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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Soccer Mommy, Lord Huron, Dead and Company

Soccer Mommy is scheduled to perform on on Tuesday, October 26, at Crescent Ballroom.
Soccer Mommy is scheduled to perform on on Tuesday, October 26, at Crescent Ballroom. Brian Ziff
Long-awaited shows by a slew of bands dominate this week’s concert calendar in metro Phoenix, as bands like Lord Huron, Primus, Soccer Mommy, Thrice, and Gus Dapperton will finally take the stage at local music venues.

Other notable acts due in town from Monday, October 25, to Thursday, October 28, include swing revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers (yes, they’re still around), Primus (ditto), post-hardcore icons Thrice, and prog-rockers Dream Theatre. And if you missed out on Phish’s concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion this past weekend, you can catch the equally jam-tastic Dead and Company (featuring John Mayer and Bob Weir) at the outdoor venue on Monday night.

Read on for more details about each of these gigs or click over to Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar for more music events. Keep in mind, though, that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is an ever-present danger right now and multiple local venues are requiring proof of vaccinations or a recent negative test result to attend shows. More info can be found on the ticketing sites for each concert.

Lord Huron at The Van Buren

The L.A.-based, Michigan-bred folk quartet Lord Huron is the brainchild of its frontman and lead singer, Ben Schneider. Naming the group after the Great Lake where he spent his formative years, Schneider has so far crafted a catalog of music that’s simultaneously very traditional and yet modern enough to capture our darting attention spans. Lord Huron encompasses the jangling pop of the Head and the Heart; the slower, more reflective moods of Ray LaMontagne; and the rural twang of Trampled by Turtles. The band's second album, 2015’s Strange Trails, embraced the role of traveling storyteller, while their newest release, this year’s Long Lost, has been met with acclaim and called the band’s “lushest and most emotionally absorbing” work to date. Lord Huron is scheduled to perform at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Monday, October 25. Skyway Man opens the 7 p.m. gig. Tickets are $46 to $50. Angel Melendez
click to enlarge Kevin Morby (right) with Hamilton Leithauser. - SHERVIN LAINEZ
Kevin Morby (right) with Hamilton Leithauser.
Shervin Lainez

Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser at Crescent Ballroom

Kevin Morby might not be able to physically immerse himself into the crowd at his upcoming show at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Monday, October 25 — COVID distancing and all — but that doesn’t at all detract from his excitement about being back on tour. Like many performers, Morby recently hit the road after a long break, and though things are different as we continue to wind our way through the pandemic, he’s glad to be back on stage. Morby is sharing the bill on this tour with another singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Hamilton Leithauser. The two recently collaborated on the track “Virginia Beach,” which grew from a mutual admiration for one another’s songs. Fun fact: If you go to the show, you’ll get to see the two acts rock this song together. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $30. Amy Young
click to enlarge Dead and Company during a 2017 concert in Phoenix. - JIM LOUVAU
Dead and Company during a 2017 concert in Phoenix.
Jim Louvau

Dead and Company at Ak-Chin Pavilion

Since the Grateful Dead formed in the ’60s, the music of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and countless other contributors has gained a true cult status. Even after Garcia’s death in 1995, the band kept on truckin’. And the music hasn’t stopped. A few years after the band’s 50th-anniversary Fare Thee Well Tour in 2015, the group began touring as Dead and Company. The lineup includes John Mayer alongside original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann. Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti are also in the mix. Mayer’s strong blues background aids in the faithful delivery of wavy riffs from the days of Garcia. Dead & Company is scheduled to visit Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue, on Monday, October 25. Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert start at $51.50. Kayla Clancy
click to enlarge The oddballs of Primus are headed our way. - ATO RECORDS
The oddballs of Primus are headed our way.
ATO Records

Primus at Arizona Federal Theatre

Ever the jesters of alternative music, Primus will finally be pulling into Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Monday, October 25, on their A Tribute to Kings tour. The twice-postponed tour will see the band performing a cover of Rush's 1977 album A Farewell to Kings in its entirety for reasons that are not entirely clear, but very cool nonetheless. Worry not, Primus fans, the band will still be performing a set of their beloved singles like the MTV-buzzworthy songs “My Name is Mud” and “Mr. Krinkle” from their classic 1993 album Pork Soda, among many others. The singles set varies each night, so there is no telling what you might hear in preparation for the Farewell to Kings tribute, but the early reviews have been quite favorable. Primus tours seem to come and go on the whim of bandleader Les Claypool, so who knows when we might see them again. Canadian psych-rock band Black Mountain opens and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.50 to $100.50. David Fletcher
click to enlarge Indie-pop/bedroom pop artist Gus Dapperton. - GRANDSTAND MEDIA
Indie-pop/bedroom pop artist Gus Dapperton.
Grandstand Media

