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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

River Whyless is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, July 31, at Valley Bar.EXPAND
River Whyless is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, July 31, at Valley Bar.
Courtesy of River Whyless

Ready to put July behind you? Yeah, us too, especially after all the enormously oppressive heat.

We've still got a few days left until we put the month in the rear-view, however. The good news is that those days will offer some big concerts to check out, including gigs from country queen Shania Twain, '90s alt-rock radio favorites 311 and The Offspring, death metal gods The Faceless, and indie folk band River Whyless.

Other artists performing in the Valley this week include Doyle Bramhall II, Supersuckers, and underground hip-hop duo The Grough and Eligh. Plus, local music venue The Lunchbox will also be celebrating an important milestone.

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

Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Courtesy of UMG Nashville

Shania Twain
Monday, July 30
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Shania Twain toured North America in 2015 with her Rock This Country show. It was billed as her farewell tour. If you didn’t attend and have been in misery thinking you missed your last chance to catch her live act, you have some rejoicing to do. The country-pop queen is back in action on the Shania Now tour.

After 15 years without a new release, she dropped Now last year, and it didn’t take long before that flew to No. 1 spots on charts in the U.S. and internationally. The multi-award-winner who built an enormous fan base on catchy tunes like “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” and “You’re Still the One” made it clear with that new release that she was feeling powerful. Tracks like “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed,” lay out her current vibe with lyrics like “Life is short / Nights are long / Nothing’s sure in this world until we’re gone,” and “Fist up in the air / Oh like we don’t care / Swingin’” highlight a let’s-not-waste-time spirit. Some of that probably comes from the many years, beginning in 2004, that she was on hiatus battling medical conditions, including Lyme disease. She’s abandoned final tour proclamations for the time being, so catch the show and just dig the spirited country singer in the moment. Amy Young

Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Courtesy of UMG Nashville

The Faceless
Monday, July 30
Club Red in Mesa

Hesh-heads and headbangers of the Valley rejoice: The death metal gods have giveth thee a show by death metal band The Faceless this week. The L.A.-based band, which are signed to Summerian Records, have been kicking around since 2004 and have undergone any number of lineup changes over the last decade and a half (lead guitarist Michael Keene is their only original member at this point).

Despite their revolving cast of musicians – which currently includes vocalist Julian Kersey, guitarist Andrew Virrueta, bassist Jacob Umansky, and drummer Cody Pulliam – The Faceless have spent the last decade progressing into one of the "tech-death" movement's more popular bands. Their 2012 album, Autotheism, hit No. 50 on the Billboard 200, and their most recent effort, last year's In Becoming a Ghost, earned praise from both fans and alike. Catch them on Monday night at local hard rock haven Club Red in Mesa. Lorna Shore, Dyscarnate, The Convalescence, The Exiled Martyr, and Hado will provide support. Benjamin Leatherman

311 and The Offspring
Tuesday, July 31
Ak-Chin Pavilion

If you're the kind of person who used to tune in to the nearest '90s rock radio station and rip the knob off, then you're in luck. That's because 311 and The Offspring are scheduled to perform in Phoenix this summer. The bands are teaming up to co-headline the Never-Ending Summer Tour, which includes a stop at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix on Tuesday, July 31.

Both 311 and The Offspring have scored a plethora of hits over the years. While The Offspring haven't released a new album since 2012's Days Gone By, they're still veteran road dogs who've been keeping their live music muscles in tip-top shape. Their tourmates are also a formidable live act, as 311 have been honing their rap-rock chops and white-boy reggae skills with Caribbean cruises and blowout 311 Day concerts. Joining these behemoths of '90s radio rock will be Gym Class Heroes. Ashley Naftule

Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on Monday, July 30, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Courtesy of UMG Nashville

Tuesday, July 31
The Rebel Lounge

The Supersuckers started when, as a boy in Tucson, lead singer and bassist Eddie Spaghetti heard "My Sharona" by The Knack, which hooked him on rock 'n' roll. He formed the Supersuckers with a group of friends in the late '80s. "I was more interested in forming a band with guys I liked to hang out with than looking for guitar virtuosos, so I found a ragtag group of drunks."

That motley crew relocated to Seattle right when the grunge movement exploded to national attention. "That was super-cool," Spaghetti says. "Moving to Seattle was like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black and white to color. There was Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden all playing. It was amazing."

They signed to Sub Pop (the same record label Nirvana was on) but weren't easy to typecast into the super-serious, woe-is-me scene America came to associate with Seattle. The Supersuckers had a lighter tone and embraced the ridiculous, right down to Spaghetti's trademark cowboy hat. The band would eventually find its voice and build a two-decadelong career touring around the country. David Rolland

Courtesy of Acetate Records

Doyle Bramhall II
Tuesday, July 31
Musical Instrument Museum

When it comes to musical prowess, the Bramhall family know a thing or two about overachieving. First, there was Doyle Bramhall, a singer who also rocked the drums for blues greats like Lightnin’ Hopkins and the Vaughan brothers — Stevie Ray and Jimmie. In the late ’60s, his son Doyle Bramhall II entered the picture, and soaked up the household’s musical energy. His devotion to playing guitar has churned out consistent, exceptional results.

