Your Guide to Phoenix Concerts January 29 to February 1: Jose Gonzalez, Flo Rida, Anti-Flag | Phoenix New Times

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Jose Gonzalez, STRFKR, and Anti-Flag.
A night out at the Van Buren.
A night out at the Van Buren. Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix deserves free, quality news

We need to raise $5,000 by June 7 to meet our spring campaign goal—if you value Phoenix New Times, please make a contribution today to help keep our work free and accessible for all.

Contribute Now

Share this:
The Valley’s concert offerings this week cover a variety of genres, ranging from folk and country to rock, punk, and hip-hop.

And the artists and acts that will be performing said shows include Jose Gonzalez, Flordia Georgia Line, Anti-Flag, Flo Rida, and even Al Jardine of the Beach Boys.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts in the Valley this week. And for even more options, check out Phoenix New Times' concert calendar.

Trinidad Cardona's coming home.
Neil Bailey
Trinidad Cardona
Monday, January 29
Crescent Ballroom

Trinidad Cardona was big in Brazil before gaining traction in the United States.

The artist, born and raised in Phoenix, has talent, hard work, and the internet to thank for his success in the South American country. Things started to blow up for the teenager when a video of him singing an a cappella rendition of the hook to his song “Jennifer” was uploaded to YouTube in late 2016. It went viral, with numerous requests pouring in for Cardona to finish the track.

Cardona gave the people what they wanted. In summer 2017, he released a full-length video for the song, which, at press time, had nearly 19 million views on YouTube. The song is an apology to its titular subject, who finds out her boyfriend cheated on her. Cardona is hesitant to get specific about the origins of the song, but he says it is based on personal events.

The success of “Jennifer” led to props from Ludacris and Gucci Mane. Soon, Cardona was signing a deal with Run-It-Up Records and Island Records. He has moved to Los Angeles and is excited to share his new material with his fans. Until then, he is touring with Alex Aiono, another artist who grew up in Phoenix. And Cardona’s eager to let his hometown crowd in on what Brazil has known for months.

“I’m always excited to come home,” he says. “That hometown love, there isn’t anything like it.” Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Trip out to DJ Green Lantern at Valley Bar on Monday night.
Benjamin Leatherman
Motown on Mondays x The Blunt Club
Monday, January 29
Valley Bar

Collaborations are a major hallmark of both the DJ and hip-hop worlds, not to mention one of the coolest. Whenever artists or acts join forces on a particular project or track, it typically results in something unique, interesting, and (ultimately) better than the sum of its parts.

The same could be said about the upcoming collab between Motown on Mondays and The Blunt Club. The two long-running local nightlife events, both of which feature DJs rocking the decks, will team up on Monday, January 29, for a special pop-up party at Valley Bar.

The affair will feature turntablists from both MoM and Blunt Club — including Pickster One, Tricky T, and M2 — as well as sets by Green Lantern (Nas’ current DJ) and DJ Neil Armstrong, who used to spin for Jay-Z. Benjamin Leatherman

Jose Gonzalez
Monday, January 29
The Van Buren

Adding cover songs to his repertoire has served indie-folk singer-songwriter and classical guitarist Jose Gonzalez well. Gonzalez’s soft and sweet sound, these days, is far from the hardcore punk bands that he played in early on in his career. His acoustic version of The Knife’s song “Heartbeats” has been used to enhance significant moments of several TV shows, from House to teen dramas like One Tree Hill and 90210. He lends his tender style to other diverse covers, like Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” and “Teardrop” by Massive Attack.

Opening act Bedouine will set the tone for a night of gentle sounds, with country-tinged folk that starts at 8 p.m. on Monday, January 29, at The Van Buren. Amy Young

Al Jardine
Monday, January 29, and Tuesday, January 30
Musical Instrument Museum

Al Jardine played standup bass on the very first Beach Boys single, "Surfin'," and since then he's been an integral part of the band's sonic makeup, playing guitar and navigating complexities not often associated with The Beach Boys: environmental concerns ("Don't Go Near the Water," written with Mike Love), transcendence ("All This Is That"), and spoken-word prose (Jardine read Robinson Jeffers's poem "The Breaks of Eagles" as part of the band's stunning "California Saga" from Holland).

Though he left the touring version of the 'Boys in the '90s, Jardine settled a lawsuit with Mike Love and contributed to the 2012 album That's Why God Made the Radio with all surviving original members. He’s also toured and performed with various incarnations of The Beach Boys over the last several years. This week, he’ll make a stop at the Musical Instrument Museum for a two-night stint along with his son, Matt Jardine. Jason P. Woodbury

Wednesday, January 31
Club Red in Mesa

Anti-Flag didn't start decrying injustice because Donald Trump's an asshole, says singer/bassist Chris Barker, whose left-wing pop-punk band will visit Club Red in Mesa this week. The group, which has been around for more than two decades, has been protesting American imperialism, police violence, racism, and other odious issues all along.

Sometimes that's been in style in broader U.S. culture, and the band has drawn huge crowds; other times, Anti-Flag has found its popularity with liberals dwindling. "I think what I've come to learn and accept is that politics is fashion, and because we are a part of that subculture of commenting on that culture of politics, we come in and out of fashion, too," Barker says.

In 2017, Anti-Flag dropped its 10th album, American Fall, a followup to 2015's American Spring. While other bands, trying to strike out against the right in the United States, have written explicit anti-Trump songs and waxed about their love of Hillary Clinton, Anti-Flag's recent lyrics tend to take broader swipes at U.S. political culture, capitalism, and militarism. As you’d guess, Anti-Flag's activist brand is once again in style among the left. Kyle Harris

Flo Rida
Wednesday, January 31
Birds Nest at Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale

It ain't easy being Flo Rida, but it's gotta be a "Good Feeling." For the past decade, this self-described "international hustler" has kept his grind cranked to "Club Can't Handle Me" levels, endlessly zigzagging between the studio, the gym, and arena-size stages.

Since releasing his debut album, Mail on Sunday, and its breakout lead single, "Low," in 2007, the notoriously ripped hit machine's waking hours have become entirely consumed by ever-exploding obligations. Stuff like repeat trips to the American Music Awards winner's circle, halftime gigs at the NBA All-Star Game, soccer stadium concerts in Europe, über-exclusive VIP fashion parties on South Beach, and impromptu Japanese Jacuzzi parties with 30 female fans from Okinawa.

The cause of all this hard work and even harder play: a four-song string of Billboard number one house-hop hits — 2012's "Whistle," 2011's "Good Feeling," 2009's "Right Round," and the aforementioned "Low" — that's proven the 38-year-old rapper to be one of Planet Earth's most bankable pop stars. S. Pajot

Catch Anti-Flag at Club Red this week.
Courtesy of Spinefarm
Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime
Wednesday, January 31
The Van Buren

They don't practice Santeria. They don't have a crystal ball. But they make more than a million dollars a year touring as the world's most popular Sublime tribute bands.

Badfish was born in Rhode Island when two college buds got together and started jamming. Soon they came up with the idea of playing only Sublime covers. They found a guitar player and packed local clubs and parties like fat buds of skunk weed in tight Ziplocs. That was 2001.

"We didn't really expect to be doin' this still," drummer Scott Begin says. "It was kinda just for fun. We loved the music and playing for our friends, and it just kinda snowballed bigger and bigger till finally we went out on the road and said, 'Let's see if we get the same response as we do at home.' Then we never really stopped."

Sublime's founder, Bradley Nowell, would be proud. In tribute to Sublime's legacy of experimentation, Badfish constantly try new things to keep the music fresh.

"My favorite song to play changes all the time," says Scott, "But I got some new electronic drum pads on my kit that I can trigger all these sounds with, and I get to do that a lot on 'Caress Me Down,' which the crowd really likes. Sublime was always mixing shit up, and we do too. We keep the songs the way that people wanna hear em' but we mix in the old hip-hop samples, and sound effects live, and that keeps it fun for us too." Jacob Katel

The Manhattan Transfer
Wednesday, January 31
Celebrity Theatre

Unclassifiable when they began making records, Manhattan Transfer were the Dresden Dolls of their day, sort of. The band was formed through a series of happy accidents — group founder Tim Hauser meeting the outfit's first soprano, Laurel Masse, as a fare in the cab he was driving. The swing/a cappella/big-band goulash they concocted was invariably categorized by critics as "disco Sha Na Na" or "cabaret rock."

This was in the mid-Seventies, an anything-goes time in the first place. When regular joes in the U.S. heard the band's first quasi-tongue-in-cheek single, "Operator," they weren't sure what to make of it, but they knew they liked it. Part doo-wop, part gospel and part Andrews Sisters, the song was a knuckle ball that somehow completed a period marked by the weirdest works of Elton John, and Paul McCartney as a Wing, among others.

The band didn't crack the American charts again until 1981, when "Boy from New York City" hit novelty pay dirt harder than ever before in history, opening the floodgates for fixations with zoot suits and general Roaring Twenties abandon among the Reagan-era twentysomething set. Since then, Manhattan Transfer has kept busy over the years even as it has stayed under the radar of big-league radio. Eric W. Saeger

click to enlarge
The members of STRFKR.
Erika Reinsel
Thursday, February 1
The Van Buren

When STRFKR first appeared nearly a decade ago, it was hard to tell where its brand of minimal electro-pop would land. But with musical mastermind and vocalist Josh Hodges at the helm, the band soared into its own, creating breezy and sweet songs, and tracks like “German Love” and “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” found homes in both the robust music blogosphere and Target commercials.

Fast-forward to the present, many albums and tours later, and STRFKR is still churning out beautiful modular beats, carrying its signature bedroom-recording style more closely in line with the mainstream while managing to stay just below the surface in its own indie world. Bree Davies

click to enlarge
Florida Georgia Line performs in Scottsdale in 2015.
Benjamin Leatherman
Florida Georgia Line
Thursday, February 1
Coors Light Birds Nest at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Yeah, Florida Georgia Line is still a thing. The pop country duo, which is fronted by Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, was discovered at a county fair back around the beginning of the decade and broke through into the mainstream in 2012.

Since then, FGL has become the highly lucrative LMFAO of country music, known for its party-rock songs about mindless good times – including such hits as “Get Your Shine On," Cruise," and “This is How We Roll” – as well as unexpected collaborations, such as "Last Day Alive" with the Chainsmokers. The group's remix of "Cruise," featuring Nelly, hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

Florida Georgia Line will headline the second night of the Coors Light Birds Nest in Scottsdale. Fellow pop country star Chris Lane will open. Tom Murphy

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Phoenix New Times has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.