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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Backstreet Boys, Barenaked Ladies, Monsta X

Backstreet Boys are scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 9, at Ak-Chin Pavilion.
Backstreet Boys are scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 9, at Ak-Chin Pavilion. RCA Records
Valley concertgoers will get to witness both the past and present of boy bands over the next few nights. Nick Carter and the other heartthrobs of Backstreet Boys are scheduled to perform in metro Phoenix this week, as are K-pop boy band Monsta X. They aren’t the only phenomenally popular acts due in town, as the Barenaked Ladies are also headed our way.

Other notable concerts happening around town from Monday, June 6, to Thursday, June 9, including a slew of indie favorites, including Midlake, Belle and Sebastian, and Thank You Scientist.

Read on for details about each of these shows or click over to Phoenix New Timesconcert calendar for more live music in the Valley this week.
click to enlarge The musicians of Scottish indie-pop/folk rock band Belle and Sebastian. - HOLLIE FERNANDO
The musicians of Scottish indie-pop/folk rock band Belle and Sebastian.
Hollie Fernando

Belle and Sebastian

Tuesday, June 7
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street
Having debuted back in 1996, Belle and Sebastian have been around long enough that frontman Stuart Murdoch and the other members of the Scottish indie-pop/folk-rock act are pushing middle age. And to listen to A Bit of Previous, which drops this week, they’re doing so with dignity and good humor. The 12-song album explores issues familiar to artists of, um, a certain age, including parenting, aging, and memories of one’s youth. Belle and Sebastian aren’t headed for the retirement home anytime soon, though, and will visit The Van Buren on Tuesday night to perform with special guests Thee Sacred Souls. If you’ve been following the band for years, be sure to pop some anti-inflammatories before showing up for the 8 p.m. gig. Tickets are $40 in advance and $43 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Connor O’Neal and Shawn D’Amario of Tejon Street Corner Thieves. - MOUNTAIN TROUT PHOTOGRAPHY/KEROSENE MEDIA
Connor O’Neal and Shawn D’Amario of Tejon Street Corner Thieves.
Mountain Trout Photography/Kerosene Media

Tejon Street Corner Thieves

Tuesday, June 7
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
Colorado-born “trashgrass” act Tejon Street Corner Thieves are Shawn D’Amario and bandmate Connor O’Neal. They met in 2013 and bonded over drinking beer and playing music. They got their name from the spot they’d busk at in those days. Every promising band’s “dream come true” is really the result of a lot of hard work and talent. The Thieves’ success begins with a blend of folk, bluegrass, and punk music and songs dedicated to the subjects D’Amario and O’Neal know best. They built an audience over the years by playing lots of shows. When the pandemic struck, they equipped a school bus with a PA and did curbside shows for fans. While the band is a two-man jam, they’ve leaned on friends like Lightnin’ Luke and King Strang from Bridge City Sinners in recording sessions. Their latest release, Thick as Thieves, features 12 tracks, all originals “and it's all songs we're really proud of," O'Neal said. They’ll perform material from the album during their show on Tuesday night at Tempe’s Yucca Tap Room, which starts at 8 p.m. A Better Problem opens and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

Midlake

Tuesday, June 7
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
Midlake became woven into the fabric of the then-burgeoning folk-rock revival with the release of their 2006 breakthrough album The Trials of Van Occupanther and its hit single “Roscoe.” (It was later was named the 90th best song of the 2000s by Rolling Stone magazine.) Soon, tours with the likes of Band of Horses, The Flaming Lips, Cold War Kids, and festival slots alongside Daft Punk and at Coachella in between fellow indie-rock trailblazers Arcade Fire and future EDM titan Diplo became Midlake’s home away from their Denton, Texas, home. The band then found their most ardent following in Europe (where they earned a fan in Ricky Gervais) partially because of their 2010 follow-up album The Courage of Others and its incorporation of sounds by the likes of Pentagle, Fairport Convention, and Jethro Tull. Earlier this year, Midlake released For the Sake of Bethel Woods, their first LP in nine years and are scheduled to perform on Tuesday night at Crescent Ballroom on their tour in support of the album. The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $19 to $29. Vincent Arrieta
click to enlarge K-pop band Monsta X. - EPIC RECORDS
K-pop band Monsta X.
Epic Records

