The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

La Santa Cecilia is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 29, at Chandler Center for the Arts.
La Santa Cecilia is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 29, at Chandler Center for the Arts. Courtesy of Criteria Entertainment
Big Surf is going to be packed with people this weekend, and they'll be doing more than just hitting up the waterslides. A pair of music festivals will take over the Tempe waterpark on back-to-back days, each offering its own vibe and music selection.

The annual Wet Electric takes place on Saturday and will feature such electronic dance music superstars as Adventure Club, Bro Safari, Crizzly, and Dr Fresch. The following day, local radio station Alt AZ 93.3 will hold its first-ever Band Splash, which will include sets by indie and alternative acts like Dreamers, The Unlikely Candidates, and Banners.

Other highlights of the Valley's concert calendar this weekend's include gigs from La Santa Cecilia, Toots and the Maytals, Paul van Dyk, and rappers Sage Francis and B. Dolan. Playboy Manbaby will also headline a two-day release party for a star-studded local comp at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe and KWSS personality Dani Cutler will celebrate her birthday in style at Last Exit Live.

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

click to enlarge Legendary DJ/producer Paul van Dyk. - CHRISTOPH KÖSTLIN
Legendary DJ/producer Paul van Dyk.
Christoph Köstlin
Paul van Dyk
Friday, April 27
Maya Day & Nightclub

Few DJs are as accomplished as Paul van Dyk. Or as legendary. Over the span of his 38-year career, the German-born artist helped lay the groundwork for electronic dance music’s modern era, produced several influential albums, and redefined the genre of trance. He’s also won a slew of awards (including a Grammy), played enough gigs around the world to be considered one of the most traveled DJs of all time, and even survived personal tragedy (specifically, a 20-foot fall in 2016 that nearly claimed his life). In other words, simply calling him a “superstar” only scratches the surface.

While some DJs would be content to rest on their laurels, Van Dyk apparently has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. He’s currently in the second phase of his From Then On tour in support of his 2017 album of the same name, and will perform at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale, on Friday, April 27. Doors are at 10 p.m. and local DJs Danny Stephen and Munition will open. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Dani Cutler live on KWSS. - MARK LIPCZYNSKI
Dani Cutler live on KWSS.
Mark Lipczynski
The Plus One Show
Friday, April 27
Last Exit Live

If you’ve been to a local show, chances are you have seen KWSS 93.9 FM radio personality Dani Cutler hanging out with her friend and go-to “plus one,” Cheyenne. With the disc jockey’s birthday coming up, her concert companion came up with a way to celebrate the host’s special day: Instead of telling a friend about a great local band, bring them to a show at a discount so they can experience the music firsthand. Cutler, a champion of the Phoenix music scene, wanted to test out the concept. So she put together a variety of musicians and booked a venue.

Included on this stacked lineup are country-folk duo Twofold Marie, the jangly electric-pop act People Who Could Fly, retro soul band The Glides, and the moody atmospheric rockers of El West. If dancing is your thing, then you can get down to the funky rhythms of Scattered Melodies. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Partying at the last Selena Night at The Van Buren. - MICHELLE SASONOV
Partying at the last Selena Night at The Van Buren.
Michelle Sasonov
Club '90s - Selena Night
Friday, April 27
The Van Buren

If there was one word to describe Selena Quintanilla – from her style to her music – it would be iconic. Celebrate the Tejano queen’s legacy on Friday, April 27, with a night of endless bidi bidi bom bom during Selena Night at The Van Buren. Dance, sing, and enjoy an evening full of Selena jams from the ’90s mixed with other cumbias and Latin anthem throwbacks just like the ones Mom would blast during her Sunday morning cleaning routine.

The celebration begins at 9:30 p.m. at The Van Buren. The event is 21 and over, and tickets are $12 in advance, $18 at the door. Melina Zuñiga

click to enlarge Playboy Manbaby will headline both nights of Jerkfest. - JIM LOUVAU
Playboy Manbaby will headline both nights of Jerkfest.
Jim Louvau
Straight Outta Comp Vol. 2 Release Party feat. Playboy Manbaby
Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Playboy Manbaby have been playing, touring, and dropping records for more than five years. They recently did the latter, unleashing Lobotomobile on the public. The 11-song full-length is available digitally and in limited-edition quantities on vinyl, cassette, and CD.

The band features Robbie Pfeffer on vocals, TJ Friga on guitar, Chris Hudson on bass, Chad Dennis on drums, Austin Rickert on sax, and Dave Cosme on trumpet and percussion.

Together, the band creates jumpy, raucous music — topped with sharp, thought-provoking lyrics — that pulls in a few different apples from the punk rock tree, from artsy to hardcore. Their multiflavored sound maintains a ska vibe at times with its horn section and other times those noisemakers lend themselves to help bust out garage rock dripping with the spirit of the ’60s.

This weekend, Playboy Manbaby will headline a two-day release party at the Yucca Tap for Lumberjerk Record's compilation album Straight Outta Comp Vol. 2. Other local bands scheduled to perform include Palm Springs Eternal, Willetta, Map, Fine China, Jordan Murawa, and A Blackbird En Route on Friday; and Porn Bloopers, No Volcano, Sun System, and Elna Rae on Saturday. Doors open at 8 p.m. both nights and admission is free. Amy Young

click to enlarge Rock us, Amadeus. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Rock us, Amadeus.
Wikimedia Commons
Phoenix Symphony feat. Jeffrey Kahane
Friday April 27, to Sunday, April 29
Phoenix Symphony Hall

Binged-watched the fourth season of Mozart in the Jungle already? Replayed Amadeus for the eighth time? And still you can’t get enough of Wolfgang? There’s good news. The Phoenix Symphony is offering three performances of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22, from Friday April 27, through Sunday, April 29, with internationally acclaimed guest soloist Jeffrey Kahane. And Kahane won’t just be playing the Steinway. He’ll be conducting as well, from his piano bench during the Mozart, then stepping up to the podium to lead the orchestra in performances of Bartok’s “Concerto of Orchestra” and Dvorak’s “Nocturne for Strings.”

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Tickets range from $25 to $93. Stuart Warner
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.