Things to Do

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

The Interrupters are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 27, at The Van Buren.
The Interrupters are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 27, at The Van Buren. Courtesy of Epitaph Records
This week’s concert calendar is loaded up with big shows. Muse is returning to the Valley, rapper Meek Mill will be at Comerica Theatre, folk-blues act The Woods Brothers will perform at Crescent Ballroom, and influential punk band Leftöver Crack will invade Nile Theater in Mesa. And that's just on Tuesday night.

The rest of the week features a variety of notable names as well, including ska-punkers The Interrupters, post-hardcore kings Single Mothers, ultra-talented vocalist Sarah Brightman, and former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.

Details about each of these gigs can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley this week. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Joy Williams is on her own after the end of The Civil Wars. - ANDY BARRON
Joy Williams is on her own after the end of The Civil Wars.
Andy Barron
Joy Williams
Monday, February 25
Musical Instrument Museum

Joy Williams has been building a steady following of fans for years now. A winner of multiple Grammy awards, her career started in the early 2000s as a faith-based musician before morphing into a larger scope with her musical involvement in the critically acclaimed duo, The Civil Wars. Following their dissolution, Williams decamped to Los Angeles and used her new surroundings to cope with both the professional breakup and the death of her father. There, she also released Venus, a hook-laden album with a broader pop palette than many of her fans were accustomed to hearing.

Fast-forward to late 2018 and Williams is in a more settled place. For starters, she and her family have traded in the California coast for a relocation back to Nashville. That familiarity and a renewed sense of confidence led her back into the studio where she has recently put the finishing touches on Front Porch, a new collection of songs that hearken back to the warmth of spirit reflected in a lot of her previous work. Jeff Strowe

click to enlarge John 5 invades the Valley in February. - ALFRED NITSCH/CC BY-SA 3.0/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
John 5 invades the Valley in February.
Alfred Nitsch/CC BY-SA 3.0/via Wikimedia Commons
John 5
Tuesday, February 26
Club Red in Mesa

When John 5 received his first guitar at age 7, it became a lifelong love affair (lucky for us). He had no way of knowing that, within just a few decades, he would be seen as one of music's most acclaimed and sought-after guitar-slingers. All I gotta say is when Slash calls you one of the most mind-blowing guitarists around, you know you're doing something right. Not that John 5 needs little endorsement, even from our favorite top hat-wearing shredder.

He's played guitar for an array of high-profile artists, including David Lee Roth, k.d. lang, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Halford. Since 2005, he's worked as Rob Zombie's main guitarist and released a string of solo albums, cementing himself as a virtuoso guitar hero and pioneering a style that's part shred guitar, part wild country pickin', part flamenco, part mesmerizing macabre. Lauren Wise

click to enlarge Oliver Woods (left), Chris Woods (center), and Jano Rix (right). - ALYSSE GAFKJEN
Oliver Woods (left), Chris Woods (center), and Jano Rix (right).
Alysse Gafkjen
The Wood Brothers
Tuesday, February 26
Crescent Ballroom

In addition to his duties with avant-jazz-funk band Medeski Martin & Wood, Chris Wood has been half of the Wood Brothers, the folk act that pairs him with his older brother, vocalist/guitarist Oliver. Appropriately, this side project allows Chris to show, well, another side of himself. Rather than clone the jazzy vibe of Chris’ longtime group, the Wood Brothers serve up a bluesy blend of Americana and folk that's naturally boosted by genetics. Oliver plays acoustic and electric guitars while Chris mans the upright bass (multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix rounds out the trio). They’ve released seven studio albums since the act’s formation in 2014, including last year’s critically lauded One Drop of Truth. Catch them in town on Tuesday night when their current tour swings through the Crescent Ballroom. Carsie Blanton opens. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge The punks of Leftöver Crack. - COURTESY OF FAT WRECK CHORDS
The punks of Leftöver Crack.
Courtesy of Fat Wreck Chords
Leftöver Crack
Tuesday, February 26
Nile Theater in Mesa

The New York City-based anarcho-punks don’t advocate for hopes and dreams as solutions. They call for unequivocal, sociopolitical action and have been doing so since Mediocre Generica, their debut album, which serendipitously (or, ill-fatedly, depending on your view) was released on 9/11/01.

That was nearly 18 years ago. It’s been a decade and a half since the band’s 2004 ska-core classic, Fuck World Trade. The cuts from those albums were passionate, call-for-change songs about police brutality, ecological destruction, war-mongering and prisons for profit. Because nothing has changed on those fronts — and arguably has gotten worse in practically every case — LoC’s is still singing about those same issues today. The band will blend a healthy mix of songs both new and old at its upcoming Nile Theater show this week. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

click to enlarge Rapper Meek Mill. - MILLER MOBLEY
Rapper Meek Mill.
Miller Mobley
Meek Mill
Tuesday, February 26
Comerica Theatre

After being released from prison in April 2018, Meek Mill didn't just start advocating for prison reform: He also returned to the studio and released his highly anticipated album Championships. The record is a true return to form for the rapper, with both the album and “Going Bad” featuring Drake topping the charts. His show at Comerica Theatre in February is guaranteed to be Mill at his most triumphant. When the low horns in the intro of street anthem “Uptown Vibes” begin to play over the sound system, the spot is sure to blow up. Julian Hernandez
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers