Save Ferris is scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 28, at Club Red in Mesa.
Save Ferris is scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 28, at Club Red in Mesa.
Piper Ferguson

The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

It’s Halloween weekend, which means parties, parties, and even more parties. Expect flashy celebrations involving DJs and dancing, high-style hotel balls, and even some strange and unusual concerts.

Costume-filled affairs won't be the only thing happening in the Phoenix music scene this weekend, however, as shows by Iron and Wine, Save Ferris, Kid Cudi, Joe Bonamassa, and Dream Theatrer will also take place.

Elsewhere this weekend, the Arizona State Fair will wrap up its annual concert season, the annual Apache Lake Music Festival will take place east of the Valley, and Flying Lotus will bring his 3-D tour to The Van Buren.

Details about each of these events can be found below in our rundown of the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. (And for even more live music events happening around town, check out our online listings.)

Rick Springfield
Friday, October 27
Arizona State Fair

Rick Springfield's life has been an interesting ride from the peaks through the valleys of major stardom. The man is a Grammy-winning songwriter, a former soap star who hunked it up on General Hospital, and the face plastered on the inside of your mom's locker. He's been through the wringer of Behind the Music clichés — including a major initial musical success marred by alleged scandal, a decade battling depression, and a miraculous ride to the top in both the acting and musical arenas in 1981. But the Rick Springfield of 2017 is still as inspired as ever.

And he's also as dreamy as ever, boasting energy and verve to spare, as evidenced by his critically lauded turn in Ricki and the Flash alongside Meryl Streep a few years ago, as well as the performances contained within Stripped Down, the 13-track live album from 2015 featuring live and raw versions of many of Springfield's biggest songs. His most recent studio album, last year’s Rocket Science is also filled with effusive fun.

Springfield's likely to bring the same level of energy — and a set list bristling with songs both old and new — to the Arizona State Fair this weekend for one of its final concerts of the season. David Von Bader

The Moz-loving musicians of Mexrrissey.
The Moz-loving musicians of Mexrrissey.
Laura Agustin

Day of the Dead feat. Mexrrissey
Friday, October 27
Mesa Arts Center

Admit it, Morrissey fans of the Valley: You’ve been holding your breath about whether or not The Smiths front man will put on a decent performance during his gig next month in Tempe. Of if he’ll even show up at all. Can’t say we blame you with either concern, considering that abortion of a concert that Moz perpetrated in Tucson back in April or his history of canceling tours.

If you’re eager for a worry-free Morrissey-related performance that won’t disappoint, consider attending the Day of the Dead event at Mesa Arts Center this weekend. Phenomenally popular tribute band Mexrrissey, which serves up Smiths/Morrissey songs that have reimagined with lyrics en Español and traditional Latin arrangements, are scheduled to perform.

The seven-member ensemble — which includes Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound, Tucson’s Sergio Mendoza, and Ceci Bastida of Tijuana No! fame — have sold out venues around the world and earned rave reviews for their take on the music of Moz.

There’s also the added bonus of seeing the equally popular La Santa Cecilia perform its hybrid of hybrid of Latin, rock, and world music, as well as a set by Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Benjamin Leatherman

The punks of BroLoaf.
The punks of BroLoaf.
Benjamin Leatherman

Punk Rock Halloween Bash
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

One of the biggest appeals of Halloween, regardless of your particular age, is the chance to be someone else. It’s something that the organizers and participants of the annual Punk Rock Halloween Bash have embraced with gusto over the last five years, as it features local and touring punk bands performing cover or tribute sets to iconic acts from the genre.

To wit: This year’s bash, which spans two nights, will feature Pinkville 666 as The Distillers, Soulcellout as Dr. Know, Dinky Risk as Minor Threat, and various locals paying tribute to Devo. The next night, different cadres of musicians will portray such legendary bands as Screeching Weasel, The Cramps, and Rudimentary Peni, while P.V. Casualties perform their tribute to Misfits. The funny freaks of BroLoaf, who definitely know a thing or two about donning costumes, will headline the evening.

Costume contests, games, prizes, and drink specials will be on tap both nights. The sets start at 9 p.m. and admission’s free. Benjamin Leatherman

Jane N' The Jungle are coming to Apache Lake Music Fest.
Jane N' The Jungle are coming to Apache Lake Music Fest.
Jim Louvau

Apache Lake Music Festival 2017
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
Apache Lake Marina & Resort

What could be better than a beautiful lake, some great music, and the opportunity to spend a few days jamming out, fishing, and camping? For many, there isn't anything much better, and the Apache Lake Music Festival offers the opportunity to combine several different pleasure about 65 miles from Phoenix at the Apache Lake Marina and Resort on Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28.

The eight-year-old festival is the brainchild of Brannon Kleinlein, who also owns and operates Last Exit Live in downtown Phoenix. As is the norm, the festival will feature loads of local acts.

On Friday, the lineup will include Brothers Gow, Bear Ghost, Harrison Fjord, The Sugar Thieves, Analog Outlaws, Mojo Riot, Scattered Melodies, Lemarshawn Jean, Jay Allan and the Uncommon Good, Sympathy F, Aunt B, The Sink or Swim, and Adero.

The following day will feature sets by Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Wyves, Banana Gun, 2Tone Lizard Kings, Sara Robinson Band, Japhy's Descent, Vintage Wednesday, Las Chollas Peligrosas, Geibral Elisah Movement, The Stakes, The Hourglass Cats, The Color 8, The Woodworks, Jane N' The Jungle, and The Runner-Up.

Tickets and more information about this year's festival can be found on the ALMF site. Tom Reardon

Kid Cudi returns to the Valley this weekend.
Kid Cudi returns to the Valley this weekend.
Timothy Norris

Kid Cudi
Saturday, October 28
Mesa Amphitheatre

Scott Mescudi uses his atmospheric art to bring his experiences with depression to light as Kid Cudi. In the process, he’s amassed a cultlike following and influenced a new generation of hip-hop with his debut LP, Man on the Moon: The End of Day.

His career has seen peaks and valleys as he’s experimented with wide-ranging sonics and genres, all while remaining transparent about his mental health. In 2016, Cudi spent most of the year in rehab for suicidal thoughts, as he told fans via an open letter. During that time, he wrote one of his best albums in years, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin. Kid Cudi is currently in the midst of a 27-city tour in support of the album, and fans are reporting he looks happier than he has in years. Mikel Galicia

The current incarnation of ska favorites Save Ferris.
The current incarnation of ska favorites Save Ferris.
John Gilhooley

Save Ferris
Saturday, October 28
Club Red in Mesa

In the mid-’90s, Orange County ska punk was very much the in thing. Bands like No Doubt, Reel Big Fish and the Aquabats took a third-wave ska scene from cities like Anaheim and Huntington Beach into the upper reaches of the Billboard charts. Forming in 1995 and taking its name from the John Hughes movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Save Ferris was one of the big players on the local scene, even if it didn’t have the same impact in terms of national and international sales. Still, talk about ’90s OC ska-punk, and Save Ferris will be one of the first names tripping off the tongue.

The band put out two albums in the ’90s, plus a number of singles and EPs, but there hasn’t been anything released in seventeen years. In fact, until the group reappeared in 2013, the last tour had been in 2003. About four years ago, charismatic singer Monique Powell resurfaced with a new lineup — an all-new Save Ferris. With many of the former members now playing in Starpool (another OC ska-punk band), it was left to Powell to carry the torch. This weekend, she'll carry that torch into Club Red in Mesa for the band's latest gig in the Valley. Brett Callwood

Renowned blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa
Renowned blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa
Rick Gould

Joe Bonamassa
Saturday, October 28
Comerica Theatre

As a young guitar prodigy, 12-year-old Joe Bonamassa famously opened for no less than B.B. King. More than a quarter-century later, Bonamassa is a guitar-wielding juggernaut who's remarkably prolific, touring incessantly and issuing albums and DVDs at a dizzying pace, all while presiding over a nonprofit foundation that promotes the blues and music education.

In 2014 alone, Bonamassa issued live albums of four different London performances, another with the jazz-rock fusion group Rock Candy Funk Party, another with singer (and frequent collaborator) Beth Hart, plus Different Shades of Blue, a studio disc for the first time consisting of all original material. The following year, he released Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, a tribute to blues icons Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, an impressive collection of covers recorded live in Colorado last fall. His latest album, Blues of Desperation, dropped last year and hit No. 12 on the Billboard 200.

Through it all, Bonamassa is a ferocious guitarist who can sling it with the best, equally influenced by blues and classic rock. Rick Mason

There will be a lot of eyes on Flying Lotus during his gig at The Van Buren this weekend.EXPAND
There will be a lot of eyes on Flying Lotus during his gig at The Van Buren this weekend.
Tim Saccenti

Flying Lotus
Saturday, October 28
The Van Buren

Flying Lotus is one of the most innovative electronic producers out right now.

Born Steven Ellison but better known these days by his stage handle, the L.A.-based artist began making beats at the age of 14, and with his omnivorous taste in music, he's gone on to create lush, detailed music with a soothing flow and depth that could never be classified purely as hip-hop, or ambient, or EDM, or anything in particular, really.

Rather, Flying Lotus makes the kind of music you have to take on its own terms with the ensuing reward of merely enjoying the work of an artist with a truly developed imagination and honed creativity. Tom Murphy

Christian Srigley and Leighton James of Adventure Club.EXPAND
Christian Srigley and Leighton James of Adventure Club.
Courtesy of MSOPR

Wicked Ball feat. Adventure Club
Saturday, October 28
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Adventure Club is the group that will get you into dubstep, if you’re not already into it. The duo has a knack for making the usually gritty genre beautiful – a drop for Adventure Club goes beyond what’s the dirtiest sound they could think of into pure musicality.

On top of that, more so than other dubstep groups, Adventure Club focuses on vocals and melody, and lets them shine through. Their music, though packed with some of the coolest, gnarliest dub, oozes musicality – so much so that not even your grandparents can call it “just noise.”

This weekend, Adventure Club will be at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale to headline the latest the resort’s latest Wicked Ball, one of the Valley’s biggest Halloween parties. House music duo The Him will also perform. Sarah Purkrabek

The members of Dream Theater.EXPAND
The members of Dream Theater.
Jimmy Fontaine

Dream Theater
Saturday, October 28
Chandler Center for the Arts

Formed in 1985, this American progressive metal band still contains original members guitarist/vocalist John Pertucci and bassist John Myung. Throughout the years, the band has undergone various lineup changes, including most recently the split with original drummer Mike Portnoy.

The music has always been a boiling pot of traditional heavy metal riffs, shredding guitars and elements of traditional old-school metal like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, glam, speed metal, classic rock, hard rock, classical music, and of course prog rock, with heavy influences form such bands as Rush, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Yes.

The band has toured all around the globe earning fans on every continent, having shared the stage with everyone from Megadeth and Iron Maiden to Deep Purple and Lamb of God. Alex Distefano

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.EXPAND
Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.
Kim Black

Iron & Wine
Sunday, October 29
The Van Buren

Sam Beam, former math teacher, beard-rock innovator, soft harmonizer with an edge, sings in a half-whisper, fills his songs to the brim with many competing acoustical flourishes and writes mysterious, meandering lyrics that wander from idea to idea without much regard for literal messaging (“Love was a father’s flag  /and sung like a shank/In a cake on our leather boots” — wha?).

It’s a beautiful approach, one that draws from the least annoying aspects of the jam-band scene — love for pure, clean sonics and search for joy in improvisation — to create something that suggests classic Paul McCartney, Elliott Smith, Brian Wilson (harmonies), and Topanga-era Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. This show should be amazing. Randall Roberts

Cash’d Out
Sunday, October 29
Rhythm Room

Touring tribute bands have an especially tough row to hoe: If other places are anything like Phoenix, there’s already one on every third stage in town, it seems like. But San Diego’s Cash’d Out has made it work for more than a decade, combining a repertoire that spans more than 150 songs and the authentic booming baritone of front man Douglas Benson, whose Man In Black is quite a bit better than merely passable.

Cash’d Out was the first tribute act to be endorsed by johnnycash.com; and has likewise impressed members of the Man In Black’s extended family, like ex-Tennessee Three drummer W.S. Holland, who has sat in with them, and Cash’s former manager Lou Robin, who has called their show “like going back in time.”

Drawing heavily from Cash’s Sun years and the Live at San Quentin and Live at Folsom Prison albums, Cash’d Out will amble into the Rhythm Room this weekend. Chris Gray

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