Gus Dapperton at The Van Buren

Brendan Rice is his real name, but he’s best known as Gus Dapperton. The New York-born indie-pop/bedroom pop artist is touring the U.S. in support of his 2020 album, Orca. Dapperton makes music that's layered and relaxed, proving that New York isn't as harsh as you'd think. His shows have sold out venues across the country, so expect a large crowd during his gig on Tuesday, October 26, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. The show will feature NYC singer-producer duo Claire Chicha and David Marinelli, better known as Spill Tab, as openers and starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $99. Jeff Strowe and David Garrick

Soccer Mommy at Crescent Ballroom

Sophie Allison, a.k.a. Soccer Mommy, has opened for a lot of impressive acts: Wilco, Paramore, Kacey Musgraves, Vampire Weekend. This fall, though, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter is the headliner (Emily Reo, who makes arty noise-pop, opens this Phoenix show). Have a listen to singles “Circle the Drain” and “Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes” from Soccer Mommy’s 2020 record Color Theory, and you’ll begin to hear why: Allison borrows from ’90s indie rock and melodic lo-fi pop to create a sound distinctly her own. Her concert at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Tuesday, October 26, starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are technically sold out but are still available through resellers. Gannon Hanevold
click to enlarge A 2019 photo of Tinariwen. - MARIE PLANEILLE
A 2019 photo of Tinariwen.
Marie Planeille

Tinariwen at Musical Instrument Museum

Tinariwen is the plural of ténéré, which simply means "desert" in the African language Tamashek. The name is fitting for these Sahara Desert musicians, and their music captures the beauty, hardships, longing, and isolation of their nomadic lifestyle. Tinariwen began in Libyan resistance camps in the 1980s, when most members of the group lived as freedom fighters for Tuaregs, wishing to hold onto a desert lifestyle while being oppressed by the Malian government. Guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib wrote songs for the resistance, influenced by rock music played in the camps.

The result is music that's at once rich and inspired, energetic and moving, but also desolate, haunting, and spiritual. It ebbs and swells on layers of syncopated rhythms composed of handclaps, multiple guitars, bass, assorted hand drums, vocal harmonies, shrill wails, and indigenous instruments like krakesh, darbouka, guellal, and calabash. Whether this lush interplay is upbeat or restrained, it is Alhabib's intricate, bluesy guitar style, steeped in Malian traditions, that presents the most immediate impact. Hypnotic and captivating, the music also crosses cultural boundaries. They’re the perfect fit for the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, where they’ll perform at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27. Tickets are $44.50 to $54.50. Glenn BurnSilver
click to enlarge It's your last chance to see Dr. Dog. - ANTI RECORDS
It's your last chance to see Dr. Dog.
ANTI Records

Dr. Dog at The Van Buren

Philly psych-rock/indie-folk act Dr. Dog are in the midst of their final tour, but the fivesome won’t be going their separate ways at the conclusion. Members of the band said as much in social media posts announcing the 31-city tour back in June. “It’s important to us that you understand that this is not a breakup or anything like that,” they wrote. “We don’t know what Dr. Dog will do; we just know it won’t include going on tour.” In other words, their concert on Wednesday, October 27, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren will be your last chance to catch Dr. Dog locally. And, going off their recent setlists, the show will feature songs from across the band’s 10-album discography. Indie singer-songwriter Tōth opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $26 to $28. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Post-hardcore band Thrice. - EPITAPH RECORDS
Post-hardcore band Thrice.
Epitaph Records

Thrice at Marquee Theatre

If there's been any generally agreed-upon criticism of the post-hardcore band Thrice in recent years, it's that their sound has strayed from its heavier roots. The California-born quartet has released 11 albums in the past two decades, experimenting with different sounds and genres along the way — to mixed reception from fans and critics. Their latest offering, the recently released Horizons/East, is being called their most experimental album to date, what vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue describes as a “road map” for opening minds to discover a sense of awakening (make of that what you will). Touring in support of the 10-song release, Thrice will play Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Thursday, October 28. Touche Amore opens the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are $27. Matthew Keever

Squirrel Nut Zippers at Musical Instrument Museum

When the Squirrel Nut Zippers put out their major-label debut, Hot, in 1996, the band’s fresh take on swing was already swarming the underground. Their phenomenally popular single “Hell,” however, pushed the group into the mainstream and all over alt-rock radio. The Zippers’ musical tapestry, which incorporates klezmer and calypso, has always been a little weirder than the work of other successful swing revival acts, like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. When the swing revival collapsed at the turn of the century, the group went on an extended hiatus, interrupted by infrequent live gigs. In 2016, following a 20-anniversary reissue of Hot, the Zippers began touring again, albeit with a substantially different lineup (vocalist/guitarist James “Jimbo” Mathus is the band’s only original member still performing). Their latest album, Lost Songs of Doc Souchon, came out last year and they’ll be back in the Valley for two shows on Thursday, October 28, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Performances are at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $33.50 and $44.50. Tom Murphy
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.