The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Shamir is scheduled to perform on Monday, February 19, at Valley Bar.
Shamir is scheduled to perform on Monday, February 19, at Valley Bar. Courtesy of Father/Daughter Records
This week’s slate of concerts is filled with some famous names – and you’re probably familiar with a few of ‘em.

That includes such folks as Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, rapper G-Eazy, trap act Keys N Krats, hip-house artist Shamir, and singer-songwriter Molly Burch.

They’ll be hitting the Valley this week to perform at venues both big and small, and we’ve got the lowdown in our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week.

Read on for details about each of their gigs. And be sure to check out Phoenix New Times' concert calendar for even more shows happening around town.

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The members of Blitzen Trapper.
Tyler Kohlhoff
Blitzen Trapper
Monday, February 19
The Rebel Lounge

It’s been over a decade since Blitzen Trapper’s breakout album Wild Mountain Nation blew the mustaches off half the country’s hipsters and turned them on to the world of experimental folk/country. The self-released album produced a Top 100 hit and garnered high-ranking reviews from Allmusic, PopMatters, and Pitchfork, a virtually unheard-of consensus.

Once Sub Pop picked up the Portland, Oregon-based band, the deal was sealed, and Blitzen Trapper secured its place at the top of the alt-folk heap. The latest offering, last year’s Wild and Reckless, checks all of the genre’s boxes and is bound to rank up there with the group’s most lauded records when all is said and done.

In a live setting, Blitzen Trapper manages to sound like a much larger ensemble than the five-piece it is. Their upcoming show at The Rebel Lounge will probably be one of the best country-infused concerts you’ll see this year, hands down. Oakland L. Childers

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Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner of Tune-Yards.
Eliot Lee Hazel
Monday, February 19
The Van Buren

There was a time when Merrill Garbus believed small actions could make a big difference in the world. Now, she’s not so sure.

Part of the indie duo Tune-Yards, the Oakland, California, musician is hesitant to say the songs she writes and performs are “helpful,” even though she often sings about racial and social injustice. She also questions how beneficial her music actually is to society as a whole, especially when compared to the actions of her family.

Her search for answers is one of the prevailing themes on the latest Tune-Yards effort, I can feel you creep into my private life.

The record confronts the insecurities you might experience when listening to music that doesn’t reflect the life you’ve lived. These strong emotions led Garbus to a six-month meditation program that helped her slow down the intense feelings of shame and guilt she would often feel. She came out with more love and compassion for herself and others, which is evident throughout the album. Jason Keil

Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst of alternative folk duo Shovels & Rope.
Courtesy of All Eyes Media
Shovels & Rope
Monday, February 19
Musical Instrument Museum

Carrie Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are a duo in both life and music. The married couple play folk music together as Shovels and Rope. Hearst had been a solo performer for several years prior to this band’s formation in 2008; Trent was in indie-rock band, Films.

In 2013, they picked up a couple of awards from the Americana Music Association, including best emerging artist. Their rootsy blend of folk incorporates indie rock, country, and bluegrass is delivered with a punk rock spirit. As they collectively bellow out fiery numbers, it’s hard not to be reminded of the dual singing by John Doe and Exene Cervenka of the legendary L.A. punk band X. Shovels & Rope are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum. Tickets are $43.50 to $48.50. Amy Young

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Hip-house artist Shamir.
Courtesy of Father/Daughter Records
Monday, February 19
Valley Bar

When Shamir came onto the pop scene with 2015’s Ratchet, he dropped a bomb on dance floors across the country. The hook-filled record had beats and melodies that were perfect for clubs — and an off-kilter, unique songwriting sensibility that rewarded repeat listens at home.

It was clear the Las Vegas native knew how to dissect modern pop songs and reassemble them in striking new ways. And considering his gift for cranking out killer jams like “On The Regular,” it’d be easy to assume that Shamir would keep pumping out songs in that vein.

However, his next two releases (both of which dropped in 2017) had Shamir pivoting in a radical new direction: lo-fi bedroom pop. With Hope and Revelations, he traded in glowsticks for Guided By Voices records, creating an interesting hybrid of sunny guitar-driven songs set off with his fluid R&B tenor. That voice makes songs like “Tryna Survive” and “90’s Kids” stand out. Shamir sounds like a bird of paradise. Fragile and gorgeous, he soars to almost falsetto heights before coming back down to earth.

Shamir’s only been around a few years, and he’s already pulled a Kid A on us. But that willingness to throw everything out and start over puts him in good company. Ashley Naftule

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Dan Auerbach brings his Easy Eye Sound Revue to town this week.
Alysse Gafkjen
Dan Auerbach and the Easy Eye Sound Revue
Tuesday, February 20
The Van Buren

If he wanted to, Black Keys vocalist and guitarist Dan Auerbach could easily coast off the overwhelming success of his main gig. After all, the band has produced several hit records, including the critically lauded El Camino and Turn Blue.

Luckily for Auerbach fans, he’s not the idle sort and has an array of side projects he’s involved with, including his other band, The Arcs, and collaborations over the last several years with the likes of Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky, and Lee Fields.

Last year, Auerbach launched his Nashville-based record label Easy Eye Sound, which features such blues, garage rock, and throwback artists and acts as Robert Finley, Shannon and the Clams, and Sonny Smith.

These same musicians are a part of Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Revue tour, which will swing through the Valley on Tuesday, February 20. Auerbach and the other featured artists (including Shannon and the Clams) will be backed by a Easy Eye Sound house band consisting of several renowned session musicians, including bassist Dave Roe, guitarist Russ Paul, and keyboard player Bobby Wood. Benjamin Leatherman

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Rapper Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy.
Bobby Bruderle
Tuesday, February 20
Comerica Theatre

Hard-partying Bay Area rapper G-Eazy can’t remember when or where hip-hop mogul Puff Daddy gave him the best advice of his career, but he remembers the sage wisdom. “The best music is always the most vulnerable, because it’s the most real, the most human, the most raw,” G-Eazy told the UK’s Standard publication.

The 28-year-old put that advice to practice on his third studio album, The Beautiful & Damned, coupling his low-key flows with introspective storytelling about the risks of addiction and the sacrifices that come with fame. Those vulnerable expressions resonated with his loyal fan base, sending the album to No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts.

G-Eazy’s not all about cautionary tales, though. He’s still plenty interested in good times and playing the role of heartthrob, as heard on his hit single “No Limit” alongside Cardi B and A$AP Rocky. He stops by Comerica Theatre on Tuesday as a part of his Beautiful & Damned tour, which also features buzzing up-and-comers Trippie Redd and Phora. Mikel Galicia
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.