Things to Do

The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in July 2019

21 Savage is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, July 16, at Comerica Theatre.
21 Savage is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, July 16, at Comerica Theatre. Epic Records
Welcome to the dog days of summer, the time of year you wish you lived somewhere other than the armpit of the Southwest. It’s hot as hell outside and there’s little hope of relief anytime soon, save for the occasional monsoon storm.

The good news? It won’t last forever, so it’s best to find things to help pass the time while you wait out the heat. For instance, you could attend one of the many great concerts happening in July.

The biggest shows happening this month include gigs by rapper 21 Savage, alt-rocker Beck, Canadian-born pop singer Shawn Mendes, and the Les Claypool/Sean Lennon side project The Claypool Lennon Delirium.

Other highlights include YBN Cordae, Queen + Adam Lambert, The Dan Band, Toots and the Maytals, The Growlers, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, Reel Big Fish, and Man Man.

If you like your rock ‘n’ roll served with side orders of pop culture and surreal comedy, the McDonald's/Black Sabbath tribute band Mac Sabbath and the Valley’s Simpsons-themed metal act Okilly Dokilly will appear together later this month.

Details about each of these concerts can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley this month. And for even more live music happening in July, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge The Struts want to conquer rock 'n' roll. - DANNY CLINCH
The Struts want to conquer rock 'n' roll.
Danny Clinch

The Struts

Monday, July 1
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

To get it out of the way first: Bless The Struts for finally giving Kesha the great pop-rock anthem she's long deserved with the "Body Talks" remix that came out last year. But even when you set that aside, The Struts are a damn fine live rock act that manages to pull off something that so many fail, having the spirit of the retro rock gods their music is clearly inspired by. The Struts remember when rock was fun, and you'll have a blast with them. With The Glorious Sons. Cory Garcia

click to enlarge Yeasayer return to Phoenix with their most immediate work yet. - CHAD MOORE
Yeasayer return to Phoenix with their most immediate work yet.
Chad Moore


Monday, July 1
Crescent Ballroom

When New York indie rock band Yeasayer named their 2016 LP Amen & Goodbye, it raised a big question among fans: Was this the end? The trio of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Anand Wilder had given the world four records over the course of a dynamic decade, and covered an immense range of sonic and thematic territory. For a band whose musical horizons seemed limitless, facing the prospect of an endpoint was unsettling. Amen & Goodbye ended up signifying a certain type of ending for the band. They are releasing their new LP, Erotic Reruns, independently. After years of records on Mute and Secretly Canadian, Yeasayer now brave the wild on their own.

A band like Yeasayer are, of course, one that follow their own rules. The group have produced their own material since their inception, and this has accompanied them to dazzling, uncharted sonic terrain. But braving those new places alone can be taxing. “It’s really daunting,” Tuton says, “because there’s no one left to blame.”

With this mindset at the helm, Yeasayer’s latest outing is a tight, no-frills record of excellent indie music. Instead of looking outward to grandiose arrangements, the trio showcase their strengths as songwriters and musicians in a collection of intelligent and engaging pop songs. Erotic Reruns contains the most accessible and immediate material of their career, without sacrificing any of its complexity. Gerrit Feenstra

click to enlarge Rapper Jon Bellion - TICKETMASTER
Rapper Jon Bellion

Jon Bellion

Friday, July 5
Comerica Theatre

Jon Bellion cites Kanye West as an influence. He even went as far as dropping out of college to take on music as a career. Just like Yeezus himself, it seems like his determination paid off. Bellion wrote the hook to the Eminem and Rihanna single "The Monster," and ever since then, he's slowly been garnering more and more attention. As a pop artist, Bellion has let the rap influence change up the usual pop artist plan of action by releasing a slew of mixtapes before a proper release. His 2014 tape, The Definition, opens on probably the most recognizable thing Kanye West has ever said (well, on an actual song), "Wait 'till I get my money right," and is filled to the brim with grandiose pop ballads. Bellion’s latest release is 2018’s Glory Sound Prep, which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard charts. H. Drew Blackburn

click to enlarge New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik at a Parkland benefit concert in 2018. - IAN WITLEN/MIAMI NEW TIMES
New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik at a Parkland benefit concert in 2018.
Ian Witlen/Miami New Times

