Starset is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, March 7, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Starset is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, March 7, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Courtesy of Lucky Man Concerts

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

If you like your metal served up by a wrestling superstar or with a side of space shtick, it’s gonna be a big week. Same goes for fans of k.d. lang, Of Mice & Men, COIN, and Jake Shimabukuro, all of whom have gigs in the Valley this week.

Other noteworthy shows happening at Phoenix music venues over the next few days include a two-night stint by Brockhampton at The Van Buren, a celebration of the music of the late David Bowie, and local surf/lounge act Moonlight Magic.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our rundown of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. And for even more live music around town, check out the Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Jazz pianist Benny Green.EXPAND
Jazz pianist Benny Green.
Ron Jones

Benny Green Trio
Monday, March 5
Musical Instrument Museum

Famed drummer Art Blakey had a knack for finding outstanding young players to play in his Jazz Messengers, and one of many fine pianists to come out of that group was Benny Green. The hard-swinging hard bop pianist has also been a sideman for a number of jazz luminaries, including such legendary artists as Bobby Watson, Betty Carter, and Freddie Hubbard. Oscar Peterson even picked him to be the first recipient of the city of Toronto's Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music while no less than the New York Times called him an “astute pupil of the hard bop tradition.”

Green has also released a total of 17 albums under his name since the late '80s, including his most recent albums, 2013’s Magic Beans and last year’s Happiness! Live at Kuumbwa. This week, he’ll tear up the ivories inside the Musical Instrument Museum’s Music Theatre where he’ll join renowned jazz singer Veronica Swift, who’s gotten plenty of laudings from critics herself. Jon Solomon

Moonlight Magic serves up a free show at Valley Bar this week.EXPAND
Moonlight Magic serves up a free show at Valley Bar this week.
Jeremie Bacpac Franko

Moonlight Magic
Monday, March 5
Valley Bar

This ensemble of seasoned local musicians is a great band to get woozy to. Or maybe, they’re the ones causing those woozy sways with breezy original tunes. Their sounds keep you moving; their infectious blend of exotica, lounge, and surf-y sounds are breezy and hypnotic. The band consists of Ruth Wilson on bass, Eddy Detroit on drums and percussion, Andrew Jemsek on organ and accordion, and Jamie Paul Lamb on guitar. Each has a lengthy resume of musical projects.

With a collective wardrobe any respectable lounge lizard would envy, this band doesn’t stick to playing in traditional venues. They’ll cram into the packed downtown tiki bar Bikini Lounge to play right in the middle of the party crowd. Another awesome way to catch them is atop the Clarendon Hotel, performing at the venue’s rooftop bar with the wind carrying their sounds into the infinite view. Or you could swing by their gig at Valley Bar on Monday night, which starts at 7 p.m. and is completely free. Amy Young

Jake Shimabukuro leaps into Mesa on Tuesday.EXPAND
Jake Shimabukuro leaps into Mesa on Tuesday.
Merri Cyr

Jake Shimabukuro
Tuesday, March 6
Mesa Arts Center

Jake Shimabukuro's fingers run up and down a ukulele's tiny, two-octave fretboard as nimbly as any rock guitarist's. But he stays true to the song. Indeed, much of Shimabukuro's success over the years has been tied to his spot-on renditions of famous rock and pop tunes. (He shot to fame more than a decade ago thanks to his cover of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," one of the first viral videos on YouTube.) And some songs have been extremely tricky to translate to ukulele. He struggled, for example, to arrange Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Shimabukuro's last album, Nashville Sessions, was his first collection of all-original songs. His forthcoming album, The Greatest Day, is about half originals and half covers, and the track list includes Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9," the Beatles' “Eleanor Rigby,” the Zombies’ “Time of the Season," and an island-reggae version of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You."

The Hawaii-based Shimabukuro is in the midst of an extensive national tour to promote The Greatest Day. At this point in his career, he's very familiar with the touring grind. On average, he plays between 110 and 130 shows a year, which inevitably results in some wear-and-tear on his hands.

