The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix This June

Phoenix is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 13, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Phoenix is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 13, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Antoine Wagner Studio

Page 2 of 2

The Regrettes - JEN ROSENSTEIN
The Regrettes
Jen Rosenstein
The Regrettes
Sunday, June 11
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

L.A. rock quartet The Regrettes — consisting of Lydia Night (lead vocals/guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Chavis (bass), and Maxx Morando (drums) — started last January when they were still barely a band. The songs on debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! are smart, occasionally sarcastic, and oftentimes quite endearing. On "A Living Human Girl," Night tackles the pressure of trying to fit into the perfect-girl mold and turns it into an anthem of empowerment. "I fall in love with people once a day," she croons. "Oh, but if you ask me out, I'm still allowed to say no way." The Regrettes are young, ranging in age from 16 to 19, but that's not terribly unusual in the history of rock. Also, they aren't novices. Their very much a product of 2016, offering the sound of young, socially aware people sharing their frustration and elation with heavy energy and a no-fucks-given attitude. They are also the band you want to hear if you're intent on keeping that spirit alive in 2017. Liz Ohanesian

click to enlarge Phoenix is coming back to Phoenix. - COURTESY OF PRESS HERE TALENT
Phoenix is coming back to Phoenix.
Courtesy of Press Here Talent
Tuesday, June 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

The last time the French alt-rockers of Phoenix rolled into the Valley, they were at the tipping point between indie darlings and household-name status. Their 2009 album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, with hits like "1901" and "Lizstomania," was getting play everywhere from college radio to Super Bowl ads. No wonder, then, that their 2010 appearance at the Marquee in Tempe was packed with fans. This month, Phoenix returns to, um … Phoenix. In the seven years since the Valley last saw the band, it has followed a career trajectory unsurprisingly quirky for a retro-tinged, synth-heavy French quartet. The 2013 album Bankrupt! kept fans dancing while dishing some "post-success commentary" while band members processed their surprisingly meteoric rise to fame; the record was mixed on an eBay-purchased retro console, the same model used to produce Michael Jackson's Thriller. They headlined major festivals like Coachella and Austin City Limits. In more recent years, they've headlined European music festivals but also appeared in Bill Murray's surreal, meta Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas. Their latest album, Ti Amo, drops on June 9, the day before their show at the Marquee. Ciara LaVelle

click to enlarge Puddles Pity Party: Everyone loves a clown, especially one with a great singing voice. - COURTESY OF RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
Puddles Pity Party: Everyone loves a clown, especially one with a great singing voice.
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Puddles Pity Party
Tuesday, June 13
Mesa Arts Center

Not all clowns are scary. Puddles Pity Party is a singer and self-described "sad clown with the golden voice" (real name Mike Geier, frontman of the Atlanta band Kingsized), who dresses like a Pierrot-style clown complete with white face paint, ruffled collar, and furry balls. He's 6-foot-8, carries a lantern and suitcase onstage and hardly speaks, except when he's crooning his baritone, cabaret-style covers of ballads, pop and rock songs. His Live at Joe's Pub album features versions of Lorde's "Royals," Sia's "Chandelier," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and The Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke." He also sings mashups of Celine Dion with Metallica and The Who with Johnny Cash. And he's performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Tenacious D-curated Festival Supreme, as well as a few concerts here in the Valley in recent years. Puddles' shows are often interactive, so don't run away. This clown is more cuddly than creepy. Siran Babayan

Roger Waters
Wednesday, June 14
Gila River Arena in Glendale

More American than blue jeans, Pink Floyd’s contribution to the great American songbook takes up volumes. Books could be written about the mercurial genius of Pink Floyd’s original front man, the late Syd Barrett, and so they have been, but Roger Waters was always the rock upon which that institution was built. His songs seed the playlists of most classic-rock stations, though, long ago, he set off into the wilderness alone, touring the hits and speaking his mind. And what better time for a visit from the architect of the third greatest wall-builder (after Hadrian and that nameless Chinese architect) than the present, with our boundless public enthusiasm for walls and double-fisted authority. Tex Kerschen

click to enlarge The Dustbowl Revival - BRANDON WILLIAMS
The Dustbowl Revival
Brandon Williams

