Broncho is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, March 20, at Valley Bar.EXPAND
Broncho is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, March 20, at Valley Bar.
Pooneh Ghana

The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

We're into the second half of March, and the concert calendar couldn't be busier.

A few bands on the way back from South by Southwest (such as Guantanamo Baywatch and Broncho) have shows in the Valley over the next few nights, as do acts like influential proto-industrial group Chrome, Australian pop band Human Nature, and pop-punk band The Dollyrots.

It's also a week filled with gigs by innovative and experimental performers, including desert oddity Howe Gelb, jazz/acoustic/electronica hybrid Moon Hooch, hip-hop artist Oddisee, and the duo of Pinkish Black.

And lest we forget, the Faygo-spewing fiends of Insane Clown Posse are also headed to Valley on Wednesday. Get ready, Juggalos.

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

Helios Creed of Chrome.
Helios Creed of Chrome.
Bridget Louise/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Flickr

Tuesday, March 20
Club Red in Mesa

Chrome was one of the most influential experimental bands, presaging the harsh, angular, mechanistic songwriting that would become industrial music. Founded in San Francisco in 1975, the act's paranoid vision of a dystopian world expressed itself in sounds that recalled the late-'60s psychedelic rock of the 13th Floor Elevators shot through with a dark, sinister electricity.

With the tragic passing of Damon Edge in 1995, control of the group's name and legacy was passed on to guitarist Helios Creed, and Edge's original equipment came into the possession of Tommy L. Cyborg, of Hawkwind fame.

Creed used to tour under a dual name and perform both Chrome songs and his equally impressive and expansively powerful solo material. However, after releasing two new Chrome albums in recent years – 2014’s Feel It Like a Scientist and 2017’s Techromancy – Creed’s been touring as Chrome, bringing plenty of the band’s deep-space dark intensity to every performance. This month, the band returns to the Valley for their first show in decades. Tom Murphy

Daron Beck (left) and Jon Teague of Pinkish Black.EXPAND
Daron Beck (left) and Jon Teague of Pinkish Black.
Courtesy of Biz 3

Pinkish Black
Tuesday, March 20
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

“So what does your band name mean?” Few groups have as morbid and sad an answer to the age-old question as Pinkish Black. The duo of Daron Beck and Jon Teague used to be in a band called The Great Tyrant with the late bassist Tommy Atkins. The name “pinkish black” describes the condition of the room where Atkins’ body was found.

Born from traumatic circumstances, Beck and Teague’s second act has been a fascinating exploration of spacey and eerie soundscapes. Unlike most metal groups, Pinkish Black eschew six-string pyrotechnics for a more unusual setup of drums and synths. It might sound limiting, but confining themselves to just drums and synths has freed the band to explore some otherworldly dimensions.

Combining a doomy vocal style befitting a black mass and synths that sound like refugees from a prog rock LP, Pinkish Black make outer space graveyard music. If anyone ever makes a movie about a vampire astronaut, Beck and Teague should be the first and last people they call to compose the score. Ashley Naftule

Indie rock band Broncho.EXPAND
Indie rock band Broncho.
Pooneh Ghana

Tuesday, March 20
Valley Bar

The garage-rock renaissance may have had its day, but Broncho is still riding the wave. The Oklahoma band has proven to be more than just a jangly throwback, though, adding the dissonance of post-punk into its noisy mix. Singer and guitarist Ryan Lindsey’s nasally growl tops off the band’s unique sound.

The group has been around since 2010 and has released two records, gaining some traction after the song “It’s On” appeared at the end of an episode of HBO’s Girls in 2014. As for the name? Broncho is the moniker of a fictional character in one of the band’s songs — a piece of a musical puzzle that is still being put together as the Western punk outfit’s star rises. With Public Access T.V. and The Soft White Sixties. Bree Davies

Australian pop/R&B act Human Nature.EXPAND
Australian pop/R&B act Human Nature.
Courtesy of Flourish PR

Human Nature
Tuesday, March 20
Mesa Arts Center

Soul, clap, and rhythm is what Human Nature will be bringing to the stage as they perform their Motown hits inside the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center on Tuesday night. The band, which has become one of Australia’s leading pop vocal groups, has released a dozen albums, many of which made top of the charts in their native country.

