The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

One More Time is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 25, at The Van Buren.
One More Time is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 25, at The Van Buren. Circle Talent Agency
There's a helluva lot of things happening in the Valley this weekend.

Phoenix Comic Fest has taken over downtown, which means tons of geek-friendly events will be happening. Meanwhile, it's Memorial Day weekend, which means pool parties galore.

And then there are all the music events on our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. And fittingly, it includes some geek-friendly shows (the Phoenix Symphony's tribute to John Williams and One More Time's tribute to Daft Punk) and a couple of MDW ragers (Kaskade and Dada Life).

Plus, the "Cash Me Ousside" girl has a concert over in Mesa this weekend, if you feel like watching a walking, talking Internet meme or a human train wreck (or both).

Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more music events happening around town this weekend, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

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Cash her at Club Red on Friday.
Trent Barboza
Bhad Bhabie
Friday, May 25
Club Red in Mesa

You remember the “Cash Me Ousside” girl Danielle Bregoli? Yeah, we have to call her Bhad Bhabie now. It’s her rap name. She’s a rapper. She’s gonna do a concert at Club Red on May 25.

And she's had her fair share of controversy. In 2017, Miami-area radio host Ebro called her out for cultural appropriation, saying she was symptomatic of "white kids wanting to mimic the worst aspects of black culture for fun" (fair enough), to which she responded, "Bich don't act like u know where I’m from. If u can’t appreciate turning nothin into sumthin then u need to get a new fuckin job.” (To be clear, she's from Boynton Beach, Florida.)

She’s also in the news for, believe it or not, an even more ridiculous reason. She nearly got into a physical altercation with another teen social-media star named “WoahhVicky,” who has 1.4 million Instagram followers, has claimed she’s black when she is clearly white, and made a racist dis track directed toward an Asian YouTuber called "Ricegum." Supporting Vicky from the side was Lil Tay, another web personality who is also, apparently, 9 years old and also, apparently, hangs out with Chief Keef and also, where the fuck are her parents? What kind of whacked-out version of The Florida Project is this?

This is all so stupid, but it would not have been reported if Bhad Bhabie were not actually, unbelievably, a successful rapper. She had a single called “Hi Bich” that went gold. She had another single, “These Heaux,” that debuted at 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. Because she was 14 at the time, she was the youngest female artist to debut on the chart, a major milestone.

All things considered, she’s doing pretty well for herself. Her latest single, “Gucci Flip Flops,” came with a Lil Yachty feature, and his career is in such bad shape it seems like she’s helping him out. At this point, it would be reasonable to say Danielle Bregoli is, for better or worse, a player in the rap game. Douglas Markowitz

The members of infamous crossover thrash band Body Count.
Hristo Shindov
Body Count
Friday, May 25
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Body Count’s most recent album, Bloodlust, is the music fit for the age of Trump. The 11-song effort echoes the widespread anger in our current political climate. Its opening track “Civil War” breaks open with a panic, and brings on a death-metal darkness. Tracks like “Black Hoodie” and “Walk With Me” are some of Body Count's strongest songs ever. The powerful spoken-word over “Bloodlust” and “No Lives Matter” will certainly whet fans' appetites even further.

Yet, not all of their albums have been so political of late. In 2014, Ice-T told SPIN magazine that Body Count was not to be taken literally. It was an altogether odd statement from the frontman, or perhaps just a mea culpa or disclaimer — either way, his statement felt unnecessary.

Let’s face it: Up until that point, who really took Ice-T’s fusion of heavy metal, rap, and gore seriously? Certainly not Body Count themselves. With tracks like “Evil Dick” and “Bitch In the Pit,” the band made a point of mocking music culture through hyperbole … and we loved them for it. Kristy Loye

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Peter Bradley Adams, as heard on One Tree Hill, Smallville, and Alias.
Courtesy of The Presshouse
Peter Bradley Adams
Friday, May 25
Valley Bar

If you watched any TV during the early 2000s, you've probably heard the soulful, folksy crooning of Peter Bradley Adams. You may not recognize Adams as a solo artist, but his folk-pop project eastmountainsouth was popular with critics and fans alike.

