Okilly Dokilly is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 14, at Rockbar in Scottsdale.EXPAND
Okilly Dokilly is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 14, at Rockbar in Scottsdale.
Ris Marek

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

This weekend’s slate of big concerts in the Valley is a bit of a time warp.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be in town, for instance, for a two-night stint with the Phoenix Symphony. Fellow ‘90s favorites Offspring and Pennywise will be here, too, as they’re co-headlinging KUPD’s Brufest over at Fear Farm in the West Valley. And you can catch Blues Traveler doing their thing at Four Peaks Brewing’s big 20th-anniversary celebration.

There are other noteworthy music events happening around Phoenix this weekend, including a gig by Simpsons-inspired metal band Okilly Dokilly and album release shows by both the Father Figures and the Cult of the Yellow Sign.

You can also check out our extensive online concert calendar for even more shows happening over the next few nights. In the meantime, here are our picks for the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend.

The musicians of La Santa Cecilia.EXPAND
The musicians of La Santa Cecilia.
Courtesy of Tempe Center for the Arts

La Santa Cecilia
Friday, April 14
Tempe Center for the Arts

If there is one band that represents the multicultural mix of the Southwest, it's La Santa Cecilia. Since its Latin Grammy nomination in 2015, the LA-born group has been representing its city at major festivals in Texas and New York. They're also picking up the attention of critics, through pieces on NPR's All Things Considered and Latino USA. Further, their hybrid of Latin, rock, and world music has caught the attention of groups like Cafe Tacuba, Lila Downs, Ozomatli, and Los Lobos, all of whom have had La Santa Cecilia open shows for them in recent years. Anyone who has attended their concerts can attest that lead singer Marisol "La Marisoul" Hernandez has one of the most powerful voices in any city, in any genre. Eddie Cota

Father Figures return with Heavy Lifting.EXPAND
Father Figures return with Heavy Lifting.
Jim Hesterman

The Father Figures Album Release Party
Friday, April 14
Valley Bar

“I don’t believe in the devil/I just can’t at my age,” Father Figures bassist and vocalist Tom Reardon sings on “USS Destroyer,” one of the 12 strident, post-punk songs that comprise the Phoenix band’s new album, Heavy Lifting. It’s a record centered on ego, control, and messianic urges, but Reardon (who’s also a New Times contributor) says his idea of “the devil” is a broad one: “We destroy ourselves and because of that, I can’t believe in the devil.” Over a slice of veggie pizza at Pino’s in Central Phoenix, he says, “Either we are the devil, or the devil doesn’t exist.” Heavy Lifting is the band’s most expressive album to date, the finest showcase for knotty, interlocked sound of the trio, which includes guitarist Michael Cornelius (a founding member of skate punks JFA) and drummer Bobby Lerma. Though you could file the band next to Fugazi and Wire, the album finds the group coming fully into its own. A project full of punk-rock lifers whose DIY roots stretch back to the late ’70s and ’80s, Heavy Lifting proves age doesn’t have to dim vitality.

While it’s tempting to hear the songs as reactions to the age of fake news and Trump (“We promise you a bridge between our great nation’s past and its robust future,” Reardon intones on “NPS”), Reardon wrote most of the lyrics more than a year ago, back when the prospect of a Trump presidency still seemed outlandish.

“Tom was almost like a prophet on this one, predicting this egomaniac who’s taking the reins,” Lerma says.
“I think this record just packages the angst any normal, thinking human would have in the last couple of years,” Cornelius adds. “We’ve always been about the angst of the everyman.” But even if the specter of fascism hangs over the record (“It’s a lens you can see things through,” Lerma says), Heavy Lifting is far from a political polemic, drawing inspiration from Alfred Bester’s 1957 science fiction novel The Stars My Destination, Moby Dick, Scorsese films, and advance-fee e-mail scams. Drawing from varied sources, the band’s penned songs as poetic as they are cynical, which articulate much more than rage. “I would like to inspire folks to do something, rather than sit around and bitch about things,” Reardon says. “All these people say punk rock is going to be great during these years, but only if people make great punk rock.” Jason P. Woodbury

Hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos! It's Okilly Dokilly.
Hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos! It's Okilly Dokilly.
Frank Cordova

