5 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix this Weekend

Provided your hangover from New Year's Eve has subsided and you're game to brave a potential five minutes of snowfall, here are our concert picks for the weekend. Check out even more options over at our comprehensive concert calendar.

See also: Up on the Sun's Top Music Stories of 2015

Dead of Winter Festival - Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3 - Club Red

As you couldn't have already figured out from the numbness of your extremities after taking two steps outside, it's one of the coldest points in the year right now, better known as the dead of winter. Surprising as it may seem, considering that we'll all be boiling over about five months from now, the mercury has flirted with freezing almost every night and there's even actual snow falling in some locales in the Valley. For realz.

Inside Mesa's Club Red, however, its going to be anything but frosty come Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3, when upwards of two-dozen death metal and thrash metal bands from around Arizona breathe fire and rain down brimstone during the Dead of Winter Festival. Scorched earth and enflamed eardrums will ensue as 11 different bands perform each night and set off a conflagration of screaming guitars, raging vocals, and thunderous sounds.

Consider leaving your jacket at home in favor of a flame-retardant suit Friday's lineup features Zehon, Cutthroat Gorgeous, Charon Incentive, Deadspawn, Barber Floyd, Phoenix and Dragon, Defenstrate, Dirt Over Lime, Unholy Monarch, Cry Evil, and Singularity. On Saturday, the bill will include Oppressor God, Inertia, Ascendacy, Ye'iitsoh, Our Own Accord, Atoll, Stormbringer, A Lapse of Ethos, Seconds Ago, Apparitions, and Mouth of the Serpents. Single day tickets are $15 and two-day admission is $25. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

Manny's Birthday Extravaganza - Saturday, January 3 - Rogue Bar

Manny Tripodis -- owner of popular Scottsdale rock joint The Rogue Bar -- is about to add another candle to his birthday cake this weekend, so many of the local indie bands that frequently grace the venue's stage are putting on a massive show in his honor. The lineup includes the likes of Treasurefruit, Upper Strata, Day Before Plastics, Darkness Dear Boy, The Lonesome Wilderness, Page the Village Idiot, The Woodworks, Field Tripp, Jerry Ford, Jason Messer, Jarrett Williams, Kevin Doll, Cassidy Alisa, Anthony Fama, and Trevor Denton, as well as the oddly named Cockbeak and the Mobile Rape Cave. PHOENIX NEW TIMES

The Quakes - Saturday, January 3 - Chopper John's

In spite of limited commercial success, The Quakes are one of the most influential bands in the tatted up, creepers-and-pompadour subgenre of psychobilly. The band formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1986 and relocated to London shortly thereafter, where they established a reputation as a fearsome live combo.

"There was no scene here in the states whatsoever, zero, nothing, so it didn't make sense to stay here," says vocalist Paul Roman, a longtime Phoenix resident and the only remaining original member of the band. "Back in those days, the center of that universe was in London."

These days, however, psychobilly has proven to be popular across the globe and not just in the UK, as evidences by the fact that The Quakes are still rumbling and rocking across the world. Roman and the band's most current lineup (including drummer Juan Carlos and bassist Wes Hinshaw) rolled through France, Bellgium, Poland and elsewhere in Europe back during the fall and are likely to hit the road again sometime this spring.

In the meantime, The Quakes will shake the walls of Chopper John's along with Arizona rockabilly act The Moonlight Howlers during a free show on Saturday, January 3. MELISSA FOSSUM

Willie Nelson - Sunday, January 4, at Celebrity Theatre

Willie Nelson is making a stop on his nationwide tour at the Celebrity Theatre, a stone's throw away from where his fellow Highwayman Waylon Jennings got his start in Tempe. This tour is a family affair, as the 81-year-old bearded balladeer from the Lone Star State is touring with his younger sister Bobbie, an accomplished session keyboardist in her own right. Nelson and The Family will tear through the country singer's vast catalog as well as classic American standards from the likes of Irving Berlin. Credit it to the singer's strong working-class work ethic or his penchant for indulging in substances that are legal in the state of Colorado, but with five quality albums in two-and-a-half years, the pony-tailed troubadour shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Jokes about Nelson's notorious dalliances with marijuana, his biodiesel touring van, and the IRS aside, it's that trademark worn croon and his signature mix of jazz, rock, blues, and folk that have made the songwriter's work endure across generations and genres for six decades. The siblings are touring in support of their recent release, December Day: Willie's Stash, Volume 1. JASON KEIL

Chain and the Gang - Sunday, January 4 - Double Nickels Collective

If you're in the mood for something different Sunday, why not cut yourself a slice of the D.C. punk pie? Chain and the Gang is the newest project of Ian Svenonius, a vet of our nation's capital's punk scene with almost 30 years of music-making in his pocket. Chain and the Gang is blazing forward with Svenonius' trademark politically twinged punk, and none other than Henry Rollins gave the band's newest album, Minimum Rock N Roll, his seal of approval in his column he writes for our sister paper, LA Weekly. Rounding out the bill will be locals Soft Shoulder (A Ryan Avery joint), the lovely ladies of Numb Bats, Man Hands, and Chandails. DAVID ACCOMAZZO

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

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