The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Everclear is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 27, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Everclear is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 27, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Courtesy of Big Picture Media
Feeling nostalgic for either the heavy metal heyday of the ‘80s or the alt-rock hits of the ‘90s? You’re in luck, pal, since there are a couple of big concerts this week aimed squarely at you.

The metal gods of Iron Maiden will grace us mere mortals with their presence on Wednesday when they invade Talking Stick Resort Arena. One day prior, Art Alexakis and the rest of Everclear will be at Marquee Theatre in Tempe celebrating the 20th anniversary of their hit album, So Much for the Afterglow.

There’s more going on concert-wise than just a few helpings of member berries, however.

Going from the past to the present, this week’s slate of big concerts also includes gigs by hip-hop star Future and burgeoning rapper Russ, as well as the ultra-quirky Quintron and Miss Pussycat, garage punk act White Reaper, and singer-songwriter Alice Smith.

Details on each can be found in the following list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. (And for even more stuff happening, check out our online concert listings.)

click to enlarge The legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band. - CHRIS MONAGHAN
The legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Chris Monaghan
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Monday, June 26
Musical Instrument Museum

Just as it’s never clear exactly where the ever-shifting Mississippi River ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins amid the mysterious maze of swamps, islands and sand bars in southern Louisiana, there are no strict borders demarcating the lines between the styles of music that Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays. A simple blues lick might evolve into a back-and-forth funk rhythm before the whole things bursts into full-blown jazz with sophisticated, swinging horn arrangements. On the New Orleans collective’s most recent album, Twenty Dozen, traditional funk and R&B workouts are occasionally intercut with rapid-fire, not-quite-rap vocals. Throughout the record, though, the most expressive vocalizing usually comes filtered through those brassy horns, such as the wildly woozy solo that closes “Don’t Stop the Music.” Falling James

Quintron and Miss Pussycat
Monday, June 26
Trunk Space

Mad science and puppets are two things that go great together. They’re also the two main elements behind Quintron and Miss Pussycat, a dynamic duo whose frenzied, chaotic live shows are experiences so intense they should be added to your bucket list. Quintron and Miss Pussycat sound like some freakishly wonderful mashup of The Cramps and The B-52s. They make music that’s giddy and bratty. Whether chanting about witches at dance clubs or getting facedown in the gutter, they do it with an almost childish glee. To add an extra element of playfulness to their live shows, Miss Pussycat usually opens the proceedings with a full-on puppet show. But the band are more than just high-energy antics and puppetry; they’re a showcase for Quintron’s one-of-a-kind musical innovations. The bandleader is also an inventor, and uses instruments like the Drum Buddy (a five-oscillator, light-activated drum machine) and a custom organ to create the band’s campy and freaky sound. He’s also invented a synthesizer called the Weather Warlock, which uses sensors that detect and respond to changes in sunlight, temperature, and wind. Meaning, it’s an instrument that’s played by the weather. And he developed a hand organ called the Spit Machine that uses saliva in its circuitry. If you need another reason to see them live at Trunk Space, consider this: How many people around your work’s water cooler can say they spent the night watching an organist play a spit-powered machine? Ashley Naftule

Streetlight Manifesto
Monday, June 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Any story about New Brunswick, New Jersey ska-punk heroes Streetlight Manifesto is really two stories. One is about the music, a decade’s-worth of intelligent, clever, and genuinely fun albums that kept the flame going for third-wave ska (a flame vocalist/bandleader Tomas Kolnaky helped ignite in the late '90s with his prior outfit, Catch-22) — long after the genre’s mainstream moment clattered to a close. The other is a story of the band’s turbulent relationship with label Victory Records, a dramatic and tortuous saga full of deceit, snark, and soap opera-level villainy that came to a head in 2013 with the label’s refusal to fulfill pre-orders sold by the band of their then-new album, The Hands That Thieve. This was after Kolnaky announced he intended to self-release (under his Toh Kay solo moniker) an acoustic version of the album. After years of turmoil, hurt feelings, and various lawsuits, however, the matter was resolved this past spring when both parties finally reached a settlement, including giving the band access to its back catalog. Bottom line: the members of Streetlight Manifesto will be in far better moods than ever before when they roll into the Valley for a show at the Marquee Theatre. Jesse Richman

click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE MIM
Courtesy of the MIM

Alice Smith
Tuesday, June 27
Musical Instrument Museum

A decade ago, this D.C. singer released a superb album called For Lovers, Dreamers & Me that showcased her four-octave range on bouncy, soulful pop confections like "Gary's Song" and "Woodstock," the funkiest song ever to riff on the underwater chorus from "Octopus's Garden." Then she disappeared. Turns out she got signed to Epic Records and spent years toiling on an album that her label bosses decided, in their infinite wisdom, to shelve. She's finally free from major-label purgatory and back with a new album, She, that proves she hasn't lost any of her vocal chops or gift for making pop music sound profound. This week, Smith will visit the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix. Andy Hermann

Everclear is still reveling in the "Afterglow," some 20 years later. - PAUL BROWN
Everclear is still reveling in the "Afterglow," some 20 years later.
Paul Brown
Tuesday, June 27
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Art Alexakis is almost refreshingly honest. In an era when a number of bands of yesteryear cling to relevance in an era that long ago passed them by, Alexakis is more than aware of Everclear’s standing in the annals of rock music. “Nostalgia plays a major role, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he says. “It’s all about connecting with the things and feelings you used to have...In the end, we made a record that had an impact on people, and I put so much of myself into that album. It’s so amazingly gratifying.” Rather than trot out a bunch of new tunes when they roll through the Valley this week, Alexakis and his Everclear bandmates are going the opposite route. The band’s current nationwide tour is actually dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the multiplatinum So Much for the Afterglow. The album, which continued Everclear’s commercial roll coming off 1995’s Sparkle and Fade, features tunes like “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone” and “I Will Buy You a New Life.” These tunes were not only popular upon the album’s release in 1997; they still receive commercial radio play to this day. In fact, one might argue the ’90s are in the midst of a resurgence. Hell, Vertical Horizon and Fastball – more relics of the ’90s – are the current opening acts for Everclear. Clint Hale

Check out the next page for even more big concerts happening over the next few nights, including Future, Iron Maiden, and Russ.
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.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.