The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Otep is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, July 5, at Club Red in Mesa.
Otep is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, July 5, at Club Red in Mesa. Courtesy of Victory Records
It’s gonna be sort of an easy week for many of y’all. If you happen to be one of the cats lucky enough to have Monday off, you’re pretty much looking at a three-day work week due to the Fourth of July.

And if you’re looking for something to do during your mini-vacay, particularly something not involving fireworks or flags, we’ve got a few suggestions.

Like staying up late on Monday night while rocking out with bands like All Time Low or The News Can Wait. You can also attend the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Livewire in Scottsdale that night, which just happens to be the venue’s final concert.

There are other can’t-miss concerts happening the rest of the week as well, including performances by J.Cole, Otep, Katchafire, and Bruce Hornsby.

Full details on all these shows can be found in the following list. And if you’d like even more live music options, hit up our online concert calendar for additional events.

click to enlarge Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is headed back to the Valley. - COURTESY OF SLE
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is headed back to the Valley.
Courtesy of SLE
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Monday, July 3
Livewire in Scottsdale

Ohio rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are a fractured bunch. Since the mid-’90s, when N.W.A.’s Eazy-E first co-signed their melodic, rapid Midwest sound, the collective have shed and readded members with a dizzying frequency. Although it can be hard to keep track of which Bones — including Krayzie, Wish, Flesh-N, Layzie, and Bizzy — constitute Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at any given point, what’s remained consistent is the crew’s sonic density. Established on early hits like “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” and “The Crossroads,” Bone Thugs’ signature sound has carried the group through numerous reunions and reconstitutions. While the most recent outing, 2013’s The Art of War: World War III, found the group incorporating new stylistic elements (check out the retro soul-styled “Bring It Back” and the mutant gospel funk of “It Will Be Alright”), its original members Bizzy and Krayzie’s 2017 record New Wave, released under the stripped down Bone Thugs moniker, is the one that hints toward future glories. Featuring collaborations with Stephen Marley, Bun B., Yelawolf, and Jonathan Davis of Korn, it finds the duo exploring Auto-Tuned reggae on “Coming Home” and summer jam funk on “Fantasy.” It’s not likely to achieve the chart heights of the group’s classic material but should add a few followers to the band’s fervent cult fan base. Jason P. Woodbury

click to enlarge JIMMY FONTAINE
Jimmy Fontaine
All Time Low
Monday, July 3
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

All Time Low was one of the few bands to emerge triumphant from the MySpace scene of the early 2000s. The Baltimore quartet made a name for itself in the wake of Fall Out Boy’s takeover of mainstream radio, pushing its happy sing-along rock with hits like “Dear Maria, Count Me In” and “I Feel Like Dancin’.” Lead singer Alex Gaskarth’s whimsical singing style suits the band’s major-key riffing well. Over half a dozen albums, All Time Low has managed to build and sustain a devoted following, which has helped the act tour across the world over the past decade. But the band is also ushering in a new generation of fans with the release of this year’s Last Young Renegade, their first album on label Fueled by Ramen. SWMRS, Waterparks, and The Wrecks will open. Bree Davies

click to enlarge The pop-punkers of The News Can Wait. - COURTESY OF AMBIENT STUDIOS
The pop-punkers of The News Can Wait.
Courtesy of Ambient Studios
The News Can Wait
Monday, July 3
The Rebel Lounge

Even though Dallas-born pop-punk act The News Can Wait has been around for about 10 years, guitarist Marcus Lopez’s explanation of that band’s name couldn’t be more perfect for the current times. “It’s just more or less about not feeding into letting the media control your opinions or beliefs about things,” he says. “It’s about the individual. It’s about having your own stance on things and doing the homework to create your belief system.” Early last year they released their Beige EP and they’ll be releasing another one later this year, for which they’ve enlisted the mixing help of Mike Watts, who’s worked with Glassjaw and Deerhunter. In the meantime, they’ve hit the road on a cross-country tour, which will bring them to The Rebel Lounge this week. Naturalist, Ghost Mother, and Good Ol Joel open the evening. Molly Mollotova

click to enlarge The noise rockers of Speck. - BANDCAMP
The noise rockers of Speck.
Monday, July 3
The Lunchbox

