The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Country Thunder attendees at last year's event.
Country Thunder attendees at last year's event. Leavitt Wells
The festival season in Arizona is in full swing right now, to say the least. This weekend alone, there are no less than five different high-profile concert events happening in and around the Valley that involve the great outdoors in some fashion, including the Phoenix Lights electronic dance music extravaganza at Hance Park, the Good Life Festival at Encanterra in the San Tan Valley, and all the festivities of Arizona Bike Week up at WestWorld in Scottsdale.

Plus, there's also the down-home hullabaloo of Country Thunder over in Florence, the DJ-laden pool parties of Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, and the Downtown Music Stroll featuring a number of venues in Phoenix's urban core.

Plenty of other "can't miss" concerts and nightlife events will also happen this weekend, which you can find in our extensive online music listings or in the following list.

click to enlarge Jonathan Davis of Korn. - JIM LOUVAU
Jonathan Davis of Korn.
Jim Louvau
Arizona Bike Week
Thursday, April 6, to Sunday, April 9
WestWorld in Scottsdale

A 21st birthday is always a big deal. And if it happens to be for a five-day motorcycle event at WestWorld, then it’s bound to be an even bigger party. Arizona Bike Week 2017 is April 5 to 9, and beyond the bike races, stunt shows, and vendor booths, concerts featuring both national headliners and native Arizona country songwriters are ramping up for a week in Scottsdale. Tickets are $28 per day — and include entry to the shows and concerts — and $63 for a five-day event pass. Call 480-644-8191, or see the Arizona Bike Week website for tickets. The lineup is packed. On Thursday, April 6, catch Creedence Clearwater Revisited, the John Fogerty-less version of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. Then on Friday, see famous nu-metal pioneers Korn. Saturday sees Alice Cooper on the main stage, and a few locals will play various stages throughout the week. Lauren Cusimano

Country Thunder 2017
Thursday, April 6, to Sunday, April 9
Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence

Springtime means wildflowers! Get out of the house! Springtime means outdoor festivals! Get out of the house! And this weekend merits a little jaunt out of town, specifically "down ways southwestern" to Florence for the Country Thunder camping/country music festival. You've probably heard most of the headliners, like Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Cowboy Troy, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brandon Ray, Chris Young, and Tyler Farr, but dig a little deeper into the lineup, and there are a number of gems, especially among the multitude of local artists who are also scheduled to perform at the event, such as Matt Farris, A Boy Named Sioux, Harry Luge, and Shari Rowe, among others. And if you just wanna go hang out and soak in the atmosphere in addition to checking out all the music, hey, that sounds pretty fun, too. After all, its one of the biggest parties of the year for local cowboys and cowgirls. Chris Hansen Orf

click to enlarge Oliver Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon. - JIM LOUVAU
Oliver Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon.
Jim Louvau
Bring Me the Horizon
Friday, April 7
Comerica Theatre

Bring Me the Horizon share more than just a hometown with Def Leppard. Like Leps in the 1980s, the Sheffield, England, quintet have morphed from midlevel heavy metal contender to arena-intended, major-label, mainstream juggernaut. To milk the comparison still further, BMTH’s 2015 fifth album, That’s the Spirit, is Leppard’s Pyromania two decades on, with both records releasing their makers from any prior metal obligations and, with massive injections of studio-savvy gloss, into much more open-to-adventure “rock band” status. That’s the Spirit is metalcore meets Fall Out Boy, with anthemic melody and electro-flecked variety pushing brute power into the wings and the songs themselves into the spotlight. Florida’s returned Underoath were a high watermark of the screamo subgenre and, with their genre-defining call-and-response clean/screamed vocals and classic lineup both intact, feel more like “special guests” than mere “support.” Paul Rogers

Acid Mothers Temple
Friday, April 7
Valley Bar

Acid Mothers Temple continue waving their freak flag pretty high on their most recent crop of albums, the curiously named Astrorgasm from the Inner Space, Benzaiten, and last year's Wake to a New Dawn of Another Astro Era. The Japanese psychedelic rockers have always been led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto through a seemingly endless series of side projects and permutations, from their mid-1990s beginning, when they were influenced by the spacey, minimalist collages of Krautrock, to their more recent opuses, which sound like a dozen Jimi Hendrix albums crushed by a trash compactor. Makoto's unfurling melodies and streaking contrails of guitar are amped up further by his bandmates' surges of synthesizer and trippy noises of unknown origin, culminating in a crescendo of head-spinning, psychedelic madness. Falling James

click to enlarge Jake Goldsmith of Stellar Well. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Jake Goldsmith of Stellar Well.
Benjamin Leatherman
Stellar Well Presents Locals Only
Friday, April 7
Crescent Ballroom

Stellar Well is famous for putting on parties featuring artists and tracks that aren’t neccesarily in the wheelhouse of most DJs or dance music fans. “Our focus has been, and will always be, to shine a light on talent we find inspiring, talented and under the radar of most Phoenicians,” says Stellar Well’s Jake Goldsmith. Their latest event, which will take over the main room at the Crescent Ballroom on Friday, has a similar M.O., albeit with a specific spotlight on artists from around the Valley. “[We] felt that our first event at the Crescent should highlight local talent exclusively and half the lineup should be live performances,” Goldsmith says. As such, the first three sets of the evening will feature live electronic music being created right then and there using synthesizers and drum machines. Paul West will serve up lo-fi house, Your Leg My Leg will offer Chicago deep house, and Amethyst Seer will provide more experimental beats. The rest of the night will include back-to-back DJ sets by Anton and Osutin, Public Access, and Goldsmith and Owen S. Meanwhile, the artistry and eye-candy of Purdy Lites will be projected onto the walls of the venue. Benjamin Leatherman

Read on for even more "can't miss" concerts this weekend, including gigs by Scott H. Biram and The Mr. T Experience, as well as a tribute to one of David Bowie's biggest albums.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.