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The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Tengger Cavalry is scheduled to perform on Sunday, June 25, at Club Red in Mesa.
Tengger Cavalry is scheduled to perform on Sunday, June 25, at Club Red in Mesa.
Courtesy of Adrenaline PR

So watchu got going on this weekend? That is, besides hunkering inside some sort of air-conditioned building while rethinking your choice of living in Phoenix.

If you’re down for seeing a concert, preferably one taking place at night, several memorable shows will take place this weekend. Queen and Adam Lambert will be in town, as will Gordon Lightfoot, Brad Paisley, and folk-metal band Tengger Cavalry.

There’s also a couple of competing goth-industrial dance parties happening on Saturday, a few pool parties, and gigs by several notable DJs.

Full details can be found in the following list of the best concerts and music events taking place in Phoenix this weekend. (And for even more stuff happening, check out our online listings.)

Brian May, left, with Adam Lambert, and they're coming to Glendale.EXPAND
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

The EDM artist known as Etc! Etc!
The EDM artist known as Etc! Etc!
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency

Etc! Etc!
Friday, June 23
Gypsy Bar

Etc! Etc! is an L.A. native who has been gaining notice for his most recent venture: moombahton. The funky Latin-inspired genre is great for club dance, consistently hitting a sweet spot of BPM that’s somewhere between the grind of trap and the jump of electro house. LA Riots, on the other hand, got started in indie house. Now, he mixes drum 'n’ bass, house, and techno to create his own mesh of dance music — a smart way to keep some underground cred while also remixing pop tracks like Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.” Sarah Purkrabek

Legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.EXPAND
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

Local folk-punk artist Andy Warpigs.EXPAND
Local folk-punk artist Andy Warpigs.
Benjamin Leatherman

Rock to Cure Cancer
Saturday, June 24
Danelle Plaza in Tempe

Tempe’s Danelle Plaza will transform into a rock and punk festival benefiting the Lymphoma Foundation on Saturday, June 24, that will feature tons of local bands performing at a few different spots at the shopping center. Double Nickels, for instance, will feature sets by Corky's Leather Jacket, The Mental Code, Songs Lacking Talent, Life Size, Welcome to the Midwest, Forming Stories, and The Ganderers. Next door, FiftyoneWest will host Contradiktion, Krovak, Andy Warpigs, We Might Be Wasted, Paco Lipps, Addict3d, Innocent Eyes, and others. And over at Yucca Tap Room, bands like H.B.H., Nomada, Downtown Brown, Terminally Ill, Skull Drug, and Torn At the Seam will do their thing. Everything starts at 4 p.m., and the gigs at Double Nickels and the Yucca are free, while the FiftyoneWest is $5. Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix-born power-pop trio Anarbor.
Phoenix-born power-pop trio Anarbor.
Courtesy of Anarbor

Saturday, June 24
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Emo power-pop trio Anarbor are playing a special hometown show at Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Saturday, June 24, playing alongside fellow locals The Banter, Good Boy Daisy, Justin Reece, Barefoot, and headliners Katastro. This stacked lineup will have an early start, with doors opening at 6 p.m. This show falls almost exactly a year after Anarbor dropped their 2016 self-titled album. It was their first following a short hiatus, and they released it independently after several years of being signed to Hopeless Records. Their previous albums charted on Billboard Heatseekers, with songs like “Let the Games Begin” featured on MLB Network, ESPN’s SportsCenter, and MTV’s The Hills. Anarbor will embark on a July tour with Tempe’s Sundressed, traveling to cities up the West Coast. But that one won’t be stopping in Phoenix — so don’t miss out on your chance to catch them this summer before they hit the road. Ashley Harris

Read on for more "can't miss" concerts and music events this weekend, including Brad Paisley, Tengger Cavalry, and two different goth-industrial dance parties.

