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.
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
Friday, April 14
“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
Friday, April 14
Rockbar in Scottsdale
In case you missed it, Okilly
Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15
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
Saturday, April 15
Punk was once underground. Bands played in grungy, rat-infested clubs, and forget
Read on for more "can't miss" concerts this weekend, including Blues Traveler, Patrick Sweany, and the Cult of the Yellow Sign.