Things to Do

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Memorial Day Weekend

Steve Aoki is scheduled to perform on Sunday, May 26, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.
Steve Aoki is scheduled to perform on Sunday, May 26, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Mitch Schneider Organization

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Odd Squad Family

Saturday, May 25
Club Red in Mesa

"Fighting for the odd, and inspiring the rest," is the credo of local hip-hop group Odd Squad Family. Consisting of members N.U.B.S., Snowman, and A-Factor, the trio strives to spread positivity through their music. A rare genetic condition has left N.U.B.S. without any limbs, and Snowman has albinism, features which have created unique struggles for the rappers, who turn those into bars. In July 2016, Odd Squad Family was rocked by tragedy as Frosty, the youngest founding member of the group and Snowman's brother, died. The outpouring of love that the group received from fans was immeasurable, and Odd Squad Family continue to carry the soul and spirit of the late member within their musical efforts. With music that's honest, relatable, and inspiring, it's hard not to love Odd Squad Family. Nicole Latino

Courtesy of Ticketmaster

The Millennium Tour

Saturday, May 25
Gila River Arena in Glendale

It's true: You have a chance to see B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins, Chingy, and Bobby V this month, which should give you more than enough R&B to keep you satisfied until the next parade of stars comes to town. Honestly, we wish more rock acts would rip off this format, because when it comes to bang for your buck, shows like this are hard to beat. Go scream for your favorite when the tour hits Gila River Arena in Glendale on May 25, and make sure you've got someone to slow-dance with when the time comes. Cory Garcia

click to enlarge Evan Dando of The Lemonheads - COURTESY OF FIRE RECORDS
Evan Dando of The Lemonheads
Courtesy of Fire Records

The Lemonheads

Sunday, May 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Once upon a time, Evan Dando was the fresh-faced savior of indie-rock. And boy, oh, boy did the girls find the Lemonheads front man dreamy. That whole idea would've been utterly sickening — no boy bands in indie rock, please — had the fellas not embraced his act's tunes, too, nodding along at the songs as the girls they brought to Lemonheads shows swooned to daydreams of Dando.

Some 20 years later, though, Dando is back on the touring circuit, certainly hoping to have the nostalgic embrace the chance to relive the '90s. Except this ain't no standard reunion show fare — something the Lemonheads threw together to make a quick buck. No, the Lemonheads are still producing — and, better yet, still producing quite well. Their 2006 self-titled release was actually good and not just another record to be had in your complete Lemonheads collection and 2009’s cover album Varshons (and its recently released follow-up, Varshons 2) both earned praise from critics. Tough to say how the show will go — Dando's got a reputation for being hit-and-miss live — but you have to respect a band that keeps on trucking because it can, and not just because its members want to. Pete Freedman

click to enlarge Steve Aoki is coming back to Scottsdale. - COURTESY OF MSOPR
Steve Aoki is coming back to Scottsdale.
Courtesy of MSOPR

Steve Aoki

Sunday, May 26
The Pool At Talking Stick Resort In Scottsdale

We know him, we love him, and he’s heading to the Valley during Memorial Day weekend to delight a horde of electronic dance music fans via another massive, boundary-pushing set at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Over the past decade, the 41-year-old rock-star DJ, label head, pizza entrepreneur, and now fitness-app guru Steve Aoki helped define EDM while launching the careers of some of the genre’s biggest artists and becoming one of the highest-paid DJs in the world. He’ll headline the Release pool party at the resort on May 26, and his performance is likely to include plenty of crowd-surfing and cake-throwing antics. Falyn Freyman

click to enlarge Kristian Nairn, a.k.a. Hodor from Game of Thrones, will hold down the decks at The Van Buren this Sunday. - COURTESY OF THE VAN BUREN
Kristian Nairn, a.k.a. Hodor from Game of Thrones, will hold down the decks at The Van Buren this Sunday.
Courtesy of The Van Buren

Rave of Thrones

Sunday, May 26
The Van Buren

Sure, Game of Thrones is finally over, and sure, maybe it unleashed an untold amount of insufferable nerd rage onto the unsuspecting populace thanks to its popularity with both basement-dwelling geeks and your normie coworkers, but for all of you still into the dragon show, there’s a unique opportunity: an EDM extravaganza themed after the HBO mega-hit that’s set to take over The Van Buren this Sunday. Kristian Nairn, a.k.a. the guy who played Hodor, will be on the decks. And don’t worry: Dragons may not be real, but this event 100 percent is, and it's sure to be just as fire as King's Landing got during episode five (oops, spoiler). Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse. - MELISSA FOSSUM
Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse.
Melissa Fossum

Insane Clown Posse

Sunday, May 26
The Pressroom

More than most of this country's musical groups, Insane Clown Posse has an American-dream backstory — but not the kind that makes for typical Hollywood movie material. Joseph Bruce had been involved with gangs; to get out, he became a professional wrestler. Disillusioned with the nonsense of that world, Bruce ultimately teamed up with Joseph Utsler to make hip-hop.

From there, ICP grew into arguably the most successful DIY band of all time, and one of the few to have a massive cult following, attracting disaffected youth from the largely forgotten poverty-stricken segment of American society.

Addressing social issues that affect the poor while also writing cartoonish horror raps, ICP have never forgotten their roots — and always deliver an unforgettable spectacle of a show, especially after they break out the Faygo. Expect them do so again during their Sunday night show at the Pressroom, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Rittz, MushroomHead, Mac Lethal, Kissing Candice, DJ Paul, and Ouija Macc will open. Admission is $35 to $50. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge Dan Griffith, better known as EDM artist Gryffin. - KOURY ANGELO
Dan Griffith, better known as EDM artist Gryffin.
Koury Angelo


Monday, May 27
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

Dan Griffith, a.k.a. Gryffin, has played Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and on Monday, he’ll be at Maya in Scottsdale to headline the Soundwave pool party on Memorial Day. Born and raised near Silicon Valley in northern California, he is the son of an electrical engineer. He was studying engineering at the University of Southern California when he became interested in dance music. After seeing Skrillex, he downloaded music production software. He was a natural, his longtime relationship with the piano and guitar having groomed him to be a quality producer. By his own admission, he veers toward a pop sound — and considers himself a “melody guy.” He calls his music “cloud house,” which is an EDM and future house cousin. Check out his sound while parting poolside at Maya. Gates open at noon. Admission is $20. Elvis Anderson
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers