The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Soccer Mommy is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 11, at Valley Bar.
Soccer Mommy is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 11, at Valley Bar. Courtesy of Fat Possum Records
Look, we get it if you can't afford a trip to Coachella this year. Given that tickets and other expenses will set you back hundreds of dollars, it's totally understandable.

So why not have a do-it-yourself Coachella experience by checking out some of the shows happening around town this week?

There are burgeoning indie artists like Soccer Mommy and Frankie Cosmos, as well as longtime favorites (Matt and Kim), weirdo fringe acts (Psychotica), and even some esteemed fogey bands (The Doobie Brothers).

And the best part? You don't have to make a five-hour drive.

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

click to enlarge Frankie Cosmos (center right) and the other members of her band. - ANGEL CEBALLOS
Frankie Cosmos (center right) and the other members of her band.
Angel Ceballos
Frankie Cosmos
Monday, April 9
Crescent Ballroom

Greta Kline, a.k.a. Frankie Cosmos, has a knack for writing songs that reach into your soul and wring you out like a half-soaked washcloth. She knows how to squeeze the linen just right so a sense of longing mixed with subtle sophistication splashes out on the smooth acrylic beneath her feet. You can almost see the little flowers stuck to the bottom, so she doesn’t slip while stepping out of the tub.

While Frankie Cosmos is just one of many names Kline has used to label her projects, the band she has put together for her latest record, Vessel, is confident and appealing. Simple arrangements hover around Kline’s perfect indie rock vocals and steadily strummed guitar, and they flow from song to song, leaving the listener wanting more yet satisfied. The songs are short and to the point, yet complete and show the maturity of a songwriter who recently turned 24 and has a whopping 52 releases under her belt. Tom Reardon

click to enlarge Thank You Scientist have been cooking up something unusual in their lab. - COURTESY OF APA AGENCY
Thank You Scientist have been cooking up something unusual in their lab.
Courtesy of APA Agency
Thank You Scientist
Monday, April 9
The Rebel Lounge

Thank You Scientists are one of the more unique acts in rock as they consist of seven musicians playing instruments ranging from a shamisen and sitar to a theremin. Classifying the act into one particular genre wouldn't do them justice. Ostensibly, they’re considered a mix of progressive rock, post-hardcore, and jazz fusion, but listening to their music, you'd probably agree that they sort of transcend those labels.

During their sets, Thank You Scientist is able to groove its way through its catalog of songs while providing a stage presence that demands your attention, purely to hear what would come next. Their frenetic and kinetic sound features off-tempo changes, kinky riffs, and unpredictable sonic twists that makes you want to keep listing.

Make no mistake, the somewhat odd instrumentation that this self-described “seven-headed monster” utilizes doesn't seem as though it would draw much attention from metal fans, but it does. And Thank You Scientist is just as popular with the indie types as well. You might encounter both crowds during the band's show at The Rebel Lounge on Monday, April 9. Local bands Strelitzia and The Ephemeral will open. Austin Paetow

Matt and Kim
Tuesday, April 10
The Van Buren

Like the mythical Pied Piper, who lured and hypnotized followers with the sweet sounds of his magical flute, the dance-band duo from Brooklyn known as Matt and Kim have that same capacity to take hold of their audience.

With charming smiles, saccharine, almost childlike demeanors, and the fortitude to crowd-surf over thousands of fans, Matt and Kim live are mesmerizing. Their 2015 single "Get It" exemplifies their talents, especially their simple, catchy lyrics: "At 1 a.m.," goes the verse, "We go for gold. At 1 a.m. when we, we lost control. At 1 a.m. / Oh yeah, goddamn, goddamn! / We don't wanna go home!" Who can't get on board with that mentality? It's celebratory and rabble-rousing all at once.

Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino came together in 2004 and started making dance music with a strong pop sensibility — not necessarily the droning club-style many are familiar with but rather music to shake your booty to what's more relatable, with standard verse, chorus, and bridge structuring.

Since then, Matt and Kim have released six albums (a seventh is on the way), and their 2006 song "Daylight" was certified as a gold record. With raucous live shows to match their uplifting sound, Matt and Kim are a quintessential modern pop sensation. Jacob Uitti

click to enlarge The members of Whores. - COURTESY OF BRUTAL PANDA RECORDS
The members of Whores.
Courtesy of Brutal Panda Records
Tuesday, April 10
The Rebel Lounge

A band’s name sets an expectation. Call your band Fluffy Bunnies and, without factoring in the possibility of irony, listeners will guess some lilting sounds will abound. Calling your band Whores, on the other hand, fosters an image of something a little edgier. The Atlanta band who bear that name? They eat edgy for breakfast.

Together, the band’s members — Christian Lembach (vocals and guitar), Donnie Adkinson (drums), and Casey Maxwell (bass) — sound like a musical army hitting you with heavy-rock assault. Their sound embraces punk, metal, and noise for a thick, driving output that defies predictability. It’s as much for fans of stoner rock or classic metal as it is for fans of old-school noise rock acts like NYC’s Unsane.

After playing for nearly six years and releasing some EPs and a split single with the band Rabbits, Whores released their first full-length, Gold, in late 2016. It was a fast favorite, charting as Rolling Stone’s 10th best metal album of the year. From front to back, the 10 songs on this record use the total runtime of 35 minutes wisely.

For this band, melodic sludge and thick rock don’t always need more than three minutes to make a point. They’re out to destroy. Like their 2013 song “Baby Bird” says, “I’m going out tonight and I hope that it hurts.” That should set the expectation for what their live show offers. Amy Young

click to enlarge Austin Getz, Casey Getz, and Danny Dempsey of Turnover. - COURTESY OF APA AGENCY.
Austin Getz, Casey Getz, and Danny Dempsey of Turnover.
Courtesy of APA Agency.
Tuesday, April 10
The Pressroom

From pop-punk upstarts to dream-pop stars, Virginia Beach’s Turnover have evolved in strange ways since they formed in 2009. The core trio of Austin Getz (vocals, guitars), Casey Getz (drums), and Danny Dempsey (bass) started off with a Warped Tour-friendly emo punk sound and went on tour opening for spiky haired bands like New Found Glory. They didn’t stay in bullet-belt country for long. On 2015’s Peripheral Vision, they embraced a reverb-heavy, dreamy sound that had more in common with chillwave and Real Estate than The Story So Far and Blink 182.

Peripheral Vision stood out for combining watercolored sonic textures and twinkling, melodic guitars with lacerating emo lyrics. On songs like “Cutting My Fingers Off” and “Take My Head,” Turnover made visceral self-loathing sound downright pretty.

With their latest album, 2017’s Good Nature, the band have sunk even deeper into their dreamy sound. Getz still sounds as pensive and lovelorn as ever, but the music is more lush and blissed-out. Listening to them play chords that ripple like water on the effortlessly slicked-back “Breeze” and “Pure Devotion,” you can barely hear any traces left of their pop punk past. There isn’t a spike left standing. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Sophie Allison of Soccer Mommy. - COURTESY OF FAT POSSUM RECORDS
Sophie Allison of Soccer Mommy.
Courtesy of Fat Possum Records

Soccer Mommy
Wednesday, April 11
Valley Bar

Sophie Allison's vocals are sweet-sounding and dreamlike. In contrast, the lyrics she sings while performing with Soccer Mommy, her indie rock project, are stark, snarky, and uncompromising. “I don’t want to be your fucking dog/That you drag around/A collar on my neck tied to a pole/Leave me in the freezing cold,” the Nashville-born musician sings on the track “Your Dog,” the lead single from Soccer Mommy's new album, Clean.

Many of the other songs on the album are just as confrontational – including “Blossom (Wasting All My Time)” and “Last Girl” – as Allison lays bare her psyche and comes face-to-face with other who have wronged her, all while the distortion-heavy guitars thrum away. Not every Soccer Mommy track is fuzz-filled psychodrama ridden with tumult and regret, however, as several songs (like “Skin” and “Scorpio Rising”) are joyful celebrations of emotion and new love.

If ever there was an example of the cathartic power of music, it's Soccer Mommy. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Collective Soul will kick off Arizona Bike Week. - COURTESY OF RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
Collective Soul will kick off Arizona Bike Week.
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Collective Soul
Wednesday, April 11
Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld in Scottsdale

Ed Roland’s dedication to music has been the sole driving force behind Collective Soul’s continued relevance in the music industry. Formed in the early '90s as an outlet for work that he had created during his years as a sound engineer in his native Georgia, Collective Soul released its first product, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, on the indie label Rising Storm Records, and lived quietly until it caught the attention of Central Florida college radio. The song “Shine” became a sleeper hit.