"When we have a lot of back-to-back shows, sometimes my fingertips get a little raw," he says. "You really want to dig in and give it your all, so there are times when the fingers get tender, but when you start playing, the adrenaline kicks in and you feel no pain." Howard Hardee

Metalcore act Of Mice & Men.EXPAND
Metalcore act Of Mice & Men.
Courtesy of Atom Splitter PR

Of Mice & Men
Tuesday, March 6
Nile Theater in Mesa

Like some people are cellphone crazy, Phil Manansala is guitar-crazy. He picked up his first ax at 10 years old and has barely put it down these past 17 years, though he’s never once taken a formal lesson.

His current project, metalcore act Of Mice & Men, formed when he a guitarist was touring with the band A Static Lullaby. There was another metal band on the bill, Attack Attack! And from those two bands came the outline for Of Mice & Men.

Rounded out by drummer Valentino Arteaga, rhythm guitarist Alan Ashby, and bassist Aaron Pauley, the five-piece group has put out five albums thus far: 2010’s self-titled debut, 2011’s The Flood, 2014’s Restoring Force, 2016’s Cold World, and the newly released Defy.

And if you’re wondering why a metalcore crew named itself after a nearly century-old John Steinbeck novella, they supposedly chose that book title for its moniker because the members believe “everyone should be living off your own American dream,” Manansala says. David Rolland

The musicians of COIN.
The musicians of COIN.
Zachary Gray

Tuesday, March 6
The Van Buren

In 2012, indie pop band COIN started playing shows around their hometown of Nashville, quickly accumulating fans in the process, later releasing two EPs, Saturdays and 1992.

Despite the obvious talent on display with these releases, it wasn't until 2015 that the eyes of the national music scene fell upon the still-young quartet with their single "Run," a blistering three-and-a-half-minute pop-rock gem that induces involuntary head-bopping and energetic nostalgia. Swirling synth lines and memorable sing-along choruses supported by tight musicianship became COIN's M.O. The summer 2015 release of the band's self-titled debut full-length capitalized on this success, drawing positive reviews from national music outlets like Billboard.

Since then, COIN's success has only grown; the band reached another milestone last spring when they released their second full-length album, How Will You Know if You Never Try. On this release, the group's sound begins to take a new direction, with a wider inclusion of synthesizer and a slightly more new-wave song structure, as well as more powerful, honest lyrical ideas. The 40-minute opus boasts a mildly retro feel, while still maintaining a fresh, unique, and exciting sound. John Nicholl

Starset will have a close encounter with Tempe on Wednesday.EXPAND
Starset will have a close encounter with Tempe on Wednesday.
Kevin Estrada

Wednesday, March 7
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Symphonic metal and space rock are not yet deep-rooted genres in music. But 2018 is surely part of a generation that’s redefining musical norms and planting the seeds for music to come. Starset is one of these musical endeavors that can be described with the aforementioned musical styles.

The band, which formed in 2013 and released their debut album, Transmissions, the following year, is fronted by a bona fide doctor in electrical engineering. Dustin Bates also completed research for the U.S. Air Force and taught at International Space University (yep, it’s a real institution of learning). So it’s really no wonder he wanted his music to have astronomic themes.

Starset even has a backstory (which involves their creation by a secretive society with the aim of promoting science and alerting mankind to mysterious messages being received from outer space) and a comic book. You can get a copy for yourself when the band touches down at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Wednesday night. Diamond Victoria

How spacey will Celebrating David Bowie at Mesa Arts Center get, you think?
How spacey will Celebrating David Bowie at Mesa Arts Center get, you think?
Jimmy King

Celebrating David Bowie
Wednesday. March 7
Mesa Arts Center

It still feels strange to talk about David Bowie in the past tense. His music is woven into the fabric of our culture, soundtracking everything from car commercials to rocket launches. In the two years since his death, many have tried to keep his creative spirit alive. Those efforts have run the gamut from second-rate vocalists singing Bowie’s songs with local orchestras to his closest friends and collaborators performing his albums live.

