawned a hearty, rebellious punk scene. These guys easily found an audience. From songs that encouraged change in the national order, like “Abolish Government” (from 1978’s self-titled debut EP) to popular tracks like “Code Blue,” which includes racy lyrical content involving shenanigans at the cemetery, the band’s blistering sensibility has kept people interested throughout the course of its existence. These days, the lineup features three of the original members, Jack Grisham, Ron Emory, and Mike Roche (along with Phoenix musician Chip Hanna on drums), and it seems their fire is still raging. AMY YOUNG