Ski Mask the Slump God is scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 11, at The Van Buren.
Ski Mask the Slump God is scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 11, at The Van Buren.
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in August 2018

Hip-hop fans of Phoenix, get ready for a month of can’t-miss concerts. High-profile rappers, MCs, and artists will be headed to the Valley over the next few weeks for concerts, including such names as Ski Mask the Slump God, G-Eazy, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Rae Sremmurd, J. Cole, Yelawolf, Lucki Eck$, and The Grouch and Eligh.

What else is on tap for Phoenix this month when it comes to concerts? Artists and acts like Panic! At the Disco, Jack White, Marilyn Manson, Us the Duo, that’s what. We’re also getting shows from Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Weezer, Pixies, Lady Antebellum, Rod Stewart, Rob Zombie, Coheed and Cambria, and Taking Back Sunday.

Better start getting your cash together.

Details about each of these gigs can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, both this month and beyond, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Underground hip-hop legends The Grouch (left) and Eligh (right).
Underground hip-hop legends The Grouch (left) and Eligh (right).
Courtesy of the APA Agency

The Grouch and Eligh
Thursday, August 2
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

Almost two decades in, The Grouch and Eligh remain among the most respected names in underground hip-hop. The staccato-flowing Eligh, who hails from L.A., and the deep-voiced The Grouch, who is originally from Oakland but now resides in Maui, are known both for their solo work and as part of L.A.'s renowned Living Legends collective. Their uplifting work as a duo remains among the best in the 2000s indie-rap explosion.

Despite it being a few years since they've dropped anything as a duo (2014's triple-disc album The Tortoise And The Crow is their most recent album), they're still very much active, both in their respective hometowns and also as touring artists. On Thursday night, the pair will swing by Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale with their Summer Thrilla tour with DJ Fresh. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Chaz Kangas

G-Eazy hits the Valley in early August.
G-Eazy hits the Valley in early August.
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

G-Eazy
Friday, August 3
Ak-Chin Pavilion

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 U.K.’s Weekly Standard.

The 29-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. This month’s Phoenix date is the latest stop of the Endless Summer Tour tour, which also features buzzing up-and-comers Trippie Redd and Phora. Mikel Galicia

Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb
Juan Patino

Lisa Loeb
Saturday, August 4
Musical Instrument Museum

If you can’t beat ’em, sell ’em. Some artists find their images stifling, and the thought of projecting and maintaining a “personal brand” chafes them. But others know how to lean into the quirks that make them stand out. Lisa Loeb is one of the latter.

Immediately recognizable for the cat-eye glasses she wore in her “Stay” music video, Loeb has embraced her image as America’s singing librarian. She even has her own line of signature eyewear. While she’s best known for her contribution to the Reality Bites soundtrack, there’s a lot more to Lisa Loeb than “Stay (I Missed You).” She’s released a string of best-selling records like Tails and Firecracker, full of memorable moments and distorted guitars.

In addition to cutting her own albums, Loeb is also a busy entertainer onstage and in Hollywood. She co-wrote a musical called Camp Kappawanna, co-starred in a Food Network show with Dweezil Zappa called Dweezil and Lisa, and has worked as a voiceover artist on TV and in film. She’s also released a few children’s music albums, where her sweet voice is a natural fit for lullabies and sing-alongs. Ashley Naftule

Hop Along
Hop Along
Tonje Thilesen

Hop Along
Saturday, August 4
Crescent Ballroom

Frances Quinlan has a voice like a feral cat: It never does what you expect it to do. Her voice gives Hop Along’s songs a unstable, mutable energy. From howls and croons to raspy whispers, Quinlan’s voice hops up and down her register. She treats her melodies like lumps of clay that she’s trying to stretch to their limit.

Hop Along was originally a freak-folk solo project for Quinlan. Writing and performing songs while she was still in high school, Quinlan quickly developed a following and recruited her brother Mark on drums. Signing to Saddle Creek Records, Hop Along have released four albums, each one building on and refining the earnest, driving sound of Quinlan’s songs.