Okilly Dokilly
Friday, April 14
Rockbar in Scottsdale

In case you missed it, Okilly Dokilly went viral back in 2015 by releasing on Bandcamp four demos based in the genre of Nedal, their name for hardcore Simpsons-themed metal. The Phoenix-based quintet started off as a joke, but the group took off like Bart Simpson on a skateboard. Show writer Al Jean even tweeted with his approval. “We were in quite a tizzy,” says Head Ned. “We're still very honored and glad that so many neighborinos enjoyed what we were doing. Last year, we hit the stage quite a bit to develop our live show and then spent a lot of time getting ready for the studio.” Not ones to trim their mustaches, pray to Jesus, and call it a day, Okilly Dokilly released their first full-length album, Howdilly Doodilly, last November. The record, which the band claims consists of 75 percent of direct quotes from Homer Simpson’s optimistic green sweater-clad Christian nemesis, was recorded at Mesa's Audioconfusion and has helped increased Okilly Dokilly’snoteriety even more. Those folks who criticize the band in the style of Jeff the Comic Book Guy, but Okilly Dokilly remain undeterred. For those unconverted to Nedal, Head Ned’s response to the negativity epitomizes the positive attitude of the character they are parodying: “A group of Flanders wouldn't be a group of Flanders at all without a group of Homers to criticize them.” Jason Keil

Swing along with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy this weekend.
Swing along with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy this weekend.
Courtesy of Phoenix Symphony

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15
Symphony Hall

You may remember Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from the late '90s swing craze and the man-bible flick Swingers. For the uninitiated, the band was one of the most popular nouveau-swing bands of that era, standing right next to Royal Crown Revue, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Cherry Poppin' Daddies on the pop charts and countless national tours. You couldn't turn on a television without seeing models jumping and jiving for The Gap or even ranch dressing by the summer and fall of 1998. After the fad subsided, many of the bands moved on to more mainstream sounds, but the Voodoos stayed resolute to their sound and continued on. So this weekend dust off your fedoras and party like it's 1998 along with the band, who will be backed up by the musicians of the Phoenix Symphony during a two-night stint in the Valley. Go, daddy, go. Craig Hlavaty

Dexter Holland of The Offspring.EXPAND
Dexter Holland of The Offspring.
Melissa Fossum

KUPD’s Brufest
Saturday, April 15
Fear Farm

Punk was once underground. Bands played in grungy, rat-infested clubs, and forget hearing the music on the radio. About 25 years ago, however, that all changed. The Offspring and Pennywise are two SoCal bands who wound up signing to the same Epitaph record label that helped bring this subversive sound to the masses. So it's sorta fitting they're appearing at an enormous event like KUPD’s Brufest in April, even if they took completely different routes to get to this level of success. The Offspring is a group of Huntington Beach natives who, along with Green Day, pushed punk to heavy rotation on MTV. Videos for "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" are a major reason why piercings and dyed hair spread throughout suburbia. Meanwhile, Pennywise was able to capitalize on its label mates' trailblazing punk rock in the mainstream. They’ve sold more than 3 million records, making it one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time. In mid-April, you can catch both legendary punk bands co-headlining Brufest, which will also feature performances by All That Remains, Atreyu, Hell or Highwater, and Through Fire. David Rolland

Read on for more "can't miss" concerts this weekend, including Blues Traveler, Patrick Sweany, and the Cult of the Yellow Sign.

The musicians of Blues Traveler.
The musicians of Blues Traveler.
Courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency

Four Peaks 20th Anniversary Party feat. Blues Traveler
Saturday, April 15
Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe

The bluesy rock band from Princeton, New Jersey, that rose to fame with "Run-Around" way back in 1994 is still at it. Blues Traveler's unique vocals and harmonica-driven melodies are all thanks to John Popper, who's still front and center after all these years. Despite the band's various Top 40 hits, they're known for their improvisational live shows and released their latest album, Blow Up the Moon, in 2015. This weekend, Blues Traveler will make a special appearance at the festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary of local brewery Four Peaks. And if you want to be in attendance, you’d better try to score some tickets for the event, as they’re getting pretty scarce. In other words, get a move on, unless you want to deal with the, ahem, run around. Diamond Victoria

The doomy and gloomy members of the Cult of the Yellow Sign.EXPAND
The doomy and gloomy members of the Cult of the Yellow Sign.
Benjamin Leatherman

The Cult of the Yellow Sign's Album Release Show
Saturday, April 15
FiftyoneWest in Tempe

