The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Morris Day at a 2012 concert.
Morris Day at a 2012 concert. Jeremy Perez/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Flickr
This weekend’s concert calendar is busy with big gigs.

Katy Perry will bring her latest tour to town, as will Outkast member Big Boi, punk act Unwritten Law, guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, country music legend Marty Stuart, and the always entertaining Morris Day and the Time.

Several dance parties will also take place over the next few nights, including the latest editions of Necrotek and Emo Night PHX.

Details about each of these shows and parties can be found below in our list of the best concerts and music events in Phoenix this weekend. And for even more options, check out our online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Marty Stuart (center right) and the members of the Fabulous Superlatives. - ALYSSE GAFKJEN
Marty Stuart (center right) and the members of the Fabulous Superlatives.
Alysse Gafkjen
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
Friday, January 19
Musical Instrument Museum

Multitalented Mississippi-born country artist Marty Stuart is one of the last true hillbillies in Nashville. Picked by Clarence White to be in Lester Flatt's band when he was only 12 years old, Stuart also toured with Johnny Cash for years.

He eventually went solo and was seen by some as Nashville's answer to West Coast boy Dwight Yoakam. While Stuart has released some soul-stirring gospel records (including 2005's Soul's Chapel) and experienced periodic mainstream success with songs like "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" and "Hillbilly Rock," he eventually gave up on being a radio hitmaker and returned to his hard-country roots.

Theses days, Stuart continues to perform gigs with the Fabulous Superlatives, his backing band since 2002, performing at venues large and small around the country. They’ll visit the Musical Instrument Museum this weekend on their latest tour. Deke Dickerson opens. William Michael Smith

click to enlarge DJ/producer Stephen Fasano, better known as The Magician. - COURTESY OF SLE
DJ/producer Stephen Fasano, better known as The Magician.
Courtesy of SLE
The Magician
Friday, January 19
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

Magic isn't real. At least not in the sense of pulling rabbits out of hats. Or cutting ladies in half. But music is one of the rare and mysterious mediums in our world that can render man spellbound. With just a melody and a beat, a night can be transformed from mundane to extraordinary, especially when The Magician's in town.

This Belgian DJ/producer, born Stephen Fasano, started his career as one-half of Aeroplane before going it alone as a solo artist. Over the last several years, he’s built his name as a tastemaker with his Magic Tapes mix series and is probably best known for his 2014 track “Sunlight,” which charted in both his home country and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, his remixes and original tracks prove he can deal slick tropical grooves and disco-era feels just as easily as he blends them.

This weekend, he’ll appear at Maya in Scottsdale for a Friday night set in the venue’s nightclub. Doors open at 10 p.m. and admission is $10. Kat Bein

DJ Tristan Iseult
Benjamin Leatherman
Friday, January 19

Tristan Iseult has a thing for playing music that’s dark and moody. Hence the often doomy and gloomy soundtrack the local DJ spins at such nights as HÄXAN or LILITH. This weekend’s Necrotek is in a similar vein.

The monthly affair will involve Tristan Iseult and other locals unleashing industrial and various “dystopian beats for a necrotic society” from different eras in multiple rooms at Club DWNTWN on Friday, January 19. Onetime Sadisco* member ///she/// and Addiction’s DJ AKA will spin EBM and industrial from before 2000 in the “N:/ retrospective room” at the downtown Phoenix nightclub. Meanwhile, Tristan Iseult and The Rev. DJ Razorslave will serve up industrial, techno, body music, and dark electronics from 2000 onward in the “N:/futurist hall.”

The 21-and-over party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m., $8 thereafter. See Necrotek’s Facebook page for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

Katy Perry performing in December 2017. - BRANDON MARSHALL
Katy Perry performing in December 2017.
Brandon Marshall
Katy Perry
Friday, January 19
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Katy Perry is in a tough spot. Her practice of bolting together influences – from Beyonce to Britney Spears to Taylor Swift – to achieve a kind of democratic pop sound is on its last legs. On last year’s Witness, Perry’s fourth studio album, the seams really started to show. The music achieved something almost impossible: It managed to sound outdated and hopelessly trend-conscious all at once. The lyrics, a saving grace for many a pop auteur, were hovering somewhere between uninspired and outright embarrassing. So where does Perry go from here?

That’s what makes this concert so fascinating. Perry, like most pop superstars, is at her most human, her least sleek and commercially put-together, when performing live. This is where you get to see the person at the heart of the marketing machine.

The trademark veneer of 21st-century pop sometimes makes it easy to forget that, behind all those layers of business acumen, studio precision and compromise, lives an artist. An individual with ideas to express and emotions to share. Who is Katy Perry, really? What is she trying to say? Here’s how you’ll find out. Jonathan Patrick

click to enlarge Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. - COURTESY OF HIGH ROAD TOURING
Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.
Courtesy of High Road Touring
Tommy Emmanuel
Saturday, January 20
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

As guitarists go, there are few who match the style and technique of Tommy Emmanuel. A developer of a complex and unique finger-picking style, he began his career as an in-demand session player before branching out to record and tour on his own. The accolades have rolled in. Chet Atkins called him “fearless” while awarding him the esteemed honor of “Certified Guitar Player.”

Emmanuel’s playing has also bestowed upon him the dual high honors of being a certified Kentucky Colonel and a Member of the Order of Australia in his native land. Dig through his intensive YouTube page and get familiar with how he turns standards and traditional tunes into something original and complex. Tthe research will be a good precursor to his performance this weekend at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Jeff Strowe
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.