The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 21, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 21, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Ray Yau
Clear your schedule for this weekend, y'all – a lot of things are going on.

For starters, 420 is on Friday (which means plenty of marijuana-themed events and shows) followed by Record Store Day on Saturday (which means plenty of deals and exclusives at local music emporiums).

Plus, a ton of big concerts will be happening around the Valley the next few days and nights.

Friday evening will be especially busy, as Odesza will have an enormous show at The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, KUPD will present its annual Ufest over in Mesa, and Cradle of Filth will invade The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix.

The rest of the weekend is just as packed and will includes gigs by Vance Joy, No Volcano, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Dixie Dregs, and one-man band That 1 Guy.

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

click to enlarge Sevendust is scheduled to perform at this year's Ufest. - CHRIS BAIRD
Sevendust is scheduled to perform at this year's Ufest.
Chris Baird
Saturday, April 21
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

If the collected works of rapper Prof could be equated to one literary classic, it would be The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. His songs are ribald, frequently funny first-person narratives, chock full of double entendre, wild diversions, and unexpected poignant moments.

Most of all, it’s interesting. In “Gampo,” the opening track from his 2011 album of the same name, feature Prof’s attempt to get a new word — representing a shady type of character — into the vernacular. (Yes, you can find “gampo” in the Urban Dictionary now.) It also evokes odd visuals with rhymes like, “like a samurai on a llama ride down a water slide” and is a bit of an anthem for a country that elected Donald Trump president.

Prof has worked with Brother Ali and Atmostphere but also with swag rappers like Riff Raff, rapping with the sensibility and composure of the former and the humor and irreverence of the latter, all the while sporting remarkable flow that operates anywhere from slow and sung to rapid-fire spitting.

He's currently touring in support of his newly released album, Pookie Baby, and will visit Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale this weekend for a gig. Mac Irv, Cashinova, Willie Wonka, and Everyday Affiliates will open. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

click to enlarge Progressive metal legends King's X. - COURTESY OF BLK LIVE
Progressive metal legends King's X.
Courtesy of BLK Live
Friday, April 20
The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler

Odesza is a production duo hailing from Seattle that set out to make electronic music that isn't necessarily following in the traditional EDM mold. Inspired by indie rock but utilizing software in writing and production, Odesza's music recalls the early era of M83.

Comprised of Harrison Mills (a.k.a. Catacombkid) and Clayton Knight (a.k.a. BeachesBeaches), the duo have a self-described “mutual love of catchy and beautiful-sounding music” and create bright, delicate, and intricate soundscapes using electronic and live instruments both in the studio and during their gigs. Their appearance at last fall's Lost Lake Festival, for instance, saw them perform alongside a pair of horn players and a drum line equipped with LED-lit kits while surrounded by a wall of light.

Needless to say, we're guessing that their gig this weekend at The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler will be just as memorable. Jai Wolf and Yahtzel will open. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge Danny Kiranos (a.k.a. Amigo the Devil) - COURTESY OF THE ORACLE MANAGEMENT
Danny Kiranos (a.k.a. Amigo the Devil)
Courtesy of The Oracle Management
KUPD's Ufest 2018
Friday, April 20
Riverview Park in Mesa

Never underestimate the power of heavy music here in the Valley. Case in point: KUPD's U-Fest. The long-running annual concert festival is a huge draw each year, and brings in some big names in metal and hard rock to perform in front of thousands of amped-up kids and rock fans.

This year's lineup includes groove/thrash metal act Five Finger Death Punch, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, alt-metal band Sevendust, and metalcore group Bad Wolves.

Be sure to pack some sunscreen to go along with your black shirt, and get ready to have your eardrums hammered by crushing chords, pounding drums, and guttural screams. Exactly what you are looking for at a metal show, right? Jason P. Woodbury

click to enlarge Cradle of Filth invades downtown Phoenix on Friday night. - COURTESY OF NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Cradle of Filth invades downtown Phoenix on Friday night.
Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
Amigo the Devil
Friday, April 20
Nile Theater in Mesa

If you never met him, you might mistake Amigo the Devil for a monster. The 30-year-old murderfolk maudit's most popular song is called "Perfect Wife." With gallows humor to make Marshall Mathers wince, it details gruesome spousal abuse that escalates until the wife rifle-blasts her husband. Two other beloved anthems are "Dahmer Does Hollywood" and "The Recluse," which was originally titled "Ed Gein." The latter opens his 2013 self-released Diggers EP by loosely sketching the necrophiliac Wisconsin serial killer who once made a belt out of human nipples. Think Johnny Cash at his blackest, mixed with Father John Misty, if he exhumed graves at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

"Everyone has morbid thoughts, but there's a very large gap between having insanely sick thoughts and actually doing them," says the Miami-raised Devil, born Danny Kiranos. "But these people exist, and I'm fascinated by them. I'm sure as hell never gonna know what it feels like." We certainly hope not.

You can catch Kiranos performing this weekend in Mesa during a gig at the Nile Theater's coffeehouse. Start time is 7 p.m. and tickets are $15. Jeff Weiss

click to enlarge The members of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. - RAY YAU
The members of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Ray Yau
King's X
Friday, April 20
BLK Live in Scottsdale

Simply put, King's X is a marvel. The progressive metal trio has been hanging around the margins of hard rock for nearly 40 years; next year marks the 30th anniversary of Gretchen Goes to Nebraska ("Summerland," "Over My Head"), one of the pivotal albums of the high Headbanger's Ball years.

Though never quite breaking through to a mass audience, the band didn't have to make the kinds of compromises that go hand-in-hand with reaching such a level – such as dumbing down its intensely spiritual lyrics – and has never disappointed its intensely loyal following.

And the trio – which consists of Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill – continue to blow audiences away with searing sets that show how little drop-off in quality there's been from their 1988 debut Out of the Silent Planet to today – i.e., none.

Pouring blues, funk, prog, and the Beatles into a metallic drill-press and doling it out one steamroller riff at a time, King's X puts on a clinic in sleek, soulful hard rock. And their performance at BLK Live in Scottsdale of Friday night should be a full-on doctoral seminar in the same. Chris Gray

click to enlarge The Dixie Dregs back in their heyday. - COURTESY OF MSO PR
The Dixie Dregs back in their heyday.
Courtesy of MSO PR
Arizona Record Label Fest
Friday, April 20
Crescent Ballroom

The countdown to Record Store Day is on. Annually, that’s the day to score specially offered music releases and merchandise at participating record stores. To fuel the energy for the shopping extravaganza, a group of Valley-based record labels have teamed up to throw a pre-party.

The Arizona Record Label Fest includes five bands and one DJ representing labels President Gator, Slope, Dirty Water, No Affiliation, 80/20, and Cactus Man, who will take the stage to rep their labels and show their skills. Styles will range from local masters of video-game music, Minibosses, to Moonlight Magic, who keep things mellow with their swanky lounge tunes. Mean Motor Scooter, First or Last, Bear Ghost, and DJ Gila Man complete the lineup.

See what some local labels have to offer at 7 p.m. on April 20 at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $5 to $7. Amy Young
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Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.
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