Concerts

The Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Charley Crockett is scheduled to perform on Sunday, January 14, at Crescent Ballroom.
Charley Crockett is scheduled to perform on Sunday, January 14, at Crescent Ballroom. Lyza Renee

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click to enlarge Walshy Fire of Major Lazer during the group's headlining set at the Mad Decent Block Party in Phoenix. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Walshy Fire of Major Lazer during the group's headlining set at the Mad Decent Block Party in Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman

Walshy Fire
Saturday, January 13
BLK Live in Scottsdale


Ever since joining Major Lazer, Miami's Walshy Fire has been circling the globe, dropping bass, and transforming international party people into wild, explosive, and twerk-elated versions of themselves. It's the logical progression for a Jamaican kid from Miami who picked up on music at an early age and never let go.

He started with parties, then came clubs, then came festivals, then came stadiums. And after harnessing a solid global fanbase, the financial wherewithal to invest in himself, and plenty of business knowledge, he's founded his own label, Planet Raux.

Walshy Fire is currently manufacturing and distributing conscious reggae and Miami bass for release around the world. And in the meantime, he's hosting Vice's "Noisey Brazil," slamming speakers with the new Major Lazer album, Peace Is the Mission, and ascending from performer to executive. This weekend, he’ll visit BLK Live in Scottsdale for what’s sure to be a high-energy show. Jacob Katel

Too Short
Saturday, January 13
The Van Buren


To paraphrase the artist: His name is Short, his game is long, he freaks these hoes, and sings these songs. TooShort is Oakland’s poet laureate of pimp talk. Too Short’s been dropping albums since 1985.

Rap careers tend to age quickly, with most artists getting out of the game by the time they hit 30. That’s not the case with Short, who has endured and prospered while so many of his peers have either died or retired. Call him West Coast rap’s Energizer Bunny, ready to spit his filthy “cock tales” raps.

After decades of hustling, Too Short announced that 2018’s The Pimp Tape (his 20th album!) will be his last record. So he’s hitting the road to regale fans with stories about his XXX exploits. If you love dirty rap, you owe it to yourself to hear the Short Dog bark one more time. Just be sure to leave the kiddies at home. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Dan Bejar of Destroyer. - FABIOLA CARRANZA
Dan Bejar of Destroyer.
Fabiola Carranza
Destroyer
Saturday, January 13
Crescent Ballroom


Dan Bejar is best known for his work in the New Pornographers. But before co-founding that band in 1999, he performed and recorded as Destroyer — something he still does today.

Although the project now comprises a full band, early Destroyer was just Bejar with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. On those early home recordings, it feels as though he’s trying hard not to sound like yet another singer-songwriter peddling hackneyed methods and premises. The name of the band is apt, as Bejar switches up his approach, gear and recording methods with each new record to avoid getting stuck in a creative rut. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge Candlebox - COURTESY OF PARADISE ARTISTS
Candlebox
Courtesy of Paradise Artists
Candlebox
Saturday, January 13
Last Exit Live


Forming in 1990 and hailing out of Seattle, Candlebox was compared, for better and worse, with bands that were a part of the then burgeoning grunge scene. With more in common with classic rock acts such as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, Candlebox was labeled "grunge lite" even though not one member ever claimed any connection to bands like Nirvana or Mudhoney.

But lead singer Kevin Martin and the rest of the Candlebox had the last laugh – at least commercially – as the band's self-titled debut sold more than 4 million copies. Songs such as "Change" and "You" are still in regular rotation at numerous men's clubs across the country.

However, following the band's third unenthusiastically received effort, 1999's Happy Pills, was thought by many to be the band's swansong. After a few years apart, though, Martin and guitarist Peter Klett were producing a Candlebox compilation when they decided to resuscitate the band. Candlebox released three albums of new material since then, including 2016’s Disappearing in Airports, tour constantly, and refused to be snuffed out. Darryl Smyers

click to enlarge K.Flay brings her introspective songs to The Van Buren. - HIGHRISE PR
K.Flay brings her introspective songs to The Van Buren.
HighRise PR
K.Flay
Sunday, January 14
The Van Buren


The first time you hear L.A.-based alt-pop and hip-hop artist K.Flay, two things stand out: Her introspective, witty songwriting is refreshingly subtle yet bold. And her honesty borders on uncomfortable. Whether it’s her sucking her sorrows away in “Wishing It Was You” or shredding rhymes with Marshall Mathers-like calculation and speed in “Champagne,” K.Flay has made waves since releasing her first mixtapes at the age of 19.

Influenced by Shirley Manson, Tame Impala, Missy Elliot, and Liz Phair, the artist fell into music haphazardly in college. In an argument, someone challenged her to write a song. Within a few years, she signed with a major label, parted ways with it, and then independently released 2014’s Life As a Dog. It cracked the Top 20 Billboard rap albums chart. In 2016, Crush Me was released on Imagine Dragons’ frontman Dan Reynolds’ label, and last year’s Every Where Is Some Where nabbed two Grammy nominations.

K.Flay’s throaty vocals, defiant spirit, breezy rhythms, and textural vibes makes the listener feel interconnected to something deeper than pop, rock, and hip-hop. “That experience is subjective and in the books of our lives, we are both protagonist and narrator,” she says. “And narrators have incredible power.” Lauren Wise

Charley Crockett honed his street-smart blues with a decade of cross-country travel. - DANIEL DRIENSKY
Charley Crockett honed his street-smart blues with a decade of cross-country travel.
Daniel Driensky
Charley Crockett
Sunday, January 14
The Rebel Lounge

Charley Crockett was destined to be an outsider. A mixed-race kid born into poverty in Texas, he found refuge in the in-between spaces, first among the squatters of New Orleans and then as a busker in New York’s subways. He couldn’t have been anything but a blues musician.

After a decade spent on the lam, waiting out a bad record contract in Los Angeles, Crockett returned to his home state and began making music that’s rich with Southern flavor, a musical gumbo of Delta blues, honky-tonk, gospel and Cajun jazz. It’s the manifestation of a hard-lived life and it’s earned the attention of many in music, including kindred spirit and fellow blues artists like Leon Bridges. Eva Raggio
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.