At 18, he was on the road touring with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and in the decades since, he has played with a list of artists that is as long as it is diverse. His intricate guitar work, filled with vicious riffs and head-twisting solos, has found him collaborating with Elton John, Eric Clapton, Erykah Badu, Dr. John, and Questlove, to name just a handful. Offstage, Bramhall II is also an accomplished producer who has put magic touches on recordings for artists like Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow.

If you’re headed to the show, take a peek at his setup as he plies and plucks away at the strings. The left-handed player is also known for the way his guitar is strung — for a right-handed player and flipped backward. Amy Young

The current lineup of The Faceless.EXPAND
The current lineup of The Faceless.
Courtesy of Sumerian Records

River Whyless
Tuesday, July 31
Valley Bar

Most bands’ goals are fairly straightforward. You want to make plenty of good songs, hope that audiences respond to them in a positive manner, and then have faith that enough folks show up when you take those songs out on the road. The four members of folk-rock quartet River Whyless have made one of the year’s most critically lauded albums and are learning that folks do, in fact, show up when the tunes resonate.

“We see some people in the crowd that we recognize, but we’re certainly seeing a lot of new faces, too, which is really great. Sometimes I think, ‘Well, how the hell did you get here?’” singer and guitarist Ryan O’Keeffe says. “I’ll ask people where they’ve heard of us because I’m genuinely curious, whether it’s our social media, our publicity folks, or it’s random pickups by NPR, which is probably the biggest. We were lucky enough to get in on that world, and the word spread to the outlets across the country.”

It also helps that the band’s latest album, Kindness, A Rebel, has won over many fans, including several top critics. An NPR scribe wrote lavish praise for the 11 eclectically arranged tracks and has consistently championed the band’s releases over the past several years. You might join them after attending the River Whyless’ show on Tuesday night at Valley Bar. Singer-songwriter Adam Torres opens. Jeff Strowe

Neo-cabaret and pop ensemble Paris Combo.
Neo-cabaret and pop ensemble Paris Combo.
Courtesy of Riot Artists

Paris Combo
Wednesday, August 1
Musical Instrument Museum

With so many styles and sounds circulating about, the city of Paris has been the breeding ground for countless unique hybrids of music for ages, many of which have expanded the global repertoire at an unprecedented rate. True to form, Paris Combo embraces the multicultural movement of its namesake city while remaining distinctly French.

Fronted by sultry chanteuse Belle du Berry, who emotes with the passion and flair of Piaf and also pens all the band's songs, the pop/world ensemble emerged from the cabaret revival of the 1980s to become one of France's premier musical exports. Anchored by the skilled guitar work of Potzi, trumpeter David Lewis (who played with Afro-pop heavyweight Manu Dibango), bassist Mano Razanajato from Madagascar, and drummer-crooner François-François, Paris Combo captures the theatrical magic of French cabaret, embellished with touches of jazz, gypsy swing, and Latin rhythm. Bob Burtman

Raise a toast to The Lunchbox's grand opening.EXPAND
Raise a toast to The Lunchbox's grand opening.
Benjamin Leatherman

The Lunchbox's Grand Opening
Wednesday, August 1
The Lunchbox

It's been a busy year filled with many changes for The Lunchbox. Last fall, the intimate music venue moved from its original location off of 16th Street over to its current home along McDowell Road. A few months later, its proprietor managed to acquire a beer and wine liquor license, allowing patrons the ability to legally imbibe while watching shows.

This week, The Lunchbox will make the transition from hosting gigs every few nights to a bar that will be open seven days a week. It's an occasion worth celebrating, which the staff and patrons of The Lunchbox will do on Wednesday night during the venue's grand opening. They'll have music, DJ sets, free swag, and penny drinks. Hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. and there's no cover. Benjamin Leatherman

Sponge's current lineup, including founding member and vocalist Vinnie Dombroski.EXPAND
Sponge's current lineup, including founding member and vocalist Vinnie Dombroski.
Tracy Ketcher

Wednesday, August 1
BLK Live in Scottsdale

In the '90s, Detroit rockers Sponge coasted on the favorable post-grunge surf with songs such as "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)" — and in the process crafted some of the more enduring slogans from that time. (Remember the latter's rueful "Sixteen candles down the drain" or the former's raging "In a world of human wreckage"?)

The tune "Wax Ecstatic," though, remains a stone-cold alt-rock jam: A heady mix of glam and Stone Temple Pilots-styled rock, the tune justified why Sponge opened for KISS in '96. Several albums for indie labels followed the band's heyday (including 2007's Galore Galore), even though vocalist Vinnie Dombroski is the lone original member left in the band. Annie Zaleski

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Underground hip-hop legends The Grouch (left) and Eligh (right).
Underground hip-hop legends The Grouch (left) and Eligh (right).
Courtesy of the APA Agency

The Grouch and Eligh
Thursday, August 2
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

Almost two decades in, The Grouch and Eligh remain among the most respected names in underground hip-hop. The staccato-flowing Eligh, who hails from L.A., and the deep voiced The Grouch, who is originally from Oakland but now resides in Maui, are known both for their solo work and as part of L.A.'s renowned Living Legends collective. Their uplifting work as a duo remains among the best in the 2000s indie-rap explosion.

Despite it being a few years since they've dropped anything as a duo (2014's triple-disc album The Tortoise And The Crow is their most recent album), they're still very much active, both in their respective hometowns and also as touring artists. On Thursday night, the pair will swing by Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale with their Summer Thrilla tour with DJ Fresh. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Chaz Kangas

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