The first thing you should know about the Cult of the Yellow Sign is that they aren’t Satanists. Granted, the group adorns itself in black hooded cloaks and frequently make illusions to doomsday, the occult, and other dark subject matter, but they don’t worship the devil or preach the teaching of Anton LaVey. As its members told New Times a few years ago, they're an "equal-opportunity doomsday cult" who are partial to works of both H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers. And their eventual goal is to help bring about the end of the world, according to the group’s Facebook page: “Through our devotion to the outer gods that swell and twist maddeningly in the center of the universe, we plan to reduce your meaningless planet to a burnt cinder of smoldering refuse.” In the meantime, the Cult of the Yellow Sign also functions as a band and has dropped a new album, Top of the Pile, for its minions to enjoy. The 18-song project features a doomy and gloomy mix of chiptune and horror punk that the cult claims will take listeners on a “journey through the hollow earth” as they are recruited into a clandestine society that seeks to destroy all life on this planet. Sounds heavy. Check it out for yourself at their album release show this weekend at FiftyoneWest in Tempe, which will supposedly transport the audience nterdimensionally to the frozen castle city of Y'ng'mar. Local bands 20 Ft. Neon Jesus, Nerdzerker, and Snailmate will also come along for the ride. Benajmin Leatherman

Blues-rock musician (and Black Keys' bestie) Patrick Sweany.
Blues-rock musician (and Black Keys' bestie) Patrick Sweany.
Tony Joe Gardner

Patrick Sweany
Saturday, April 15
Rhythm Room

Little-known fact, but one of the first acts Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach produced was fellow Ohioan Patrick Sweany. Sweany grew up in Masillon, Ohio, just one county over from Auerbach, who is originally from Akron. They gravitated to each other via the small regional scene. “One night, Dan came out to my residency and sat in. He was 19, I think. After that he started coming out pretty regularly and sometimes he’d bring a bass player and drummer and we‘d have a whole band. The bass guy eventually just faded away.” During a set break in 2000, Auerbach took Sweany to his car to play him some things he had been recording. “Those turned out to be some of the earliest demos of the Black Keys,” says Sweany. “I dug the sound he was getting, and that’s when Dan and I started talking about doing some recording. But then in 2002 the Black Keys dropped their first album and Dan began concentrating mostly on that project.”

Meanwhile, Sweany did his own this. After a couple of recordings that were essentially self-releases as the Patrick Sweany Band, in 2006 he signed with Rick Pierik and Nine Mile Records, which also released the first two Shinyribs records, Alright After Awhile and Gulf Coast Museum. “Not long after that, Dan had his own studio up and functioning, and it had all this vintage gear that works perfectly for the sound I’m after,” says Sweany. In 2007 Sweany dropped Every Hour Is A Dollar Gone, recorded entirely at Auerbach’s Akron Analog Studio. He spent 2007 and '08 touring hard as an opening act with Black Keys, the Gourds, Los Straitjackets, Sonny Landreth and Paul Thorn. After 15 years on the fringes of the music business in East Nashville, Sweany is still doing his thing. William Michael Smith

The Suicide Girls perform in Phoenix in 2015.EXPAND
The Suicide Girls perform in Phoenix in 2015.
Melissa Fossum

Suicide Girls
Saturday, April 15
The Pressroom

In 2001, when the Suicide Girls were formed, there really wasn’t a reference point for heavily tattooed beautiful women featured in tasteful nude pictorials. At best, there was probably some low-budget porn featuring punk girls and guys, but something tasteful, something almost Playboy-esque featuring beautiful, but nontraditional women didn’t exist. Missy Suicide (a.k.a. Selena Mooney) saw an opportunity, and she and her partner, Sean Suhl, took to it like ducks to water. Their site, www.suicidegirls.com, quickly became a favorite for folks who celebrate the subculture of body modification by sharing naked pictures, blogs, and an opportunity for online chat. What they created was more than a place for dudes (and dudettes) in dark rooms with a bottle of lotion. They created a community. Over the years, the Suicide Girls expanded their universe through books, film, and traveling burlesque performances, including their extremely popular Blackheart Burlesque show, which they are bringing to Phoenix on Saturday, April 15. Blackheart Burlesque is often a tribute to popular culture with numbers dedicated to classic and more recently popular television shows and films. This year’s show features pieces dedicated to Netflix’ popular show Stranger Things, and a number based on HBO’s Westworld featuring the haunting version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” from the show’s soundtrack. Tom Reardon

Taj Express: The Bollywood Music Revue
Saturday, April 15
Mesa Arts Center

If you're like us, there's something exhilarating about watching the elaborate productions coming out of Bollywood. From the rich, glitzy costumes, to the complicated choreography and the captivating music, it's no wonder that Hindi cinema has become popular around the world. Now a Broadway-style Bollywood production is touring the United States, bringing the high energy of India's pop music and culture to the stage with vibrant dances, 2,000 costumes and catchy music in a two-act musical about an Indian-born, London-based journalist in search of romance in Mumbai. Be forewarned, there's no live singing in Taj Express: The Bollywood Music Revue, but the soundtrack has enough bells and whistles — as well as hip-hop, EDM, and Latin beats — to satisfy most modern audiences. Susie Tommaney

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