You probably heard the group's single "You Dance" a few times on the radio in 2003, and both eastmountainsouth and Adams have contributed music to popular TV shows like Alias, Smallville, and One Tree Hill, along with film work with director Cameron Crowe. As a solo artist, Adams' catchy and comfortable sound has also enjoyed critical acclaim, if less chart popularity than his previous projects. Amy McCarthy

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Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.
Benjamin Leatherman
Walshy Fire
Friday, May 25
Aura Nightclub in Tempe

Ever since joining Major Lazer, Miami's Walshy Fire has been circling the globe, dropping bass, and transforming international party people into wild, explosive, and twerk-elated versions of themselves. It's the logical progression for a Jamaican kid from Miami who picked up on music at an early age and never let go.

He started with parties, then came clubs, then came festivals, then came stadiums. And after harnessing a solid global fanbase, the financial wherewithal to invest in himself, and plenty of business knowledge, he's founded his own label, Planet Raux.

Walshy Fire is currently manufacturing and distributing conscious reggae and Miami bass for release around the world. And in the meantime, he's hosting Vice's "Noisey Brazil," slamming speakers with the new Major Lazer album, Peace Is the Mission, and ascending from performer to executive. This weekend, he’ll visit Aura Nightclub in Tempe for what’s sure to be a high-energy show. Jacob Katel

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Australian singer and actress Kimbra.
Micaiah Carter
Friday, May 25
Crescent Ballroom

You may know her from pop star Gotye's 2011 monster hit single "Somebody That I Used to Know," but Australian export Kimbra is anything but your typical pop singer. While her work as of yet has definitely held a large mainstream appeal, it's clear she has every ambition to break the mold and tread experimental ground for someone in her position.

Taking the road less traveled seemed to be the motto for her latest record, this year's Primal Heart, which features Kimbra collaborating with the likes of Skrillex, Ian Kirkpatrick, Michael Tighe, and Natasha Bedingfield on the album's 12 songs. You're likely to hear many of these tracks during her show at Crescent Ballroom on Friday night. Corey Deiterman

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Phoenix Comic Fest ain't the only time you can catch people in masks this weekend.
Circle Talent Agency
One More Time – A Tribute to Daft Punk
Friday, May 25
The Van Buren

Is there room for two Daft Punks in the world? Really, there’s barely room for the one, at least psychically — but One More Time found a tribute-band-shaped space somewhere in there and managed to cram in their own Daft Punk light-up pyramid.

Founded well before the release of Random Access Memories, One More Time keep the Alive 2007 era, well, alive more than a decade later in 2018, delivering what will one day be called the “classic” Daft Punk live experience.

They got all the details handled, including some particularly deft costume changes, and they come with enough power to push through an hour-plus set of Daft Punk hits, sleeper hits, and even some original remixes. Harder better faster stronger? Well, definitely hard and fast and strong enough. Chris Ziegler

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The legendary John Williams.
Courtesy of Phoenix Symphony
The Music of John Williams
Friday, May 25, to Sunday, May 27
Symphony Hall

Composer John Williams has accomplished a lot over the course of his long career. The Juilliard graduate labored as a jazz pianist for several years, composed many television themes, and wrote a number of well-regarded classical works — including a cello concerto performed by Yo-Yo Ma. He has appeared as a pianist and conductor on recordings with Itzhak Perlman and the legendary Boston Pops Orchestra. His fanfare for NBC’s presentation of the Olympics fills the ears of the sports-watching public every two years, and the network’s evening news theme bears Williams’ discernible style.

Of course, Williams is better known for his collaborations with former Phoenix resident Steven Spielberg and film director George Lucas. His bass note motif gave the water an ominous feeling in Jaws, he composed a dire march for Darth Vader in Star Wars, and his music underscored the excitement of the adventures of Indiana Jones. Conductor Richard Kaufman and the Phoenix Symphony will recreate these anthemic scores at the Orpheum Theatre. Williams’ work on the Harry Potter and Home Alone films will likely be covered, but don’t be surprised if his compositions for Gilligan’s Island are overlooked. Jason Keil
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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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