The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Miss Krystle is scheduled to perform at her EP release show on Saturday, November 11, at Premier Studios.
Miss Krystle is scheduled to perform at her EP release show on Saturday, November 11, at Premier Studios. Courtesy of the artist
It’d be a shame if y’all wound up spending this weekend indoors. The weather’s supposed to be nice and there’s plenty to see and do, including many “can’t miss” concerts and music events.

For starters, there are two big festivals (the annual Arizona Hip-Hop and Mesa Music fests), a few outdoor events (including Bummerfest at ThirdSpace), and a slate of much-anticipated shows.

There will also be gigs by Deer Tick, Hiss Golden Messenger, Cannibal Corpse, Band of Heathens, and local pop singer Miss Krystle, who will celebrate the release of her new EP.

Full details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the 12 best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. (And for even more options, check out our online live music listings.)

click to enlarge The members of Band of Heathens. - COURTESY OF MISSING PIECE GROUP
The members of Band of Heathens.
Courtesy of Missing Piece Group

The Band of Heathens
Friday, November 10
Crescent Ballroom

Band of Heathens is technically from Austin, but the band comes off like it might have spent a great deal of time in New Orleans learning the rich mixture of sounds that mark that city's eclectic scene. In moments, this outfit is reminiscent of The Band circa the early '70s.

The Heathens' take on rootsy American music is not an attempt to create a warped country music; rather, they tastefully incorporate blues and folk without really trying to be the Grateful Dead. If anything, the group doesn't seem concerned with having a stripped-down sound or emulating the glories of its heroes.

Not unlike Big Star, these guys are writing rock and roll rooted in music indigenous to the middle South. Surprisingly soulful, the Heathens may be polished, but there's nothing artificial about their sound. Tom Murphy

Mishka Shubaly - LESLIE HASSLER
Mishka Shubaly
Leslie Hassler
Friday, November 10

Not many folks out there embody the tortured spirit of the modern troubadour more than Mishka Shubaly. After leaving the punk scene behind in his earlier years, the recovering alcoholic has made quite the name for himself as a renegade singer-songwriter and best-selling memoirist who has spent the past few years offering up painfully funny tales ripped from the recesses of his memory, both through song and ebooks.

With a number of top-selling Amazon Kindle singles to his name, Shubaly has laid bare the ugliest aspects of his addiction and past inability to function in what many consider to be “normal” everyday life. For Shubaly, “normal” might be healthy, but it’s deathly boring.

Though he’s an accomplished ultra-marathon runner and a promising comedian who often shares a stage with notable comics including the sad genius Doug Stanhope, Shubaly’s ability to convey the most off-putting aspects of his personal history remains the star of his multi-faceted performances.

This weekend, Shubaly headlines Bummerfest at ThirdSpace, which will also feature sets from local acoustic artists Meaghan Grant, Daniel Coon, and Sex Lasagna. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $10. Kelly Dearmore

click to enlarge World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. - JASON BELL
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Jason Bell
Yo-Yo Ma
Friday, November 10
Orpheum Theatre

Yo-Yo Ma is probably the most celebrated cellist in the world. The French-born Chinese-American musician is the founder of the Silk Road Ensemble and has long been a restless explorer of multiple genres, from classical and chamber music to jazz, pop, bluegrass, and tango. Ma is famous enough to have portrayed himself on The Simpsons, The West Wing, and Sesame Street.

For this performance at the Orpheum Theatre, his first gig in the Valley in five years, he’ll play Stravinsky’s "Suite Italienne," Prokofiev’s "Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 119," and Rachmaninoff’s "Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19," while accompanied by pianist Kathryn Stott. Falling James

click to enlarge M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger. - ELISE TYLER
M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger.
Elise Tyler
Hiss Golden Messenger
Friday, November 10
Valley Bar

On Hiss Golden Messenger’s latest, Hallelujah Anyhow, songwriter M.C. Taylor reflects on weighty subjects — debt, responsibility, our modern tumult — with a characteristically restrained touch. But the band excels in a live setting, leaning into Southern R&B and country rock traditions, bridging soul and folk like Van Morrison or The Band.

Taylor brings Hiss Golden Messenger to the Valley Bar this weekend for a 16-and-over show in support of Hallelujah Anyhow. Start time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $15. Jason P. Woodbury

click to enlarge The musicians of DakhaBrakha. - RIOT ARTISTS
The musicians of DakhaBrakha.
Riot Artists
Friday, November 10
Musical Instrument Museum

Hailing from Ukraine, Kiev's DakhaBrakha offers a high level of musical and visual stimulation, turning a world-based palette of regional folk music into hypnotic, trance-inducing mystic revelations.

The percussion-heavy quartet formed in 2004 at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art (DAKH) through avant-garde theater director Vladyslav Troitskiy, leading to ornate costumes featuring tall hats, long braids, and bangles extending to the colorfully patterned drums and instruments. Intoxicating, yes, but it's the music — the triple harmonies and cross-cut vocals of Iryna Kovalenko (djembe, bass drums, accordion, percussion, bugay, zgaleyka, piano), Olena Tsibulska (bass drums, percussion, garmoshka) and Nina Garenetska (cello, bass drum), bolstered by Marko Halanevych's impassioned singing with darbuka, tabla, didjeridoo, accordion, and trombone accompaniment — that truly captivates.

DakhaBrakha means "give/take" in the old Ukrainian language, which also provides the act's lyrical base. A fitting name, as the music starts on a platform of traditional Ukrainian melodies before incorporating African, Asian, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern aspects into the mix. Add creative usage of effects pedals, and the resulting juxtaposition of styles and textures proves that what was once old can thrive as something new, fresh, and moving. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge The Sink or Swim - COURTESY OF MESCAL PORCH COLLECTIVE
The Sink or Swim
Courtesy of Mescal Porch Collective
Mesa Music Festival 2017
Friday, November 10, to Saturday, November 11
Downtown Mesa

Mesa is celebrating fall with a music festival that brings together more than 200 acts from around the world to entertain guests over a three-day period. Arizona music is well-represented in the mix, including bands like Smiling Faces, Syde Project, Bloody Rogue Bastards, and Weslynn.

The rest of the large lineup is a mix of more regional acts, and some traveling from different states, like Nate Mays from Ohio, or Trynket from California. International acts making a desert appearance include Monja Hammond from Spain and The Stanleys from Australia. Hours vary. Admission is free. The full schedule can be found here. Amy Young
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers