Regina Spektor is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, October 25, at Celebrity Theatre.EXPAND
Regina Spektor is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, October 25, at Celebrity Theatre.
Shervin Lainez

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

We’re most of the way through October, and there are plenty of great concerts left to experience.

This coming week, for instance, offers y’all the chance to catch performances by notable artists as Regina Spektor, Sarah Jarosz, Open Mike Eagle, Azealia Banks, and country mega-star Luke Bryan.

Finnish metal band HIM, currently on a farewell tour, will also serve up a final performance in Phoenix. And the always-entertaining stoner rockers of Red Fang are also due in town this week.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in Phoenix over the next few nights. And for even more shows taking place around town this week, check out our online concert calendar.

Monday, October 23
The Van Buren

Finnish rock band HIM has been known for causing a lot of weird controversy during its 26 years of existence. First, a lot of people get angsty when it comes time to define their sound – the band has been categorized as everything from slow alt-rock to melodic metal to gothic metal.

They've been around since 1991, and they're the only Finnish rock band to achieve a gold record in the United States. The band members – frontman Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindstrom, bassist have had an interesting array of influences, including The Stooges, KISS, Black Sabbath, and Neil Young. The band's eight studio albums span fast and heavy to mournful and rainy-day-friendly; the fifth album, 2005's Dark Light, was the band's breakthrough album in the U.S.

As you’ve probably heard by now, HIM will be calling it quits at the end of 2017, with their final gig taking place on New Year’s Eve at the Helldone Festival in their native Finland. As such, they’re currently in the midst of their farewell tour, which swings through the Valley this week and features openers CKY and 3Teeth. Lauren Wise

Indie hip-hop artist Open Mike Eagle.
Indie hip-hop artist Open Mike Eagle.
Courtesy of the artist

Open Mike Eagle
Monday, October 23
Valley Bar

With a half-dozen solo records, handfuls of EPs, successful podcasts and collaborations, and more than a decade of unique live performances, Open Mike Eagle has accomplished just about everything an artist can do in the music industry. More important, the alternative rapper has done all of it on his own terms — never sacrificing his creative vision to sell more records or appeal to the masses. But the 36-year-old still has one box left that he wants to check off in his career, and it’s about as commercial as it gets.

“I stupidly still want to play Coachella real bad,” Eagle says. "I still see that flyer and read those 100 names. You know you’re not going to be on there, but you’re looking for those guys where it’s like, ‘Oh, if that guy’s on there, I could definitely be on there.’ I’ve never even been.”

Considering the hype surrounding his current album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, it seems as good a time as there's ever been for Eagle to make a Coachella push. With every record since 2010’s Unapologetic Art Rap, the L.A.-based indie rap mastermind’s fan base has grown, and these days he could easily bring a solid afternoon crowd to one of Coachella’s tents.

In the meantime, he’ll bring a crowd to downtown Phoenix for his show at Valley Bar. Mega Ran, Teek Hall, and Billy Woods open the show. Josh Chesler

Azealia Banks
Tuesday, October 24
The Van Buren

Listen, Nicki Minaj can rap circles around most of the boys even without mesmerizing them with her blowup-doll image, and we respect that. But the badass-Barbie act feels a little manufactured, which is why Azealia Banks, another rapper from Harlem, has us giddy.

After all, she proceeded to rumble with a couple of big dogs in the rap game before she'd paid her dues and without making even the slightest attempt to sex up the feistiness. The gall! And thank God for it. It was about time a young firecracker who doesn't give a fuck and isn't interested in flirting stormed the boys' club that is hip-hop. Oh, and did we mention she's ripped every track she's released?

This week, Banks pays her first-ever visit to The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix. Be on your best behavior, boys. Rebecca Haithcoat

Your favorite OITNB theme song singer is coming to Celebrity.EXPAND
Your favorite OITNB theme song singer is coming to Celebrity.
Shervin Lainez

Regina Spektor
Wednesday, October 25
Celebrity Theatre

Regina Spektor can do more with her voice and piano than most singer-songwriters can manage with full instrumentation and lavish production. That’s not to say the New York vocalist’s arrangements are stripped down on her latest album, Remember Us to Life, which features varied musical settings by producer Leo Abrahams.

It’s just that Spektor’s songs need little more than her sophisticated melodies and playfully inventive lyrics to communicate romantic emotions so skillfully. “I’m chasing a story I heard when I was here last, at the back of the class,” she declares on the opening track, “Bleeding Heart.”

Spektor could be describing the passionate intensity of her own music when she adds, “Staring at the walls of your jail-like home / Listening to that song ’cause it hurts just right.” Falling James

Your favorite OITNB theme song singer is coming to Celebrity.EXPAND
Your favorite OITNB theme song singer is coming to Celebrity.
Shervin Lainez

Sarah Jarosz
Wednesday, October 25
Musical Instrument Museum

With the release of her fourth album, Undercurrent, folk multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz is riding a wave of critical acclaim. The album marks a shift in focus from the 26-year-old’s instrumental skills and interpretations of traditional songs to her songwriting and vocal performance. Undercurrent earned Jarosz two Grammys this year — for Best Folk Album and Best American Roots Performance — and was named Album of the Year by Folk Alliance International.

