The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Snoop Dogg is scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 21, at the Arizona State Fair.EXPAND
Snoop Dogg is scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 21, at the Arizona State Fair.
Jim Louvau
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

As you’re no doubt aware by now, the long-awaited Lost Lake Festival is happening this weekend. And it’s likely to be the topic of conversation (and the focus of your social media feeds) over the next 72 hours or so.

But it’s not the only attention-grabbing music event taking place in Phoenix this weekend, nor is it the only festival.

Other notable shows and fests happening over the next few nights include Snoop Dogg and Cafe Tacvba at the Arizona State Fair, A$AP Mob at Mesa Amphitheatre, and Com Truise at Crescent Ballroom.

Meanwhile, Fear Farm will host KUPD’s latest Big Red Night of the Dead extravaganza on Friday and the NOFX-sponsored Punk in Drublic festival on Saturday.

Details about each of these events (including Lost Lake) can be found below. And for event more shows happening this weekend, check out our online concert calendar.

The musicians of Café Tacvba.
The musicians of Café Tacvba.
Courtesy of the artist

Café Tacvba
Friday, October 20
Arizona State Fair

We live in volatile, unpredictable times – and it’s exactly that kind of uncertainty that drives Jei Beibi, the latest release from Mexico’s alternative rock icons Café Tacvba.

Jei Beibi, its title a Spanglish pun pronounced “Hey Baby,” is the band’s eighth full-length album and its first in five years. On it, the quartet tackle all sorts of heavy, real-life themes: fate and faith, new parenthood, and the everyday stress of the current sociopolitical climate.

Jei Beibi also deals with the very real, very poignant experience of growing old. After almost three decades together as Café Tacvba, the members of the group are in or nearing their 50s. Their self-titled debut album celebrated the 25-year milestone this past July. Aging and passing time, thus, are on the band members' minds, and it’s almost palpable on album track “El Mundo en Que Nací” (“The World I Was Born In”), a soothing lullaby del Real penned for his two kids.

In the ’90s, Café Tacvba helped define and popularize the rock en español scene, an international movement across the wider Latin American world that saw artists mixing rock music with traditional, regional, and folkloric elements of their homelands.

Café Tacvba solidified Mexico’s role in the burgeoning genre with their seminal 1994 album Re, on which they pioneered a new sound built on experimentation and regional styles including bolero, ranchera, norteño, huapango, and banda. John Ochoa

Screaming Females
Friday, October 20
Valley Bar

They're called Screaming Females, but that primal, cuts-you-in-half sound you hear comes from Marissa Paternoster's guitar, which she uses to speak the language of Neil Young and Greg Ginn both — actually, both at once — on several album of punk built from nothing but sharp edges.

Screaming Females have been DIY since day one, rising from the all-ages basement shows of their homeland of New Jersey to build themselves a band that's gonna be as indestructible as the Wipers, P.J. Harvey, Sleater-Kinney, or Dinosaur Jr. (You know the deal: shreds up front, rhythms in the back.)

When old people wonder about the kids being alright, what they're really hoping for is to get a chance to see this band. Proof that punk is still live and loud. Chris Ziegler

Lauren Denitzio of Worriers.EXPAND
Lauren Denitzio of Worriers.
Jessica Flynn

Friday, October 20
Trunk Space

“When I leave you’ll never notice it / but I relive those years like phantom limbs,” Lauren Denitzio sings on the wistful and rousing “Future Me.” It’s one of the standout songs on Survival Pop, the newest album by Denitzio’s group Worriers. Survival Pop shows the band doing what they do best: writing hook-laden pop-punk songs that address gender issues, scene politics, and activism with deeply personal lyrics.

Whether it’s summing up the struggle between gender identities (an issue close to Denitzio’s heart as a queer artist) with the haunting line, “You are floating between two ends that don’t matter” in “They/Them/Theirs,” or talking about how the passage of time can weigh you down on “Future Me,” Denitzio has a poet’s talent for speaking volumes in a single line.

It’s a talent the band shares: Worriers can pack more hooks and fist-pumping melodies in one song than most bands can stuff into a whole album. Like their heroes Against Me! (whose Laura Jean Grace produced the band’s 2015 album Imaginary Life), Worriers know how to make songs that sound like rabble-rousing anthems and private confessions at the same time. Ashley Naftule

DJ Xam Renn
DJ Xam Renn
Ivan Rose

Nu/Flesh: La Danse Macabre
Friday, October 20
The Rebel Lounge

’Tis the season for all thing freaky, fantastical, and frightening. We’re mere days away from Halloween, which means everything spooky and scary is definitely in vogue. That’s true of the nightlife scene, as several Halloween-themed dance parties will be happening in the build-up to the holiday.

One of the cooler ones will be happening over at The Rebel Lounge, where the folks behind nights like 1984! and Nu/Flesh are putting on an event called La Danse Macabre on Friday, October 20. And, as you can imagine, it’s likely to be a dark and doomy affair.

DJ Xam Renn and special guest DJ Zander will spin selections of post-punk, dark wave, industrial-techno, cold wave, and EBM (that’s electronic body music for the uninitiated). Patrons are encouraged to wear costumes, particularly if they “dress to wake the dead.” The macabre mayhem starts at 9 p.m. and the event is strictly for the 21-and-over crowd. Admission is $5. Benjamin Leatherman

Mastodon headlines this year's Big Red Night of the Dead.EXPAND
Mastodon headlines this year's Big Red Night of the Dead.
Jimmy Hubbard

KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead
Friday, October 20
Fear Farm

If holidays were assigned official music genres to represent them, it makes sense that metal would be partnered with Halloween. Don’t agree? 98KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead might convince you.

This annual concert is held at the already spooky site of the Fear Farm. This year, it’s a shred-fest, featuring a day-into-night roster of metal bands from the U.S. and Sweden whose heavy riffs run from thick and chunky to speedy and blistering. The lineup includes Of Mice & Men, Avatar, In This Moment, and local Tempe band DED, who perform leading up to a set from headliners Mastodon.

Food, drink, and a variety of goods can be purchased from on-site vendors. The headbanging Halloween fun starts at 3 p.m. on Friday at Fear Farm. All ages are welcome. General admission is $45. A $125 VIP ticket includes complimentary food and drinks, a private bar area, and front-of-stage access. Amy Young

The English Beat
Friday, October 20
Musical Instrument Museum

In the beginning (i.e., 1978), the music gods created The Beat. And verily, the firmament known as Birmingham, England, brought forth a mighty 2-tone ska revivalist group, infused with sped-up reggae beats and poppy dancehall sounds and fronted by co-vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger. And it was good.

Their music spread forth a host of chart-topping singles unto the Earth, such as "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Hands Off ... She's Mine," spreading joy throughout the British Isles and all of creation (including the U.S., where they were known as "The English Beat").

After the band's breakup in 1983 wiped their music from the land, a one-night reunion at Royal Albert Hall 20 years later eventually led its members to become fruitful and multiply into two separate ska bands, each unleashing the same ska-heavy hits: The Beat (led by Roger and located in the U.K.), and The English Beat, featuring Wakeling and touring the States. And it is still good. Benjamin Leatherman

The Roots are scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 21, at the Lost Lake Festival.EXPAND
The Roots are scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 21, at the Lost Lake Festival.
Courtesy of Press Here Publicity

Lost Lake Festival
Friday, October 20, to Sunday, October 22
Steele Indian School Park

The inaugural Lost Lake Festival comes to the Valley courtesy of Superfly, the folks behind major music events Outside Lands and Bonnaroo. For the company’s first foray into Phoenix, it went all out.

The stacked and hip-hop heavy lineup includes Chance the Rapper, The Roots, Ludacris, Pixies, HAIM, and Run the Jewels. The rest of Lost Lake’s roster of performers include Crystal Castles, Calexico, The Dap-Kings, Johnnyswim, Trinidad Cardona, and Striking Matches on Friday, October 20; Huey Lewis & the News, Dreamcar, Kongos, Lil Yachty, Carla Morrison, Tritonal, and JR JR on Saturday, October 21; and Major Lazer, Odesza, Big Gigantic, Juanes, Snakehips, Poolside, and Futuristic on Sunday, October 22.

Besides the killer lineup, Lost Lake will feature food and drink and a giant playground. If you'd rather not cherry-pick what days you attend the festival, three-day passes are still available for $224.50. (Check out our complete guide to Lost Lake featuring everything you need to know about the event.) Becky Bartkowski

Alvvays clearly hasn't been slacking lately.
Alvvays clearly hasn't been slacking lately.
Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

Saturday, October 21
Valley Bar

Since Alvvays (pronounced always) debuted in 2011, the band have kept pretty busy. The Canadian group performed at the Glastonbury Festival in 2015 and Coachella in 2016.

Fresh off of the release of their latest album, Antisocialites, Alvvays clearly haven’t been slacking. In contrast with the band’s self-titled debut (whose lead track proposes marriage to a guy named Archie), this record airs the grievances of a rocky relationship. The track “Not My Baby” declares unapologetically, “You can tell your friends that I don’t make sense / And I don’t care.”

Lines like that, devoid of corniness and repetition, are a key component of the band’s appeal. The lyrics deal with love, but they’re also witty, smart, and steer clear of any hopeless romantic vibes. The songs on Antisocialites are for the heartbroken, the in-love, and above all, the fans of dreamy indie pop. Lindsay Roberts

The entire A$AP Mob is coming to Mesa.EXPAND
The entire A$AP Mob is coming to Mesa.
Kimi Selfridge

A$AP Mob
Saturday, October 21
Mesa Amphitheatre

Formed in 2006 in Harlem, A$AP Mob is an East Coast crew of rappers, producers, and fashion designers. Each member has the group's slogan Always Strive And Prosper as part of his name. While the dapper A$AP Rocky is the group's most famous member, other Mob members have made their mark over the last few years (especially A$AP Ferg, who's giving Rocky a run for his money as the best of the bunch). A$AP Mob has released one group studio album, 2016's Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends. The second volume in the Cozy Tapes series is set to drop this year, which is why the whole Mob is hitting the road this fall. A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast, and A$AP Ant are embarking on a 20-city tour. And they're bringing a few friends along for the ride: Playboi Carti, Key!, and Cozy Boys are also slated to appear when A$AP Mob hits Mesa on October 21. Ashley Naftule

Snoop Dogg
Saturday, October 21
Arizona State Fair

Snoop Dogg is one of the very few performers in hip-hop who can say he's watched the genre grow old with grace. From his tumultuous times at Death Row Records to a questionable signing with the No Limit label, Snoop has soldiered on through the years to become one of the game's greatest legends.

His lyrics, his California swag, and his consistent ear for head-banging rap beats continually put Snoop ahead of the class. His coolness is immeasurable, and he envelops his audiences with it at his shows. Well, that and marijuana smoke. Through it all, Snoop has built the Doggfather legacy and amassed a cult following that grows with every performance and carries his hip-hop message to the world.

And this weekend, he’ll carry it into Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum when he returns yet again to the Arizona State Fair. Expect 90 minutes of classic Snoop hits, fans singing along with every chorus, and THC in the air to keep the whole place mellow. Ru Johnson

NOFX is going to get Punk in Drublic.
NOFX is going to get Punk in Drublic.
Ben Garcia

Punk in Drublic Festival
Saturday, October 21
Fear Farm

NOFX’s Punk in Drublic is widely considered a seminal album of the genre it name-checks. The 1994 record was certified gold, and it’s cited as an influence for many punk bands that followed. Like a lot of punk albums, it was fast-paced and to the point, all the way down to its title.

Twenty-three years later, the name carries on with the Punk in Drublic Festival, a West Coast tour with a stop at Phoenix’s Fear Farm Festival Grounds on Saturday, October 21. It’s an all-day celebration of punk rock and craft beer, with complimentary tastings from more than 100 breweries until 4 p.m. and music through the evening. NOFX will headline the event alongside punk stalwarts Bad Religion, Goldfinger, and Guttermouth.

Also on the bill are Arizona’s own Authority Zero, who have been friends and occasional tour mates with NOFX over the years, dating back to the Rock Against Bush Tour in 2004. Ashley Harris

Legendary selector Pete Tong.EXPAND
Legendary selector Pete Tong.
Derrick Santini

Pete Tong
Saturday, October 21
Monarch Theatre

If you know a thing or three about electronic dance music, no doubt you've heard of Pete Tong or listened to the highly influential DJ's popular BBC Radio 1 program, Essential Mix. At the very least, you've raged to some of the formerly neophyte EDM artists, producers, and beatsmiths whom he's helped fling into stardom over the past two decades via the internationally known show and other programs such as Essential Selection and The Big Beat.

Tong's credentials as a tastemaker are as lengthy and impressive as his talents as a selector, as he's been dropping esteemed mix albums (more than 40 by our count) for two decades and has been spinning everything from acid house and old school junglism to Balearic beats since the early '80s.

The 57-year-old British expat, who famously inspired the rhyming phrase "It's all gone Pete Tong," will be at Monarch Theatre for a special edition of house night RB Deep on Saturday. Fellow countryman (and current Valley resident) Michael Hooker will open along with DJ duo Turner and Heit. Benjamin Leatherman

Seth Haley, a.k.a. Com Truise.
Seth Haley, a.k.a. Com Truise.

Com Truise
Saturday, October 21
Crescent Ballroom

After a decade of lurking around blog posts and soundtracks, synthwave is having a moment. As evidenced by the crossover success of the Stranger Things score and the presence of cult duo Magic Sword in the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, the genre — built upon a fondness for '80s-era analog synths and prominent bass lines — is no longer confined to niche, extremely online audiences. It has broken through to the mainstream.

Seth Haley, better known by his artist moniker Com Truise, is one of synthwave’s largest looming artists. His debut EP, 2010’s Cyanide Sisters, remains a touchstone, popular among practitioners of the genre and newcomers alike. Haley’s music occupies a weird space between atmospheric and forceful, with cymbal crashes meeting woozy, drunken synths to produce a sound that’s both funky and intoxicating.

Haley will perform his specific brand of electronic music tomorrow at Floyd, where he will be joined by producer Nosaj Thing and Australian singer-songwriter Cleopold. It’s the latest in a series of tours that have allowed him to both continually refine his live visuals and gauge how audiences are responding to his work." Zach Schlein

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.