Human Nature has sold millions of records worldwide and have been awarded 23 platinum awards, 70 Top 40 hits and five Top 10 hits. The group has opened for Celine Dion and Michael Jackson in Europe and Australia. Human Nature’s many accomplishments include performing at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and performing on Oprah when the show was taped before thousands in Australia. S. Pajot

Wolf AliceEXPAND
Wolf Alice
Jono White

Wolf Alice
Wednesday, March 21
Crescent Ballroom

There are a lot of reasons people might be scared away from the soundtrack to the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. (We’re still not over your rock remake of the movie’s theme song, Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott.) But in between retreads of Ray Parker Jr.’s synth-heavy classic and a few boy-band singles is “Ghoster” by the British band Wolf Alice.

Odd as the presentation might be, the song serves as a perfect introduction to the quartet, with raucous swirling guitars, electronica elements, and the otherworldly vocals of Ellie Roswell. The band’s second full-length album, Visions Of A Life, taps into something a little more untamed and dissonant. The single “Yuk Foo” sounds like something the Pixies would have written if they accidentally unleashed hell when that monkey they sang about didn’t make it to heaven after all. But don’t let that scare you off. Jason Keil

Luis Cabezas (left) and Kelly Ogden of The Dollyrots.
Luis Cabezas (left) and Kelly Ogden of The Dollyrots.
Courtesy of Rage PR

The Dollyrots
Wednesday, March 21
The Rebel Lounge

Ever wonder what happened to your eighth-grade comrades? For most people, those folks become distant memories, or possibly fodder for some “back when” stories. Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas of pop-punk band the Dollyrots don’t have to ponder how each other’s lives evolved.

The pair met during that middle-school year and ended up a longtime couple who added a kid to the mix a few years back. The Dollyrots formed in 2000, after their previous band, No Chef, went through a member reformation. Ogden handles lead vocals and bass duties, while Cabezas rips on guitar. The band has had a healthy rotation of drummers in the mix. Stacey Jones from Letters to Cleo and Miley Cyrus both contributed drum tracks on the band’s 2013 release, Barefoot and Pregnant, recorded while Ogden was both of those things.

For almost two decades, the band has toured consistently to perform their anthemic, bubblegum-pop-punk that maintains a sassy, stompy sensibility. They’ve played with everyone you can think of, from The Go-Go’s to the Buzzcocks, and their catchy song “Because I’m Awesome” has been used for several different TV spots, not their only tune to be selected for that medium. Amy Young

Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse.EXPAND
Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse.
Melissa Fossum

Insane Clown Posse
Wednesday, March 21
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 has never forgotten its roots — and always delivers an unforgettable spectacle of a show, especially after they break out the Faygo. Tom Murphy

Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, better known as hip-hop artist Oddisee.EXPAND
Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, better known as hip-hop artist Oddisee.
Antoine Lyers

Wednesday, March 21
Club Red in Mesa

Oddisee’s music is in ways introverted and cerebral. The D.C.-based producer weaves innovative hip-hop soul aesthetics with the politics of everyday life, tackling issues such as wage inequality, whiteness and police brutality with genre-spanning aplomb. Each trenchant lyric slices like a razor: hard to notice at first, but with a cut that runs deep and lasts for days.

While Oddisee has been grinding out albums for the better part of a decade, his latest effort, The Iceberg, is a welcome consummation of his multi-instrumental approach to music and a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Songs like “Hold it Back” and “Like Really” exemplify his love for creative beats blended with horns and piano. It's likely to be a refreshing concert experience worth seeing. Katie Sullivan

Moon Hooch went from busking to the big time.
Moon Hooch went from busking to the big time.
Kenneth Kearney

Moon Hooch
Wednesday, March 21
Last Exit Live

Moon Hooch, a three-piece band that fuses electronic music and jazz with two saxophones and a drum set, got their start busking on subway platforms in New York City around 2010. Over the past few years, the act has changed from street to stage and toured through bars and clubs around the U.S., all while incorporating more electronic elements into its acoustic foundations.

