The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Flor de Toloache is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 3, at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Flor de Toloache is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 3, at Tempe Center for the Arts. Andrei Averbuch
Got any plans this weekend? You just might after reading our rundown of the biggest and best concerts happening in Phoenix over the next few nights.

It contains a dozen different shows happening at various Valley music venues, including performances by Passion Pit, The Octopus Project, Flor de Toloache, and Tyler, The Creator.

We’ve also got the lowdown on AJJ’s much-anticipated Desert Trash event at The Van Buren, Kid Koala's multimedia-laden show at the MIM, and a few of the acts playing the Coors Light Birds Nest up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. And for even more options, check out Phoenix New Times' concert calendar.

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Isabelle Rezazadeh (a.k.a. Rezz)
Bryan Dellosa
Friday, February 2
The Van Buren

When electronic dance music artist Isabelle Rezazadeh, better known as REZZ, rolls through Arizona this weekend, she’s in for a busy visit. In contrast to the name of her hit single, “Relax,” Rezazadeh will be doing anything but while in our neck of the woods.

The 22-year-old DJ and producer, who’s been dubbed the “new queen of the dark techno scene,” will pull double duty on Friday, February 2, when she performs in two different cities across our state on the same night. No joke. After starting out the evening filling the Rialto Theatre in Tucson with her bass-heavy mixes of dubstep, glitch hop, electronica, drum ’n’ bass, and the aforementioned dark techno, she’ll beat feet to the Valley to cap off her evening by headlining an 18-and-over show at The Van Buren.

It’s nothing new for Rezazadeh, who began her DJ career at the age of 16 and has been going full-tilt boogie ever since, particularly after she dropped her 2015 EP Insurrection on the Skrillex-run OWLSA Records. Since then, she’s released her efforts on Deadmau5’s label mau5trap, including last year’s full-length studio album, Mass Manipulation. Expect to hear Rezazadeh spin tracks from the album at her Van Buren gig, which will feature opening sets by Eprom, SAAS, and Limbo. Benjamin Leatherman

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Shane Doyle
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Friday, February 2
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

By the time Paul Simon featured Ladysmith Black Mambazo on his 1986 album Graceland, the a cappella group, led by founder Joseph Shabalala, had been together for more than two decades and had established itself as the most successful singing group in South Africa.

The band was already rather prolific before teaming up with Simon, and in the 30 years since Graceland, Ladysmith has released a slew of recordings. Sixteen of those have been nominated for Grammys, including a 2016 nomination for Best World Music Album for Music From Inala. The album, which was recorded live around the United Kingdom and Moscow over the course of two years, gives insight into just how powerful and uplifting Ladysmith Black Mambazo can be in a live setting. Jon Solomon

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Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit.
Courtesy of Sacks & Co.
Passion Pit
Friday, February 2
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Like many bedroom-recording success stories of the past decade, Passion Pit began in 2007 as Michael Angelakos’ unknown, one-off musical project. But the songs he created for a college girlfriend became the EP Chunk of Change, which led to shows, a record deal, and the formation of a full band. Evolving from laptop beats and the childish, chorus-of-voices approach that MGMT made famous, Passion Pit went on to produce commercial-friendly alterna-pop for the masses.

Through a rotating cast of instrumentalists, the act has always remained Angelakos’s affair: He’s the principal songwriter and composer of everything that is Passion Pit. A few years ago, the musician went public with his battle with mental illness, but that action only seemed to strengthen his fan base. Bree Davies

Friday, February 2
Coors Light Birds Nest at Waste Management Phoenix Open

OneRepublic is pretty consistent. As a band, they generally stay out of the spotlight. We never see them in the news, never see any controversial interview quotes – they're just that kind of band. However, the medium most friendly to OneRepublic is the radio, and people may not realize how prevalent their music has been on the Top 40 airwaves over the past decade.

The Colorado-formed band has a lot of hits: "Apologize," "Counting Stars," "Love Runs Out," "Good Life," "Stop and Stare," "Secrets," and many more. The secret to OneRepublic's muted yet explosive success is lead singer Ryan Tedder, whom many people may not know spends a big chunk of his time writing songs for other pop stars.

And Tedder is in a league of his own. Having written huge hits like Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone," Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," Beyonce's "Halo," and Adele's "Rumour Has It" – seriously, check out the full list – he is definitely up there with full-time songwriters like Dr. Luke and Max Martin as one of the most renowned and accredited go-to men in pop music. It wouldn't be bad to have an ear like his, huh? Ivan Guzman

The Stakes' Five-Year Anniversary
Friday, February 2
Crescent Ballroom

In our experience, the average lifespan of a local band runs anywhere from a few months to a few years. So the fact that The Stakes are still going strong after a half-decade of performing is worthy of celebration. As is everything the local hip-hop/rock/jazz act has accomplished in that time.

Over the last five years, The Stakes have released a pair of well-received albums, performed hundreds of shows (including gigs at such festivals as Viva PHX and Bisbee’s Sidepony Express), and opened for acts like The Roots. They’ve even been through a few lineup changes (although the core of the band has always included emcees Lord Kash and ZeeDubb, pianist Ben Scolaro, and drummer Kevin Phillips).

This weekend, The Stakes will celebrate their first five years while looking ahead to the future. Fellow locals Jerusafunk, Hyperbella, The Geibral Elisha Movement, and Tru Gang will open. The party starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

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Eric San, better known as Kid Koala.
Courtesy of Billions
Kid Koala
Friday, February 2, to Sunday, February 4
Musical Instrument Museum

Nufonia Must Fall
was turntablist Kid Koala's 2003 dialogue-free graphic novel that told the story of a headphones-wearing robot that falls in love with an office girl. In 2016, the Montreal DJ brought his vision to life with help from a dozen artists and technicians, led by Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Lost in Translation, I Heart Huckabees, Her). It's now a touring production, which will spend four nights at the MIM in early February. Puppets are projected on a screen as they re-create each scene from the book on miniature sets. Kid Koala performs a live score along with a classical quartet. Siran Babayan
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers