This week kicks off a helluva run for Phoenix concerts. Thursday we have Drake, Lil Wayne, and Katy Perry all performing, and Friday begins the Summer Ends Music Festival. What more could you want?
Well, if you really need more options, check out the ones below, and browse our comprehensive concert listings here.
The Airborne Toxic Event's pulsing, chilly music -- with the moody sweep and swirling keyboards of '80s dark-wave revivalists the Killers and Interpol -- moves with majestic aplomb. (Frontman Mikel Jollett even cites the Smiths in "Strange Girl," off the band's second LP, All at Once.)
Once an aspiring novelist, Jollett dove into music after his girlfriend broke up with him around the same time that he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. All at Once retains the band's initial cinematic mope-pop grandeur, but producer Dave Sardy (Jet, Snow Patrol) reduces the languor, punching up the vitality and pace to counterbalance the gloom -- but not too much. The band is set to release a brand new album, Such Hot Blood, last year. -- Chris Parker
ODESZA is part of a group of Seattle bands leading a small, pretty-sounding revolution against the EDM bangers that have dominated the dance music scene for the past few years. The duo's glitchy electro-pop goes down like candy for breakfast, the type of music you can move to all night long and still come down to in the morning. ODESZA's irresistibly groove-inducing reputation has been selling out shows across the country, so be sure to catch them when they bring their gorgeous sound and light show to a pair of concerts in NYC. --Harley Oliver Brown
A sense of time and place inhabits Houndmouth. Rippled with various shades of Americana, as much is evident in the song titles--"Houston Train," "Come On, Illinois," "On The Road," "Halfway to Hardinsburg"--along with the telling locales--jail, lonesome highways, dark hovels, trains and buses--frequented by song characters. Given that Houndmouth hails from "somewhere the rest of the world assumes is nowhere," as the band's press release claims, it makes sense. Finding an identity -- and sense of belonging -- is a key function of Houndmouth.
"Nowhere" is New Albany, Indiana, which, in all respects, is (at least musically) nowhere. Geographically situated across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, home to My Morning Jacket, Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) and a progressive scene, New Albany may as well be in Siberia. --Glenn BurnSilver
Last time around, Foxygen proclaimed themselves "the 21st-century ambassadors of peace and magic."
The mischievous, fun-loving, experimental psych-rock band -- formed and fronted by songwriting partners Jonathan Rado (guitar and keyboards) and Sam France (vocals) -- sound well beyond the 22nd century on its new release ...And Star Power.
At 82 minutes, the 24-song double album is a constantly morphing collage, the fractured bits of songs floating about and crashing into each other, with serene and dreamy bits of acoustic pop emerging from clusters of way-out-there soundscapes.
The latest album centers on a futuristic, fictional (and potentially phantom) punk band.
"Star Power is this fictional band that exists within the universe of the album, sort of our backing band on the album in a sense," Rado says. "They're introduced halfway through side one, and then it becomes the band playing by the end." --Eric Swedlund
First of all, whoever decided to present Drake and Lil Wayne in a staged performance competition was fucking brilliant. Taking two radio hip-hop stars and giving them equal stage time by weaving their sets together meant the energy during a two-hour setmeans the energy doesn't dissipate; it is the best of both worlds.
Drake and Lil Wayne present the perfect sonic juxtaposition: Drake is sweet and sensual (most of the time,) his words slithering and worming their way through the earholes of every human in front of him. Wayne just crushes a room with his harsh, froggy voice and wild style. Drake may be the expert crooner, but Tunechi is the supreme rhyme-spitter. Who will winthe video game-framed competition of Drake Vs. Lil Wayne? That notion is really subjective -- but Wayne's prowess and magnetism combined with having more than a decade of experience on Drizzy put Wayne on top. --Bree Davies
For fuck's sake, can't any arena keep a stupid name around this city? The venue formerly known as Jobing.com Arena now has new corporate blessings, but last time we checked, the seats are still in the same place, so we should be good. Katy Perry is coming. I realize that many of you might be saying, "Up on the Sun, I hate Katy Perry. Here pop music represents the worst, most generic tripe the corporate machine behind major labels can manufacture." But I will counter by saying that did you know that Katy Perry's Teenage Dream record shares the record for most number one singles from a single album? (Five.) Guess who it shares it with: Michael Jackson, with a little album called Thriller. Maybe you've heard of it. So that's that. Katy Perry and Michael Jackson are part of the same conversation. How does that make you feel? --David Accomazzo
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