2018’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog fleshes out Hop Along’s sound by layering strings, Rhodes pianos, backing vocals, and gorgeous filigrees of guitar work on top of Quinlan’s dog-gnawing-on-a-bone singing. While the music is more knotty and intricate, Quinlan’s poetic lyrics are as thoughtful and poetic as ever. She has a knack for seeing through the eyes of others, whether it’s a frustrated waitress or troubled folk singer Jackson C. Frank. Quinlan knows how to hop along in someone else’s shoes. Ashley Naftule

Shooter Jennings: The son also rises.EXPAND
Shooter Jennings: The son also rises.
James Minchin

Shooter Jennings
Sunday, August 5
The Rebel Lounge

If we truly do learn by osmosis, then it was in the cards for Shooter Jennings to be a killer musician. Born Waylon Albright Jennings to country music legends Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings, he was surrounded as a child by fearless crooners like Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. He started his career early on, learning piano at age eight and guitar at 14. In mid-‘90s, he recorded an album with his father called Fenixon, and since then, he’s blasted out a number of releases that exemplify his love of outlaw country.

Aside from his astute musicianship, it’s his raw vocals – deliberate, low-toned, and full of pointed lyrics – that get you in their grip. Whether he’s feeling the heartbreak and letting it out so listeners can share in the devastation, or he’s simply caught in a rage, he drives it home with an unflinching, gravely drawl. Jennings is also not one to shy away from experimentation: he occasionally adds a psychedelic or hard rock twist to his sounds. He’s about to drop his new record, Shooter, on August 10, so if you’re headed to the show, keep your ears open for some new tunes. Amy Young

Hip-hop icon Rick Ross.EXPAND
Hip-hop icon Rick Ross.
Ticketmaster

Rick Ross
Sunday, August 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

While William Roberts II, more famously known as Rick Ross, seems to have been continually assailed by medical issues over the past handful of months, it seemingly hasn’t slowed him down one bit. His 10th studio album, Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill, dropper earlier this year and his entrée into the world of male beauty products was even well-received, if only for the hilarity of ingredients like champagne and caviar extract.

A former corrections officer, Ross’ debut, Port of Miami topped the charts in 2006 as Ross’s bossy baritone became a staple of the naughty oughties’ strip clubs and lowriders. None of his albums have failed to debut within the top six of the Billboard 200 chart, so like it or not, he’s a rap icon with plenty of gas left in the tank. At 42 and with a successful Wing Stop franchise to fall back on, Ross continues to entertain and innovate. Nicholas Bostick

The man, the myth, the voice: Tony Bennett.EXPAND
The man, the myth, the voice: Tony Bennett.
Melina Dellamarggio

Tony Bennett
Tuesday, August 7
Celebrity Theatre

Tony Bennett, the legendary crooner known for signature tunes “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” is turning his stop at Celebrity Theatre into a family affair.

Daughter and next-gen performer Antonia Bennett opens the show, having inherited her father’s dreamy eyes and clear voice. She grew up in a household where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Gene Kelly were the norm, and has been opening for her father for the past decade.

As for the main attraction, Tony will offer up a marathon of crowd favorites and old classics, including “I Got Rhythm,” “Sing You Sinners,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” and “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road).” This powerhouse talent is still going strong at 91 and audience members will be ready to fly to the moon before this star-studded night is over. Vic Shuttee

Lucki
Thursday, August 9
The Rebel Lounge

Rapper Lucki Eck$ — better known simply as Lucki — has a song called “Poker Face” on his 2017 release Watch My Back. But make no mistake, it’s not a cover of Lady Gaga’s hit from back in 2008.

Where Gaga’s track is about relationship drama, Lucki’s is a nod to Wockhardt, the pharma company that produces a codeine-laden cough syrup famously used to concoct lean, which blends the medicine with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers. And Lucki doesn’t seem to care about his songs reaching the same level of popularity as Gaga, as he notes in the track: “Baby rock-hardt, I feel like a Wock star / I don’t fear a thing but a cop car / Underground king, fuck your top chart.”

