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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: José James, Luna Luna, Comeback Kid

José James is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 7, at Musical Instrument Museum.
José James is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 7, at Musical Instrument Museum. Janette Beckham
What’s on tap for the Valley’s concert scene this week? An eclectic mix of shows, basically, which will include gigs by hardcore punk legends Comeback Kid, esteemed vocalist José James, psychobilly kings Nekromantix, and hip-hop artist Pouya.

If none of those options suit you, metalcore band August Burns Red, indie band Luna Luna, and alt-rock/post-punk act The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are also scheduled to hit stages around town over the next few nights.

Read on for more details about each of these gigs or check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar for more music events this week. Keep in mind, though, most local venues require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a recent negative test result to attend shows. More info can be found on the ticketing sites for each concert.
click to enlarge August Burns Red rolls into town on Tuesday. - ATOM SPLITTER PR
August Burns Red rolls into town on Tuesday.
Atom Splitter PR

August Burns Red at Marquee Theatre

Metalcore pioneers August Burns Red celebrated the 10th anniversary of their fourth studio album earlier this year with a live-streamed performance of the entire record. The Pennsylvania rockers also re-recorded Leveler with alternate tunings, new solos, and guest appearances. And now that live music is back, the Pennsylvania quintet has returned to the road. Fans of the Grammy-nominated rockers can see them in-person at Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, on Tuesday, December 7, supported by Fit for a King, Erra, and Like Moths to Flames. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $27.50. Matthew Keever
click to enlarge Hardcore legends Comeback Kid. - JAMES HARTLEY
Hardcore legends Comeback Kid.
James Hartley

Comeback Kid at Valley Bar

Anyone still following hardcore since the denim-clad, illicit-beer-run days of hanging out in the basement knows that modern hardcore has progressed little from the prehistoric time of the Cro-Mags. Winnipeg's Comeback Kid is an exception, but not because they introduced bungled jazz angles or R&B harmonies after their formation in 2002. The fivesome relies on an explosive, rocket-fueled G-force that leaves listeners breathless. Their lyrics are literate and relentless, delivered in a youthful shout rather than an ageless demonic growl. Guitarists Andrew Neufeld and Jeremy Hiebert bring the impossibly fast guitar scrubbing of their previous band, Figure Four, and still find time for a discernible melody. After nearly two decades, six albums (a seventh drops next year), and multiple lineup changes, Comeback Kid is just a fierce as ever. They’ll put Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, on blast during their gig on Tuesday, December 7. The show is at 8 p.m. and No Warning, Zulu, and Scowl open. Tickets are $15. Rick Skidmore
click to enlarge Vocalist José James. - JANETTE BECKHAM
Vocalist José James.
Janette Beckham

José James at Musical Instrument Museum

Minneapolis-born vocalist José James' has been accepted by the jazz community, though you can’t exactly call him a jazz singer. Instead, you should embrace singer-songwriter José James for who he is: an artist who defies labeling. Period. Like others of his generation, including pianist Kris Bowers, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, James cross-pollinates R&B, hip-hop, soul, jazz, folk and indie rock to make his own sound. He's a laid-back performer who lets the music simmer. His soft voice is all coolness and tranquility. James never hurries, shows no sense of urgency, no sense of danger with his performances. He never seems to be singing on the edge. Though he doesn't seem to want to show any vulnerability, he's all about romanticism and feelings delivered in an effortless groove. There's definitively some sexiness in his slow-cooked magic, something intoxicating. James' is a vibe that's impossible to explain. He’s scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets are $33.50 to $46.50. Thierry Peremarti

Nekromantix at The Rhythm Room

Psychobilly is a tragically underappreciated genre, but Nekromantix couldn’t care less. For the past 30-plus years, this Danish-American trio have displayed a unique swing-dance sensibility alongside a punk-rock attitude, accentuated by tongue-in-cheek lyricism about the macabre. Anyone who hasn’t seen frontman Kim Nekroman play his coffin bass live should do themselves a favor and visit the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road, on Tuesday, December 7, or Wednesday, December 8, for what’s likely to be a pair of raucous gigs. Rockabilly bands The Delta Bombers and Volk open both evenings at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Matthew Keever

Pouya at The Van Buren

Hip-hop artist Kevin Pouya is of Cuban and Persian descent and has contributed to the rise of the new generation of internet rappers we've seen in the last several years. Since his breakthrough 2015 mixtape Baby Bone rocked the internet, Pouya has been garnering attention with slick rhymes in the spirit of his native city of Miami, including songs like “FLAwda” and “Loyal to My Soil." Not long after releasing his well-received debut Underground Underdog in 2016, the emcee got busy, dropping several mixtapes and albums the last few years. His most recent release, Blood Was Never Thick As Water, came out in October and features tracks with Denzel Curry and Lu Baby. Pouya will be at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Wednesday, December 8. Jasiah, Kxllswxtch, and Lu Baby share the bill for the 8 p.m. gig. Tickets are $25. Tony Centeno
click to enlarge The members of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. - COURTESY PHOTO
The members of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
Courtesy photo

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at The Nile Theater

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ debut album, Don’t You Fake It, reached platinum status in 2016, a decade after its release. Supported by the singles “Face Down,” “False Pretense” and “Your Guardian Angel,” the Florida rockers rose to stardom. Since then, TRJA has released a total of five albums, most recently 2018’s The Awakening. Fans of emotive rock can see the band locally at the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, on Wednesday, December 8. Phoenix-born metalcore/post-hardcore act Eyes Set to Kill and hard rock bands The Wildfires Projekt, Dead American, Embrace the Sun, and Then It Hit Me will round out the bill for the 6 p.m. show. Admission is $20. Matthew Keever
click to enlarge Luna Luna is blossoming with its new album Flower Moon. - ASH ROSAS
Luna Luna is blossoming with its new album Flower Moon.
Ash Rosas

Luna Luna at The Rebel Lounge

It’s been two years since Dallas-based Luna Luna last released an EP. And what a two years it’s been. In August, the four-member Latinx band dropped Flower Moon, its first full-length album. It bears the stamp of the pandemic and a new production process but is still quintessentially Luna Luna — lush, dreamy, poppy, dramatic, crooning. According to Kevin “Kavvi” Gonzalez, the band's vocalist and co-producer, Flower Moon is an evolved version of the band’s two previous EPs, For Lovers Only and Carousel — in the same family, sonically speaking, but longer, better executed and more personal. Luna Luna is currently touring in support of the release and is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, December 8, at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road. Psych-pop artist Boyo and indie-pop band Estereomance open the 8 p.m. concert. Admission is $14. Trace Miller
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.