The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

One More Time is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 25, at The Van Buren.EXPAND
One More Time is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 25, at The Van Buren.
Circle Talent Agency
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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.

Cash her at Club Red on Friday.EXPAND
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 Ebrocalled 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.
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

Peter Bradley Adams, as heard on One Tree Hill, Smallville, and Alias.EXPAND
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 eastmountainsouthwas 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 eastmountainsouthand 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

Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.EXPAND
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

Australian singer and actress Kimbra.
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

Phoenix Comic Fest ain't the only time you can catch people in masks this weekend.EXPAND
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

The legendary John Williams.
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
Saturday, May 26
The Pool at Talking Stick Resort

After Kaskade teamed up with Deadmau5 to release "I Remember," electronic music was never the same. The song became one of the hottest progressive-house/trance tracks of the last decade. With it, Kaskade — who’s known in his home state of Illinois as Ryan Raddon — anchored his name on the marquees of famous dance clubs around the world.

Being twice voted the United States' best DJ, and receiving five Grammy nominations, has not distracted Kaskade from dropping hit after hit. His most recent album, 2015's Automatic, was a more bass-influenced album, but still features the airy female vocals that recall Kaskade's trance roots.

This weekend, Kaskade’s travels will bring him to Scottsdale, where on Saturday, May 26, he’ll kick off the first of two Memorial Day weekend Release pool parties at Talking Stick Resort. Gates open at noon and admission is $50 each. Dylan White

Lovers of rap, pop, and EDM can vibe with Polyphia, the Texas-based shredders.
Lovers of rap, pop, and EDM can vibe with Polyphia, the Texas-based shredders.
Travis Poston

Saturday, May 26
Club Red in Mesa

The last time Texas-based shredders Polyphia came to town, the show sold out The Rebel Lounge. They’ll soon return, again sharing a bill with the headlining band CHON, this time bringing their hyper-catchy instrumental metal to Club Red in Mesa on Saturday, May 26.

It’s sure to be a solid show, even for people who wouldn’t normally think of themselves as progressive-metal fans. Lovers of rap, pop, and EDM can also vibe with Polyphia, since their influences range far outside their own genre. Think Ariana Grande bops meet virtuoso guitar riffs. Meagan Mastriani

Blues-rock and boob scotch will be on tap at Bob Log III's show this weekend.EXPAND
Blues-rock and boob scotch will be on tap at Bob Log III's show this weekend.
Courtesy of Bob Log III

Bob Log III
Saturday, May 26
Rhythm Room

At Bob Log III’s show, he probably won’t get shot out of a cannon. Rest assured, though, if the opportunity arises, he’ll be dressed for it.

The one-man-band’s ensemble is completed by a helmet that is rigged to include a telephone receiver microphone. While that headgear is certainly a focal point, once Log digs into his blues-punk tunes, your eyes get mesmerized by all the other goings-on. There’s the slide guitar work with some intricate fingerpicking, the drum section — operated by each of Log’s feet hitting corresponding pedals, and the throaty vocals that drip with sass and twang. Tunes like “Shake a Little, Wiggle it and Jiggle it Too,” “Boob Scotch,” and “Manipulate Your Figments,” throw this blues-tinged ’50s-style rock ’n’ roll dance party into action.

Log, who grew up in Tucson, has been playing Delta blues since his teenage years and was in a couple of other bands before going solo. From 1990 to 1996, he was one half of the lo-fi blues duo Doo Rag, who spent a good chunk of time on the road supporting acts like Sonic Youth. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on stage — or on Log’s lap, in particular — at the live show; it’s a common occurrence at his rowdy shindigs. Amy Young

Todd RundgrenEXPAND
Todd Rundgren
Lynn Goldsmith

Todd Rundgren and Utopia
Sunday, May 27
Comerica Theatre

No major rock star has spent more career time confounding expectations than Todd Rundgren. In his early solo career, he out-Nyro’d Laura Nyro, culminating in the two-disc 1972 blockbuster Something/Anything upon which three-fifths of his classic-rock radio repertoire resides. Then Rundgren proceeded to forget the pop-rock blueprint and took his prog jones to a far extreme with Utopia, a loose-membered aggregate of musicians who contributed to the writing and singing of the material, but were called Todd Rundgren’s Utopia for the first eponymous album.

That record showed its prog-rock cosmos cred by including a track longer than any on Yessongs with “The Ikon,” which went over 30 minutes and crammed so much sound on the vinyl that they were willing to risk bad audio quality in order to bring their noodling to you in its entirety.

After three albums, touring with a gigantic pyramid and ignoring requests for “Hello It’s Me,” the foursome sent fans to head-scratching with a return to pop-rock with “Love Is the Answer,” which England Dan and John Ford Coley covered, and a pastiche of The Beatles’ greatest hits with Deface the Music.

This reunion will probably steer clear of sitcom-length songs and dressing in Egyptian pajamas like Earth, Wind & Fire. But since these guys are in the main sexagenarians, expect to see comfortable men’s leisurewear on display. Serene Dominic

Sunday, May 27
The Rebel Lounge

While The Clash, Crass, and countless other English punk bands have come and gone, singer-songwriter Dick Lucas and the Subhumans carry on (save for a few extended breaks) like a raging beacon of anarchic hope, saving teenage souls from boredom and conformity.

What sets this hardcore protest quartet apart from fellow U.K. punkers like The Exploited in the 1980s, was that the group mixed uncompromising politics with Animals-esque prog rock, and social commentary, on albums like From the Cradle to the Grave. But in concert, as evidenced on the crucial, searing 2004 release Live in a Dive, the Subhumans’ specialty is delivering “Masters of War”-style treatises on freedom like Molotov cocktails. Adam Perry

Stefan Engblom and Olle Cornéer of Dada Life.EXPAND
Stefan Engblom and Olle Cornéer of Dada Life.
Courtesy of MSOPR

Wild Things Costume Party feat. Dada Life
Sunday, May 27
The Pressroom

Dada Life has successfully built an EDM kingdom of their own, which could only be called Dada World, where the beats are massive and the preferred currency is bananas. As such, the nominally Swedish duo supply a hefty dose of whimsy within a scene forever on the verge of taking itself too seriously, for which their fans have rewarded them handsomely. But all the ape masks, banana costumes, and oversize Champagne bottles would all be so much mush if Dada didn’t deliver where it counts, namely with plush electro jams tricked out to the gills with billowing synths and their patented “sausage fat” bass.

Dada Life enjoy nothing more than partying like it’s the end of the world, or the end of the weekend. On Sunday, they'll headline Wild Things at The Pressroom. The event, which is subtitled a “Halfway to Halloween Costume Party,” will feature plenty of Dada Life's colorful craziness, as well as sets by Dada Life, Party Favor, Rickyxsan, and Cazztek. Chris Gray

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