Based entirely on the popularity of that song and the interest generated for the band, Collective Soul (featuring Ed’s younger brother Dean on guitars) signed with Atlantic Records, and their hard-rock balladry got lumped with the postgrunge phenomenon of the mid-'90s. After years of relative obscurity, Ed’s musicianship was finally recognized. Of the many bands that took flight in that epoch, Collective Soul has been one of few to endure and grow through the changing tides of taste. Always keeping true to its guitar-driven sound, it's experimented throughout its albums, with varying degrees of success.

This week, Collective Soul will have the honor of kicking off Arizona Bike Week's concert series with their show on Wednesday, April 11. Abel Folgar

click to enlarge The members of Carnifex. - COURTESY OF ATOM SPLITTER PR
The members of Carnifex.
Courtesy of Atom Splitter PR
Wednesday, April 11
Club Red in Mesa

Over the years, metal has spawned such subgenres as grindcore, metalcore, doom metal, black metal, and thrash metal, but it doesn't get much heavier and darker than death metal. Hailing from sunny Southern California, Carnifex plays the type of aggressive and visceral death metal that has been redefining the genre over the past decade.

Named after a Roman public executioner, Carnifex employs the characteristic breakdowns, growls, and dissonance of the genre with an angrier and more relentless approach than its predecessors. Currently working on its fourth album, the band is determined to make an even more desolate and tumultuous follow-up to the 2009 release, Hell Chose Me. In 2005, they played their first show at an Arizona loading dock to a crowd of 20. Numerous albums later, they're stopping by Club Red for a night of hard rock. Oceano, Spite, Buried Above Ground, and Arboroth will open. Melissa Fossum

click to enlarge Patrick Briggs of Psychotica. - MARIO/CC BY 2.0/FLICKR
Patrick Briggs of Psychotica.
Mario/CC BY 2.0/Flickr
The Doobie Brothers
Thursday, April 12
Comerica Theatre

When drummer John Hartmann and guitarist Tom Johnston originally convened in Northern California as the final embers of the '60s were slowly fading away, they formed a band whose modest intents would eventually make it one of the most popular bands ever.

Joined by guitarist Patrick Simmons, multi-instrumentalist John McFee, second drummer Michael Hossack, and bassist Tiran Porter, they established themselves as a go-to party band, taking the name the Doobie Brothers as an unabashed acknowledgment of their celebratory tool. They quickly yielded an arsenal of radio-ready hits, including ever-ready anthems like "Listen to the Music," "China Grove," and Black Water," as well as several best-selling albums that propelled them to the forefront of '70s music.

Theirs was an unlikely dichotomy, a group that could be counted on to scale the Top 40 while also maintaining the interest of the highbrow FM crowd. And once they recruited two ex-Steely Dan compatriots, singer/pianist Michael McDonald and guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, that crossover was complete.

These days, the Doobie Brothers are still alive and kicking. Understandably, the band has undergone a wealth of lineup changes over the decades. The core ensemble of Johnston, Simmons, McFee remains, however, and powers the band as it performs upwards of 100 shows per year. Their current tour comes through the Valley this week for a show at Comerica Theatre. Simmons' kid, singer-songwriter Pat Jr.,  will open. Lee Zimmerman

Thursday, April 12
The Rebel Lounge

Dynamic glam-rock/industrial act Psychotica made it big back in the '90s. They signed a recording contract – with Rick Rubin's American Records, no less – before even playing their first public gig. They toured extensively – on the bill of Lollapalooza, no less – before the actual release of their debut album. And Psychotica's lead singer was featured in a future-of-rock exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland – fastened to a cross, no less, with Saran Wrap.

Psychotica is (and always has been) the brainchild of singer-songwriter Patrick Briggs, a flamboyant, androgynous performer who once claimed his aim was to bring "fabulousness" back to rock. Both his alien-like appearance and dramatic vocals over the past few decades harken back to the Ziggy Stardust era of David Bowie, and the band's theatrical sound borrows heavily from the songbooks of strange bedfellows including Led Zeppelin, Bauhaus, and A Flock of Seagulls.

Over the last 24 years, Psychotica has released eight albums (with 2010's Black Dahlia EP being their most recent) and have evolved their sound into more of an industrial bent. Briggs is still as theatrical as ever and unleashes all manner of antics during Psychotica's performances. You can witness this for yourself when the ban visits The Rebel Lounge on Thursday. Georgina Cardenas
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Ashley Naftule
Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young