Thankfully, Celebrating David Bowie falls into the latter category, but with a cool twist. The Starman’s longtime keyboardist Mike Garson is joined by guitarists Earl Slick and Gerry Leonard, vocalist Bernard Fowler, and bassist Carmine Rojas to play hits like “Rebel Rebel” and “Ziggy Stardust,” along with some less-known gems from his eclectic catalog. Many artists whom Bowie influenced will drop in throughout the tour. Currently slated to make an appearance at Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater is the British producer Mr. Hudson (Duran Duran, Kanye West) and Sting’s son Joe Sumner. Jason Keil

Here comes Brockhampton.
Here comes Brockhampton.
Ashlan Grey

Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 8
The Van Buren

Brockhampton have no problem with the label “boy band.” In fact, frontman Kevin Abstract and other members of the 14-strong collective have gone on Twitter crusades campaigning for the label of “the internet’s first boy band.”

They’re also one of the most prolific acts in rap, right now. They released three albums in 2017, and the “Saturation” trilogy mixes influences and styles from hardcore ’90s hip-hop to the group’s own brand of playful dance-rap.

The San Marcos, Texas-born, now California-based crew have gone from local success story to cult hit, and now, a mainstage attraction at North America’s biggest festivals.

The collective of members account for the entire artistic process behind making music and the other artistic elements that brand Brockhampton. Abstract, Ameer Vann, Merlyn, Dom McLennon, Matt Champion, and Bearface may be the boys delivering the bars, but they receive just as much credit as photographer Ashlan Gray and creative director HK.

Brockhampton work together as an inclusive team. Through this teamwork, they’ve carved out their own niche of rap made through the internet and for the internet. Tanner Stechnij

k.d. lang will be in Chandler this week to celebrate the release of a landmark album.
k.d. lang will be in Chandler this week to celebrate the release of a landmark album.
Courtesy of Paradigm

k.d. lang
Thursday, March 8
Chandler Center for the Arts

The lowercased k.d. lang — her preferred way of spelling out her full name — arrived on the '80s music scene as a glorious freak: a short-maned Canuck with a boisterous manner, a jet engine of a voice and a taste for vintage cowgirl duds and Patsy Cline.

It was an enjoyable persona, but also a limiting one, and by the time the single "Constant Craving" turned 1992's Ingénue into a career-redefining hit, she'd gotten serious — and she's remained that way ever since.

This week, lang will visit Chandler Center for the Arts on her current tour, which celebrates the 25th birthday of Ingénue. As is the norm for any such anniversary tour, she’ll perform all 10 songs from the Grammy Award-winning disc in its entirety, including "Miss Chatelaine," "Tears of Love's Recall," and (of course) "Constant Craving.” She might also serve up some of her non-Ingénue hits also, as well as possibly a cover or two. Classical guitar duo the Grigoryan Brothers will open. Michael Roberts

Chris Jericho (center) and the other members of Fozzy. Drink it in, maaaan.EXPAND
Chris Jericho (center) and the other members of Fozzy. Drink it in, maaaan.
Adrienne Beacco

Thursday, March 8
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Heavy metal band Fozzy started off as a joke, but the band’s success in recent years is anything but. Fronted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho and starring Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward, the five-member act has toured the world, performed at notable hard rock and metal festivals like Aftershock and Uproar, put out a few albums that have charted on Billboard, and scored radio hits with songs like “Lights Go Out” and “Judas.”

Not bad for a group that began in 1999 as metal cover band called Fozzy Osbourne that featured Jericho, who performs in between stints in the ring with WWE as a flamboyant frontman named “Mongoose McQueen.” They gradually dropped the shtick, however, becoming less tongue-in-cheek and more of a legit act in the late 2000s, as Jericho devoted more of his focus to the band. (Although they still do cover songs now and again, including a dynamic version of ABBA’s 1975 hit “SOS.”)

Throughout the band’s lifespan, Fozzy’s style of metal has been in the rip-roaring, radio-friendly vein, with an emphasis on the blistering guitar work of Ward and Jericho’s melodic vocals, both of which can be found in the hook-filled tracks from their latest album, Judas. And no, you don’t need to be a fan of the WWE to rock out to ’em, just into great-sounding metal.Benjamin Leatherman

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