With that song and others, it takes a minute to focus on the lyrics because his vocal delivery is so laid back, mellow, and hypnotic. It’s not surprising he’s collaborated with similarly mysterious FKA twigs. The beats below the words aren’t too hyper either; they’re melodic and popping with energy, creating a balance with his low-and-slow singing style. Things get grittier when you do zone in on what Lucki’s saying, as he offers slices from his life, referencing topics from drugs to gang life. Amy Young

GoGo Penguin is a whirlwind of experimental sounds.
GoGo Penguin is a whirlwind of experimental sounds.
Courtesy of Blue Note Records

GoGo Penguin
Thursday, August 9
Musical Instrument Museum

The forward-thinking Manchester, England-based trio GoGo Penguin is a squarely acoustic act with a piano, an upright bass, and a drum kit, but the group's songs are interpretations of electronic-music projects the act first builds on a computer using software like Logic or Ableton.

Take “Initiate,” from last year’s Blue Note album Man Made Object. When drummer Rob Turner brought an electronic-music project he had built to pianist Chris Illingworth and bassist Nick Blacka, it had African and tribal samples and wild percussion, but no drum kit or piano. “It had really weird synth sounds and then just loads and loads of really sine-wave sub-y kinds of bass,” Illingworth says. “I remember just thinking, ‘I can do that.' I was saying to Rob, ‘Give me that tune. I’ll go out and do some work with it.’”

Even when the songs are reinterpreted on acoustic instruments, they sometimes sound like electronica songs thanks to Turner’s inventive drumming and percussion. The music evokes Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Orbital and Massive Attack, all bands the musicians admire. Jon Solomon

Abe Gil of Treasure Mammal.
Abe Gil of Treasure Mammal.
Melissa Fossum

Treasure Mammal
Saturday, August 11
The Trunk Space

No other musician in Phoenix pours as much blood, sweat, and raw imagination into their live performances than Treasure Mammal’s Abe Gil. The mastermind behind Treasure Mammal puts on delirious spectacles for his live shows. Backed by dancers wearing Mammal’s signature multicolored spandex bodysuits, Gil performs alongside giant inflatable snowmen and Christmas trees. Sometimes Gil will create a Ouija board on the floor of the venue with masking tape and uses one of his dancers as a planchette. Wielding shake weights and singing Celine Dion songs, Treasure Mammal is an ironic GIF come to life.

But there’s more to Treasure Mammal than putting on spectacles. Abe’s been writing earworms for years. Catchy jams like "Amethyst," "Dream Catcher," and "Stevie Wonder to the Bullshit" pop out of their cassette trappings like some kind of brilliant fusion of '90s pop and old-school video game music. And while the Mammal is a proud hometown hero, his goofy spirit and pop chops have been recognized by a host of big names who’ve guested on his stuff (like Flaming Lips impresario Wayne Coyne and legendary DIY weirdo R. Stevie Moore). We look forward to seeing what Treasure Mammal will evolve into next. Ashley Naftule

On August 12, Weezer and the Pixies will play Ak-Chin Pavilion. Can you feel the tension?
On August 12, Weezer and the Pixies will play Ak-Chin Pavilion. Can you feel the tension?
Jim Louvau

Weezer and Pixies
Sunday, August 12
Ak-Chin Pavilion

In the beginning, there was a brawl between the words “Angst” and “Awkward.” The two words were distant neighbors in the “A” section of the dictionary and never liked each other, so they decided to fight. Not to the death, mind you, but close and it was ugly. There was some cursing, then shoving, then biting, then punches were thrown, and, in the end, there was a strong grudge that lasted until the late 1980s when a band came along that united the two wayward words. That band was the Pixies, and they were filled with angst and were also very awkward.

