The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Rise Against are scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 9, at Ak-Chin Pavilion.
Rise Against are scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 9, at Ak-Chin Pavilion. Travis Shinn

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click to enlarge Doctor P will make a house call to the Monarch this weekend. - COURTESY OF CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY
Doctor P will make a house call to the Monarch this weekend.
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
Doctor P
Saturday, July 8
Monarch Theatre

Over the course of nearly 13 years of careful construction, fine-tuning, and experimentation, Doctor P has developed a sound immediately recognizable in the dubstep world. It is forceful yet playful, like dancing in a thunderstorm. Doctor P admits he prefers the expressive confines of the studio to the showmanship of the stage, but that doesn't mean he phones it in. He's an honest-to-God DJ, mixing tracks, matching beats, and reading the crowd. He feels like the last of a dying breed, he says, but he thinks audiences really do appreciate it. "I've almost stopped doing dubstep so many times," he says. "Trap comes along and then house. Every time, I kind of do some track that goes away from dubstep; then, I remember I prefer dubstep and go straight back to it. It seems like there's not that many people left doing dubstep, but I feel like it's still the music that makes the most sense to me." Doctor P didn't get where he is by chasing trends or trying to be anything but himself. That's why, of all the guys who came and went with the times, he's still booked to bring his raucous energy to the big stage. It's what makes him an influencer despite what may be the hit du jour. Kat Bein

Prophet of St. Madness (left) onstage. - COURTESY OF SICPICPHOTOGRAPHY
Prophet of St. Madness (left) onstage.
Courtesy of SicPicPhotography
Prophet's 55th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, July 8
Pranksters Too in Scottsdale
St. Madness frontman Patrick Flannery has been around Phoenix’s metal scene long enough to qualify for icon status. Ditto for his band, which has been blasting fans with heavy metal thunder at venues across the Valley for 24 years now. And at every single St. Madness gig since 1995, Flannery has been front and center as his face-painted rock ‘n’ roll alter ego, The Prophet. As he told New Times in 2013, the makeup is a fun part of the band’s performances. “I've had so many people over the years say to me, ‘Your band is so good – if you just dropped the facepaint,’” Flannery stated. “I try to tell people, we're not about trying to become rock stars. We're about entertaining.” And this weekend, Flannery and the other members of St. Madness will continue to entertain as they celebrate his 55th birthday at Pranksters Too in Scottsdale. Local metal band Downhill Trend, Triple Play, Rez of War, and Guardians are also on the lineup. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Deftones return to Phoenix this weekend. - FRANK MADDOCKS
Deftones return to Phoenix this weekend.
Frank Maddocks
Deftones & Rise Against
Sunday, July 9
Ak-Chin Pavilion

There are two ways to look at this pairing of the odd nu-metal outsiders and the political punk powerhouse. One is to look at it and think, “that's weird, I would not peg those bands as potential tour mates.” The other is to look at it and get extremely excited, because while they may have sonic differences they're both among the best live rock acts you'll find. Deftones' keyboardist/sampler/turntablist Frank Delgado, however, doesn't think it's any weirder than when the band toured with Incubus last year. “Our whole existence has been like that. We're the band that is kind of like a thorn. We never really fit with whoever we bring or go out with," he says. "We like that. We stand out.” While Deftones have lived with their most recent album, Gore, for over a year now, Rise Against is hitting the road with an album that's just been released, and from the sound of it the songs they're playing off of it are working. “Some songs just don't translate well live, but these songs – 'Wolves', ' The Violence' and 'Welcome to the Breakdown' – are build for the live setting, so it's been amazing.” However weird it might look like from the outside, the tour is working, and there haven't been any mass exoduses of fans before the headliners. “We try to have our setlist appeal to our core fans, and then we try to throw in some slower songs that might appeal to Deftones' fans,” he tells us. “So far it's been great for both bands. People have been staying every show.” Cory Garcia

click to enlarge A quarter century later, he still likes big butts and cannot lie. - COURTESY OF BLK LIVE
A quarter century later, he still likes big butts and cannot lie.
Courtesy of BLK Live
Sir Mix-A-Lot
Sunday, July 9
BLK Live in Scottsdale

Rapper and producer Sir Mix-a-Lot is a valiant knight who's fought a long battle against waifish, modelesque beauty standards with his classic "Baby Got Back," the greatest anthem to generously plump booties since Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." One could make the case that he's singlehandedly shaped society's body ideals into Kardashian proportions, and in turn hold him responsible for many a butt implant. With all these impressive achievements, it's hard to remember Mix-a-Lot was actually a platinum-selling artist before his anaconda wanted none. Unless you had buns. Hun. His 1988 album Swass had the moderately successful hit "Posse on Broadway," and then there's "Jump On It," which saves him from joining the one-hit-wonder club. He's also a hip-hop pioneer, particularly considering that late '80s Seattle was less hip-hop than Orange County is today (or, well, ever). Nothing brings more big booty to the dance floor like "Baby Got Back," so if that's your thing you'd be a fool not to make it out to BLK Live for his show. Eva Raggio

click to enlarge The metal maestros of DragonForce. - COURTESY OF METAL BLADE RECORDS
The metal maestros of DragonForce.
Courtesy of Metal Blade Records
Sunday, July 9
Club Red in Mesa

DragonForce, the London sextet that's been around since 1999, waves high the banner of power metal. But they take "epic" to a whole new level. On the metal scale of 1 to 11, they're more Tufnel than Tufnel himself. Lead guitarist Herman Li, originally from Hong Kong, likely has the fastest hands ever to have touched an Ibanez. What he is capable of seems inhuman — so much so that there was speculation at the outset of the band's career that they were speeding up their songs in the studio and weren't able to replicate them live. (Subsequent performances have proven this rumor false.) Most DragonForce songs clock in around the seven-minute mark because Li solos for about three minutes. And we're not talking gratuitous jam band improv solos; we're talking complexly structured and fully composed. Most lyrics of DragonForce songs are positive, upbeat messages. Think Shakespeare's Henry V pre-battle pep talk, and you get the idea. They’re also like Dethklok on happy pills. Li's speed and precision make him the real-life Skwisgaar Skwigelf, and his video game-inspired guitar effects sound like Pac-Man munching on amphetamines. Co-founder Sam Trotman — who also plays guitar — writes most of the band's songs, every one of them a rousing, triumphant marathon. Like a Rocky training montage on fast-forward, it is all so utterly ridiculous that it becomes enjoyable. Linda Leseman
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