Is the sign that there are multiple parties happening on Thanksgiving in Phoenix a sign of a city that has come of age? After all, only quaint small towns really shut down completely on Turkey Day, and if retailers have to work Thursday night, why not the employees of music venues around town?
Here are our picks for the best concerts in Phoenix this week. Enjoy them, browse our comprehensive concert calendar for more options, and have a great Thanksgiving, Phoenix.
Ultra cute megababe Melanie Martinez will breeze through Crescent Ballroom in Scottsdale on November 24, an anticipated live music event for her legions of fan-dolls. Many were introduced to Martinez on Season 3 of The Voice, where she did pretty well, making it to the top six round, thanks to her raw-silk voice and edgy-sweet style. Her video for debut single "Doll House" racked up serious cult-fashion points with cameos from both designer Stella Rose Saint Clair and plenty of Lime Crime. Her latest single, "Carousel," was also featured on the greatest show ever in the history of television, American Horror Story: Freak Show. Basically, she's amazing -- use the concert as an excuse to get really, really dressed up. ERIN DEWITT
When thrash bands started speeding up heavy metal in the early 1980s, it was principally American acts (notably Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth) that popularized this reckless assault on a previously most Anglo of genres. Visionary black metallers Venom aside, one of Britain's few retaliatory volleys was Bristol's Onslaught, which formed in '83 and spewed a thrash classic with The Force three years later. Although only vocalist Sy Keeler and guitarist Nige Rockett remain from the band's heyday, this comeback quintet, reformed in the mid-aughts, has managed three surprisingly adrenalized albums characterized by ominous, crunchy guitars, frantic beats and Keeler's husky, hardcore-ish proclamations. For their "North American Thrash Invasion" tour, which concludes at the Whisky, Onslaught has had to temporarily recruit original Anthrax singer Neil Turbin to replace Keeler, who is attending to his son's health problems. PAUL ROGERS
With nearly two years on the Phoenix scene, Hasty Escape has managed to keep their music on the d-l. However, we see that changing pretty quickly, after the funky Americana act hit the Los Dias de la Crescent stage a few weeks back. With the album release at Crescent, look for the band to ride that momentum forward. HEATHER HOCH
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How many women out there can say they have married both a Kink (Ray Davies) and a Simple Mind (Jim Kerr)? Chrissie Hynde can. She's arguably the most badass alto of all time, and I'd certainly hate to ask her, "How does it feel to know almost all of your best songs were on the first three Pretenders records?" Hynde is synonymous with the Pretenders, who formed in England in 1978. The Ohio native and Kent State University alumna was in an early band with Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh before moving to the UK in 1973 and has been a constant in the global rock scene. TOM REARDON
Thanksgiving is a time for traditions both good and bad, whether it involves gathering at Grandmama's house for the annual government-sanctioned gorge on mashed potatoes and stuffing or tolerating your creepy uncle's yearly onslaught of awful jokes. Meanwhile, local house music godfather Pete "SuperMix" Salaz will once again be staging his Turkey Day tradition, the RedMonkey dance party at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street, on Thursday, November 22. As in years past, the Thanksgiving throwdown is subtitled "Work That Turkey" and will feature Salaz and a few of his nearest and dearest laying down house music hits in abundance. The lineup includes DJ Senbad, as well as the members of Rebel Disco. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN