The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

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
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

click to enlarge The Moz-loving musicians of Mexrrissey. - LAURA AGUSTIN
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

click to enlarge The punks of BroLoaf. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
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

click to enlarge Jane N' The Jungle are coming to Apache Lake Music Fest. - JIM LOUVAU
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. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
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. - JOHN GILHOOLEY
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
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