Painfully awkward, really, and because of this awkwardness, angst flowed through their riffage giving their singer, Black Francis (aka Frank Black), a twisted pallet to work from in order to share his sordid stories of angst-ridden and awkward relationships. A few years later, “Angst” and “Awkward” gave birth to another band: Weezer. They were also full of angst and awkwardness and people gravitated to them quickly because lots of people in the '90s were attracted to awkward, angst-ridden things. Sweaters were worn and sometimes even had songs written about them and clunky glasses, too, were a thing. It was awkward and angst-y and awesome. Tom Reardon

Coheed and Cambria are doing things a little differently these days.EXPAND
Coheed and Cambria are doing things a little differently these days.
Brandi Schultz

Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday
Sunday, August 12
Comerica Theater

Coheed and Cambria release concept albums based off a sci-fi storyline called The Amory Wars. After taking a break from the concept albums for The Color Before The Sun, they are back with the storyline for their newest album, Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures. They're co-headlining this tour with Taking Back Sunday, who are touring off their album TIDAL WAVE. Pop-punk act The Story So Far, who are also on the bill for this show, is gearing up to release their latest, a double album titled Proper Dose that will drop in September. You can get a preview during their opening set.  Paige Skinner

Courtesy of Republic Records
Courtesy of Republic Records
Courtesy of Republic Records

Ski Mask the Slump God
Tuesday, August 14
The Van Buren

In the druggy, seedy world of SoundCloud rap, nothing is certain. Your favorite rapper could be riding high (figuratively and literally) one day and be felled by a disappointing song or sexual assault scandal the next (the latter is unfortunately common). For now, out of all the Floridian artists riding the SoundCloud wave, Ski Mask the Slump God is on top for two reasons. First, he is an undeniably talented rapper. His cartoon-referencing wordplay is clever, and his speed and technical proficiency are close to that of fast-rap legends such as Twista and Busta Rhymes. For another, he actually seems focused on growing his career and putting out consistent projects. Time will tell, but this guy could make it. Douglas Markowitz

Michael and Carissa Alvarado of Us the Duo.EXPAND
Michael and Carissa Alvarado of Us the Duo.
Amanda Demme

Us the Duo
Tuesday, August 14
Crescent Ballroom

Six-second video service Vine called it quits in late 2016, but not before launching a folk-pop duo to stardom. Married couple Michael and Carissa Alvarado achieved notoriety on the service for their covers of radio hits beginning in 2013. Within a year, Los Angeles-based Us The Duo had amassed millions of followers and signed to Republic Records, where they've since released three albums of original music, including 2016's Just Love and 2017's Our Favorite Time of Year.

This summer has been particularly eventful for the couple. In June, they appeared on a pre-taped episode of America's Got Talent, pulling off a successful audition (despite getting negged by Howie Mandel) before wowing the show’s judges again during the live round in July. During that particular performance, the couple announced that they we’re expecting a baby, which added to the charm of the moment. And when they haven’t been winning over hearts on national television, the Alvarados have on their current tour, which comes to Crescent on August 14. Caroline North

Jazz singer and pianist Eliane Elias.EXPAND
Jazz singer and pianist Eliane Elias.
Courtesy of the MIM

Eliane Elias
Thursday, August 16
Musical Instrument Museum

Brazilian-born pianist/singer Eliane Elias, who's been nominated for six Grammys and won two, got an early start on the piano. By the age 12, she was transcribing solos from the jazz heavies, and at 15, she was teaching piano and improvisation. She moved to New York in the early '80s, hooked up with Steps Ahead, and then collaborated with her then-husband Randy Brecker on her first album, Amanda, which was dedicated to their daughter. Since then, she's released nearly two dozen albums, including 2011's Light My Fire, and her most recent effort, the excellent I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker). Jon Solomon

Blues legend James Yancy Jones, better known as Tail Dragger.EXPAND
Blues legend James Yancy Jones, better known as Tail Dragger.
Courtesy of Ticketfly

Tail Dragger
Friday, August 17
The Rhythm Room

James Yancy Jones, better known as Tail Dragger, originally hails from Altheimer, Arkansas, but relocated to Chicago in the 1960s. It was there he met the legendary Howlin' Wolf, who gave him his signature moniker, but it was the Windy City where he met local bluesman Bob Corritore too, in 1976, when the two performed a tribute to the late Wolf at the 1815 Club on Chicago's West Side.

The two share a clear rapport on collaborations like 2012’s Longtime Friends in the Blues. Featuring Tail Dragger's grizzled voice and Corritore's amplified harmonica, the record finds the duo joined by pianist Henry Gray, guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Chris James, and the rhythm section of bassist Patrick Rynn, and drummer Brian Fahey.

