8 Best Concerts in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Here are our picks for live music this weekend. For more options, visit our comprehensive calendar.

Jill Scott - Friday, August 28 - Comerica Theatre

R&B artist Jill Scott went from speaking her heartfelt thoughts to singing them, after she was discovered by Questlove from The Roots at a poetry reading. He invited her to come to the recording studio and while there, she ended up co-writing the song "You Got Me," which the band recorded with Erykah Badu. It went on to win a Grammy Award. Questlove took it a step further and had Scott join the band at a live show where she made her singing debut, performing the tune she helped pen. Several studio albums and three Grammys of her own later, Jill Scott has only proven Questlove to be completely right-on regarding his initial attraction to the dynamic performer. Her voice gives life and soul to the potent, passionate stories she tells and when she opens her mouth to drop her thoughtful words, everything that comes out sounds like it has been soaked in liquid silk. No matter the delivery, be it soft and sweet or brash and powerful, the inherent smoothness in her voice never fades. A triple threat, Scott also spends time acting and modeling, doing the former in a variety of movies and TV shows. AMY YOUNG

Slipknot - Saturday, August 29 - Ak-Chin Pavilion

Slipknot are nine people who wear masks and play nu-metal. Research into the band’s fandom (the so-called “Maggots”) suggests that the masks change sometime, but the harsh, chuggy music sometimes interspersed with funky basslines and clean vocals, written from the perspective of angsty and seemingly misunderstood and beleaguered individuals has stayed constant throughout their career. The band’s most recent album .5: The Gray Chapter which ostensibly deals with the 2010 death of bassist and founding member (#2 in the nonet) Paul Gray, comes after an almost six-year period of recording inactivity and several informal hiatuses and member switch-ups. The album, warmly welcomed by fans and critics with its abrasiveness and emotionally uncompromising themes compared to 2001’s fan favorite Iowa, proved that the band still had momentum in light of its setbacks. Slipknot is one of the rare bands from what may be viewed as the golden age of nu-metal to transcend the distinction of being a product of its time, leveraging its legacy into the larger annals of heavy metal. The band’s eerie spectacle is apparently still alive. The fire is still there (literally, there’s lots of pyro), and 2015 is a good enough year as any to be a Maggot. MIKE BOGUMIL

Heart - Friday, August 28 - Celebrity Theatre

They are two women rockers who not only broke up the stereotypical rock ’n’ roll boys club back in the early ’70s, but have fronted one of the most successful hard rock bands in rock history. Annie Wilson and sister Nancy Wilson paved the way for women in hard rock, and they sing about love and sex from the viewpoint of women with their legendary band Heart. Now, four-plus decades later the Wilson-led band makes its way to The Celebrity Theatre to showcase some of the hits that have led to more than 35 million records sold. Their  timeless hits include “Barracuda,” “Magic Man,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up,” “What About Love,” “These Dreams,” “All I Want To Do Is Make Love to You,” and Hey You.” Along with a laundry list of great backing players the duo has continued to crank out albums and tours showing they are not even close to slowing down even after an illustrious career that began in 1972. Staying relevant, Heart charted its 14th album Red Velvet Car at No. 10 on Billboard’s 200 Album chart in 2010. The Wilsons earned stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012 followed by induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 with fellow Seattleite Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell presenting them. The band will be putting together a definitive vinyl box set collection over the next 12 months showing the beat just continues to go on for Heart. MARK C. HORN

Twista - Friday, August 28 - The Pressroom

Dropping an iconic debut album presents an obvious challenge. Is it possible for an artist to live up to this initial display of excellence? For Twista, the longtime deity of Chicago's underground hip-hop scene who famously spits bars at a meteoric clip ­— a talent best displayed on his critically praised first offering, 1997's Adrenaline Rush ­— such introductory success has led to a slew of overwrought attempts to prove he's still got it. And if it's lightening-quick rhymes, then yes, Twista still has it in his arsenal; 2010's attempted return to glory, The Perfect Storm, and more explicitly, his decade-after-the-fact follow-up, Adrenaline Rush 2007, proved this to be so. But if his best-selling 2004 album, Kamikaze, shined, it was only because overwrought production helped overshadow the rapper's blatant one-dimensionality. The rapper's latest is the 2014 album, The Dark Horse. DAN HYMAN
Dosh - Friday, August 28 - Valley Bar

Sitting in the middle of a circle of various instruments, multi-instrumentalist Martin Dosh creates lush soundscapes as a one-man band, aided by a loop pedal and a boundless creative drive brought to life by the technology surrounding him.
Mutoid Man - Friday August 28 - Rebel Lounge

It would be easy to dismiss Nick Cageao as a hired gun. After all, he didn’t join Mutoid Man, the psych-metal side project-turned-full-time-stunner from guitarist Steve Brodsky and drummer Ben Koller, until after the band released its blistering, ornate debut EP, Helium Head. But even the fact that Cageao is able to keep up with Brodsky and Koller (formerly of Cave In and Converge, respectively) on songs they wrote is enough to garner him at least as much respect as any bass player gets from the music press. And even a cursory listen to Mutoid Man’s new full-length, Bleeder, makes it obvious that Cageao isn’t just filling a hole: He’s become an integral cog in the Mutoid Man mayhem machine.Though Cageao is relatively unknown outside of Brooklyn, where he works as a sound engineer at the much-lauded Saint Vitus Bar, his bandmates couldn’t be more famous. In the scene in which Cageao grew up, the pair are on the cutting edge of hard, fast and technical musicianship. OAKLAND L. CHILDERS
Skapocalypse 2015 - Saturday, August 29 - Yucca Tap Room

With five bands on the bill, headlined by underground L.A. ska band Viernes 13 (Spanish for Friday the 13th), there are few better places for ska this weekend than Saturday night at Yucca Tap Room. Maramoska, 2 Tone Lizard Kings, Abraham Drinkin', and The Cultivators also will play. 
MAKJ - Sunday, August 30 - Maya Day and Nightclub

California DJ MAKJ headlines Maya's Sound Wave pool party series this week. MAKJ is an interesting cat; when he was a teenager, he moved to China to pursue a career as a professional race car driver, but at age 15 he picked up a set of Technics 1200 turntables and dove headfirst into DJing. Now, he's working pretty successfully – DJ Magazine named him one of the best 100 DJs in America in 2014. 
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David Accomazzo is a music wrangler, award-winning reporter, critic, and editor with more than a decade in the business.
Contact: David Accomazzo
Mike Bogumill
Contact: Mike Bogumill
Oakland L. Childers
Mark C. Horn
Contact: Mark C. Horn
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young