The Dustbowl Revival
Thursday, June 15
Musical Instrument Museum

Folks who dismiss The Dustbowl Revival as another retro-swing band are missing out on everything the Venice collective can do. The group aren’t just reviving swing music; they can also draw upon rich strains of folk, blues, soul, Americana, and jazz. By the time they’ve blended it all together, they’ve come up with something that’s smart and sassy and hardly as quaint as their name. Liz Beebe sings many of the lead vocals, but she’s well-matched by bandleader Z. Lupetin, who chimes in on guitar, harmonica, kazoo, and vocals. On their new single, “Busted”/“Only One,” The Dustbowl Revival are super-tight and musically dexterous instead of staid and bound by tradition. On the A-side, Beebe wails with a fiery immediacy, whereas she and Lupetin harmonize achingly on the stripped-down B-side. Falling James

click to enlarge Girlpool - ANTI RECORDS
ANTI Records
Tuesday, June 20
The Rebel Lounge

“I said I faked global warming just to get close to you,” Harmony Tividad discloses on “It Gets More Blue,” from Girlpool’s second album, Powerplant. She and her musical partner, Cleo Tucker, don’t turn the lyric into a joke. Instead, their intimate voices braid together in a gloriously breezy harmony just as the guitars get louder and surround them. The duo, who recently relocated back to L.A. after a spell in Philadelphia, are now joined by Miles Wintner, a drummer who adds more power to Girlpool’s folk-based songs. Several of the new tunes, such as “Static Somewhere” and “123,” start out with spare beginnings with the emphasis on Tucker’s and Tividad’s soft, confidential vocals before the tracks blossom into heavy and hard-driving pop-punk anthems. Falling James

Vans Warped Tour 2017
Thursday, June 22
Fear Farm

Turn away, jaded music fan. It's that time of year again, when kids not old enough to drink head to a local outdoor venue for a day of bands you've probably never heard of but have more Facebook likes than you can fathom. You were those kids once, but you've grown old, you probably have a day job, so you really don't need another afternoon out in the sweltering summertime heat. Save your cynicism for something that truly deserves it. This year the Warped Tour turns 23, which is crazy if you ever went to one back in the late '90s or early '00s. How has it survived this long? Because the formula works. Keep the prices low, pack in a ton of bands that are popular but not quite stars and give the fans the chance to meet their heroes and the crowds will show up, no matter how hot it gets in Arizona in the midst of summer. Still, maybe you're not entirely sure how to fill your day at Warped. With 70-plus bands on the bill, you can't be expected to know everyone. And that's okay. This year’s lineup includes Futuristic, Hawthorne Heights, Goldfinger, Adolescents, GWAR, Acacia Strain, Memphis May Fire, Attila, CKY, Dance Gavin Dance, Strung Out, Save Ferris, Valient Thorr, William Control, and dozens more. Cory Garcia

Mr. Big
Thursday, June 22
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Mr. Big was formed by former David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan. After parting ways with Roth in the late '80s, Sheehan cherry-picked talented musicians from other successful bands to form his own Los Angeles all-stars. Signed to Atlantic Records, they didn’t have much success stateside until their sophomore album Lean Into It and its second single, “To Be With You.” While the album was recorded in 1990 and '91, and released before Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit radio and wiped out L.A. hair metal with genocidal fury, “To Be With You” happened to eke out its success at the very end of the year, making its presence something of a holdover while the sound from Seattle was redefining the charts. Every listener has guilty pleasure songs, those recordings that we just find irresistible, despite several red flags to our better judgment. And Mr Big’s “To Be With You” should qualify as the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, but we feel no shame rocking out to it, either in the car or at the band’s June 22 show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Chaz Kangas

