The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Dorothy is scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 15, at Crescent Ballroom.
Dorothy is scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 15, at Crescent Ballroom. Kristin Burns
It's the middle of summer and Phoenix is anything but dead. Need some proof? This weekend's bustling live music lineup will back us up.

Even though its hotter than Satan's grundle right now, a full slate of concerts, pool parties, and dance nights will be happening in and around the Valley over the next three days and nights.

Feel free to check our math or just check out our list of the 13 best concerts and music events in Phoenix this weekend.

It's a mix of what the summertime concert season is known for – including tribute acts, nostalgia tours, and famous names – plus some hard-hitting metal shows, a horror-punk gig perfect for Friday the 13th, and even a dance party/music festival out in the desert.

Details about each of these picks can be found below. And for even more music events happening around the Valley this week, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Friday, July 13
The Rebel Lounge

For 15 years now, Phoenix-born band Calabrese has been doing the horror rock/punk thing with wit and wisdom to spare. Carrying on the horror movie meets Elvis tradition of the legendary Misfits, the three Calabrese brothers – Jimmy, Bobby, and Davey – have released seven fun-filled albums concerning zombies, vampires, and other dark subject matter.

While it's been a spell since their last release (2015's rip-roaring Lust For Sacrilege, which was produced by the legendary Bob Hoag), they've stayed as busy as Beelzebub with other pursuits. Earlier this year, they launched a YouTube series, Va Fanghoul, where they recount the history of classic horror flicks and toys. And they've been playing gigs at haunts both locally and around the world. This weekend, Calabrese will perform a hometown show at The Rebel Lounge, fittingly enough on Friday the 13th. The like-minded ghouls of Zombeast and The Limit Club will open. Darryl Smyers

Uptown Funk: A Tribute to Bruno Mars
Friday, July 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Bruno Mars has brought a different flavor by intermixing modern beats with ’80s and ’90s funk, R&B, and pop sounds. On Friday, July 13, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, the Uptown Funk Tribute to Bruno Mars band will bring music, looks and choreography inspired by the pop singer.

The six-person band, which includes a lead singer who looks and sounds like Bruno Mars, tries to create an authentic, interactive experience similar to a Mars concert. Fans can expect to hear hit songs as well as deep cuts. Local singer-songwriter Jennie Johnson and the School of Rock Sugar Skulls teen band will open the show. The event starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20 to $35. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night. - LOUISE PALANKER/CC BY-SA 2.0/VIA FLICKR
Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night.
Happy Together Tour
Friday, July 13
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Synchronize your watches for the "summer of love" as the annual tour of 1960s throwbacks rolls into the Valley once again for a groovy evening of timeless tunes. The Salt River Grand Ballroom at Scottsdale's Talking Stick Resort will host the show. This year's lineup will include Flo and Eddie of the The Turtles, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night fame, rock/pop act Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Paul Revere and the Raiders singer Mark Lindsay, sunshine pop band The Association, and others. Board the nostalgia train starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 to $100. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Famed EDM producer Steve Bug. - MIRJAM KNICKRIEM
Famed EDM producer Steve Bug.
Mirjam Knickriem
Steve Bug
Saturday, July 14
Shady Park in Tempe

You'd be hard-pressed to find a greater authority on house and techno – and the area where these two EDM genres overlap – than Steve Bug. As head honcho of the seminal Berlin imprints Poker Flat, Audiomatique, and Dessous, he's emerged as one of the transatlantic scene's foremost tastemakers since the early '90s.

Of course, Bug is also a seasoned producer with a knack for preserving house and techno's classic essence, while skirting the cutting edge. It's a sonic balance of past, present, and future increasingly reflected in the tendencies of younger producers across the wider international scene, who are reviving classic '90s dance music with modern production value.

Said sounds will flow through Shady Park in Tempe on Saturday night when Bug headlines a night of EDM in the venue's outdoor bar park. Dan Lunsford and Norris Division will open. Doors are at 9 p.m. and tickets are $15. Sean Levisman

click to enlarge Daniel Caesar performing at FORM Arcosanti in May. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Daniel Caesar performing at FORM Arcosanti in May.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Daniel Caesar
Saturday, July 14
Celebrity Theatre

If you haven’t met Daniel Caesar, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, a few people haven’t had the proper chance to meet him. The Canadian-born R&B/soul singer exists in that weird realm where he can craft beautiful, thought-provoking love songs while also sounding genuinely excited about the prospect of love.

Syncing together the moment you put someone on to Daniel Caesar is an A-to-Z type moment. There is the before moment where such a person seems curious. Then there’s the after a minute; that euphoric zip and dash to tell everyone you know about what you just heard. The person who put you on to Daniel Caesar? They’ve immediately shot up your friend list. Had this been 2008, they’d be No. 2 on your MySpace Top 8. It is that serious.

Caesar's music is partially responsible for maybe thousands of those moments. Hundreds of people have circulated “Get You,” 2016's about-perfect single with Kali Uchis. That hundred became thousands and soon millions.

Needless to say, there are many folks in the know about Caesar's music these days, however, probably the same people who were wowed by the singer back in May at FORM Arcosanti and will likely pack his concert at the Celebrity Theatre this weekend. If you want to join them and get clued in, the show starts at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Brandon Caldwell

click to enlarge The members of Weedeater. - COURTESY OF SEASON OF MIST
The members of Weedeater.
Courtesy of Season of Mist
Saturday, July 14
Club Red in Mesa

If you’re looking for a band whose members stay wreathed in reefer smoke and drunk on Jack and Coke, look no further than the storied Weedeater. When it comes to Southern sludge metal, these South Carolina stoners are the real deal. Not only do they play slow, doomy music, but in 2010, lead singer “Dixie” Dave Collins actually shot his big toe off with a shotgun he was cleaning, forcing the act to postpone a planned tour and album release.

The band brings the same baked-but-energetic doom energy to its live shows as it does to its recordings, with the added perks of Collins’s intense facial expressions and plenty of aggression from the whole crew. This weekend, they'll be at Club Red in Mesa for a show on Saturday. Metal acts Zeke, Sierra, and Thra will open.
Addison Herron-Wheeler
Release Pool Party feat. Krewella
Saturday, July 14
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Krewella is an electro-house-dub-party-hard duo born from the windy streets of Chicago. And before PETA has a freak out over the act’s name (which riffs on the villainess of 101 Dalmatians), they don't kill puppies, but damn can they murder some beats.

Comprised of singer-songwriting sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf, and backed by a variety of producers, this twosome has made a name for themselves over the last few years as a raucous party ambassadors from the planet bass. But their real-life dynamic and genre palette is a lot deeper and more complex than fans might realize. Kat Bein

click to enlarge Local ska band The Effects. - HARLEY BONHAM
Local ska band The Effects.
Harley Bonham
Arizona Ska Prom 2018
Saturday, July 14
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Skalloween, Ska Prom, Ska-turday, Skanksgiving. For at least the duration of its third wave, the upbeat-heavy, horn-driven sound of ska has enjoyed giving its own spin to holidays and special occasions. That includes this year's Arizona Ska Prom, which takes place at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe on Saturday night.

But what is Ska Prom, you ask? In the words of Steven DeRosia, also known as DJ Full Stop, it's an opportunity for rudeboys, mods, skinheads, and punks to embrace their fashion to the fullest. Whether that includes your best vest, suit, boots and braces, or Fred Perry shirt is up to you.

"It's just a regular show," DeRosia told Phoenix New Times in 2014. "But we encourage people to dress up a little bit, treat it like it was prom. Obviously it won't be as lame as most people's proms probably were. ... It doesn't have to be a tuxedo or anything fancy like that. Just spruce it up, make it whatever you want it to be." With ska fans' well-known (and decades-old) penchant for natty attire, such a request shouldn't be a problem.

This year's lineup will feature performances by local ska and/or punk acts BowCat, The Effects, The Linecutters, and Los Lerpes. Skank your ass off starting at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Connor Descheemaker

Devon Bridgewater and New Nuance
Saturday, July 14
The Nash

By day, Devon Leal Bridgewater is a mild-mannered, bespectacled history teacher at Arizona State University and Phoenix College. At night, he takes off the glasses and becomes Jazzman, one of the Phoenix scene’s premier hornblowers and fiddle players for the past three decades.