New Found Glory

Saturday, July 6
The Van Buren

Last year, the pop-punk band New Found Glory were urged to revisit their roots in a macabre, yet fulfilling way. The band members met in the late ‘90s at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — the same school that fell victim to a devastating mass shooting in February. After the shooting, the band returned home to play a #ParklandStrong benefit with several fellow Floridians, including Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba and William Ryan Key of Yellowcard. At The Van Buren this week, they’ll play songs from their new EP From The Screen to Your Stereo 3, which includes covers of songs from Back To The Future, Frozen, Twilight, and other beloved films. Openers include Real Friends, The Early November, and Doll Skin. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Holy Fawn: the perfect band to soundtrack getting lost in the woods at midnight. - MATT CARDINAL
Holy Fawn: the perfect band to soundtrack getting lost in the woods at midnight.
Matt Cardinal

Holy Fawn

Saturday, July 6
The Rebel Lounge

Holy Fawn have only been around for a few years, but in that short span of time between 2015 and 2018, they’ve managed to put out two stunning albums and made a name for themselves outside Arizona. Their latest LP, 2018’s Death Spells, has landed on several year-end best of lists from publications like Stereogum. While the band’s growing profile outside of Arizona is a sign of great things to come, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Osterman isn’t about to quit his day job. When he’s not writing post-metal pastoral hymns, he works as a barista at Songbird in downtown Phoenix. Dent, Lychee, and Summerhead will open for Holy Fawn when they stop at The Rebel Lounge. Ashley Naftule

Canadian-born pop star Shawn Mendes. - MARCO TORRES
Canadian-born pop star Shawn Mendes.
Marco Torres

Shawn Mendes

Tuesday, July 9
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Truly a product of the social media era, Shawn Mendes gained fame by posting covers to the now-defunct video platform Vine. Since then, the Canadian singer has turned into a force on the charts, becoming one of only five artists to top the Billboard 200 Albums chart before the age of 18. Last year, Time named him to their 100 Most Influential People list. His hit songs include “Stitches” and "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back." He’s also got an unlikely admirer in rapper Kevin Abstract; on the BROCKHAMPTON song “STAR,” the out-and-proud artist admitted, “I don’t fuck with no white boys / Unless the nigga Shawn Mendes.” That’s enough of a cosign for us. Alessia Cara, another artist who got her start posting covers online, will open. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Bob Schneider ambles into town later this month. - JEFF SWENSON
Bob Schneider ambles into town later this month.
Jeff Swenson

Bob Schneider

Tuesday, July 9
Crescent Ballroom

Who is Bob Schneider? It's not an easy question to answer. Though Schneider has carved out his own unique niche as an artist, he's always been difficult to define, straddling genres, finding a bit of mainstream success that didn't necessarily play to his strengths, and possessing a songwriting style that's equally comfortable being cheesy or thoughtful. Regardless, it's fair to say that as both a songwriter and a performer, Schneider is a restless artist who keeps finding new corners to turn in his work. A beat-of-his-own-drummer type, Schneider had some success with two albums on Universal — Lonelyland (2001) and I'm Good Now (2004) — but is better represented by his own Shockorama Records.

In turn, Schneider is a good representative for (Keep) Austin (Weird), often holding down weekly residencies in his hometown and collecting two dozen Austin Music Awards over the years. Schneider's current tour comes on the heels of Lovely Creatures (2009), A Perfect Day (2011), and Burden of Proof (2013), three albums that combine elements of funk, country, and soul with his mellow folk-rock, creating varied arrangements and a lush and layered sound. Eric Swedlund

click to enlarge The legendary Paul Oakenfold. - SCOTT RAMSAY
The legendary Paul Oakenfold.
Scott Ramsay

Paul Oakenfold

Saturday, July 13
The Pool at Talking Stick Resort

Paul Oakenfold’s place in DJ history is secure. Widely considered to be a godfather of electronic dance music, the British-born mixmaster has influenced countless artists and helped shape EDM culture over the past four decades. In that time span, he’s also sold millions of records, topped the charts, been cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful DJ ever, and performed around the world (including atop the Great Wall of China and deep in the rainforests of Argentina).

So what does an internationally known and phenomenally influential DJ do when there are few, if any, worlds left to conquer? Easy, he performs at Mount Everest. No, really. In 2017, Oakenfold worked the decks at the “highest party on Earth” in a base camp on the mountain. And just last year, he followed it up by becoming the first person to DJ at Stonehenge with an epic sunset performance alongside the prehistoric monoliths.

So what’s next for the EDM pioneer? We wouldn’t be surprised if tops himself even further by pulling off a gig aboard the International Space Station. Until then, Oakenfold will pass the time doing what he does best at clubs and parties across the country, including his poolside set on July 13 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Benjamin Leatherman

Rap artist 21 Savage. - NABIL ISSA
Rap artist 21 Savage.
Nabil Issa

21 Savage

Tuesday, July 16
Comerica Theatre

Let’s try not to talk about the harrowing ordeal 21 Savage faced when he was arrested by ICE on suspicion of overstaying his visa. Let’s also try to forget the many jokes made at his expense when it was revealed that he was a British citizen. The fact is that Savage, born Sheyaa bin Abraham Joseph, has been living in Atlanta since the age of 7. He calls the city home, and they claim him as a proud son, made even prouder when he released his album i am > i was in late 2018. The record sees the rapper pivot from the cold-blooded gangster rap over sumptuous Metro Boomin beats from his earlier work and into something more worldly, with reflections on the pain suffered in his life (“a lot”), a tribute to the mother that brought him to America (“letter 2 my momma”), and even a flip on a West Coast classic (“good day”). He performs at Comerica Theatre on July 16 with DaBaby. Douglas Markowitz

Queen + Adam Lambert in concert in 2017. - ERIC SAUSEDA
Queen + Adam Lambert in concert in 2017.
Eric Sauseda

Queen + Adam Lambert

Tuesday, July 16
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Good news for fans of Queen: Thanks in part to renewed interest in the group because of the recent movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen have hit the road this summer with the Rhapsody Tour, and Phoenix is one of the stops. The band will again be joined by singer Adam Lambert and will perform at Talking Stick Resort Arena on July 16.

The tour moniker is apropos, since the band’s profile is soaring thanks to the success of the Freddie Mercury biopic. Since it was released in October, it’s grossed more than $500 million in movie ticket sales worldwide, topping the box office in 35 different countries along the way. The film’s success has translated into renewed music milestones for the group, too. At one point in the last year, Queen was the most-streamed act in the world on Spotify. Not bad for a band that’s about a year shy of its 50th anniversary and one which lost Mercury, its legendary lead singer, in 1991. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

click to enlarge This is what the press photo for The Growlers looks like. - BIG HASSLE
This is what the press photo for The Growlers looks like.
Big Hassle

The Growlers

Wednesday, July 17
The Van Buren

Go ahead and call The Growlers "beach goth." It's not only an apt term that hints at the Orange County band's sound — dark psychedelic rock with a slacker, surfer edge — but when The Growlers put together certain shows, they’ve called it a "beach goth party" themselves. Like fellow road warriors Dr. Dog, The Growlers find a way to take a rock-history lesson's worth of influences and spit out something unique. That's on record. Live, the band are a bunch of costumed firecrackers, plugged into some weird cosmic energy. The Growlers' label calls them a "band of merry menacers," which is certainly true. But those menacers have already hit the stages at Coachella and Lollapalooza and are still going strong. Eric Swedlund

Toots and the Maytals

Thursday, July 18
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Toots and the Maytals have been around since reggae's very beginnings. In fact, the Kingston crew, founded by Frederick "Toots" Hibbert in the early '60s, are widely credited with giving the genre its name via a 1968 ditty called "Do the Reggay." The Maytals' ska origins live on in what remains their most famous song, "Pressure Drop," which appeared in Jimmy Cliff's definitive reggae movie The Harder They Come (1972) and, when covered by The Clash and he Specials, helped form an important bridge between original and second-wave ska as well as punk rock.

Seminal '70s LPs Funky Kingston, In the Dark — including a stunning rendition of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and a remake of Hibbert's account of his time in prison, "54-46 Was My Number" — and Reggae Got Soul further cemented the Maytals' status as reggae royalty, and (albeit with different rosters) the group have never left the road for very long ever since. Chris Gray
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers