Tuesday, September 5, at The Van Buren
Seu Jorge brought the Star Man down to Earth with his acoustic guitar and beautifully flawed Portuguese translations of David Bowie’s music in Wes Anderson’s underrated The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. His tribute tour celebrates the work of an artist who gave hope to the rebels and outcasts of the world. Jason Keil
Tuesday, September 5, at Crescent Ballroom
The Melvins’ Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover have worked together longer than most marriages last. And they’re still making sweet, eardrum-shattering music together as the state of Washington’s greatest harsh music export. Music heroes from the ’90s are dropping like flies, but Buzz and Dale keep on shredding amps. Ashley Naftule
Friday, September 15, at The Van Buren
If you obsessed over the Grateful Dead doc Long Strange Trip, you probably wish one of two things: that you could’ve seen ’em back in the day, or that you could relive your favorite Jerry and Co. shows. Your chance for redemption comes in the form of L.A.-based tribute band the Grateful Shred. Lauren Cusimano
Saturday, September 16, at Crescent Ballroom
The dreamy, androgynous voice of Cigarettes After Sex’s Greg Gonzalez is the perfect addition to the lineup at the Twin Peaks Roadhouse. The band’s cover of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You,” which makes the ballad feel provocative, brought them the attention they needed to release a debut full-length album. J.K.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
Tuesday, September 19, at The Van Buren
You have a difficult musical choice on this mid-September evening: Enjoy U2 performing The Joshua Tree in a stadium or listen to Jason Isbell’s passionate songs from the former Drive-By Truckers member’s new album, The Nashville Sound. You can’t go wrong. J.K.
Tuesday, September 19, at University of Phoenix Stadium
In 1987, U2 launched a tour in Tempe in support of breakout album The Joshua Tree. When they returned to the Valley at the end of that year, Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton were the world’s biggest rock band, a title they arguably hold 30 years later as they celebrate the universalist spirit of The Joshua Tree in Phoenix. Jason P. Woodbury
Thursday, September 21, at Talking Stick Resort Arena
People toss around the phrase “living legend” like anyone can be part of a family entertainment empire, win Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globes, and dance and sing like she invented both. But there’s only one Janet Jackson — and her State of the World Tour comes to Phoenix for one night only. Becky Bartkowski
Toadies with Local H
Friday, September 22, at Crescent Ballroom
For those who loved tuning in to The Edge, rock radio hits from the ’90s still pack a punch. The upcoming Toadies and Local H show will pack a double dose of that sorta sound (and sentiment) into one of the Valley’s more intimate venues. L.C.
Friday, September 22, at Marquee Theatre
Yes, it was that Ben Folds who produced the title track of Kesha’s comeback Rainbow. If you would like pop music’s lovable misfit to play it or another one of his hits, send it to the stage via paper airplane. Folds’ setlist will be determined by this unusual delivery system. J.K.
Danzig and Deafheaven
Monday, September 25, at Marquee Theatre
For metal fans, a Danzig or Deafheaven concert is an occasion to throw up your horns and rejoice. But bringing together the glass-jawed king of devil rock with the poster boys of “doomgaze” on one bill? That’s a headbanging blockbuster worth burning down a church for. A.N.
Wednesday, September 27, at Ak-Chin Pavilion
The monochromatic kingpins of goth makeout jams are coming back to the Valley for an evening of seductive and sly synth rock. While many of their ’80s pop contemporaries are coasting on old hits and nostalgia, Depeche Mode is still putting out new records that sound vital and fresh. A.N.
The Shins and Spoon
Tuesday, October 3, at Comerica Theatre
It’s hard to decide who should be headlining this indie double bill. Sure, The Shins changed your life after you saw Garden State, but Spoon’s track record is hard to beat. Most of the country won’t get to witness this lineup, so stop your arguing and get your ticket already. J.K.
Thursday, October 5, at Comerica Theatre
These spacey, psychedelic-rock freaks put on a hell of a show, whether it’s stripped down and minimal or a multimedia extravaganza. There might be puppets. Hell, there may even be Miley Cyrus. It’s worth the price of admission to find out — and to hear a zillion beautifully unusual, twisted tunes. Amy Young
Saturday, October 7, at Location TBA
There are raves, and then there’s Bloodfest, the under-the-radar and over-the-top affair where attendees are sprayed with gallons of crimson liquid while dancing the night away. Organized by rave scene veteran Matt Dunn, the annual event also features numerous local DJs, wall-to-wall hardstyle and EDM sets, and a surreal vibe unlike any other desert dance party. Benjamin Leatherman
Saturday, October 7, at the Arizona State Fair
Free with fair admission or $40-$60 for reserved seating
If there’s one thing that alternative band Cake does well, it’s weaving disillusionment, discontent, and wistful emotions into catchy tracks that are smart, subversive, and utterly listenable. Said songs populate Cake’s nine-album discography (including “Frank Sinatra,” “Never There,” and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”) and are big hits during live shows, like their upcoming Arizona State Fair gig. B.L.
Loudon Wainwright III
Sunday, October 8, at Musical Instrument Museum
As part of the lineage of grumpy singer/songwriters including Warren Zevon, Randy Newman, and Father John Misty, Loudon Wainwright III writes songs about the aches and pains of life — both existential and physical. Age hasn’t softened his wit — his songs and new book bristle with biting commentary and hilarious and worn observations. J.P.W.