The Harvard-trained musician plays trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, and violin. He has toured internationally and even appeared on FoodNation with Bobby Flay. He’s also working his doctoral dissertation at ASU. Bridgewater and New Nuance, with Eric Bart on guitar and Selwyn Reams on bass, will perform at The Nash on Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for everyone who’s not in school. Stuart Warner

Legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. - NELS ISRAELSON
Legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne.
Nels Israelson
Jackson Browne
Saturday, July 14
Phoenix Symphony Hall
Of all the fiercely talented singer-songwriters to emerge in the 1970s, even among the crowded field of fellow West Coast transplants like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and James Taylor, Jackson Browne has always stood out for his lyricism.

Browne's words eloquently captured the heartache, resignation and bittersweet bewilderment of love lost, particularly on songs like "Late for the Sky," whose opening lines ("The words had all been spoken/And somehow the feeling still wasn't right/And still we continued on through the night/Tracing our steps from the beginning/Until they vanished into the air/Trying to understand how our lives had led us there") are poignant and profound.

While Browne is probably best known among the masses for his bigger radio hits, such as "Doctor My Eyes" and "Somebody's Baby," it's the deeper cuts on albums like Late for the Sky and The Pretender that cut the deepest. Dave Herrera

click to enlarge DJ Fairydust - DOCTOROFCOMPUTERS
DJ Fairydust
Audio Bend
Saturday, July 14
Location TBA

If you’re down to dance and up for a little adventure, we’ve got a proposition for y’all. Grab the squad, gas up your ride, and chart a course south of the Valley. Your destination is Audio Bend, the annual underground party that focuses on future music and out-there sounds.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, July 14, at an unspecified location south of the Valley and will boast a mix of DJs, electronica artists, and bands performing underneath the stars. In addition to three stages, which will host close to two dozen different acts and artists, they’re also promising laser light shows, fire performances, visual effects, and live art displays.

The entertainment lineup will include dark psytrance act BizzarE frequenCy, dubstep wizard Aegyptus, groove producer Sunnrays, psych-punk group Reclaim, and reggae band Rastafarmers. Tons of locals will also be featured, such as Fairydust, Atom Energy, Phox, DJ Seeweed, Morgan Laine, DJ Grund, Disco Zombie, Distorter, and others.

The event goes from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Admission is $10 before 9 p.m. and $15 afterwards. Visit the Audio Bend website on the night of the event for location details. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge The Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix. - COURTESY OF THE MIM
The Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix.
Courtesy of the MIM
Experience Arizona Music Weekend
Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15
Musical Instrument Museum
Explore the roots of Arizona’s diverse musical landscape as the Musical Instrument Museum presents day two of its Experience Arizona Music weekend, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15. It’s free with general museum admission, which is $20.

Both days will include Native American and Mexican folkloric music performance, talks by artists and the museum’s curator for North America, Arizona songs and stories, a performance by local music students, and a make-your-own maraca craft. There’s even a photo booth, complete with costumes and props you can borrow to set the scene. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Dorothy frontwoman and namesake Dorothy Martin. - KRISTIN BURNS
Dorothy frontwoman and namesake Dorothy Martin.
Kristin Burns
Sunday, July 15
Crescent Ballroom

The Los Angeles-based quartet Dorothy did not come here to make friends, and that’s putting it lightly. The group makes the nastiest kind of bruising rock bangers, harking back to the glory days of old-school metal. The fact that Ozzy would be proud of Dorothy’s riffs that nod to Sabbath is hardly the half of it. Enter frontwoman Dorothy Martin, whose dangerous and thoroughly rock-and-roll howl conjures images of Florence Welch, Grace Slick, and Ann Wilson, all while stopping you dead in your tracks on the first listen.

Martin and her crew are out for blood, but they still make time every now and again to put a heavy-metal twist on the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild.” The future of metal might just be women after all. Elle Carroll
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers