The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Leon Bridges is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, September 4, at Comerica Theatre.EXPAND
Leon Bridges is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, September 4, at Comerica Theatre.
Jack McKain
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If you're the sort of person whose air guitar game is on point and has KSLX locked in on your radio dial, you’re in for a treat this week. A bevvy of rock ‘n’ roll legends – Peter Frampton, Gary Numan, and Scorpions – all have concerts in Phoenix in the coming days.

If you’d prefer to catch, um, more modern artists in action, they’ll be in town this week, too, including Leon Bridges, Daniel Hart, Cut Copy, and Jack Name. Meanwhile, Andrew W.K. (a.k.a. the high priest of party, party, party) will get rowdy at Crescent Ballroom, noted bluesman Tab Benoit visits The Rhythm Room, and (Hed) P.E. will mix rap and rock at Club Red in Mesa.

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

Jack Name
Monday, September 3
The Lunchbox

Jack Name (real name John Webster Adams) is a touring guitarist with Ariel Pink and White Fence. As a solo artist he's more complex, switching between pre-programmed backing tracks and shadowy garage rock, updated with a laptop. It all comes together on the nonconformist poetry found on such albums as Light Show, influenced by Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, Brian Eno, and the operatic overtures of Rocky Horror. In other words, he’s the perfect sort of artist to be featured at avant-garde rock spot The Lunchbox, where he’ll perform on Monday night. Dillon Watson will open. Art Tavana

Peter Frampton
Tuesday, September 4
Mesa Arts Center

Peter Frampton was once a proper heartthrob who made women absolutely melt when encountering his golden locks, tender love songs, and winning smile – just ask my mom.

However, Frampton has always been a champion of the guitar beyond anything else, as is evident by the fretboard histrionics that have punctuated just about everything the venerable Brit has ever released. Lest we forget that he was once – prior to his rise to success as the indisputable king of the live album format – lead guitarist of one the most cutthroat (and underrated) units to ever lay siege to an audience, Humble Pie.

The guitarist and songwriter has dedicated most of his time in recent years to touring, and as anyone who's attended will tell you, if you're not sold on the hits, Frampton the guitarist makes the shows entirely worth the cost of admission. The guitarist and songwriter has aged with an astounding amount of grace, particularly relative to the lion's share of his peers. David Von Bader

Bluesman Tab Benoit.EXPAND
Bluesman Tab Benoit.
Courtesy of the Rhythm Room

Tab Benoit
Tuesday, September 4
The Rhythm Room

Everything from New Orleans is humid and damp, from the cobblestones of the French Quarter to the sweat coming off the dancers at any of the city’s famed clubs. The blues music that has come out of the city sounds slick, smooth, and played loose by sweaty fingers in fervid, crowded rooms.

Guitarist Tab Benoit grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from high school in New Orleans, and his style of Delta-blues-meets-roots is as authentic to the city’s character as his thick Cajun patois. He’s the type of guitar player that can start a party by himself, with a flashy, bluesy, percussive style of playing that practically demands audience members get out of their seats and start moving. As a result, through almost 20 albums spanning nearly two decades, he’s one of the city’s most important music exports of note.

The Rhythm Room is the perfect place to get down to Benoit’s offerings — a small and powerful room that will allow the crowd to get up close and personal with the guitarist. Just like home. David Accomazzo

Leon Bridges
Tuesday, September 4
Comerica Theatre

Since the release of his 2015 major-label debut, Coming Home, Leon Bridges has been at the vanguard of neo-soul and contemporary R&B, even though his butter-smooth tenor brings to mind luminaries like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding (especially Redding). Revivalist tendencies aside, however, Bridges remains a product of his time, incorporating the feel of retro classics into slick, modern production. On his sophomore and most recent full-length album, this year’s excellent Good Thing, Bridges takes his place alongside Anderson .Paak when it comes to writing irresistibly sexy funk bangers and Frank Ocean with his slow-burning R&B grooves. Don’t let his throwback fashion or the old-school album-cover designs fool you: This Grammy nominee is an undeniably modern man. Elle Carroll

Get ready to party. Andrew W.K.'s coming to town.EXPAND
Get ready to party. Andrew W.K.'s coming to town.
Jonathan Thorpe

Andrew W.K.
Tuesday, September 4
Crescent Ballroom

Andrew W.K. is like a man-sized Ecstasy tablet. Dressed in his customary white clothes and crowned with a shaggy mop of permanently wet hair, the singer is an avatar of positivity and good times. His music takes the over-the-top excess of hair metal and Jim Steinem productions and boosts them to operatic extremes. Not even Diamond Dave could extol the virtues of partying as hard as Andrew W.K. can.

And yet the monochromatic rocker is a walking contradiction. He's a party animal who doesn't drink. Despite making music that sounds incredibly simplistic, he has a background in formal music training and came out of the avant-garde underground. He's utterly sincere, even though his whole bit feels like some kind of put-on. Ashley Naftule

Gary Numan, the "Godfather of Electronica."EXPAND
Gary Numan, the "Godfather of Electronica."
BB Gun Press

Gary Numan
Wednesday, September 5
Crescent Ballroom

Over the nearly 40 years Gary Numan has been recording and performing, he has made forays into punk, new wave, funk, jazz funk, R&B and straight ahead rock. Through all of these phases, his sweeping melodies, roaring hooks and introspective lyrics have kept fans, known as "Numanoids," packing concert halls.

