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6 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Lots of options this weekend. Check out our picks below, and browse our comprehensive concert calendar for more options.

Marchfourth Marching Band - Friday, January 23 - Crescent Ballroom

MarchFourth Marching Band marches to a beat, sure. But they're the ones playing the drums, and those drums sound like nothing you've ever heard before. The Portland-based ensemble melds Duke Ellington with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Rolling Stones and adds fire-breathers, stilt-walkers, and other flashy circus performers for decoration. Bandleader John Averill started the group in 2003 after throwing together a band for a Chinese New Year/Mardi Gras mash-up theme party called "Chow Yun Fat Tuesday," and the band has since released two albums. MarchFourth has a loyal following that loves to get down hard during shows, and be careful if you see them in concert, because you just might be tempted to grab a horn, hop on their tour bus, and join the party. Village Blasting Club opens the evening. DAVID ACCOMAZZO

Pato Banton - Friday, January 23 - Cactus Jack's Ahwatukee Tavern

Grammy-nominated English reggae artist Pato Banton has spent more than three decades spreading positivity through his music. Via pop collaborations with UB40 like "Baby Come Back," a dub-inflected strain of work with producer Mad Professor, and recordings with Sting, his free-spirited flow carries a variety of messages for politicians, cocaine dealers, and society on the whole. Banton's popular cover of Peter Tosh's "Legalize It" shows his welcoming attitude regarding sinsemilla, but he's very outspoken about harder substances in "Don't Sniff Coke." Be it with one of his ensembles, most recently the Now Generation, or as a solo toaster, Banton has honed his ability to uplift an audience and then some. REED FISCHER

Turkuaz - Friday, January 23 - Last Exit Live

Each of the nine members of Turkuaz steps up to create an unmatched conglomeration of sound rarely heard west of the Mississippi. Funk, soul, Afrobeat, world pop, new wave, psych, and classic soul-driven rock come together with amazing cohesiveness. "With nine band members, each with their own vast musical vocabulary and background, it's really hard to pinpoint where each aspect of the style comes from," explains guitarist/vocalist/founder Dave Brandwein. Large bands, however, often run into the issue of more not always being better. Not so here. While full of rich, danceable grooves, Turkuaz's funk never feels overly cluttered or overworked. "Who said it's not cluttered and overworked? Ha-ha!" Brandwein writes. "I think it just comes from each person's evolution as a musician, and an ever-increasing ability to listen just as much as, or even more than actually making sound." Brandwein makes it clear, however, that on stage, things are prone to getting crazy. "If you're really feeling it, sometimes you've just gotta let it go." GLENN BURNSILVER

Clandestino! Saturday, January 24 - Crescent Ballroom

"A monthly exploration into Latin Rhythms across genres" reads the subtitle of Clandestino!, a highly rumored and now-realized Latin night at Crescent Ballroom. Does Phoenix have a "Latin Alternative" audience big enough to sustain a monthly party at the most relevant music venue in town? El Nico, curator and mastermind behind Clandestino! says Phoenix is ready for it. And if you were among the thousands of attendees at this year's Dias de la Crescent, you witnessed the fever this town is having for Latin traditional sounds -- Tucson's Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta were the true heroes of the packed festival. For a city where 40 percent of its population identifies as Hispanic and/or Latino (via U.S. Census Bureau), a night like that proposed by Clandestino! seems long overdue. This months edition will feature performances by La Diabla from Tijuana and Tucson's Vox Urbana, as well as spin sessions by DJ Jorge Melo, El Nico's DJ alter ego Maclovio, Tranzo, and DJ Musa. CARLOS REYES

Bill Frisell - Sunday, January 25 - Musical Instrument Museum

Bill Frisell's vivid explorations and syntheses of jazz, country, blues, rock, pop, and folk are distinguished both by his love for the roots material and the helixian contortions he uses to open them up for fresh examination. For his latest project, Guitar in the Space Age, Frisell enlists frequent collaborators Greg Leisz (guitar/pedal steel), bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wollesen to trace some of the music that deeply influenced his formative years. It's a sort of surf-to-turf tour of the '50s and '60s, stretching from the Ventures, Duane Eddy, and the Beach Boys to Merle Travis and Chet Atkins via Charlie Christian, the Byrds, and Junior Wells, promising to be both fun and educational. RICK MASON

Travis Tritt - Sunday, January 25 - Chandler Arts Center

Since the early '90s, Travis Tritt's characteristic long hair and Southern-rock vocals have been a fixture on the airwaves. You probably remember him from "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," the honky-tonk hit that made him a country mainstay. In the later years of his career, Tritt has earned a reputation as a bit of an "outlaw" in country music, especially as his rough-around-the-edges, Southern-rock-and-blues-influenced tunes stood up against the slicked-up likes of George Strait. Shine up your boots and get ready for a show that will assuredly be 100 percent country -- even if country isn't so country anymore. AMY MCCARTHY

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