Monsta X

Wednesday, June 8
Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
South Korean boy band Monsta X lands at Arizona Federal Theatre on Wednesday as part of a 2022 mini-tour. Consisting of Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, I.M., and Joohoney, the K-pop group is known for hits like “Rush Hour,” "Who Do U Love?," and "You Can't Hold My Heat." The band's most recent EP, 2022's Shape of Love, topped the Gaon Album Chart in South Korea. In a review for NME, Rhian Daly asserts, "Regardless of what topics ... Monsta X tackle on their next release, you can guarantee they’ll do so with the passion and allure that’s become their trademark." Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are only available through resellers. Ashley-Anna Aboreden
click to enlarge Starset are out of this world. - ATOM SPLITTER PR
Starset are out of this world.
Atom Splitter PR

Starset

Wednesday, June 8
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe
Symphonic metal and space rock are not yet deep-rooted genres in music, but Starset are an example of how both genres can be blended to create something extraordinary. The band, which formed in 2013 and released their debut album, Transmissions, the following year, is fronted by a bona fide doctor in electrical engineering. Dustin Bates also completed research for the U.S. Air Force and taught at International Space University (yep, it’s a real institution of learning). So it’s really no wonder he wanted his music to have astronomic themes. Starset even has a backstory (which involves their creation by a secretive society with the aim of promoting science and alerting mankind to mysterious messages being received from outer space) and a comic book. You can learn more about both when the band touches down at the Marquee Theatre early this month. The show is at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $28 to $48. Diamond Rodrigue
click to enlarge Pop-rock band Barenaked Ladies. - SHOREFIRE MEDIA
Pop-rock band Barenaked Ladies.
Shorefire Media

Barenaked Ladies

Thursday, June 9
Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
Canadian band Barenaked Ladies have been thought of as something of a joke act in the world of American pop-alt-rock since their breakthrough hit single "One Week." While the band has released plenty of singles in the last 35 years, none have had quite the same impact as "One Week" — except maybe the theme song they provided for The Big Bang Theory. The band's deep cuts, however, reveal that the band is far more than a group of merry pranksters, with songs that show great emotional depth and snarky social commentary. Coming through downtown Phoenix in early June, Barenaked Ladies bring with them two bands from the '90s with whom they shared the radio waves when the band was known for "Old Apartment" instead of "One Week." Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket will be providing the opening support for this night of '90s nostalgia. The concert is at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $59.50. David Fletcher
click to enlarge Indie band Thank You Scientist. - SARAH STURGES
Indie band Thank You Scientist.
Sarah Sturges

Thank You Scientist

Thursday, June 9
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road
Thank You Scientist are one of the more unique acts in rock as they consist of seven musicians playing instruments ranging from a shamisen and sitar to a theremin. Classifying the act into one particular genre wouldn't do them justice. Ostensibly, they’re considered a mix of progressive rock, post-hardcore, and jazz fusion, but listening to their music, you'd probably agree that they sort of transcend those labels. During their sets, Thank You Scientist are able to groove their way through their catalog of songs while providing a stage presence that demands your attention, purely to hear what would come next. Their frenetic and kinetic sound features off-tempo changes, kinky riffs, and unpredictable sonic twists that make you want to keep listening. Catch them live at Rebel Lounge on Thursday. Strawberry Girls and Art Thief open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Austin Paetow
click to enlarge Backstreet's back, alright. - RCA RECORDS
Backstreet's back, alright.
RCA Records

Backstreet Boys

Thursday, June 9
Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue
No other entity in the music industry comes close to the type of world domination that boy bands achieve. Throw a group of five good-looking young men onstage with some well-choreographed dancing and pop songs that tug at the hearts of millions of adoring fans, and you've got yourself an international treasure. But it takes more than just perfectly quaffed hair and lovemaking lyrics to cement a group as one of the best in its genre. One of the front-runners of the resurgence of boy band popularity in the 1990s, the Backstreet Boys were a five-piece group from the boy band capital of the world, Orlando, Florida. Since forming in the early '90s, AJ, Howie, Nick, Kevin, and Brian filled hearts and arenas with their infectious, syrupy pop music. And today they continue their streak of performing high-energy concerts, including their show at Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 9. While fans have grown up, become parents, or have simply had a change in musical taste since their early teenage years, the Backstreet Boys provide a sense of nostalgia and recall those earlier years of growing up, and singles like "I Want It That Way" and "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)" remain earworms today. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $39 to $129.50. Diamond Rodrigue
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.