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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Machine Gun Kelly, COIN, Grumpster

Machine Gun Kelly is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 11, at Footprint Center.
Machine Gun Kelly is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 11, at Footprint Center. Mark Seliger
This week, concertgoers of the Valley will get various doses of ska-punk, pop-punk, and indie-pop. Polarizing rapper-turned-pop-punker Machine Gun Kelly kicks things off on Monday night when his latest tour visits downtown Phoenix. That same evening, ska-punk stalwarts Streetlight Manifesto will be getting their fans moving in Tempe.

Later in the week, indie-pop band COIN and Bay Area punk act Grumpster are both due at local music venues for much-anticipated gigs.

Read on for more info about each of these shows or click over to Phoenix New Times' concert calendar for even more live music happening around town from Monday, July 11, to Thursday, July 14.

Streetlight Manifesto

Monday, July 11
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe
Third-wave ska may have reached its zenith in the late ’90s, but try telling that to the musicians of Streetlight Manifesto or their legions of devoted fans. The New Jersey-born band is still playing ska-punk like the genre never went out of style. But while they follow the genre's conventions, combining a brass section with punchy guitars, there are also eclectic nods toward mariachi and jazz. As upbeat as the hooks may be, the lyrics convey a dark edge, covering topics like death, religion, and classic literature. As a fad, third-wave ska may have faded from the public’s consciousness, but the band's distinctive sound doesn't need a trend to endure. 8 p.m., $30-$60 via Melissa Fossum
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Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly.

Machine Gun Kelly

Monday, July 11
Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street
Its popular to hate on polarizing rapper-turned-pop-punk-rocker Machine Gun Kelly these days for myriad reasons, including the quality of his music, his beef with Eminem, or the fact he’s dating Megan Fox. But you can’t begrudge the dude for his epic career. MGK started out as a rapper, rocketing to fame behind the 2012 track “Wild Boy” and his Puff Daddy-produced debut album Lace Up. After a pair of rap releases (2015’s General Admission and 2017’s Bloom), Kelly began transitioning into more of a rock ‘n’ roll vein on 2019’s Hotel Diablo, which blended alt-rock with hip-hop. His last two albums, 2020’s Tickets to My Downfall and this year’s Mainstream Sellout, were produced by Travis Barker and are heavy on guitar-driven pop-punk, as MGK has fully embraced the genre. Expect to hear songs from throughout his career at his show in downtown Phoenix, which features opening sets by Avril Lavigne and Willow. 8 p.m., $34.50-$124.50 via Benjamin Leatherman
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The Lost Leaf near Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix.
The Lost Leaf

Running From Bears

Monday, July 11
The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street
Imagine a ferocious Kodiak bear is running after you. How would you soundtrack this terrifying (and possibly final) moment of your life? Heavy metal seems like it would be the go-to score, but for the musicians in Running From Bears, jazz is the preferred form of chase music. Coming together in 2009, the band has been an active player in the downtown Phoenix jazz scene, playing at haunts like The Lost Leaf and The Nash for years. They integrate elements of rock and funk into their jazz, creating a sound that’s playful and driving. They also have a wry sense of humor, as exhibited by the title and artwork of their 2017 Edgetone Records album Maul of America. Sure, Branford Marsalis can play his ass off, but we bet his pun game isn’t on Running From Bears’ level. 9 p.m., free. Ashley Naftule


Tuesday, July 12
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
Last year, Nashville indie-pop trio COIN was all over alt-rock radio with their track “ChapStick,” one of many infectious singles they’ve released since debuting a decade ago. This year, the threesome of frontman Chase Lawrence, guitarist Joe Memmel, and drummer Ryan Winnen are currently touring behind their new album Uncanny Valley and its singles, including “Cutie” and “Brad Pitt.” Like many of COIN’s other releases, the tracks are unabashedly catchy, poppy bliss. Joining the band on their tour are Kansas City-based trio Blackstarkids, who blend hip-hop, pop, and indie rock with a ‘90s-style twist to create something utterly listenable. 8 p.m., $29.50-$63.50 via Benjamin Leatherman


Wednesday, July 13
The Underground, 105 West Main Street, Mesa
Grumpster has the sort of punk pedigree and origin story that might make other upstart bands of their ilk envious. They hail from the Bay Area, got their start after members of the band met at legendary music venue 924 Gilman, and had their debut album Fever Dream produced by Chris Barker of Anti-Flag. The band’s dynamic music also recalls early ‘90s pop-punk from the glory days of Lookout Records, as do vocalist Donnie Walsh’s angsty lyrics. Hear it for yourself during their show on Wednesday at the Nile Theater’s basement venue The Underground. Locals Ring Finger No Pinky and TV Messages open. 8 p.m., $15 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Ashley Naftule