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Here Are the Biggest Concerts Coming to Phoenix in November

Elvis Costello and the Imposters are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, November 10, at Arizona Federal Theatre.
Elvis Costello and the Imposters are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, November 10, at Arizona Federal Theatre. Paul Moore
November will be a month to remember in the Valley when it comes to concerts. Over the next several weeks, scores of memorable shows are scheduled to take place, including gigs by such high-profile artists Elvis Costello, Playboy Carti, Harry Styles, Andrew McMahon, and Thundercat.

Masked metal band Slipknot is also bringing its festival-like Knotfest Roadshow to Ak-Chin Pavilion, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin will co-headline a night of Latin pop at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, and $uicideboy$ will headline a big night of hip-hop at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler.

In other words, metro Phoenix’s concert scene will be heating up as temperatures are cooling down. (Details about even more music events happening in November can be found over on Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar.)

As y’all are likely aware by now, the Delta variant is still a danger and the biggest venues in town are requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend shows. It's something to keep in mind during one of the biggest months for live music locally.
click to enlarge Indie singer-songwriter Julien Baker. - MATADOR RECORDS
Indie singer-songwriter Julien Baker.
Matador Records

Julien Baker at The Van Buren

Julien Baker’s solo records don’t go down as smoothly as those of Lucy Dacus or Phoebe Bridgers, her collaborators in the indie-rock supergroup boygenius. Baker’s alt-folk is full of sharp edges and darkly self-reflective lyrics. On her latest, Little Oblivions, she has expanded her sonic palette, creating a larger world for her hauntingly beautiful songs to live inside. Baker comes to The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Monday, November 1. Dehd and Katie Malco open the 8 p.m. show, which is $25 before taxes and fees. Gannon Hanevold
click to enlarge Slipknot is bringing the Knotfest Roadshow to the Valley. - ROADRUNNER RECORDS
Slipknot is bringing the Knotfest Roadshow to the Valley.
Roadrunner Records

Knotfest Roadshow at Ak-Chin Pavilion

For the better part of 30 years now, Slipknot has represented the bitter bucolic. Birthed in Des Moines, Iowa, and fronted by Corey Taylor and his signature growl, the masked rockers have been a staple in the metal and hardcore scenes for decades. Supported by Killswitch Engage and Fever 333, the nonet will bring its annual Knotfest Roadshow — a mini-festival for metalheads around the world that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — to Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue, on Tuesday, November 2. Tickets are $29.50 to $99.50 for the 5:30 p.m. gig. Matthew Keever

Angels and Airwaves at The Van Buren

Angels And Airwaves — the interstellar art-rock outfit started by a founding member of the pop-punk outfit blink-182 — just released its first new record since 2014. On Lifeforms, Tom DeLonge made a conscious effort to return to his band's earlier sound while incorporating some new elements like punk and hardcore. The final result has largely appeased critics and longtime fans alike, breathing new life into a group that fell into a creative rut after 2007's I-Empire. Fans of UFOs and tales of unrequited love can see AVA at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Wednesday, November 3. Bad Suns and My Kid Brother open the 7:30 p.m. gig. Tickets are $43 to $48. Matthew Keever
click to enlarge JJ Grey in concert. - COURTESY OF ALL EYES MEDIA
JJ Grey in concert.
Courtesy of All Eyes Media

JJ Grey and Mofro at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

After just a few notes, anyone witnessing JJ Grey in action can't help but notice how strong his stage presence is. He doesn’t need pyrotechnics or an elaborate stage show or costumes to pull a crowd in. All he needs is a microphone, a harmonica, and a guitar or two, and he’ll pull the crowd down to his world of dirty, authentic Southern grooves and deep-fried soul lyrics. Grey epitomizes what a frontman should be, and the rest of Mofro kick out grooves that would make a dead man dance like his reanimated life depended on it. His lyrics are reminiscent of the great Southern poets: Fiercely personal, universal, and political without a hint of superiority or peachiness. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, will host a performance by Grey and Mofro at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3. Tickets are $35 to $42. Jonathan Cunningham
click to enlarge Electronic act Rüfüs Du Sol. - LEFAWN HAWK
Electronic act Rüfüs Du Sol.
LeFawn Hawk

Rüfüs Du Sol at Arizona Federal Theatre

There's a freeing quality to Rüfüs Du Sol's music. The Australian trio produces music that feels like you're gazing past a cotton-candy sunset over the horizon while shedding a tear. Something's in the water in the land Down Under. Aussie imports like Tame Impala taught us music could flow slowly through the speakers, while music turned fantastical with the electro-pop duo Empire of the Sun. Rüfüs Du Sol flows from the same vein, blurring genre homogeneity with powerful language and deep rhythm. Over the last decade, the group combined electronic elements with live components via the thunderous vocals and guitar riffs of Tyrone Lindqvist, surfaced synth and keys patterns from Jon George, and James Hunt's soul-hitting percussion. They’ll visit Arizona Federal Theatre on Thursday, November 4, along with electronic duo Flight Facilities. The show is at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $59.50-$149.50. Grant Albert
click to enlarge Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast - PETER ASH LEE
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast
Peter Ash Lee

Japanese Breakfast at Sun Devil Stadium

Michelle Zauner surfaced on the scene back around 2016 with a pair of sturdy, shoegaze-inflected indie-rock records released under the name Japanese Breakfast. She has since revealed herself to be someone with far more eclectic interests and talents. An essay about her mother’s death was published in the New Yorker in 2018 and later became a memoir, Crying in H Mart, which was released earlier this year. And the new Japanese Breakfast record, Jubilee, which dropped in June, is an adventurous departure from Zauner’s previous sound. The moody, mournful tones have been replaced by something more playful, percussive, and orchestral (Zauner worked with a variety of collaborators on Jubilee, including Alex G, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, and Crying’s Ryan Galloway). In some places, the record evokes the ecstatic art-rock of Kate Bush; elsewhere, as on “Be Sweet,” you might think you’re hearing a long-lost ’80’s-era Madonna dance-pop jam. Sasami Ashworth, a former Cherry Glazer member who makes music heavy with synths, reverb, and hushed vocals under the name SASAMI, opens. Tickets are $23 for her performance at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, on the Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium, 500 East Veterans Way in Tempe. David Hudnall
click to enlarge Glam-rock revivalists the Struts. - CHUFFMEDIA
Glam-rock revivalists the Struts.
Chuffmedia

The Struts at Marquee Theatre

British rock band The Struts' latest tour in support of its third studio album, Strange Days, will land at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Friday, November 5. Formed by four friends in northern England in 2012, the quartet has cited Queen as its biggest musical influence, modeling its sound and style after the rock legends and making a name for itself as certified glam-rock revivalists. The Struts have played alongside some of rock's biggest names, from the Who to the Rolling Stones to Foo Fighters. Alt-rock act World’s First Cinema opens the 8 p.m. show. General admission is $28.50. Olivia McAuley
click to enlarge Playboi Carti performs at the Marquee in early November. - BY VILLUNDERLONDON/CC BY-ND 2.0, VIA FLICKR
Playboi Carti performs at the Marquee in early November.

Playboi Carti at Mesa Amphitheatre

Jordan Carter, a.k.a. SoundCloud rap sensation Playboi Carti, began his rap career as a member of Awful Records, the iconoclastic Atlanta alt-rap collective headed by Father and featuring talents such as Abra, Key!, and iLoveMakonnen. He began gaining clout in the wider hip-hop world thanks to SoundCloud tracks such as "Broke Boi" and "Don't Tell Nobody." Last year, he released his self-titled mixtape, featuring the hit "Magnolia," a star-making song for both Carti and producer Pi'erre Bourne that made Bourne's production tag – "Yo Pierre, you wanna come out here?" – an instant sign that the DJ is about to drop a slapper into the mix. Carti also made it onto the XXL Freshman List, where he freestyled with the late XXXtentacion, and earned features on the like's of A$AP Mob's "RAF" and Lana Del Rey's "Summer Bummer." He’s supposedly got a new album, Narcissist, in the works, though he’s been less than forthcoming with information about the project. One thing we do know is that he’s scheduled to perform on Friday, November 5, at Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 North Center Street, with special guest Rico Nasty. Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert at $64.95. Douglas Markowitz
click to enlarge Blue Öyster Cult performs in 2012. - ALBERTO CABELLO/CC BY 2.0/FLICKR
Blue Öyster Cult performs in 2012.

Blue Öyster Cult and Jefferson Starship at Wild Horse Pass

Blue Öyster Cult are probably best known to casual fans for their hit singles “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You,” which remain in heavy rotation on classic-rock radio today. Historically they’ve been labeled a metal band, yet their music encompasses so much more, with elements of progressive and psychedelic rock mixed in with the hard stuff. Their sound is unique and not easily categorized; many songs are downright strange and weird, in a good way. Founding members lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and lead vocalist Eric Bloom just keep on trucking after numerous lineup changes; in a more just world, BÖC would be playing sold-out arenas and record an album of new material as their musical peers Black Sabbath did before retirement. Then again, it is nice for BÖC fans to see the band play intimate venues on their current tour with Jefferson Starship – which comes to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Boulevard in Chandler on Friday, November 5 – and not have to pay an arm and a leg for the pleasure. Tickets are $37 to $82 for the 8 p.m. concert. David Rozycki

George Thorogood and the Destroyers at Talking Stick Resort

For over four decades, George Thorogood has been cranking out his brand of electric boogie blues. The Delaware native has released over 20 albums with his band, the Destroyers, and if you've paid attention to even a small percentage of movie soundtracks over the years, you've muttered along as a leading character walks away from a large fire in slow motion: "B-b-b-b-baaad." It's likely that "Bad to the Bone" would top the most used "badass doing something really badass in a movie" song list, as well as providing a soundtrack for dads manning barbecue grills the world over. Of course, Thorogood's music catalog and talent don't stop there, as his discography contains a wealth of great songs like "I Drink Alone," "Get A Haircut," and "Rock Party." All three will be on his setlist during Thorogood's performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 5, at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way. Tickets are $35 to $125. Diamond Rodrigue
click to enlarge Tokyo Police Club is celebrating one of its biggest albums. - DINE ALONE RECORDS
Tokyo Police Club is celebrating one of its biggest albums.
Dine Alone Records

Tokyo Police Club at Crescent Ballroom

Besides arguably having a super cool name, Canada's Tokyo Police Club have played some of the hippest indie pop after their debut in 2005, particularly on their sophomore album, Champ. It was pretty difficult to find much fault in the high-velocity pop crafted by vocalist/guitarist Dave Monks and crew for the 2010 release, which was praised by critics at the time for its fusion of “light-speed guitars with ebullient melodies.” Champ was re-released earlier this year and TPC is still touring in celebration of the album’s 10-year anniversary. They’re due at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Tuesday, November 9. Said the Whale opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $23. Darryl Smyers
click to enlarge The legendary Elvis Costello. - DIANA KRALL
The legendary Elvis Costello.
Diana Krall

Elvis Costello and the Imposters at Arizona Federal Theatre

Elvis Costello has been a well-known musical figure for over 40 years now. The author of iconic jams like “Radio, Radio,” “Alison,” and “Watching The Detectives,” among many others, is at the elder statesman phase of his career now. Costello chooses not to revel in past glories, though. He’s back out on the road with his longtime backing band, The Imposters, which also features bassist Davey Faragher of Cracker on bass, drummer Pete Thomas, and keyboard/synth player Steve Nieve. They’re touring behind the recently released Spanish-language reimagining of Costello’s 1978 album This Year’s Model and their performance at Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Wednesday, November 10, will be the Imposters’ first concert in the Valley since 2008. Tickets are $49.50 and up for the 7:30 p.m. concert. Jeff Strowe
click to enlarge Enrique Iglesias (left) and Ricky Martin (right). - TICKETMASTER
Enrique Iglesias (left) and Ricky Martin (right).
Ticketmaster

Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin at Gila River Arena

Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin both experienced massive crossover success globally with Latin pop, selling kajillions of records and becoming heartthrobs and secret boyfriends to suburbanite housewives in the process. So it seems only natural for the pair to crisscross the globe together performing at venues worldwide. Like numerous other artists, their co-headlining tour was delayed by the pandemic but is finally back on track. The hip-shaking kings come to Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale, on Thursday, November 11, with support from singer Sebastián Yatra. Tickets are $24.95 to $494. Benjamin Leatherman

$uicideboy$ at Rawhide Event Center

Call them punk-rap, trap-metal, or whatever you like, $uicideboy$ have since 2014 quickly become one of the most popular acts in the underground rap scene, earning a devout cult following that has gotten the group out of the clubs and into Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler, where they’ll perform on Wednesday, November 10. $uicideboy$ started their journey to the top as SoundCloud rappers releasing dozens of mixtapes and EPs filled with abrasive beats and confessionalist lyrics about substance abuse, self-harm, and Satan-worship. Lyrical content like that has certainly made the New Orleans duo a lightning rod for controversy in recent years, but as with any artist that becomes a pariah for overprotective parents, $uicideboy$ artistry overpowers its controversy. For their fans, $uicideboy$'s lyrics and music are about catharsis — a kind of international group therapy built around music that may not be happy, but is honest. Chief Keef, Slowthai, Turnstile, Night Lovell, Ramirez, and Shakewell will open the 7 p.m. show. Admission is $53 to $100. David Fletcher
click to enlarge Lukas Nelson with members of backing band Promise of the Real. - ALYSSE GAFKJEN
Lukas Nelson with members of backing band Promise of the Real.
Alysse Gafkjen

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real at The Van Buren

Being the son of legendary singer/songwriter Willie Nelson wasn’t always the easiest row to hoe, but Lukas Nelson has become an accomplished songwriter in his own right, albeit playing roots-oriented rock ’n’ roll instead of country tunes like his old man. His band, Promise of the Real, is a five-piece powered by his deft guitar work and smooth vocals that find inspiration in the blues/rock of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Nelson also isn’t opposed to throwing in a cool Willie cover now and again. The band’s latest tour stop in the Valley comes on Friday, November 12, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Admission for the 8 p.m. show is $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Darryl Smyers
click to enlarge DJ/producer Porter Robinson. - DAN REGAN
DJ/producer Porter Robinson.
Dan Regan

Porter Robinson at Rawhide Event Center

DJ/producer Porter Robinson is one of the most fascinating figures to come out of the EDM bubble of the early 2010s. His debut EP, Spitfire, was released on Skrillex's record label OWSLA in 2011. It was pretty emblematic of the American-style dubstep popular at the time, albeit with flourishes that softened the genre's harsh edges. Then, in 2014, Robinson changed directions with the more subdued Worlds. It was warmly received by critics and fans and everyone expected him to release his much-anticipated second album a few years later — but it never materialized as, behind the scenes, Robinson was experiencing crippling anxiety to match the success of Worlds. The wait for Robinson's proper sophomore album finally ended last month with the release of Nurture, which builds on the foundation set by Worlds, with tighter song structures and pop hooks. His tour in support of the 12-track project hits Rawhide, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler, on Friday, November 12. Sets by Jai Wolf and James Ivy will open the evening beginning at 8 p.m. Admission is $49.70. Jose D. Duran
click to enlarge Harry Styles in concert this summer. - PHAM
Harry Styles in concert this summer.
PHAM

Harry Styles at Gila River Arena

Make sure you bring earplugs to drown out the shrieks of teens (and, let’s be honest, people much older than teens): Former One Direction heartthrob, actor, and pop singer Harry Styles will finally make up his canceled 2020 date on Saturday, November 13, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Jenny Lewis is the special guest for the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are officially sold out, but can be found for big bucks on the secondary market. Jennifer Goldberg
click to enlarge The current lineup of Earth, Wind & Fire. - COURTESY OF TICKETMASTER
The current lineup of Earth, Wind & Fire.
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

Earth, Wind & Fire at Arizona Federal Theatre

There's very little in the music world that Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White hasn't done in his 48 years as a recording artist. Since getting into the biz in 1969, he's sold hundreds of millions of records. He's played in front of mammoth festival crowds. He's widely considered one of the best bass guitarists of all time. He won the music game with a smile on his face and continues to record and perform for huge audiences worldwide. The same can be said for Earth, Wind & Fire, the legendary band started by his brother, the late Maurice White, that’s known for its R&B-based love songs and upbeat pop-funk. During its heyday of 1970 to 1984, EWF racked up 20 Grammy nominations, sold millions of records, and influenced countless musicians and artists with its dynamic sounds, lively horn section, and iconic songs. The latest version of Earth, Wind & Fire – which still includes Verdine White, singer Philip Bailey, and percussionist Ralph Johnson – pays a visit to Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Sunday, November 14. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $39.50 to $354. Tom Bowker
click to enlarge Paul Jason Klein, Charles Leslie Priest, and Jake Clifford Goss of LANY. - CHUFFMEDIA
Paul Jason Klein, Charles Leslie Priest, and Jake Clifford Goss of LANY.
Chuffmedia

LANY at Arizona Federal Theatre

LANY is a deceptive name for a band formed in Nashville, Tennessee. Pronounced "lay-nee," an acronym for "Los Angeles New York," the group at first glance looks and sounds like the ultra-urban minimalist Instagram fodder touted by one-word bands these days. But its repeatable, warm sound also offers comfort and this polarity is what makes LANY so frustrating and so fascinating at the same time. It is odd that a trio of thoroughly greater-Midwestern guys who met in the South would create music you’d hear at Forever 21. Their beat-driven synth and fun California-centric melodies are shiny and produced much in the same vein of those by the band The 1975, and their lyrics are as delightfully millennial and straightforward. But one can’t help but notice the undeniable heart and dedication that go into music so unfussy about itself. Catch them in concert on Friday, November 12, at Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and Keshi opens. Tickets are $29.50 to $64.50. Stefanie Fernández
click to enlarge Chris Slorach (left), Alex Edkins (center), and Hayden Menzies (right) of METZ. - NORMAN WONG
Chris Slorach (left), Alex Edkins (center), and Hayden Menzies (right) of METZ.
Norman Wong

METZ and Preoccupations at Crescent Ballroom

Want to mosh? Let’s mosh. The Canadian punk-rock act METZ thrives in chaos, its shows a rowdy concoction of aggressive percussion and guitar-heavy angst. They’ll be joined at this show by fellow Canadians Preoccupations, whose post-punk sound — a bit of New Order, a little ’70s art-rock — is mellow by comparison. Their show on Thursday, November 18, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue starts at 8 p.m. with an opening set by Facs. Tickets are $20 before fees. Gannon Hanevold
click to enlarge The members of Slow Pulp. - WINSPEAR
The members of Slow Pulp.
Winspear

Slow Pulp at Valley Bar

After releasing its debut album Moveys in late 2020, Slow Pulp seems to be on a mission to prove itself the most eclectic indie band going. The band’s discography has it all: acoustic ballads, indie electro-pop, a one-minute instrumental nod to former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, even a newly released cover of Sum 41’s ’90s classic “In Too Deep.” Considering Slow Pulp’s exponential rise in the last calendar year and the coveted Phoebe Bridgers co-sign the band received this fall, Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, almost seems too small a venue for their show on Saturday, November 20. But with tickets at just $14 before fees, it’s also a great opportunity for local indie fans to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing. Mamalarky opens the 8 p.m. show. Gannon Hanevold
click to enlarge Indie-pop band MisterWives. - MATTY VOGEL
Indie-pop band MisterWives.
Matty Vogel

MisterWives at The Van Buren

In a music culture where the single most respected musician on the planet might well be Beyoncé, pop sensibilities are valuable currency. These are exciting times to be a fan of a well-crafted hook and an indelible melody, even if the majority of bands trying to create those things can’t manage anything truly worthwhile. That’s because we occasionally wind up with a band like New York’s MisterWives: a trio equally capable of bombast and precision, one that earns its clap-along choruses with inventive, soul-inflected grooves and unexpected rhythms. The act released their EP Reflections in early 2014 to hype from many a media outlet, and have followed up with performances around the country. Their most recent album, Superbloom, dropped in 2020 and the band is scheduled to perform on Saturday, November 20, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Frances Forever will provide support for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $29 to $104. Kiernan Maletsky
click to enlarge Los Angeles Azules have provided some of the most iconic songs of the cumbia genre. - MARCO TORRES
Los Angeles Azules have provided some of the most iconic songs of the cumbia genre.
Marco Torres

Los Angeles Azules at Arizona Federal Theatre

Legendary cumbia sonidera group Los Angeles Azules revolves around the Mejia Avante family, who are proud natives of Iztapalapa, one of the boroughs of Mexico City. Founded in 1983, their legacy includes 30 albums and spans multiple generations. The current rotation consists of more than a dozen band members, which include multiple singers, horn players, keyboard players, percussionists, and more. A majority of their songs involve matters of the heart, such as love, longing, and heartbreak. But even the saddest songs in their repertoire sound lively and upbeat. "Como Te Voy A Olvidar," "Nunca Es Suficiente," "Niña Mujer," "El Liston De Tu Pelo" and "17 Años" are just a few of the litany of hits played during their concerts. Los Ángeles Azules have performed innumerable shows around the world, including sets at Coachella in 2018 (they’re the only cumbia band to have played the festival). LAA’s travels will bring them to Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Saturday, November 20. Their performance begins at 8 p.m. and admission is $48.50 to $125. Marco Torres
click to enlarge The bassist and vocalist known as Thundercat. - NINJA TUNE RECORDS
The bassist and vocalist known as Thundercat.
Ninja Tune Records

Thundercat at The Van Buren

Since he was a teenager, Stephen Lee Bruner (better known as Thundercat) has made considerable musical contributions from playing bass in the thrash-metal band Suicidal Tendencies, to recording with Erykah Badu for some of her seminal work, to creating the soundscapes for the magnum opuses of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Childish Gambino. For his own work, Thundercat fully unleashes a critically acclaimed R&B and jazz voyage that not only puts his masterful bass skills on display but showcases his penchant for the quirky (check out the music video for “Them Changes” for proof of such). His latest Valley gig happens on Tuesday, November 23, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, and is not only an opportunity to see one of the most talented bassists in music perform, but also an opportunity to be a part of the creative aura of one of music’s most celebrated acts. Doors open at 7 p.m. and hip-hop artist Channel Tres opens. Tickets are $30 to $35. Mikel Galicia
click to enlarge Andrew McMahon returns to the Valley at the end of November. - BRENDAN WALTER
Andrew McMahon returns to the Valley at the end of November.
Brendan Walter

Andrew McMahon at The Van Buren

Andrew McMahon is a man who knows exactly where he is, where he's been, and where he's going. At the age of 9, he began playing piano and writing songs. It was his EP Ready Break with his band Something Corporate that first found the then-17-year-old a record deal. A couple of years later, when he was fronting the band Jack's Mannequin, calamity struck. He was diagnosed with leukemia. After more than a decade in remission, McMahon says he still carries psychic scars from fighting cancer. His 2016 record, Zombies on Broadway, had the celebratory vibe of a man who has bested disease. However, on 2018’s Upside Down Flowers, there’s more of a nostalgic vibe as McMahon recalls memories of childhood, family, founding Something Corporate, and dealing with illness. As is the norm for any McMahon project, it involves vivid and evocative storytelling. He’ll perform on Tuesday, November 30, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Singer-songwriter Annika Bennett opens the 7 p.m. show. Admission is $32.50 to $35. David Rolland
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.