Betty Blackheart (left) and DJ Self.Destrukt.EXPAND
Betty Blackheart (left) and DJ Self.Destrukt.
Benjamin Leatherman

Nocturne: Underworld at Monarch Theatre
Fallout Shelter at Unexpected Gallery
Saturday, June 24

Denizens of downtown Phoenix, be warned: Your ’hood is about to be invaded by an ominous-looking horde of folks dressed in dark clothing, leather boots, and fetish wear. That’s because two competing goth-industrial dance parties will be taking place in downtown on Saturday, June 24, each offering its own theme, DJ lineup, and collection of sinister sounds. To wit: The members of the PhxGoth Collective will take over the Scarlet Lounge at Monarch Theatre during Nocturne: Underworld. The night will feature a mix of industrial, post-punk, synth, dark techno, witch house, and EBM spun by such DJs as Kevin Brown (a.k.a. hexmaschine), members of Bella Lune, former Sadisco* resident //she//, and Lolita. Go-go girls Little Jae and Allison Kay will also perform, and Bella Lune will debut the music video for their track “Don’t Wake Me Up.” Doors open at 9 p.m., and the party goes until 3 a.m.

Meanwhile, just over a mile away at Unexpected Art Gallery, Kevin Von Krol (a.k.a. Self.Destrukt) and Betty Blackheart will bring their Fallout Shelter dance party back from the grave for a special one-off event. A soundtrack filled with industrial, techno, dark electro, and aggrotech will fill the venue, courtesy of Krol and Blackheart, as well as DJs like the Rev. DJ RaZorslave and Beautiful John. A post-apocalyptic car show and war-inspired art exhibition will also be a part of the event, which runs from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Military themed and post-apocalyptic outfits are encouraged. Benjamin Leatherman

Thomas Jack, the inventor of tropical house.
Thomas Jack, the inventor of tropical house.
Peter Don

Thomas Jack
Saturday, June 24
The Pool at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Thomas Jack got his name in the mainstream circuit through tropical house, but let it be known: Jack’s no one-trick pony. His music has evolved into a sneak peak at the future of EDM — a hint of tropical, an edge of hard bass, tied together in a neat bow of wacky, unexpected interludes. Opening for Jack on tour are Oliver Nelson and the L.A.-based Bixel Boys, the former known for his callbacks to disco, and the latter for their bass-tinged house music. Sarah Purkrabek

Brad Paisely performs at Ak-Chin Pavilion in 2015.
Brad Paisely performs at Ak-Chin Pavilion in 2015.
Leavitt Wells

Brad Paisley
Sunday, June 25
Ak-Chin Pavilion

When Brad Paisley isn't writing and performing sweet, tender songs that make women melt into a big pile of mush — or even haunting songs about death — he's writing some hilarious, off-the-wall, kind of stupid songs about the things happening to or around him. That's the charm of Paisley, though: He's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. While other country crooners might be singing about a woman's tight jeans and lipstick (not that Paisley doesn't sing about that, too), Paisley's strength is observing his surroundings and singing about them with some, or a lot of, humor sprinkled in. This weekend, Paisley will perform at Ak-Chin Pavilion with support from openers Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell. Paige Skinner

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The musicians of black folk metal act Tengger Cavalry.EXPAND
The musicians of black folk metal act Tengger Cavalry.
Courtesy of Adrenaline PR

Tengger Cavalry
Sunday, June 25
Club Red in Mesa

If you’ve never had an introduction to black folk metal, then this is the show to check out. Presented by longtime Valley metal promoter 13th Floor Entertainment, the headliner is the unique Tengger Cavalry, which blends tradition with modern metal: Mongolian horse-head fiddle and the nomadic music of Central Asia with heavy rock and overtone throat singing. A slew of local acts will open for the band at its gig on Sunday, June 25, at Club Red in Mesa, including Deathgrip, Charonincentive, and other special guests. The show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $14 in advance, $16 at the door. Lauren Wise

Jazz vocalist Roberta Gambarini.EXPAND
Jazz vocalist Roberta Gambarini.
Courtesy of the MIM

Roberta Gambarini
Sunday, June 25
Musical Instrument Museum

Taking a few cues from vocal legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae, Italian-born jazz singer Roberta Gambarini has developed an impeccable and precise command over her voice. Gambarini's 2008 EmArcy release, You Are There, in which she's accompanied only by the great pianist Hank Jones, is a gorgeous effort all the way through. Ditto for the rest of her discography, which features six solo albums overall, including 2009’s So in Love and 2013’s The Shadow of Your Smile. This weekend, Gambarini graces the stage at the Musical Instrument Museum’s music theater for a solo performance. Jon Solomon

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