“We have an acoustic infrastructure, but we’re playing electronic music,” says drummer James Muschler. “I think it has totally opened up the sonic spectrum. What we’re capable of doing with electronics is astronomical. With acoustic instruments, obviously, you could say it is also astronomical. The things you can do in a live-performance situation where you have massive speakers and all that, you can really do a lot if you know how to manipulate the sound.”

It's a sound that's resonated with music fans. Moon Hooch's self-titled debut in 2013 and its 2014 follow-up, This is Cave Music, made the top 10 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart. They've put out three more albums since then, including both a live album and the EP The Joshua Tree last year. Riley Cowing

Moon Hooch went from busking to the big time.
Moon Hooch went from busking to the big time.
Kenneth Kearney

Guantanamo Baywatch
Wednesday, March 21
Valley Bar

On Guantanamo Baywatch’s latest album, the Portland, Oregon, surf-punks pay tribute to the weird little towns that seem to exist solely for people to drive through. Anyone road-tripping from Arizona to California has passed through tiny towns like Quartzsite and probably wondered aloud, “Wow, people live here?!” A band of veteran road dogs, Guantanamo Baywatch know that feeling all too well.

The band’s new LP, Desert Center, is named for a small gas stop town off Interstate 10 in California. On it, Guantanamo Baywatch add some studio polish to their ragtag sound, with crisp production that makes their shredding and snappy rhythms shine. While it lacks some of the unhinged freewheeling energy of earlier records like Reptile Roommate, Desert Center tightens up the band’s surf sound and gives them some sweet early rock ’n’ roll swagger. They wouldn’t sound out of place playing backup for Gene Vincent or Hasil Adkins. Guantanamo Baywatch know how to shred with the best of them. Ashley Naftule

Howe Gelb will perform an intimate salon show at The Van Buren.
Howe Gelb will perform an intimate salon show at The Van Buren.
Daniel Diaz

Howe Gelb
Thursday, March 22
The Van Buren

Howe Gelb has recorded some of the most curious American music of the last 30 years. Whether solo, with his former band Giant Sand (which went defunct in 2016) or with collaborators that have included PJ Harvey and Neko Case, Gelb has been a master of the unpredictable, offering up everything from tinkling piano rags to bombastic, noisy rock.

Among the wild swings from highbrow to lowbrow and the moments of meticulous musicianship that suddenly collapse into muddy distortion, Gelb manages delicate restraint. A knee-jerk reaction would be to call Gelb’s work “shambolic,” but it’s actually a very controlled chaos. There’s also an endearing earnestness in Gelb’s experiments. After all, this is a man who not only recorded a piano-and-conga version of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” he meant it.

He's just as genuine on his two most recent releases, Future Standards and its follow-up, Further Standards. On both albums, which were released a year apart, Gelb performs a series of jazz piano standards, singing each with his silky, world-weary voice. You'll likely here several songs from the albums during his intimate salon-style performance at The Van Buren, which will take place in the back of the house and also feature Thøger Lund on upright bass. Troy Schulze

The bass-loving beat kings of Dirtyphonics.
The bass-loving beat kings of Dirtyphonics.
Courtesy of Monstercat

Thursday, March 22
Monarch Theatre

The members of Dirtyphonics prefer their beats hard, fast, and filthy. The three-person French electronic dance music act – comprising Charly Barranger, Julien “Pho” Lignon, and Julien “PitchIn” Corrales – specializes in hard-hitting, relentlessly paced, and explosively brutal audio shockwaves that blast EDM fans with bass into either euphoria or oblivion.

Their face-melting tracks are oftentimes innovative blends of low-end styles like dubstep and drum 'n' bass with both complimentary and disparate genres. To wit: 2007's “Vandals” was a ferocious-sounding fusion of d'n'b with house while their 2015 EP Write Your Future featured hard-hitting hybrids of thrash metal and dubstep (“Power Now”) and a mixture of grime and trap (“Hustle Hard”). Dirtyphonics most recent release, last year's Vantablack EP, continues the practice with six tracks that blend metal with bass into sonic salvos of pure power.

Thankfully, the 30,000-watt PK Sound gear at Monarch Theatre will be able to withstand Dirtyphonics' audio onslaught when the duo of Barranger and Lignon perform at the club on Thursday, March 22. Apashe, Arietta, and Richi Savage will open. Benjamin Leatherman

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