California noise rockers Speck dropped two releases in 2017, a demo in February and Speck I in April. The band are currently on tour to support these efforts, featuring Will Lermini and Zack Patterson on guitar, and Trent Rivas on drums and vocals. On first listen, both recordings are like working your way through a dark sonic cave, where sometimes the faster and edgier sounds get bossy, pushing you farther forward. Other times, the songs are slow and thick, intense and sludgy without taking the route of locking into a deliberate groove. Songs like “Transfat” on Speck I are driving and spacy, a little reminiscent of Locust Abortion Technician-era Butthole Surfers, while others like “Lips” are just steady grinders that deliver machine-like riffs from the guitars. Speck’s vocals are abstract and menacing, like they’re coming from someone who’s lurking out of vision. Don’t expect the live set to be any less forceful. “Live, we ride heavily on being sonically sound and never having a quiet moment,” Rivas says. “Whether we are performing as a three-piece or with more people, it’s always loud, syncopated chaos that can be expected. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay.” Amy Young

click to enlarge Borgeous - COURTESY OF CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
Red, White & Borgeous Pool Party
Tuesday, July 4
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

It's something of a necessity for every DJ/producer working the global EDM circuit to have a specialty or a signature sound if they hope to ever make it in the biz. Oh yeah, having a few big hits in their quiver can also help. Borgeous has both. The American-born DJ and producer weaves together mixes of big room house, four-on-the-floor beats and electro in hit signature tracks like “Tsunami” (his 2013 collaboration with DVBBS that scorched the charts) and "Feel So Good." You’re likely to heard both blasting from the sound system at Maya in Scottsdale during his headlining set at the Fourth of July pool party that bears his name, Red, White & Borgeous. The afternoon-long event will also feature sessions by a few local DJs and Maya regulars, as well as the usual poolside shenanigans. Gates open at noon and tickets are $15. Benjamin Leatherman

Read on for even more "can't miss" concerts happening this week, including J. Cole, Otep, and Bruce Hornsby.
click to enlarge New Zealand-born roots reggae band Katchafire. - COURTESY OF KATCHAFIRE
New Zealand-born roots reggae band Katchafire.
Courtesy of Katchafire
Wednesday, July 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Without Katchafire’s authentic island rhythms, stellar harmonies, and stoned guitar strumming, some would never get to witness New Zealand’s shiny contribution to the world of reggae. Though they started out as a Bob Marley tribute band (their name references Marley’s 1973 album Catch a Fire with the Wailers), this rastafied, Hamilton-based seven-piece matured into a respected, globe-trotting act with hit original material. Though it’s been two years since their last release, a 2010 compilation titled Best So Far (and even longer since their last full-length album), Katchafire’s rumbling and soulful stage show proves that when it comes to reggae, the groove never fails to speak for itself. Also on the lineup are like-minded reggae-oriented acts like Mystic Roots, Kush County, Mind Upside, Own Mind, and Good Rust. Nate Jackson

click to enlarge Otep Shamaya, the outspoken frontwoman of Otep. - COURTESY OF VICTORY RECORDS
Otep Shamaya, the outspoken frontwoman of Otep.
Courtesy of Victory Records
Wednesday, July 5
Club Red in Mesa

Fronted by no-nonsense poet and activist Otep Shamaya, the band Otep have been together for a decade and a half — and, after an ill-fated stint with hardcore label Victory Records, have found their feet again with the more metal-focused Napalm Records. Their most recent album, Generation Doom, is a furious blast of genre-defying rap-metal. While the band emerged during the nu-metal revolution, when rap and metal were becoming natural bedfellows, Otep was nothing like Limp Bizkit. Shamaya’s lyrics are intelligent — often personal, always thought-provoking. In the face of this new administration, she has been out marching in protest, and that anger is bound to translate to her music and live performances. In other words, if you think Otep were pissed off before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Brett Callwood

click to enlarge J. Cole performs in Phoenix in 2015. - JIM LOUVAU
J. Cole performs in Phoenix in 2015.
Jim Louvau
J. Cole
Thursday, July 6
Talking Stick Resort Arena

