The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Lana Del Rey is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, February 13, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.EXPAND
Lana Del Rey is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, February 13, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Neil Krug
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Yeah, we know. Another week is upon us, y'all. It doesn’t have to be a boring one, though. Not when there’s a variety of shows happening over the next few nights.

Noteworthy bands and performers like Lana Del Rey, Bruce Cockburn, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and Poppy all have concerts scheduled at Valley venues this week.

Heck, there’s even a performance by a surf rock band that wears kabuki masks and is inspired by Japanese monster movies. No shit.

If any of these pique your interest, check out the following list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this week. And for even more options, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Thrash metal band Havok.
Thrash metal band Havok.
Haley Loria Carnefix

Monday, February 12
Club Red in Mesa

Think of everything you loved about '80s thrash: the intricate drum work, the epic guitar solos, the political, anti-establishment-themed lyrics, the imagery — Havok has all that and more without any awkward mimicry or posturing nostalgia. Like finding a band straight out of a time capsule, Havok perform the art of thrash without sounding like a cover band or worse, just a collection of rehashed riffs we’ve all heard before.

Havok also picks up the political torch with ease. Their newest album, last year’s Conformicide, subjects American politics to intense lyrical scrutiny and judgment. Taking direct influence from George Orwell’s dystopian novel of the future, 1984, Havok compares the political climate of America to the themes in the novel. Their song “Ingsoc” is a reference to the Newspeak English Socialist Party that controls all of its citizens through intense surveillance and mind control via the media. Sound familiar? Havok think so, too.

Conformicide feels like Havok’s best work. With three years since their last release, they’ve had plenty of time to tweak the errors and rewrite the weak spots. The ending result is a thrash album full of surprising sonic variety. Not that their previous releases weren’t great, but the songs from Conformicide demonstrate a musical finesse unheard until now. Kristy Loye

Legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.
Legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.
Bob Doran/CC BY 2.0/via Flickr

Bruce Cockburn
Tuesday, February 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn is taking over the Marquee Theatre on Tuesday, February 13, in support of his first full-length album in nearly seven years, Bone on Bone.

The collection of 11 songs hit on Cockburn’s careerlong musical touchstones: human rights, spontaneity, and politics. All of which he’s explored over five decades and 33 albums. Since November, he’s been performing selections from the rock and contemporary folk record.

Cockburn attributes the album’s urgent, anxious songs — including “States I’m In,” “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” and “40 Years in the Wilderness” — to the current political climate under the Trump administration. And fans can expect an honest and raw performance when the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee takes the stage in Tempe. Melina Zuniga

Lana Del Rey in concert.EXPAND
Lana Del Rey in concert.
Chris Polk

Lana Del Rey
Tuesday, February 13
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Lana Del Rey is embarking on an arena tour — a major step for a singer-songwriter who’s been pilloried for her live performances ever since her entry into pop music. Yet Del Rey has not swerved from her gloomy, cinematic vision; it’s the audience that has come around to her talents.

Her biggest breaks into the charts may be the 2013 remix of “Summertime Sadness” and her contribution to the Great Gatsby soundtrack, “Young and Beautiful,” but those songs are defined by a soaring contralto voice and glamorous death drive — which are all Del Rey.

With Lust for Life, her latest album, Del Rey officially moved from cult favorite to year-end best-of lists, garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. Del Rey will bring her chilly-beach-bingo aesthetic to her new L.A. to the Moon tour, where fans can expect a stripped-down style that resists pop-star expectations. Katie Moulton

Country crooners Robert Earl Keen (left) and Lyle Lovett (right).EXPAND
Country crooners Robert Earl Keen (left) and Lyle Lovett (right).
Courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum

Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen
Wednesday, February 14
Musical Instrument Museum

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of country musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen knows something of their extensive shared history. They attended college together in their native state of Texas back in the 1970s and became friends, often playing together on Keen’s porch. Since then, both have enjoyed acclaimed careers in the music biz and have occasionally performed and toured together over the years.

The setup for the pair’s current tour, which visits the Musical Instrument Museum for two sets on Wednesday, couldn’t be more unassuming; two singers, two chairs, and four guitars. Lovett and Keen will trade songs and spin yarns for a few hours, playing familiar cuts like “The Front Porch Song” and “If I Had a Boat,” “She’s No Lady,” as well a few left-field selections. They’ll even accompany each other at some point during their sets, with Lovett doing the bulk of the harmonizing, and team up for a rendition of “T for Texas,” the Jimmie Rodgers classic. Pete Vonder Haar

Moriah Rose Pereira, better known as Poppy.
Moriah Rose Pereira, better known as Poppy.
Koury Angelo

Wednesday, February 14
Crescent Ballroom

Poppy is the best pop star cum potential cult member/leader you’re not listening to. Her music drifts between completely cute (“I want your floppy disc to be my hard drive”) and complete genius (her tracks “Interweb” and “Pop Music” are total gems) but is always catchy.

Her debut album, Poppy.Computer, is the perfect thing for a generation more and more engaged with computers and social media; songs like “Computer Boy” and “Software Upgrade” have lyrics that sound straight out of the more eccentric parts of Tumblr. It’s also refreshingly straightforward, ditching subtlety and fully embracing the weirdness of modern pop fandom.

But an album is only a moment in time, so best to catch what Poppy has to say now before she sets her sights on something else. Whatever the subject, she’s sure to produce some bangers. Cory Garcia

The Drugstore Gypsies amble into Tempe this week.EXPAND
The Drugstore Gypsies amble into Tempe this week.
Courtesy of Edgewater Music Group

The Drugstore Gypsies
Wednesday, February 14
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

You can hear the influences of Gregg Allman, particularly his sticky organ fills, that have made their way into the sound of Drugstore Gypsies, a group of rowdy county boys from Austin, Texas, whom Rolling Stone named as one of the "10 New Country Artists You Need to Know" in 2017. Their self-titled debut LP, which came out last March, is undeniably bro-ish, but more in the way that exalts in feckless lyrics like “couch-surfing USA” rather than more loutish behavior; mostly, they sound really, really excited to be playing music.

In that way, if not much else, perhaps they’re not so different from the their heroes, the Allman Brothers Band on the iconic band’s breakthrough live album, At Fillmore East. The Gypsies are at least smart enough to put horns that smack of Memphis soul on a few of their tracks. In fact, when they’re not rocking out a little too heavily — it’s all too easy to visualize many, many AC/DC tattoos on a couple of tracks — the Gypsies could pass for “bad boys” on modern country radio, making them the very type of group with an outside shot at showing up on the CMT Music Awards one day. Chris Gray

Arizona-born blues artist Levi Platero.
Arizona-born blues artist Levi Platero.
Larry Price

Levi Platero
Wednesday, February 14
Rhythm Room

Blues guitarist and vocalist Levi Platero is on his own, and that’s a good thing. The Southwestern rocker from the Navajo Nation spent a decade playing in his family’s namesake band, The Plateros. After that, he did a one-year stint with the Indigenous Blues Band.

Now, the bluesman has embarked on a solo career, leading his own group. The players are different, but what’s consistent is Platero’s guitar mastery, bringing classic and modern blues styles to life with a laid-back ease.

Local band Adero shares the bill with Platero during his Valentine’s Day show at the Rhythm Room on Wednesday, February 14. Doors are at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. Amy Young

The members of Ha Ha Tonka.EXPAND
The members of Ha Ha Tonka.
Jason Gonulsen

Ha Ha Tonka
Thursday, February 15
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

According to the Missouri State Parks Web site, Camden County's Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a "geological wonderland." You could say the same about the rough-and-tumble rock of the park's namesake band, Missouri's Ha Ha Tonka. With whispers, shouts, blazing guitar riffs, soaring four-part harmonies, and an affinity for the Southern gothic, the Springfield four-piece make music as textured as Missouri terrain.

The band is at their best when they venture beyond radio-ready rock and dig deeper into old-time folk and gospel roots. The results are sometimes softer (the creepy "Hangman," an a cappella rendition of a traditional tune) and sometimes stranger ("Caney Mountain," the story of a traveling preacher who murders a young girl). Ha Ha Tonka's sound is rooted in the land — and history — from which the band comes. Gavin Snider

Daikaiju surfs into the Rhythm Room on Thursday.
Daikaiju surfs into the Rhythm Room on Thursday.
Courtesy of The Temp Agency

Thursday, February 15
Rhythm Room

Few bands are as committed to putting on an insane show as Daikaiju, the surf rock act whose members all sport kabuki masks while performing. The band's name is a reference to kaiju, a Japanese film genre that features giant monsters attacking cities, the military, and other monsters.

With songs referencing famous movie monsters such as Mothra, the Huntsville, Alabama-based quartet plas surf instrumentals with a twist. Not only is there no singing, but also the four members of Daikaiju do not speak during their concerts. Or perhaps they do speak, but audiences never hear what the guys are muttering because their faces are covered.

There is a tradition of masked bands, like Los Straitjackets and (of course) Daft Punk. But Daikaiju take their performances to another level. The band's shows are raucous affairs punctuated by loud, shredding surf guitar and pyrotechnics courtesy of drum kits set ablaze. Good thing the Rhythm Room has a top-notch sprinkler system. David Rolland

Jeff Rosenstock returns to the Valley this week.EXPAND
Jeff Rosenstock returns to the Valley this week.
Courtesy of SideOneDummy Records

Jeff Rosenstock
Thursday, February 15
The Rebel Lounge

“They’re pushing you out in the name of progress and selling your memories to the tourists,” Jeff Rosenstock hollers on “Wave Goodnight to Me.” It’s just one of several songs on his latest album, Worry., which deals with gentrification. In an age when every arts district in America looks like it’s in a race to see who can transform themselves into a luxury condo enclave first, it packs a powerful punch.

While lyrics like “The city don’t care if you live or die / It’s just gonna grow and it doesn’t care why” drip with bitterness, it isn’t reflected in the sound of Rosenstock’s music. The pop-punk and third-wave ska veteran has built up his songwriting and frontman bona fides working with groups like Bomb the Music Industry!, The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, and Kudrow. You can hear his years of experience in Worry. and We Cool? They’re anthemic, enthusiastic records, brimming with passion. He sings his songs as though you already know all the lyrics and he’s just trying to match your volume as you sing them back to him. Ashley Naftule

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