Shamir is scheduled to perform on Monday, February 19, at Valley Bar.EXPAND
Shamir is scheduled to perform on Monday, February 19, at Valley Bar.
Courtesy of Father/Daughter Records

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

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.

The members of Blitzen Trapper.EXPAND
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

Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner of Tune-Yards.EXPAND
Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner of Tune-Yards.
Eliot Lee Hazel

Tune-Yards
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.
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

Hip-house artist Shamir.
Hip-house artist Shamir.
Courtesy of Father/Daughter Records

Shamir
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

Dan Auerbach brings his Easy Eye Sound Revue to town this week.EXPAND
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

Rapper Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy.EXPAND
Rapper Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy.
Bobby Bruderle

G-Eazy
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

Molly Burch visits The Lunchbox this week.
Molly Burch visits The Lunchbox this week.
Dailey Toliver

Molly Burch
Tuesday, February 20
The Lunchbox

Singer-songwriter Molly Burch has a voice that could stop an airplane in the sky. If that’s not a suitable enough metaphor to describe her talents, music journalists have made comparisons to such greats as Patsy Cline and Nina Simone.

It may be early to sink her under the dead weight of the chanteuse sobriquet, but that's a possibility. Or perhaps she'll turn up in the remake of Blue Velvet. Tomorrow never knows, except that she's better than her press release.

You can decide for yourself when she visits The Lunchbox on Tuesday on her current tour. Local bands Bear State and Elna Rae will open. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $7. Tex Kerschen

The members of Keys N Krates.EXPAND
The members of Keys N Krates.
Lucia Graca

Keys N Krates
Wednesday, February 21
The Van Buren

Trap music started as a subgenre of hip-hop, named after the slang term "trap," a place where one would go to buy drugs. Atlanta rappers seemed to pioneer what would become called "trap" – guys like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy. As the trap sound became popular in hip-hop, electronic music producers began appropriating the sounds into their songs, increasing the mainstream exposure of the music. In that context, meet Keys N Krates, the world's first "trap band."

The Toronto trio formed in 2008 and features a drummer, a synth player, and a DJ, all coming together to produce sounds that seem to have no business coming from an instrumental trio. The band somewhat reluctantly accepts the "trap band" label, saying its influences range from house music to mainstream hip-hop, but the results are aggressive and make for a surprisingly engaging listen. David Accomazzo

Diego's UmbrellaEXPAND
Diego's Umbrella
Justin Hofman

Diego’s Umbrella
Thursday, February 22
Valley Bar

For Diego’s Umbrella, defining the band’s music has always been a frustrating and painful chore. There’s the onslaught of borderline-nonsense hybrid terms — urban gringo mariachi, pirate polka — and descriptions of the band’s typically wild live show, but Diego’s Umbrella is the sort of band you have to see to believe.

“Our go-to is that we play gypsy rock,” says drummer Jake Wood. “We have our slower polkas, we have our punk rock, we have our flamenco sessions, we even have a couple cumbia beats now. It’s all over the map. We’re very greedy eaters of all the different styles of music that are out there. I wouldn’t say we’re capturing things and playing them authentically, it’s more reconstitution it or mangling it with the Diego’s Umbrella blender.”

Since forming in 2001, the San Francisco quintet has drawn comparisons to MarchFourth Marching Band, DeVotchKa, and Gogol Bordello. “We all get excited about different styles of music,” Wood says. “I’m somebody who when I hear something new I can’t wait to learn how to play that, whatever it is, and I want to throw it into whatever I’m working on.” Eric Swedlund

Rusko will headline the return of UK Thursdays.EXPAND
Rusko will headline the return of UK Thursdays.
Courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency

UK Thursdays feat. Rusko
Thursday, February 22
Monarch Theatre

Once upon a time (read: six or seven years ago) dubstep was pretty much the “it” sound in electronic dance music. So much so that countless club nights we’re blasting killer drops, grinding bass, and obscene amounts of wub-wub on a regular basis, including over at UK Thursdays.

Back in 2009, UK Thursdays – which was started by promoter Mary Mahan and local DJ Jared “J. Paul” Jackson – was one of the premier places to rattle your eardrums with such low-end genres as dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass, grime, and UK garage. (As a matter of fact, UK Thursdays was one of earliest adopters of dubstep in the Valley, as it launched in 2009, long before the genre reached its apex or there even was even a Skrillex.)

After being on hiatus the last several years, UK Thursdays will make a long-awaited comeback this week (albeit as more of a semi-regular event). Mahan, Jackson, and local EDM promoter Relentless Beats will resurrect the night on Thursday, February 22, at its former home at the Monarch Theatre. And they’re bringing in dubstep/d’n’b DJ/producer Rusko to headline the 18-and-over affair. Locals Corbin “Fuhnetik” Bryant, Mike Dao, and Chris “Crit” Calvello will open. Benjamin Leatherman

Rusko will headline the return of UK Thursdays.EXPAND
Rusko will headline the return of UK Thursdays.
Courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency

Styx
Thursday, February 22
Celebrity Theatre

Styx is still straddling a line between being an arena rock band and a progressive rock band. They're going to play a couple of new songs, since they're touring off of their 2017 concept LP, The Mission, but expect their show at Celebrity Theatre to also be a hits-laden gig. Songs like "Lady," "Renegade," and "Too Much Time on My Hands" will be performed by a lineup that has been together for almost 20 years.

Lawrence Gowan has proved to be a suitable replacement for Dennis DeYoung since he can replicate DeYoung's vocals and not come across as a Svengali. Tommy Shaw and James "J.Y." Young seem happy touring with this version of their band, and most Styx fans do, too. Eric Grubbs

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