This Week's Best Concerts: Daniel Seavey, Josue’s Haunted Honkytonk | Phoenix New Times

Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Daniel Seavey, Josue’s Haunted Honkytonk, Police State

Start off 2023 by supporting local artists.
American Idol alum Daniel Seavey will be at Crescent Ballroom this week.
American Idol alum Daniel Seavey will be at Crescent Ballroom this week. Jimmy Fontaine

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If any of your New Year’s resolutions involve supporting the local music scene, this week is the perfect time to dive in headfirst. Valley artists and acts like noise rockers Police State, R&B/soul/pop vocalist Truvonne, indie band Wild Earth, and Gothic Americana group Josué Kinter and The Empty Pleasures all have gigs scheduled over the next few nights at local venues.

Meanwhile, pop-rocker Daniel Seavey is bringing his latest tour to the Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday night.

Read on for more details about these shows or click over to Phoenix New Timesonline listings for even more live music from Monday, January 2, to Thursday, January 5.

Daniel Seavey

Wednesday, January 4
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
No one will ever top Jeff Buckley’s rendition of “Hallelujah,” but people keep trying. Leonard Cohen’s immortal song about sex (Trojan horsed inside Biblical imagery) is a perennial choice for covers. American Idol contestant Daniel James Seavey is one of many to take a stab at Cohen’s song; while he didn’t win that season, he’s carved out a respectable niche for himself as the bandleader, songwriter, and producer for boy band Why Don’t We. Living in a self-described “bubble of church” as a child, Seavey got turned onto the music of Drake and Mac Miller in high school. Forming Why Don’t We in 2016, the group went on a run of chart-topping success, landing multiple gold singles, sold-out tours, and two Top 10 albums. While the group went on hiatus during the pandemic, Seavey stayed busy in his home studio, writing and recording his solo debut. His 2022 single “Can We Pretend That We’re Good” shows how far he’s come from Why Don’t We’s sound. Blending acoustic instruments with passages of squalling noise, he takes what could be a straightforward ballad and produces something more unsettled and unpredictable. It won’t make you say “hallelujah,” but it may get a “hell yeah” out of you. With Devin Kennedy; 8 p.m., $25/$30 via Ashley Naftule

Police State

Wednesday, January 4
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road
The music of local band Police State is noisy, messy, and intense. It's not easily quantifiable by any specific genre and is instead a cacophonous car crash of punk, industrial, ambient noise, electronic elements, and plenty of hollering. Cue up their Body Power EP or last year’s Machine Era, and your eardrums will be assaulted by the relentless percussion, scathing guitars, and sheer power. If it were the '90s, the band would probably be signed to labels like Metropolis Records, Amphetamine Reptile, or maybe even Touch and Go. This week, Police State invades The Rebel Lounge as part of a grip of shows at Arizona music venues. Openers will include indie acts Bethany Home, Gone Before Us, and TV Messages. 7 p.m., $12/$15 via Benjamin Leatherman

Wild Earth

Thursday, January 5
Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue
Wild Earth say they write “alternative indie-rock songs of awe and wonder.” In case you can’t read between the lines that means they’re a Christian rock band. Wild Earth draw influence from Mutemath, building an “indie-worship” sound around a mix of keyboards, loose-limbed drumming, and My Morning Jacket levels of reverb. Their songs of praise and longing are conveyed through singer Micah Bentley’s restrained but emotive voice. Their latest album, Weary Hymns Along The Way, is moodier than you might expect from a religious pop-rock album. The key word in the title is “weary:” these songs are stories of doubt and patience tested, hopes stretched to the point of breaking but still intact. It’s not exactly upbeat but there’s depth beneath these murky waters. The music is pretty enough that you don’t have to be a believer to find something worth listening to in these songs. With Table Top Joe, Mississippi Nova, and The Edisons; 7:30 p.m., $12/$15 via Ashley Naftule

Josué’s Haunted Honkytonk

Thursday, January 5
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
There’s a decidedly Gothic Americana feel to the desert rock played by local singer-songwriter Josué Kinter with his latest backing band, The Empty Pleasures. Tracks like “There,” “Sun Song,” “Who’s Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?” from last year’s Nightblooming, feature folksy instrumentation, hypnotic vibes, and moody lyrical themes. They’re the sort of songs you’d expect to hear at some spooky revival tent show or during Kinter’s new Haunted Honkytonky sessions at Tempe’s Yucca Tap Room. The monthly event, which will take place every first Thursday at the bar, launches this week with a headlining performance by Kinter, as well as sets by post-punk/power-pop act U.S. Grave; DJ Horsethief; and Spiritual Warfare and the Greasy Shadows, the Bollywood-influenced experimental pop band from local indie musician Joel Marquard. Sideshow-inspired burlesque artist Rusty the Clown will also perform. 8 p.m., free. Benjamin Leatherman


Thursday, January 5
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
R&B/soul/pop vocalist Truvonne has been performing and recording locally for years, but her music is more widely known outside of the Valley. Her atmospheric tune “Crazy Love” was heard in an episode of the Freeform show Good Trouble (which got more than 800,000 plays on Spotify) while the equally powerful “Drive” made the soundtrack of The CW’s superhero drama Naomi last year. Truvonne’s also been featured on the 2017 Futuristic track, Good Pain” (off his What More Can You Ask For EP), which racked up more than 20,000 views on YouTube. She’s also released albums of her own, including 2020’s Broken House. If you’d prefer to be astounded by her ample vocal artistry in person, she’s performing a free show on Thursday evening at the Crescent. 8 p.m. Benjamin Leatherman
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