Corritore and Tail Dragger may be separated geographically (Corritore's owns the Rhythm Room here in Phoenix, and hosts a weekly blues program, Those Lowdown Blues, on local NPR-affiliate KJZZ), but their connection should be as clear as ever during their gig at Corritore's club on Friday, August 17. Local blues artists Mojo Mark, Dave Clark, Yahni Riley, and Frank Rossi will also participate. Jason P. Woodbury

Brandon Urie of Panic! at the Disco.EXPAND
Brandon Urie of Panic! at the Disco.
Jimmy Fontaine

Panic! at the Disco
Friday, August 17
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Last year saw tectonic shifts for mid-’00s hit maker Panic! at the Disco. Now down to only one official member, lead vocalist Brandon Urie, the band has seemingly weathered both the times and the string of departures over the years. Urie’s career is only growing.

After he made his Broadway debut as Charlie Price in the 2017 production run of Kinky Boots, Panic! dropped its sixth studio album, Pray for the Wicked, on June 22. Judging from the strength of Urie’s voice on “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” his time on Broadway has invigorated him. The track was one of the first singles released for the new album in March and has a more theatrical singing style from Urie that meshes nicely with the band’s characteristically narrative lyrics. A blisteringly high note from Urie also punctuates the track, illustrating the growth he has made as performer. Nicholas Bostick

Jack White
Jack White
David James Swanson

Jack White
Wednesday, August 22
Comerica Theater

Attention White Stripes fans of the Valley: Jack White will perform his first-ever solo show in Phoenix this month. Its a part of White's current 32-stop tour in support of his latest studio album, Boarding House Reach, which dropped in March. If stats from his last tour are indicative of what to expect this summer, then fans of White's other groups —The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather — can look forward to solo covers of older music from his catalog. Tanner Stechnij

Guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib of Tinariwen.
Guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib of Tinariwen.
Courtesy of the MIM

Tinariwen
Thursday, August 23
Musical Instrument Museum

Tinariwen is the plural of ténéré, which simply means "desert" in the African language Tamashek. The name is fitting for these Sahara Desert musicians, and their music captures the beauty, hardships, longing, and isolation of their nomadic lifestyle. Tinariwen began in Libyan resistance camps in the 1980s, when most members of the group lived as freedom fighters for Tuaregs, wishing to hold onto a desert lifestyle while being oppressed by the Malian government. Guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib wrote songs for the resistance, influenced by rock music played in the camps.

The result is music that's at once rich and inspired, energetic and moving, but also desolate, haunting, and spiritual. It ebbs and swells on layers of syncopated rhythms composed of hand claps, multiple guitars, bass, assorted hand drums, vocal harmonies, shrill wails, and indigenous instruments like krakesh, darbouka, guellal, and calabash. Whether this lush interplay is upbeat or restrained, it is Alhabib's intricate, bluesy guitar style, steeped in Malian traditions, that presents the most immediate impact. Hypnotic and captivating, the music also crosses cultural boundaries. Glenn BurnSilver

Lady AntebellumEXPAND
Lady Antebellum
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker
Thursday, August 23
Ak-Chin Pavilion

The double bill of Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker should make for a particularly interesting country showcase. Back out on the road after a short break after lead singer Hillary Scott's welcoming of twin girls, the three members of Lady Antebellum have been touring this summer with plenty of energy and vigor.

In recent years, they've added a horn section, punched up the volume on their amps a notch or two, and delved into their back catalog, out to prove that they’re more than "Need You Now" and "I Run To You." (Not to worry, those hits will still make it onto this gig’s setlist.) Rucker, of course, is the former frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish who invented himself as a talented country artist. Jeff Strowe

Cyndi LauperEXPAND
Cyndi Lauper
Courtesy of Webster PR

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper
Friday, August 24
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper are household names. Collectively they’ve spent nearly a century in the music industry, touring, writing and recording a slew of songs that have stuck with fans ever since. But unlike some shows that bring back icons of old to belt their hits as best they can, Lauper and Stewart have hardly lost an ounce of their characteristic styles and grace upon the stage. Even at 73, Stewart performs like he’s forever young, from his voluminous hair to his bedazzled jackets.

