The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Waxahatchee is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 1, at Crescent Ballroom.
Waxahatchee is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 1, at Crescent Ballroom. Courtesy of Ground Control Touring
Got a free evening this week and some money burning a hole in your pocket? If so, consider getting out of the house for an evening, weathering a possible monsoon thunderstorm, and seeing a show.

After all, there are certainly a bunch of cool concerts happening over the next several nights.

This week's lineup of live music includes gigs by punk icons The Queers, blues artist Anthony Gomez, rappers Meek Mill and You Gotti, and even John Mayer (if you're into that sort of thing).

And there are all the shows contained within our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week, like the legendary J.D. Souther’s two-night stint at the Musical Instrument Museum, the return of rock act Rooney, and a performance by indie folk project Waxahatchee.

Read on for details about each of these events or check out our online concert calendar for more.

click to enlarge The punks of Unsane. - DAN JOERIGHT
The punks of Unsane.
Dan Joeright
Monday, July 31
The Rebel Lounge

Once upon a time, MTV played music videos, and a whole generation was introduced to Unsane through "Scrape," the trio's film tribute to brutal skateboard take-downs. Forming in 1988 and taking a short break in the early aughts before reforming in 2003, the aggressive New York band was part of an influential scene – which also included Helmet and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – that brought noise to the forefront as a viable element of rock and roll. Over the last 20 years, Unsane has released 10 studio and live albums on a handful of labels like Matadoor and Ipecac, putting out its last effort, Wreck, on Alternative Tentacles in 2012. Fashion Week, Heavy Breather, and Sympathizer provide support. Bree Davies

click to enlarge Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia. - COURTESY OF THE MIM
Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia.
Courtesy of the MIM
Amadou & Mariam
Monday, July 31
Musical Instrument Museum
The love story between Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia is so epic that it might inspire you to update your go-to reference of idyllic romance. It’s spanned decades and resulted in seven albums of passion-filled world beat music. The duo from West Africa met at the Mali Institute for the Young Blind. Both were born with the ability to see, but each lost vision at different ages. Music was a common bond for the pair, and three years after their marriage in 1980, the duo began collaborating. Prior to that, Bagayoko played guitar in an ensemble for about six years. Soulful, poppy, and loaded with his bluesy guitar and thrilling rhythms coming from multiple instruments, the pair’s music is only made richer by the singing. The vocals blend lushness and power, and are delivered in their national language of Bambara, often mixed with other African languages, Spanish, English, and French. Both intense and smooth, the duo’s sound is lively and guaranteed to inspire motion. It’s certainly inspired a lot of praise. Over the years, Amadou and Mariam have won and been nominated for numerous awards, and have collaborated with musicians from Damon Albarn to Fat Boy Slim. Amy Young

click to enlarge The members of Chevelle. - CHRISTIAN LANTRY
The members of Chevelle.
Christian Lantry
Tuesday, August 1
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Illinois-based rockers Chevelle have a clear-cut formula when it comes to making music: They keep it honest and real. They've never strayed far from their controlled chaos and somehow gentle rampage or their mix of dark magnetism and gothic pop (think early Tool meets The Cure if you haven't heard radio-dominating hits like "The Red"). Their three most recent albums – 2011's Hats Off to The Bull, 2014’s La Gárgola, and last year’s The North Corridor – sticks to the game plan. Never too flashy, the three musicians remain humble and dedicated to their sound, and it's resonated with audiences. Catch them at Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Tuesday, August 1, along with Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Lauren Wise

Crown the Empire - DANNY SUEDE
Crown the Empire
Danny Suede
Crown the Empire
Tuesday, August 1
Nile Theater in Mesa

Andy Leo sums his band up like this: "We're the Backstreet Boys of the metal world." It's a sort of half-joke, but the five handsome members of Crown the Empire do look a bit like what would happen if you gave a boy band some strong whiskey and a fistful of tattoo coupons. And though the band was formed in a Dallas high school, the group now finds itself doing some serious growing up. "We've learned during our live show to let the music speak for itself," Leo says. "I figured out it was silly to be a hype man screaming, 'Everybody fucking kill each other!'" Crown the Empire's third album, Retrograde, was released this year, and Leo thinks it's a prime example of 20-somethings grasping for identity. "When we started, we were 16 and our perceptions of music were narrow," he says. "We started to realize that metalcore had a bad connotation — that everyone is making the same music. We wanted to be more genuine. Fans will always be apprehensive about bands changing their sound, but so far they have been loving it." David Rolland

click to enlarge Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee. - COURTESY OF GROUND CONTROL TOURING
Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.
Courtesy of Ground Control Touring
Tuesday, August 1
Crescent Ballroom

Katie Crutchfield has the kind of voice that people notice right away. Now recording and performing as Waxahatchee – named after a creek about an hour southeast of her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama – Crutchfield's songs can be giddy, eerie, or confrontational: whatever mood suits her disarmingly frank lyrics, really. A prolific musician since her late teens, the 20-something singer-songwriter (who now lives in NYC via Philadelphia) first appeared on the indie cognoscenti's radar with Waxahatchee's second album, Cerulean Salt, which earned her a best-of-2013 nod by the mighty Pitchfork. It also made Crutchfield labelmates with the likes of Arcade Fire via Merge Records, the North Carolina indie label that earlier this year released the equally unpredictable and enjoyable Out in the Storm. Chris Gray

Read on for more cool concerts happening in Phoenix this week, including performances by J.D. Souther, T.S.O.L., and Rooney.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.