Up for seeing a show? There are plenty to choose from around town. Here are our picks for best concerts in Phoenix this week. For more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar.
Rising Sun Daughter - Monday, November 30 - Crescent Ballroom
Grace Rolland might be best known for her cello work in the folk and bluegrass outfit Run Boy Run. She's hoping to change that with Rising Sun Daughter. Offering a collection of songs as open as the desert surrounding her native Phoenix, there's some irony to the fact that it took Rolland's travels with Run Boy Run to realize that inspiration was waiting back home. "I grew up in Arizona, and I didn't always love the desert. I had young dreams of dense forest and lush green areas," she says. "But the last couple years I've traveled a bit throughout the states, and whenever we came back to the desert, I [began to] finally understand why people think it's magical. It's so serene in its openness."
That sense of serenity and openness inhabits her writing. Rolland's haunting, ethereal voice sweeps over imposing landscapes, riding and falling as if in conjunction with the land's contours. Her band adds subtle, though sometimes sharp, relief. Many of Rising Sun Daughter’s songs developed during Rolland's private moments of journaling. Besides retaining an important sense of honesty, a melancholic intimacy also pervades many songs. With Noah Guttell (drums), Jeff Naylor (bass), and Rob Kroehler (electric guitar), Rolland relishes the new challenges of Rising Sun Daughter, especially on stage, where silence is as important as the overall sound. GLENN BURNSILVER
Vampires Everywhere - Monday, November 30 - Underground
Everybody knows that vampires are still all the rage, even after all these years. And this Los Angeles-based post-hardcore band blends some musical elements perfect for raging to. We're talking about high-pitched screams, rapid-fire double bass and some gnarly autotuned vocals. But it wouldn't be a party without some killer flat-ironed girl haircuts to make the ladies swoon. Fellow post-hardcore band Set to Stun and local pop/electronic act Consider Me Dead will also perform. BRANDON FERGUSON
Between the Buried and Me - Tuesday, December 1 - Livewire
Between the Buried and Me don't know the meaning of the word “enough.” Each song crafted by the North Carolina five-piece rewrites the rules of progressive metal — which doesn't have that many to begin with — by setting their formidable technical skills loose across a vast stretch of musical terrain roughly bordered by Queen, At the Drive-In and Dream Theater. Since their 2002 self-titled debut, each of BTBAM's seven LPs has registered a higher chart debut than its predecessor, through 2012's The Parallax II: Future Sequence (No. 22). Now the group might have outdone themselves with Coma Ecliptic (Metal Blade), a concept album told from inside the mind of a coma patient revisiting his past lives. CHRIS GRAY
Hans Olson - Tuesday, December 1 - Pranksters Too
Hans Olson arrived in Phoenix from San Bernadino, California, in the late '60s, not long after many of the town's musical rising stars — like Alice Cooper and Mike Condello — had departed for bigger cities. With self-deprecating wit, the guitarist, songwriter, and blues harp-blower says there was no one else around to keep him from becoming the city's biggest musical name. Since that time, Olson has shared stages with Muddy Waters, offered Tom Waits a couch to crash on when the hobo-like singer bummed into town in the '70s, and helped open the Sun Club, which would become instrumental in launching acts like the Gin Blossoms. Olson himself has kept busy recording, too: His 2013 album, Dust to Dust, simmers with a distilled variation of the blues energy he's put to tape since arriving in Phoenix. It's a record that sounds very "Phoenix," from a man who's furthered the legacy of his adopted hometown.
101.5’s Jingle Bash - Wednesday, December 2 - Comerica Theatre
’Tis the season for radio station holiday mini-festivals, and 101.5 is kicking off the season with a strong pop show, featuring heartthrob-in-training Shawn Mendes, former teen heartthrob Joe Jonas, badass R&B singer Alessia Cara, and pop R&B singer Tori Kelley. The artists on the bill collectively have hundreds of millions of YouTube plays among them, as well as countless thousands of hours of radio play, so going to this concert will basically be similar to flipping through pop FM stations in your car without having to actually weave through traffic. DNCE played a sold-out gig at Valley Bar in November, and on the return trip, the group is playing the stately Comerica Theatre. Makes you kick yourself even more for missing them the first time around, doesn’t it? DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Kristmaz Khaoz feat. Asking Alexandria - Wednesday, December 2 - Livewire
The fist-pumping, black-shirted, skinny jeans-wearing contingent will be out in full force at Livewire in Scottsdale as the England-via-Dubai outfit Asking Alexandria will perform at the annual Kristmaz Khaos show along with Eyes Set to Kill, Whitney Peyton, The Family Ruin, Run 2 Cover, Ded, Crisis in Victory, Ella Kaye, and Note to Self. Asking Alexandria, however, will serve as the headliner for the show.
A seven-year-old group whose stock in trade is metalcore spiked with sleazy 1980s Los Angeles-style rock, any of AA’s five members could have easily passed for younger versions of Izzy Stradlin or Nikki Sixx. Apparently irony, given enough time, turns into sincerity. In interviews, guitarist Ben Bruce describes Asking Alexandria's music as "pretty balls-to-the-wall." Case in point: the first three songs of their current set – “Give In,” “Run Free,” “The Death of Me” – that kick things off and give audiences barely room to breathe between the razor sharp guitar riffs. Its devastating music to be sure. Songs for the next apocalypse. MARK SANDERS
Reverend Horton Heat - Thursday, December 3 - Marquee Theatre
Cowboy punk Jim Waithe earns his formal title with Southern-fried faux sermons on the sinful temptations of various body parts. He's ruled the psychobilly country-rock subgenre for the past two decades with distorted versions of bubbly blues that might have been plucked from a sock hop in 1957 and deranged lyrics about getting epically shit-housed. Such behavior is probably advisable when the Reverend rolls into the Marquee this week, given that these outstanding two-minute bursts all feel a bit like getting trampled by a thousand pickled pigs feet. VIJITH ASSAR
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman - Thursday, December 3 - Musical Instrument Museum
The best jazz cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” appears on the 2004 album Give by The Bad Plus. The Minneapolis trio’s arrangement of the tune is crazily creative, and in pounding out the iconic Iommi riff, pianist Ethan Iverson proves how aurally heavy an acoustic instrument can be. Although this band doesn’t trade exclusively in metal covers, they bring the same unconventional approach to all of their work, tackling material ranging from Igor Stravinsky to the Pixies, from Ornette Coleman to original compositions. At their performance at the Musical Instrument Museum on December 3, they’re joined by superstar saxophonist Joshua Redman, the new fourth member of the band. LINDA LESEMAN
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The Garden - Thursday, December 3 - Pub Rock
Twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears (bass and drums, respectively) have four instruments onstage. That is, if you count their bodies, which they often use as instruments of destruction, whether they're diving into crowds or growling and convulsing like a band possessed. And as the Garden's haunting, garage-punk playing improves, the fun-spirited fury they conjure up with songs such as "Energy Yelp," "Grass" and "Vada Vada" will only intensify.
When they're onstage, there's no time to bask in the glow of being the next big act out of Orange County. Even the fact the beanpole twosome are both part-time models contracted for campaigns with fashion giant Yves Saint Laurent (seriously!) doesn't seem to go to their heads. None of the outside attention from the world stage matters as much as the one they're on at the moment — the one they're intent on destroying. At a Garden show, you never know what's going to happen. All we know is they want to grab you by the collar and drag you into the moment (and the mosh pit) right along with them.