click to enlarge Brian May, left, with Adam Lambert, and they're coming to Glendale. - BY @DIANAKAT1 DIANAKAT (SMUGMUG)/CC BY-SA 3.0, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Brian May, left, with Adam Lambert, and they're coming to Glendale.
By @DianaKat1 DianaKat (Smugmug)/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Queen + Adam Lambert
Friday, June 23
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Freddie Mercury might have been the best rock frontman of all time. On stage, he attracted every eyeball in the house to not just witness his inimitable sense of showmanship, but to watch him use his acrobatic, powerful pipes sing some of the best rock songs ever written. Mercury was so irreplaceable that for more than a decade after his death, Queen didn't even try to find a substitute. Paul Rodgers stepped in for a few concert dates between 2006 and 2009, but it wasn't until 2012 that Queen finally found a voice that could do justice to Mercury's towering vocals. And now, Queen + Adam Lambert are coming to Phoenix. If you have any doubts as to Lambert's ability to do Mercury's vocals justice, just check out some live videos of the collaboration. It's easy to see why Brian May and Rodger Taylor continue to tap him for arena tours. David Accomazzo

click to enlarge Legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. - COURTESY OF DANNY ZELISKO PRESENTS
Legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.
Courtesy of Danny Zelisko Presents
Gordon Lightfoot
Saturday, June 24
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

There are two kinds of people in this world: Gordon Lightfoot evangelists and people who've never actually bothered to listen to him. His champions include Bob Dylan, Vincent Gallo, and the entire nation of Canada. Even his most recognizable hits, "Sundown" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" run rife with darkness. "10 Degrees and Getting Colder" is a tale about what are perhaps the last minutes of a hitchhiking failed country singer. Quit the ironic snickering and head down to your local record store to raid the dollar bin ($10 will grab you most of his catalog) or head to Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale to check out Lightfoot’s gig on Saturday, June 24, in the Showroom. You can thank us later. Nicholas Pell

Migos at Coachella 2017. - MATHEW TUCCIARONE
Migos at Coachella 2017.
Mathew Tucciarone
Future and Migos
Wednesday, June 28
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Future is both the Lou Reed and the Nikki Sixx of rap; perhaps the most hedonistic nihilist on the charts, with lyrical obsessions to match. His meditations on trap house living boil down to short lists of pharmaceuticals, molly, percocet, and the like, repeated like mantras. His laconic, speaking into his collar, vocal delivery is as memorable as his mysterious image, ever obscured by shades and a wide-brimmed, El Topo hat. Both have launched hordes of imitators from coast to coast, who’ve attempted to mine his dark vibes for gold dust. Migos, the flamboyant, fashion-forward trio, open this rowdy night of Atlanta futurism and haute couture at Ak-Chin Pavilion. Tex Kerschen

click to enlarge Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. - BRANDON MARSHALL
Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.
Brandon Marshall
Iron Maiden
Wednesday, June 28
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Definitely the most dashing debutantes of the New Wave of British heavy metal, Iron Maiden also have a claim to the most famous logo, the giant undead Eddie, courtesy of artist Derek Riggs. Like Eddie, Maiden has a time-worn, instantly recognizable identity. Now, as then, they offer the promise of total escape through their fast tempos, killer riffs, dueling lead guitars, and the historical fantasy fascinations, operatic vocals, and onstage high jinks of their longest-lasting singer, the charismatic Bruce Dickinson, who is also a fencing master and a trained commercial pilot. As a matter of fact, they’ve even got their own Iron Maiden-branded 747, dubbed "Ed Force One." No joke. Tex Kerschen

Friday, June 30
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Carlos Santana is a man at peace with his place in the musical universe. The guitarist and band leader has been performing for nearly 50 years — since the mid-1960s — including a legendary breakout performance at Woodstock. During this time, Santana, has crossed musical idioms from jazz to blues, Latin rock to Indian ragas, soul to funk. Tracks such as "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va," and "Black Magic Woman" have become classic rock radio hits, while later-period songs "Smooth" featuring Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas on vocals and "Maria, Maria" (both from 1999's Supernatural) serve to cement Santana's long-standing appeal and legacy. Having performed with a who's who of musical masters, including Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Tito Puente, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana admits nervousness sharing the stage with others. "Actually, I'm always scared to death," he says with a laugh. Still, Santana acknowledges feeling confident enough to hold his own and offer something unique in any situation. "It's frightening, but I tell myself, I have something they don't have and therefore I am significant and meaningful and they need that," he says. Glenn BurnSilver
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Phoenix New Times