In summertime, when we put together this list of best shows to see in Phoenix on any given weekend, we don't have very many options. It can be slim pickings for live music around here when it hits triple digits. Not this week. There are more concerts than you could possibly hope to see this weekend, and many of them are good. So consider the following seven shows the cream of the crop, and the following as honorable mentions: The Game/E-40 at Celebrity Theatre, ETC!ETC! at the Pressroom, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper at Ak-Chin Pavilion, Flotsam and Jetsam at Club Red, Brubek Brothers at the Musical Instrument Museum Theater, and Burning Palms/Freaks of Nature/Cherie Cherie at Lost Leaf.
Don't believe us? Browse our comprehensive concert listings and see for yourself.
A few weeks back, writing about the Lovelost, I suggested that this bilingual, multi-instrumental indie band based in Phoenix filled a void in our music scene, namely a dearth of romantic music. That in a scene largely filled with old-school punk, hardcore, rap, and trendy indie music, the existence of songs about actual romance (once the boon of Tin Pan Alley) was in short supply. Thankfully, it was an assertion that Ixchel del Castillo and Frank Ippolito, the founders of the group (and a couple, to boot) didn't object to. And neither did our faithful readers, including one romantic fellow who was so buoyed by the news that he immediately commented with a URL that told the secret of how to earn $9,657 in four weeks on the Internet, money lots of lovers could probably use. But lest you think every song is some "say something nice" byproduct of couple counseling sessions, reflect on the fact that the band is called the Lovelost, so there is an emotional tug of war going on in songs like the Latin sung "Peregrina" and "Ready to Hear You," tracks off the band's only album, Foreign. Asked to describe the band in more musical terms, uke and guitalele player Ippolito says, "We are a bit different-sounding. You know, we're not that head-pounding band nor are we a dance band. We are somewhere in between." --Serene Dominic
Trust us, don't try to google "Black Pussy," at least not at work. Moving on, Black Pussy is a band from Portland, Oregon, and they make raw, unfiltered stoner rock. There's no bells or whistles here, just relentlessly heavy riffs and deep, catchy hooks. The other times we've seen Black Pussy, the band has surrounded itself with killer local support, and this show at Yucca will be no exception. Mothership from Texas is on tour with the band, but locals Flying Scorpion and Fuzz Evil will open the night, the former hard rock ambassadors, the latter chunky stoner fuzz. --David Accomazzo
The guys in Phoenix rock band the Oxford Coma can't stand that image is important to making it in the music business, that you often need a certain aesthetic for a specific demographic to achieve success, and that you might have to act in a way you're not passionate about to garner fans. Hence, you'll sometimes see them wear nothing but underwear on stage, revolting against cool-kid wardrobe choices -- even if that makes them more gimmicky than they really want to be.
"There's an inherent irony of being in a rock band, which is what our song 'Tradition' is about," says singer/guitarist Billy Tegethoff. "So much of it is built up around maintaining a certain image and looking cool and all this role-playing nonsense, which we do because that's what being a part of a band is about. We're three grown men who get on stage and try to entertain people."
The trio, which includes bassist/vocalist James Williams and drummer Anthony Chamberlain, is excited to play new tracks from their upcoming six-song EP, Morphine, to be released this fall by the lineup. Listeners will hear influences of Tool, Primus, Nirvana, and the Mars Volta, with lyrics inspired by everything from politics to family tragedy. --Nicky Escudero
After a few years together and making some significant headway in the local music scene, Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special announced on July 13 it was parting ways with founding guitarist Brandon Croft, a principal songwriter of the group. The group also announced it would go on an extended hiatus, but would honor its commitment to play tonight's show at Crescent Ballroom. Guitarist Nick Sterling, the shredder who played with Sebastian Bach for a few years and who plays locally in Led Zeppelin cover band Song Remains the Same, will be stepping in for guitar duties. --David Accomazzo
They say family is the strongest bond. When it comes to 25-year-old ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls, the proof is in the pudding. What started as a mostly family band with the Casillas brothers (Frank, Eddie, and Jorge) exploded onto the ska and punk scenes in the '90s with the addition of a horn section. If you're a fan of Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers, you'll be tearing it up on the dance floor at Voodoo Glow Skulls show. The band enjoyed a level of popularity that few independent bands see, thanks to the radio airplay of "Fat Randy" and the appearance of "Shoot the Moon" in Bio-Dome. With songs like "El Coo Cooi," the band displays its bilingual roots. Voodoo Glow Skulls is capable of playing major venues and dive bars alike. About a decade ago, the band played at the Mason Jar to a packed crowd of punks and rudies skankin' in the pit. Now, they'll bring that same energy to the somewhat classier Crescent Ballroom. --Garyn Klasek
By the late '90s, Jurassic 5 had gradually evolved from an underground sensation to a critically acclaimed collective, peaking with 2002's Power In Numbers. The dynamic chemistry between Henderson and fellow MCs Akil (Dante Givens), Charles Stewart (Chali 2na), Marc Stuart (Mark 7even), and DJs Mark Potsic (DJ Nu-Mark) and Lucas Macfadden (Cut Chemist) made their shows the stuff of legend since their days at LA's storied venue the Good Life Café.
But between those days and the 2005 recording of "Red Hot," for the band's fourth LP, Feedback, there were cracks in the Jurassic 5 foundation. Cut Chemist left the group. Henderson says "immature bullshit" eventually led to the group disbanding in 2006. --Daniel Kohn
It's sometimes easy to forget the preparations needed when going to a show of any kind. The Summer Slaughter Tour is no exception and planning for it ahead of time is important.
The tour markets itself as "The Most Extreme Tour of the Year" and with such a death metal heavy lineup, there might be some truth to that.
Summer Slaughter is an annual tour celebrating a collection of metal and death metal bands. Past tours have included acts such as Necrophagist and Cannibal Corpse, along with a few names included on this year's bill.
K&Z Entertainment, which is presenting the show, has also enlisted a companion stage of local bands. The expanding local metal scene gets to share the entertainment for the night, allowing fans to watch a variety of bands without too much of a lull in between sets. --Austin Paetow
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