Love rock ‘n’ roll? If you live in the Valley, you’re in for a treat this week, especially if you’re into rock of a punk, indie, fuzz-filled, hardcore, or take-no-prisoners variety.
This week’s slate of “can’t miss” concerts happening in Phoenix includes band from each of these subgenres, including British-born New wave legend Joe Jackson, Austin psych-rockers Holy Wave, the hard-charging Valient Thorr, and onetime GG Allin backup band The Murder Junkies.
There are many more rock shows on tap at Valley venues this week, which can be found via our extensive online concert calendar. In the meantime, here are our picks for the best concerts in Phoenix this week.
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Holy Wave - Monday, June 13 - Valley Bar
Nothing like some dreamy psychedelic rock on a Monday night, right? Holy Wave hails from Texas, which has slowly set up to become fertile breeding grounds for psychedelic rock, and we're betting Austin Psych Fest has something to do with it. But for now, check out Holy Wave for your fuzz and reverb fix. They'll be appearing at Valley Bar this week with L.A. post-punkers Adult Books and locals Nanami Ozone.
Valient Thorr – Tuesday, June 14 – Yucca Tap Room
Mix equal parts Alex Jones and Gene Roddenberry, with a healthy dash of MC5 and a scoop of AC/DC, and you get Valient Thorr. The band's live shows are sweaty, draining, lusty rock and roll affairs with lead singer and former schoolteacher Valient Himself holding court before his bearded brethren in the band. The band's first full-length album, Total Universe Man, opened with Himself howling an introduction à la Rob Tyner, a move proclaiming the band as the second coming of the Motor City bruisers. Valient Thorr is political to boot, but doesn't let that get in the way of their sound.
The Murder Junkies – Tuesday, June 14 – The Rogue Bar
The Tennessee Three backed Johnny Cash. Elvis had the Jordanaires. And the late, great GG Allin had the Murder Junkies, a crew who saw more of his backside, front side and underside than Allin's then-underage girlfriend. Allin died in 1993, wearing feces and a mini-skirt, his face in a bag of smack. After his death, in a show of fraternal devotion not seen since the Allman Brothers, Merle, Allin's bass-playing brother, continued on for more than a decade with a revolving crew of singers filling in for the deceased one, whose antics often overshadowed the music, a guitar-driven mixture of Stooges and Dead Boys rock. Now if the Junkies really want to pay tribute to the chaos of GG, they should look to the audience for vocalists. RICK SKIDMORE
Superheaven – Wednesday, June 15 – The Rebel Lounge
The band formerly known as Daylight formed in 2008 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and released a string of EPs before making its full-length debut with the head-banging marvel Jar in 2013. That album found the group combining grungy, distorted riffs and infectiously droning vocals to create a style of punk that is both heart-wrenching and electrifying. In 2014, a legal dispute with a Spanish group of the same name caused Daylight to rechristen itself as Superheaven. A name change can be a serious blow to a band, but in this case, it appears to have only invigorated the group, which signed to SideOneDummy that same year and released its second album, Ours Is Chrome, in May 2015. Gigs opening for nationally acclaimed acts such as Four Year Strong and Man Overboard suggest that Superheaven is starting to get the break it so richly deserves. JOHN NICHOLL
Rogue Wave – Thursday, June 16 – Crescent Ballroom
"Screw California/And friends that are never there." Those lyrics, from Rogue Wave's 2005 album Descended Like Vultures, greeted visitors who landed on my MySpace page, circa 2006. I had nothing against the Golden State, I just liked the song and dove headfirst into the bulk of that groove-filled and laid-back collection, using several of its other tracks as key components of the CD-R mixes I used to bombard my friends with at the time. In the intervening decade, little has been heard from Zach Rogue and Co. Now, though, they've returned with a reinvigorated sense of focus and a renewed appreciation for the work they do. Their new album, the gloriously pun-titled Delusions of Grand Fur, unfolds at a leisurely pace; it's filled with well-crafted reflections, a few hook-filled choruses and even another ode to California. It's enough to get me excited about the band again, but not enough to reactivate my MySpace account. JEFF STROWE
Joe Jackson – Thursday, June 16 – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
After classical training as a multi-instrumentalist at the Royal Academy of Music, Joe Jackson dove into punk and new wave with the release of Look Sharp! in 1979. He would forever be labeled as "angry" — which was all the rage at the time, along with those white shoes — but his career has spanned more musical genres than Pink Martini can shake a marimba stick at. In 2015, he released Fast Forward, his first album of original songs in seven years. It's a collection of 16 tracks recorded in four cities: New York, New Orleans, Berlin, and Amsterdam, recalling his suave Night and Day era. It's marvelous, theatrical, and stirring. For his current tour, he's his "own opening act" solo at the piano, followed by a full band set digging into a career's worth of songs. LIBBY MOLYNEAUX