5 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Week

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Remember when labor unions actually added workers to their rolls? When it wasn't considered "class warfare" for poor people to demand the government enact policies in their economic interests? Yeah, we don't either. Our plans for Labor Day include a healthy dose of pool and beer, and here are some concerts happening throughout the week to distract you from an ever-ossifying caste system of inherited wealth in the good ol' U.S.A.

Happy Labor Day, everybody!

Atmosphere - Marquee Theatre - Monday, September 1

Minneapolis-bred Atmosphere aptly fits into that "old-school" indie rap category. Since 1989, the group has released six studio albums and 10 extended plays, touched base on some deep societal issues, and has kept a fanbase while consistently evolving; difficult to do during a time like the 90s when musical consistency was everything.

Atmosphere consists of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis), and the latter has produced every Atmosphere record with the exception of a few tracks on the album Lucy Ford. Former member and co-founder Spawn (Derek Turner) left the group three years after the release of the group's first album Overcast.

Slug is famous for his introspective style and allegorical usage of women and relationships in his rhymes, most particularly in his earlier songwriting. But Slug doesn't feel it's important to explain his reasoning behind his work; he prefers to leave that interpretation up to the listener. --Lauren Wise

Thank You Scientist - Tuesday, September 2 - Yucca Tap Room

Thank You Scientist combines horns and progressive rock. It's like Mars Volta meets Bad Fishbone. On the bill with the Jersey-born band will be a slew of local prog-rockers as well, making for one engrossing, challenging night of music. --Phoenix New Times

Tera Melos - Wednesday, September 3 - Crescent Ballroom

"There's always new, weird moments that happen." That's how Tera Melos guitarist/vocalist Nick Reinhart capped one 2013 interview, right after recalling how his Sacramento rock trio closed a show in Busan, South Korea. In front of an audience of three (that had dwindled from 30), the band played a 20- to 30-minute "noise freakout" during which Reinhardt went through every fret on every string of his guitar. At this point, Tera Melos and oddness are lifelong partners. Early shows involved guitars being spontaneously launched toward ceilings, resulting in at least one painful head injury for a band member. The band has unusual album art (where do you even begin in describing the crudely rendered creatures featured on Drugs to the Dear Youth?) and has released a covers EP that, at one point, brilliantly transitions from The Adventures of Pete & Pete theme into Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." The band's music, too, is a curiously one-of-a-kind goulash. X'ed Out, Tera Melos' fourth album, features -- to varying erratic degrees -- indie rock, folk rock, post-hardcore, and post-punk. X'ed Out's music videos can't go unmentioned, either: "Bite" is a disturbing take on ultra-colorful, tripped-out live-action children's programming, while in the clanging, deranged "Slimed," Tera Melos' band members wear the carcasses of stuffed animals as masks, play their instruments in a shower, and frolic in a swimming pool. --Reyan Ali

Retro Futura - Wednesday, September 3 - Marquee Theatre

"Until six months ago, I was resigned to never sing them again," Tom Bailey of '80s hitmakers the Thompson Twins recently told SFGate.

But time defies resignation...and sing the songs he will again on September 3 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. For 27 years '80s fans have endured utter silence from one of the decade's most unique, underrated, and ubiquitous acts.

Recently, multitudes of acts have ridden a horse named nostalgia across the musical desert, drinking from the troughs of an aging, frenzied fan base. From the one-hit wonders to the legends, many have toured at one point or another since with varying levels of success.

Until now, that group hasn't included the Thompson Twins.

Those who remember them define the Thompson Twins as one of the quirkiest, imaginative, dand sonically gratifying bands on Earth during the heyday of new wave chart toppers. --Jason Miller

Hocico - Thursday, September 4 - Pub Rock Live

Hocico has been making "aggrotech" since the early '90s, and they've been a staple at goth nights ever since. Sinister, dark, and teeming with sex.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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