There were so many rad concerts going on this weekend we couldn't just choose just five. Here are eight, ranging from hip-hop to metal to Americana to psych-rock.
If you're picky, you can always try our comprehensive concert listings. Stay cool this weekend, Phoenix.
Once upon the '90s, there was an underrated melodic grunge band named Failure. When it was seven years old and touring its third album, Fantastic Planet, the group fell off its proverbial horse. Its members subsequently wandered the music industry's topography during a 15-year hiatus that ended February. And there's more good news for Failure fans: Singer-guitarist Ken Andrews says there will be a happily-ever-after album released in 2015. The guys in the band have stayed busy since the group unplugged its amps. Andrews took on producing credits for ON, Pete Yorn, and Candlebox. The remaining members went on to play in numerous bands, including Queens of the Stone Age and A Perfect Circle. The sudden interest in the band seems to have surprised Edwards. "I think the surprising thing is the audience reaction, the amount of singing that's going on. They're just there -- every beat, every note, every word," he says. "For me, it's very easy to get bored and distracted onstage. My mind can wander, and it's hard to stay in the moment. That might seem funny, but that's how it's always been. On this tour, every time I look up, the audience keeps me in the moment." --Amanda Ventura Cover The Crescent - Friday, June 13 - Crescent Ballroom
You can blame Phish, but covering another band's album in its entirety has become a cool and popular thing to do. Several Phoenix acts break from their normal routines in a benefit concert for the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona. Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra will perform Portishead's Dummy, There Is Danger will tackle Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, while a band comprising members of Minibosses, Sweetbleeders, Roar, and Treasure MammaL will undertake Radiohead's OK Computer. "I love the challenge of figuring out the way to attack someone else's album, how to pull it off live. It's exciting," says show organizer and Minibosses frontman Aaron Burke. "I think all three albums are very iconic, so it will be a big trip hearing them performed by bands in the local scene that a lot of people know and love dearly." The benefit also is a tribute to Derrick and Amy Ross of Bisbee band Nowhere Man and Whiskey Girl. Amy died of complications from lupus in 2013, and Derrick took his own life shortly after his wife's death. "When you hear the story behind it, it's worth it for folks to go just to support the cause," Burke adds. "But in doing so they'll be treating themselves to a really special night of music as well." --Glenn BurnSilver Iron Maidens - Friday, June 13 - Club Red
This show is all about the metal tributes. If you haven't seen the Iron Maidens before, it's worth it alone just see sexy -- and talented -- chicks shred in the name of Iron Maiden. I saw these ladies at NAMM in January, and they garnered such a crowd you could barely see the stage. Along with the Ozzy tribute I Don't Know, Metallica tribute band Kill Em All, and The Foo Tribute (explanatory enough), this show's going to be a hell of a good time. --Lauren Wise Jared & The Mill - Saturday, June 14 - Crescent Ballroom
Jared & the Mill was never meant to be a band. The group was never meant to garner national attention at South by Southwest, and it was never meant to become a local darling known for its vocal harmonies and relentless gigging. And it definitely was never meant to play stadiums across the country. Here it is, however, doing all these things. The product of frontman Jared Kolesar's need for an impromptu band some years ago, the folk-pop project is now musical force with momentum. You may know the band from its doing rounds at Tempe venues or making local festival appearances, but Jared & the Mill has been forced to grow quickly. The speedy evolution has been mostly due to the group's recent stadium tour opening for Barry Gibb. Kolesar and the boys are returning to the Valley with a tight performance honed in amphitheaters and clubs alike. Jared & the Mill's homecoming show differs from most because it marks the end of a chapter for the band and a sign of bigger and better things to come. Touring musicians they may be, but it's their return to the Valley that promises their most heartfelt set yet. --KC Libman Lenguas Largas - Saturday, June 14 - Yucca Tap Room
Lenguas Largas began as recording project between vocalist/guitarist Isaac Reyes and guitarist Ricky Shimo in 2009, and has since expanded to the unorthodox lineup that includes guitarist Mark Beef, baritone guitarist Tommy Melchionda, and drummers Brian Bolt, Dick Solomon, and Matt Rendon. (John Polle will be filling in for Melchionda at this show because of a hand injury.)
Remembering the band's origins, Reyes says, "When we started writing songs, it was mainly Ricky and I recording them [alone]. We started experimenting with recording and writing songs, and it just kind of fit that way. Some of the songs had -- not contradicting beats -- but it could be variation in there, and it worked out."
While Reyes isn't very helpful in describing Lenguas Largas' unique sound, that may very well be because it's elusive to easy description. Fitting superlatives such as "swirling," "hazy," and "spooky" only begin to scratch the surface. Despite the multi-drummer rhythmic foundation, there are zero hippie trappings amongst the murky psychedelic post-punk of Lenguas Largas. --Joshua Levine Guided By Voices/Bobby Bare Jr. - Sunday, June 15 - Crescent Ballroom
Any Guided by Voices fan will tell you that the band's live show is something not to be missed. The band is definitely not afraid to drink a beer or 20, and from beginning to end, it's not just any old show. Booze-injected and loaded with energy, band camaraderie, and plenty of Pollard's signature leg kicks, it's a goddamned experience. It's like dropping the band and a few hundred diehard fans and other music lovers into a great big envelope, sealing it up, and handing the package over to a giant who shakes the whole thing vigorously for a couple of hours, dropping everyone out at the end in a sweaty, smiling stupor. It's sincere and fun. --Amy Young Unearth - Sunday, June 15 - Pub Rock Live
Metalcore band Unearth has made quite a name for themselves. The band has released five albums, and even though the last one was back in 2011, they still offer up melodic death metal that's relevant among the most cutting edge metal bands today. The members' influences range from Slayer to At the Gates to Anthrax, so you can expect a great stage presence and some shredding. Texas in July rounds out the bill. --Lauren Wise Aceyalone - Sunday, June 15 - Hidden House
Aceyalone is an underground hip-hop legend, and two of his albums from the '90s -- All Balls Don't Bounce and A Book of Human Language -- are must-listens for fans of wordplay-heavy, thoughtful verses. He was also part of Freestyle Fellowship and Haiku D'Etat, and has collaborated with the likes of RJD2 and Cee Lo Green. Think Murs at his most thoughtful and esoteric. --David Accomazzo
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