A frequent guest on Chris Thile’s A Prairie Home Companion, Jarosz also joined forces with fellow roots virtuosos Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan to form supergroup I’m With Her. Although Jarosz is a dexterous collaborator, this is a chance for local fans to hear the singular talent play solo. Katie Moulton

Folk artist Sarah Jarosz.
Folk artist Sarah Jarosz.
Scott Simontacchi

Atlas Genius
Wednesday, October 25
Crescent Ballroom

Atlas Genius is the indietronica band made up of Australian brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery that performs with a semi-revolving ensemble. Known to many for the success of their 2013 debut album When It Was Now, and breakout single, "Trojans" (which reached No. 4 in the Billboard Alternative chart), Atlas Genius is still touring the U.S. in support of sophomore follow-up LP, 2015’s Inanimate Objects.

Despite demonstrated chart success and touring the world as headliners, singer Keith Jeffery maintains the humility of a hometown musician. The adjustment has been difficult and affected the music on Inanimate Objects. "I actually feel like I’m in a much better place personally now, than when we embarked on the second album. It was just so much to deal with, so much of a lifestyle change, going from musicians living in a small town to musicians traveling the world.”

Lyrically, both albums demonstrate a sense of vulnerability and genuine reflection. While managing to maintain the band's acoustic identity (along with carefully placed, subtle synth lines, complimenting structured beats and fellow Aussie Michael Hutchence-inspired vocals), Inanimate Objects does show progression, moving from emotional strangulation to believable acceptance. Stephanie Grey

Keith Jeffery and Michael Jeffery of Atlas Genius.EXPAND
Keith Jeffery and Michael Jeffery of Atlas Genius.
Frank Maddocks

Nothing More
Wednesday, October 25
The Van Buren

Part alternative, part prog-metal, Nothing More presents a gripping genre crossover that combines the edgy crooning of Trapt with the instrumental prowess of Shinedown or Periphery. You can simultaneously sing along while you air guitar through solos, which truly is the best of both worlds. By separating the low-end with a treble-leaning vocalist, lead singer Jonny Hawkins' voice pierces even further, to an almost chilling degree.

This week, Nothing More brings its current tour to The Van Buren, which will feature opening sets by Palisades, My Ticket Home, and Hell or Highwater. Matt Wood

The members of Nothing More.EXPAND
The members of Nothing More.
Courtesy of Eleven Seven Label Group

Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge & Granger Smith
Thursday, October 26
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Luke Bryan is considered the King of Bro Country, a title he seems to embrace while also hoping to be treated as a serious artist. Count all the lyrical references to alcohol, trucks, gurrls (not just girls), rural settings, and catfish you like. Thing is, the thousands of people who will come to Ak-Chin Pavilion on Thursday will want to have a good time, pure and simple.

This three-act blockbuster show is what country music sold to a mass audience looks like these days, but it gets some extra oomph from openers like Brett Eldredge and Granger Smith. Most mainstream country music is for people who grew up on Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Tim McGraw, and Def Leppard, and weren’t afraid of hip-hop, either. Plus, it’s family entertainment. As easily mocked as the bro country genre is, it sure isn’t losing any steam by snark from those who don’t get it. Eric Grubbs

Country music superstar Luke Bryan.EXPAND
Country music superstar Luke Bryan.
Courtesy of UMG Nashville

Red Fang
Thursday, October 26
Crescent Ballroom

Red Fang have earned a stellar underground reputation for their rhythmically complex brand of hard rock, fusing stoner riffs and odd time signatures to create a truly foreboding atmosphere. Not the sort of group many fans might imagine would be produced by a member of the Decemberists, but that’s what happened when Chris Funk of the baroque indie-folk heroes helmed his Portland neighbors’ 2011 and 2013 albums, Murder the Mountains and Whales and Leeches.

For last year’s Only Ghosts, Red Fang’s most recent LP and third for Relapse Records, the quartet turned to Korn/Deftones/Slipknot veteran Ross Robinson to help them deliver another rib-bruising set of glowering riffs and breakneck tempos. Chris Gray

Red Fang is hitting the road once again.EXPAND
Red Fang is hitting the road once again.
James Rex

The Expanders
Thursday, October 26
Last Exit Live

Roots-reggae maestros The Expanders, known for their classic 1970s Jamaican-influenced sound, actually started as more of a dub/jam act while founders Devin Morrison and John Butcher were still attending high school in Southern California. After a few changes within the band, including a punk-rock phase, the second incarnation of The Expanders focused on doing acoustic reggae and learning to sing harmonies.

“You know, we would listen to The Ethiopians and Bob Marley and they had harmonies,” recalls Morrison, “but we also listened to Bad Religion and NOFX and they have a lot of harmonies as well. So when the punk band ended, we figured we didn’t need a drummer.”

The Expanders soon became the top-choice backing band for various legendary Jamaican artists. Following their appearance with John Asher on drums at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 2008, The Expanders’ core four members have remained the same: Morrison (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Butcher (lead guitar/vocals), Chiquis Lozoya (bass/vocals) and John Asher (drums/percussion). Not only have they remained busy through touring and playing multiple headlining shows up and down the West Coast, but the band’s 2015 studio album, Hustling Culture, reached No. 1 on the Billboard reggae chart. David Garcia

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