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The Five Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Blossom is scheduled to perform at her EP release show on Friday, May 14, at Shady Park in Tempe.EXPAND
Blossom is scheduled to perform at her EP release show on Friday, May 14, at Shady Park in Tempe.
Kayla Koch and Luis Colato
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Album release parties by local DJ/producer Blossom and reggae-rock act The Irie are just two of the highlights of metro Phoenix's concert calendar this weekend. If neither of those options interests you, Depeche Mode tribute band Strangelove will bring synth-filled nostalgia to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe while Chicago-born house music producer J. Worra holds it down at Shady Park and reality show star and rock 'n' roller Justin Robert Brescia takes over the Yucca Tap Room.

J. Worra

Friday, May 14
Shady Park, 26 East University Drive, Tempe, 480-474-4222

If you prefer your house music to be funky, bass-laden, and melodic with plenty of bounce, seek out the sounds being dispensed by J. Worra. Over the past five years, the Chicago-born DJ/producer has gotten bodies moving at tastemaking festivals like the Dirtybird Campout, Holy Ship!, and Coachella with what LA Weekly described as “hard-hitting tones of undulating fun.” She’s also gotten millions of listens on Spotify, toured the world, and been remixed by such big-name EDM artists as Kaskade, Gorgon City, and Deadmau5. This weekend, J. Worra’s travels bring her to the Valley for a Friday night gig at Tempe’s Shady Park on Friday night, which kicks off at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. Benjamin Leatherman

BobbyrocK

Friday, May 14
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe, 480-967-4777

Regular viewers of the schlocky and overly melodramatic MTV reality show The Hills are likely familiar with Justin Robert Brescia. A musician and onetime hairdresser for Maroon 5, he played a secondary role during the program’s original run in the mid-2000s as Audrina Patridge’s on-again/off-again boyfriend. Brescia later returned as a cast member of the show’s 2019 spin-off The Hills: New Beginnings, which also featured his band, BobbyrocK. For those of you unfamiliar with the Austin, Texas-based band, it plays “alternative punk” that’s a mix of harder-driving rock songs and slower-paced acoustic numbers with Brescia on vocals and guitar. If you’d like to hear them for yourself, BobbyrocK is scheduled to perform on Friday at the Yucca Tap with support from Grail, Friends in Hell, Sworn Apart, and Olympic Games. The show starts at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover. Benjamin Leatherman

Strangelove does Depeche Mode and does it well.EXPAND
Strangelove does Depeche Mode and does it well.
Anabel DFlux

Strangelove – The Depeche Mode Experience

Friday, May 14
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480-829-0707

From leather jackets to vintage synths, Strangelove's tribute to Depeche Mode’s OG lineup is heavy on the details and made for hardcore Modies. Singer Leo “Ultra Dave” Luganskiy does a spot-on impersonation of Dave Gahan's croon while Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin” (a.k.a. DM’s Martin Gore) handles the keyboards, vocals, guitar, melodica, sequencing, and percussion. Rounding out the lineup are Julian Shah-Tayler as “Oscar Wilder” (who apes Andy Wilder) and James Evans as “InTheFletch” (a.k.a. Andy Fletcher). Strangelove's resemblance, both visually and sonically, to Depeche Mode is amazing. This weekend, they’ll amaze a nostalgia-seeking audience inside Tempe’s Marquee Theatre. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the main room and $35 to $45 for balcony seating. Liz Ohanesian


Blossom’s EP Release Party

Saturday, May 15
Shady Park, 26 East University Drive, Tempe, 480-474-4222

The roots of Blossom’s new EP, Super Bad, stretch back to before the pandemic began. The two-song project, which drops today on L.A.-based electronic dance music label Night Bass and is comprised of the title track and the B-side “Complicated,” has been more than a year in the making. “I had the vocals for ‘Super Bad’ written for well over a year, but could never [figure out] the right song for them,” Blossom says. “After months of trial and error, I finally wrote a bassline that I was really happy with, and the [everything] came together very quickly.”

“Complicated,” which features vocals by electronic pop artist Bella Renne, also originated in the before times. “I wrote it the week before my last Arizona show pre-COVID,” she says. “The crowd had such an amazing response to it when I played it back in January 2020. Once I reached out to Bella Renee for the vocals, the song really came to life.” You can hear both tracks on Friday night during the release party for Super Bad at Shady Park in Tempe, which starts at 9 p.m. Local DJs Animate, Pr!ce, and Lance Fairchild will open. Admission is $20.50. Benjamin Leatherman


The Irie’s EP Release Party

Saturday, May 15
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Ave, Tempe, 480-829-0707

It’s been nothing but good vibes and good times for local reggae-rock band The Irie. Their recently released EP, Can't Get Enough, has done well on the iTunes reggae charts, they’ve got a summertime tour of the southwest U.S. coming up, and a big release party planned for this weekend at the Marquee Theatre. Expect to hear all four tracks from Can’t Get Enough during the show, which gets going at 6:15 p.m. and will also feature sets from fellow reggae-influenced artists and acts Mellow Psychedelic Culture, Chad Rubin and the Band Breezy, ZeeCee Keely, and Highest Conspiracy. Tickets are $20 for the main floor and $30 for balcony seating. Benjamin Leatherman

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