In a world of rappers with Kanye West-size egos, J.Cole is the antithesis. With multiple platinum albums, a record label, a documentary, and a nonprofit, you’d think J.Cole would be proudly exploiting his talent and good deeds. But he’s not. Instead, Cole’s most recent album, 4 Your Eyez Only, focuses on more relatable things like folding laundry and losing his virginity. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cole admits he’s proud of the domestic lifestyle he’s created. “It’s a celebration of growing up,” he says. “I chose this path, and damn it feels good.” Cole is so proud of his home life, in fact, that he keeps much of it quiet (he recently got married and became a father), preferring instead to publicly discuss and address racial disparities. In his documentary J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole films black people from the South talking about their experiences and struggles in today’s America. And unlike his peers, J.Cole comes across in his albums and the documentary (where he mainly listens and rarely gives input) as a unique combination of humble and relentless. “I understand that what I’m doing is what I don’t see, is what I would like to see being done but is not being done,” he says. Emily Roberts

click to enlarge Bruce Hornsby (far left) and his current backing band, the Noisemakers. - MICHAEL MARTIN
Bruce Hornsby (far left) and his current backing band, the Noisemakers.
Michael Martin
Bruce Hornsby
Thursday, July 6
Celebrity Theatre

His heads-down, unassuming demeanor notwithstanding, Bruce Hornsby is easily one of America's most versatile and accomplished musicians of the past three decades. Few other artists can claim such wide musical parameters, from the early Americana that brought him big hits like "The Way It Is," "Mandolin Rain," and "The Valley Road" with his band the Range to bluegrass collaborations with Ricky Skaggs; jazz sessions with the likes of Pat Metheny, Jack DeJohnnette, Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride, and Branford Marsalis; stints touring with the Grateful Dead; and stylistic explorations that encompassed electronica, swing, big band, and a multitude of other styles in between. This doesn't even include the numerous sessions that found him backing the likes of Bob Dylan; Willie Nelson; Stevie Nicks; the Cowboy Junkies; Bill Evans; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Don Henley; the Yellowjackets; Bonnie Raitt; Bela Fleck; Bob Weir; and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. After more than a dozen albums featuring his name on the marquee (including his brand new album, Rehab Reunion) an untold number of live recordings, and several more recordings with the Dead and its various offshoots, Hornsby been duly rewarded with Grammys, solid sales, and peer recognition. Lee Zimmerman

Jazz guitarist Pat Martino. - JIMMY KATZ
Jazz guitarist Pat Martino.
Jimmy Katz
Pat Martino Trio
Thursday, July 6
Musical Instrument Museum

By the time Pat Martino underwent surgery after suffering a nearly fatal brain aneurysm in 1980, the jazz guitarist already had more than a dozen albums under his own name and two decades of playing professionally, having started his career in his mid-teens. Yet following the operation, he hardly remembered anything or even recognized his own parents. In a devastating turn, he had no memory of playing guitar or of his career. But over the next seven years, Martino learned how to play guitar again, partly with the help of his old recordings that his father would play during Pat's recovery at his parents’ home in Philadelphia. Martino says that playing the guitar again became the most rewarding experience, and it helped him to recover. It was like the guitar was his favorite toy once again, he says, and it brought him back to the very beginning in terms of his enjoyment — not for the business or for the career-oriented musician that he used to be. These days, Martino performs alongside drummer Carmen Intorre and organist Pat Bianchi during live performances like the one that will take place at the Musical Instrument Museum on Thursday, July 6. Jon Soloman
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.