Numan first found fame in 1979, when his band Tubeway Army and its synth hit, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” ruled the airwaves. It was No. 1 on the United Kingdom singles charts for all of May that year. In 1980, his single “Cars” reached No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. He attempted a pop crossover on his own label beginning in the mid-'80s but saw little success and seemed on the road to becoming a has-been. But in 1994, Numan released the album Sacrifice, which had a darker, heavier, more brooding sound. It rejuvenated his career and ensured he'd keep the title he'd earned: “Godfather of Electronica.”

Since the mid-'90s, Numan has relied on the presence of a heavier electric guitar sound while keeping the synth flowing over albums such as Exile (1998), Pure (2000), Jagged (2006), Dead Son Rising (2011), 2013’s Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), and last year’s Savage (Songs from a Broken World), his released Sept. 15. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, Prince, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Manson, Basement Jaxx, the Sugarbabes and the Foo Fighters are among the artists who have sampled or covered Numan’s songs and claim him as an influence. Paul Catala

Scorpions invade the Valley in early September.EXPAND
Scorpions invade the Valley in early September.
Oliver Rath

Wednesday, September 5
Comerica Theatre

After more than four decades of existence, the Scorpions are still one of quintessential hard rock bands. Everything from their over-the-top '80s sound to their Spinal Tap-length roster of current and past members (there have been 19 Scorpions!) is somehow representative of all the ridiculousness of hard rock's heyday. You may remember hits like "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "No One Like You," what with their big talk, gloats, and dirty promises of phenomenal sex. Of course, they did a few ever-popular power ballads, the most notable being "Wind of Change," marking the German band's experience during the fall of the Berlin Wall. They’ve got a new album in the works and are currently touring alongside Queensrÿche. They’ll hit the Valley in early September for a night of hard rock hits at Comerica Theatre. Sarah Ventre

(Hed) P. E.
Wednesday, September 5
Club Red in Mesa

Since 1994, (Hed) P.E. has blended punk rock and gangster rap together to create something wonderfully chaotic. Since then, they've released nine studio albums and they've also taken a political stance, involving themselves in the "9/11 Truth Movement." And although they've gone through about 12 different members over the years, (Hed) P.E. has managed to stick around for the past couple of decades and will keep doing their thing with gusto. This weekend, they’ do it at Club Red in Mesa. Shadow Guilt, Blackened Desert, Like A Villian, and Echoes in Ashes will open. Diamond Victoria

Danel Hart of Dark Rooms.
Danel Hart of Dark Rooms.
Cal Quinn

Dark Rooms
Thursday, August 6
Valley Bar

Classical violinist Daniel Hart is best known for his film scores, but his triumphant centerpiece for A Ghost Story put his indie-rock band, Dark Rooms, on the map. The sprawling, epic “I Get Overwhelmed” builds in a way that recalls Queen’s “Under Pressure,” but with more symphonic drama.

Hart got his big break when he composed the score for David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints in 2013. Since, he’s teamed up on all of Lowery’s projects — from his big-budget Disney adaptation of Pete’s Dragon to the aforementioned micro-budget A Ghost Story. Versatility is Hart’s modus operandi. He has provided violin tracks to many influential acts across genres, as St. Vincent, Broken Social Scene, and Swans have recruited him to play.

Hart is touring in celebration of his latest Dark Rooms album, Distraction Sickness. During such live shows, Hart steers away from his film score work. But you might catch him cover one of his contemporaries or inspirations, like Broken Social Scene and Radiohead. Even if you’re unfamiliar with Dark Rooms, Hart, or his film collaborator Lowery, experiencing the cathartic, existentialism of “I Get Overwhelmed” is worth the ticket price alone. Tanner Stechnij

Cut Copy: They funk from a Land Down Under.
Cut Copy: They funk from a Land Down Under.
Courtesy of Cut Copy

Cut Copy
Thursday, September 6
Crescent Ballroom

When critics and historians look back on the state of rock music in the 21st century, they’ll pinpoint two badly needed sea changes that happened to the genre. The first is the demographic change, as women artists and POC performers went from the margins to the forefront of the scene. The other is that rockers finally dropped that bullshit “Disco Sucks!” stance and embraced the glories of dance mind.

While many of the big names in dance-punk have veered off to do more abstract electronic music (Liars), fall off the radar (The Rapture), or find their Perfect Form as Elder Statesmen (LCD Soundsystem), Australia’s Cut Copy have kept their disco ball spinning. Formed in 2001 by frontman DJ Dan Whitford, the group quickly made a name for themselves with their second album. In Ghost Colors is a body-rocking classic: Perhaps one of the finest marriages between indie rock and dance culture since the Happy Mondays’ Pills ’n’ Thrills and Bellyaches.

Cut Copy have continued to release bangers since them, refining their approach to busting a groove on tape. If you’re looking to get your dance on, there are few bands who do it better live. Ashley Naftule

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