The 9 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Kendrick Lamar is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, July 12, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Kendrick Lamar is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, July 12, at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Timothy Norris

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Kendrick Lamar
Wednesday, July 12
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Not every superstar bounces back from a platinum success like To Pimp a Butterfly so quickly. Other rappers start counting their bars and getting stingy with their verses; other artists bog down in the quicksand of gravitas. But “Humble,” the first single from Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN., is a brag-packed instant classic, a costume jewel in the paper crown of summer, built for car speakers and block parties. The rest of the album continues his whirlwind travelogue through inner and outer consciousness, set against a montage of top-of-the-line arrangements, alternately jazz-crowded and icily minimalist, ready for headphones and festivals alike. In mid-July, Lamar will kick off his 17-city tour in support of DAMN. right here in the Valley with a performance at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Tex Kerschen

Night of Neuralgia #11 feat. Echo Beds
Wednesday, July 12
Trunk Space

Take a contact mic and one or more of the following: water bottle, stacked cymbals, detached hood of a car, a sheet of metal, floor tom, chains, bricks, file cabinet — any item that can make a sharp, clattering sound — and process or amplify the sounds these items make together, and you'll get a bit of the confrontational and eruptive sounds that Denver-based industrial/avant-garde act Echo Beds uses in all of its sets. The duo of Keith Curts and Tom Nelson is to noise or the avant-garde now what Suicide was to the New York underground scene in the 1970s. These are not percussive sounds and textures for the sake of a cheap startle; they work in the context of unconventional songs and compositions. With its distinctive approach to rhythm, Echo Beds is effectively creating a new industrial music to reflect the harsh realities of the current era. On Wednesday, July 12, they’ll headline the latest Night of Neuralgia event at the Trunk Space, which will also feature Xiuhcoatl, Skymall, and Depressive. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge The musicians of P.O.D. - COURTESY OF TKO
The musicians of P.O.D.
Courtesy of TKO
Thursday, July 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

While the great majority of P.O.D.'s contemporaries in the ill-conceived nu-metal/rap-rock movement of the mid- to late '90s — chagrin-inducing outfits like Limp Bizkit, a skeleton in oh-so-many closets — have become fossilized relics, P.O.D. (shorthand for its full name, Payable on Death) has outlasted them all. And while it hasn't thrived, necessarily, the San Diego-based act has certainly endured. This is largely thanks to the fact that, much like it did for kindred acts Rage Against the Machine and Downset, the fusion of metal and hip-hop always seemed organic rather than contrived for P.O.D. What's more, the quartet wisely eschewed the hedonism that fueled a lot of that era's music; as a result, P.O.D.'s songs have always displayed a depth and earnestness that evaded those other bands, who seemed capable of conveying only anger or lust. This week, they hit the Marquee Theatre in Tempe with Alien Ant Farm, Powerflo, As Thick As Thieves, and Dawn Awaits. Dave Herrera

click to enlarge The members of Mutoid Man. - YVONNE JUKES
The members of Mutoid Man.
Yvonne Jukes
Mutoid Man
Thursday, July 13
The Rebel Lounge

The fact that this band is successful or even exists is a complete fluke. Somewhat of a supergroup, Mutoid Man formed as a side project, officially, with 2013 EP Helium Head, and has been kicking out high-energy, heavy rock tunes ever since. Ben Koller (Killer Be Killed, Converge, All Pigs Must Die) is one of the finest metal drummers in the scene today; frontman Stephen Brodsky (Converge, Kid Kilowatt) somehow balances several bands and solo endeavors the way his guitar work dances between serious technicality and explosive riffage; and bassist Nick Cageao, FOH sound engineer at famed Brooklyn metal club St. Vitus, balances the overall sound (excuse the pun). With lyrics that barely make sense and a voice whose serrated edges betray his sunny onstage disposition, Brodsky might be hustling his audience — there’s a solid, melodic vocalist in there pretending to be an angry metalhead. Kristy Loye
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.