That’s the number of “can’t miss” concerts and music events happening in the Valley this week, and all of ‘em are prominent for a variety of reasons.
To wit: There's the long-awaited returns of French alt-rock band Phoenix to the Valley, as well as big gigs by Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters, Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon, and songstress Sarah Jarosz.
This week’s concert slate also includes performances by such popular acts as Puddles Pity Party, indie pop band COIN, and gender-bending artist Drab Majesty.
Read on for full details about each of these shows, as well as several other music events happening in Phoenix this week. And be sure to hit up our online concert calendar for even more options.
Monday, June 12
The Rebel Lounge
The history of the L.A. Guns is nothing if not storied. The band formed in 1983 amid the riotous Hollywood sleazy hard-rock scene, and one year later merged with another band, Hollywood Rose, to form Guns N’ Roses. When guitarist Tracii Guns left the fledgling GN'R in ’85, he re-formed L.A. Guns with singer Paul Black. In 1987, the band recruited singer Phil Lewis from British hard-rock group Girl. The band put out a self-titled debut album that went gold, and major-league success beckoned. The sophomore effort, 1989’s Cocked & Loaded, cemented the band’s standing as one of the big players in the L.A. scene, thanks in part to mega-MTV hit “The Ballad of Jayne.” But then, as the 1990s kicked in and brought grunge with it, the popularity of the L.A. Guns (and just about every other leather-and-spandex-clad hair band on the Sunset Strip and beyond) began to wane.
The albums dropped in quality as in-fighting took over, the climax being 1994’s Vicious Circle album, an attempt to stay in favor by hardening the sound, hampered by members dropping out and falling in again like tiles in the game “Guess Who.” And so it was for the next 20 years. Guns left the band, then rejoined. Lewis left the band, then rejoined. Albums were released with one or the other missing. At one regrettable point a few years ago, and sadly predictably, there were two versions of L.A. Guns on the circuit (original singer Paul Black even joined up with Guns again around 2007, but that didn’t last long). Guns and Lewis would occasionally hook up again (notably for 2002’s excellent Waking the Dead album), but it never lasted. Now, after 15 years apart, the duo is back together. Brett Callwood
Tuesday, June 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Oh synthpop, a lost art that some thought was left in the 1980s. Bands including Duran Duran, Eurythmics, New Order, and The Human League carried it throughout that decade. Although we’ve progressed past the genre’s heyday, the band Phoenix has made a point since 1999 to revive the style from its dormant state. Named after the song “Phoenix” from Daft Punk’s debut album Homework (unfortunately not after bird city itself), the band is back with a new album, titled Ti Amo. Lead singles “J-Boy and “Ti Amo” feature a sound that is darker, broodier, and downright sexier than previous efforts by the French pop group. Matching that changed sound, the lyrics have a melancholy tone as they explore the struggle that comes along with being in love. In “J-Boy,” vocalist Thomas Mars laments, “I was excited to be part of your world / To belong, to be lost, to be mostly the two of us / Something I was stealing for no reason at all.” The long-awaited album dropped just last week. Lindsay Roberts
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
Tuesday, June 13
Musical Instrument Museum
“This house wasn’t meant for strangers, but you keep knocking anyway,” Sarah Jarosz coolly intones over a prickly mandolin on “House of Mercy,” from her latest album, Undercurrent. “You’ll never get inside this house,” she insists, her singing trailing off sadly. “You make me want to be alone.” As the Texas native’s aching voice gives her heart away, she sews it together again with eloquently homespun strands of banjo, guitar and mandolin. The overall impact is quietly moving instead of mawkishly self-pitying and sentimental. Once Jarosz has laced up these threads with Jeff Picker’s nimbly anchored bass, she’s created a delicately gift-wrapped and achingly lingering melody out of the empty ashes of a ruined relationship — no easy trick. Falling James
Tuesday, June 13
Rips Ales & Cocktails
Bo Eleftheriou is the textbook example of a hardcore gamer. The local electronica artist and DJ, who performs as Mercurius FM, owns an astounding amount of consoles and cartridges, spends upward of 10 hours playing and pwning each week, and has even participated panels at Phoenix Comicon devoted to gaming-related topics. And then there are his considerable talents at remixing classic video game music and creating chiptune-oriented tracks, which have earned him a fanbase both locally and online. You can hear some of Eleftheriou’s latest creations on the newly released Gamer's Paradise Party Remixes Level 1 comp that he put together, which drops this week and also features tracks by such artists as DJ Sega, StarStorm, and Coutoux. Eleftheriou will celebrate the comp’s release on Tuesday, June 13, at Rips during B3at Paradise, a night of underground club music and video game remixes spun that will feature spin sessions by himself, local turntablism king Fact135, and Gnarly Brown. Eleftheriou is promising that a “secret headliner” will also perform at the geek-friendly event, although he won’t reveal the name until the night of the event. And, no, you can’t use any cheat codes to get him to reveal it beforehand. Benjamin Leatherman
Wednesday, June 14
In 2012, indie pop band COIN started playing shows around their hometown of Nashville, quickly accumulating fans in the process, later releasing two EPs, Saturdays and 1992. Despite the obvious talent on display with these releases, it wasn't until 2015 that the eyes of the national music scene fell upon the still-young quartet with their single "Run," a blistering three-and-a-half-minute pop-rock gem that induces involuntary head-bopping and energetic nostalgia. Swirling synth lines and memorable sing-along choruses supported by tight musicianship became COIN's M.O. The summer 2015 release of the band's self-titled debut full-length capitalized on this success, drawing positive reviews from national music outlets like Billboard. Since the self-titled release, COIN's success has only grown; the band reached another milestone in April this year when they released their second full-length album, How Will You Know if You Never Try. On this release, the group's sound begins to take a new direction, with a wider inclusion of synthesizer and a slightly more new-wave song structure, as well as more powerful, honest lyrical ideas. The 40-minute opus boasts a mildly retro feel, while still maintaining a fresh, unique, and exciting sound. John Nicholl
Read on for more big concerts and music events happening in Phoenix this week, including Roger Waters, Drab Majesty, and Raekwon.