Rod the Mod has kept his show fresh by performing a successful Las Vegas act for the last eight years. Performing with a full band and several costume changes, Stewart’s act begins strong before settling into a more tuned-down acoustic set later into the night. Lauper seems like she might be overshadowed by Stewart’s sheer production value, but she still hits all the songs you know by heart with relatively few tracks off her most recent country album, Detour. Nicholas Bostick

Rob Zombie will return to Phoenix with Marilyn Manson at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix this month.
Rob Zombie will return to Phoenix with Marilyn Manson at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix this month.
Jim Louvau

Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson
Sunday, August 26
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Get ready to burn extra crispy this month, hard rock fans. Two of the devil’s favorite rockers have teamed up for a summertime tour, which has been dubbed “The Twins Of Evil: The Second Coming.” May god help us all.

This isn’t the first time that Dragula and the Antichrist Superstar have joined forces for a tour. Back in 2012, they embarked on the original Twins of Evil Tour in support of Zombie’s Hellbilly Delux 2 and Manson’s Born Villain. Notorious for in-fighting and backstage drama between the rockers, the experience culminated in some major league shade-throwing at a stop in Detroit, where Manson told the crowd, “I’m sorry if you came to see Rob Zombie, and he can’t come on, because I’m going to beat his ass … twice … three fucking times.”

Zombie responded to Manson’s impersonation of the Count from Sesame Street by covering Alice Cooper’s “School's Out” during his set. He dedicated the performance to “the only real shock rocker there ever was, Alice Cooper, not some punk-ass bitch.” However, the two buried the hatchet by the end of that tour. We'll see if they can keep things friendly during this particular tour. Ashley Naftule

Michael Wayne Atha, better known as rap star Yelawolf.
Michael Wayne Atha, better known as rap star Yelawolf.
Courtesy of Universal Music Group

Yelawolf
Sunday, August 26
The Van Buren

To many rap fans, Yelawolf is the classic underdog story. Signed to a major label and then dropped, Yelawolf released a couple of mixtapes before catching the ear of Eminem, which paved the way for his breakthrough.

The heavily tattooed, Alabama-bred artist continues to climb into the conscience of fans, helped by the inclusion of his single “Till It’s Gone” on Sons of Anarchy, while blending hardcore rap, bluegrass, and country to create a sound that goes far beyond conventional Southern rap.

He released his most recent mixtape Hotel last October, and his current tour will undoubtedly showcase new material from his most recent album, 2017’s Trial by Fire. For now, the rapper continues to build a larger audience on the road while keeping an eye on his burgeoning offstage business ventures in his adopted home of Nashville. Daniel Kohn

J. ColeEXPAND
J. Cole
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

J. Cole
Wednesday, August 29
Talking Stick Resort Arena

J. Cole has built his hip-hop empire on his everyman persona. His loyal fans love his sincerity and that he’s not draped in designer clothes or jewelry. His music is introspective, sentimental and thoughtful. That formula has led to multiple platinum albums and sold-out arena shows across the country and has garnered him a following that rivals Drake’s, Kanye West’s or Jay Z’s. On his KOD Tour, Cole brings with him musician and actor Jaden Smith, as well as Earthgang, and Young Thug. Mikel Galicia

Wiz KhalifaEXPAND
Wiz Khalifa
Jimmy Fontaine

Wiz Khalifa & Rae Sremmurd
Thursday, August 30
Ak-Chin Pavilion

So what’s going to be the biggest hip-hop show of August? As you’ve read, there are certainly a lot of contenders, including this scorcher at Ak-Chin Pavilion on August 30 that will wrap up the month. Rap superstars Wiz Khalifa and Rae Sremmurd have teamed up this summer for a lengthy 27-date tour, which includes a stop at the outdoor concert venue. Wiz's new album, Rolling Papers 2, came out last month, while Rae Sremmurd dropped SR3MM back in March. Joining them on this tour is Lil Skies and O.T. Genesis. Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets start at $35. Jeff Strowe

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