Ghastly is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 2, at The Van Buren.
Ghastly is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 2, at The Van Buren. Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
click to enlarge Ghastly is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 2, at The Van Buren. - COURTESY OF CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY
Ghastly is scheduled to perform on Saturday, June 2, at The Van Buren.
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
The first weekend of June in the Valley certainly isn't lacking in big concerts.

Prominent acts and artists like Night Riots, Calexico, D.O.A., and Alex Lahey all have shows scheduled at music venues around Phoenix over the next few nights. Ditto for local standouts Playboy Manbaby and RPM Orchestra.

Meanwhile, homegrown electronic dance music superstar Ghastly will return to Phoenix for a packed gig at The Van Buren, a Talking Heads-themed dance night will happen at Valley Bar, and the latest Full Moon Festival will take over The Pressroom.

Details about each of these gigs can be found in our list of the best concerts in the Phoenix area this weekend. And for even more music events happening around town, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.


click to enlarge The musicians of alt rock/power pop band Night Riots. - COURTESY OF SUMERIAN RECORDS
The musicians of alt rock/power pop band Night Riots.
Courtesy of Sumerian Records
Night Riots
Friday, June 1
Valley Bar


The band that go to middle school together, stay together. Well, that’s true at least in the case of Los Angeles based five-piece alt-rockers Night Riots. The friends learned to play music together before they started high school and still maintain that original lineup, minus a switch in drummers years ago.

Keeping a solid and straightforward rock ’n’ roll foundation, Night Riots have enhanced their sound with slight changes since they started dropping releases in 2010. At times, their blend of rock leans more toward ’80s synth, while at other times their rolling intros that launch into edgier, driving songs are reminiscent of more recent acts like The Killers.

What does thread through the band’s music is a sense of nostalgia that comes more from the lyrics, and an ever-present wistful vibe, than from sharing sounds of bands that came before them. 2013’s “Loyal Blood” from their Young Lore record examines youthful recklessness on a tune about one of those unforgettable, unplanned magical nights, “Stayed up all night long / Hellfire in our bones.”

Their most recent release, Love Gloom, goes deep into the well of love and desperation with a collection of brooding tunes that offer enough hopeful sentiments and poppy beats to keep you elevated throughout the dark journey. Amy Young

Local electronica artist E Alo. - RAY SQUARED PRODUCTIONS
Local electronica artist E Alo.
Ray Squared Productions
Full Moon Festival: Pink Moon
Friday, June 1
The Pressroom


One of the most important things about maintaining a solid music scene is actually caring about it. Besides attending the occasional show or buying merchandise from their favorite musician, the average listener of the average music scene doesn’t support beyond that. Without sustained support for the community, it is hard for a scene to truly showcase, and promote, the hidden talent it holds.

Locally, events like the Full Moon Festival, the increasingly popular multigenre festival, are specifically designed to shine a light on some of the amazing artists that are on the rise. Founder and cultivator 31-year-old Jonathan Luther, once a musician himself, understands the importance of movements like these and hopes his efforts will help.

“I want to do whatever it takes to serve the Phoenix artistic community,” Luther says. “Our goal is to make it the number one platform for local Phoenix artists to get their name out there.”

True to form, the latest edition of the festival, which takes place on Friday at The Pressroom, will feature performances by a slew of local musicians and DJs. The lineup will include sets by such artists and acts as E Alo, Sunset Voodoo, The Color 8, Benji Fly, Micro Future, AtreeTalking, Andy Warpigs, DeLa Preme, and many others. Doors open at 8:08 p.m. and admission is $15. Jaron Ikner

click to enlarge Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico. - JAIRO ZAVALA
Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico.
Jairo Zavala
Calexico
Friday, June 1
The Van Buren


For the past two decades, the Tucson desert-noir ensemble Calexico have consistently reigned as the most satisfyingly ambitious American rock band going. Guitarist-singer Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino’s sun-scorched sonic treks are a plentiful, rich catalog of alt-country–tinged tunes with burnished-gold scents and flavors that balloon outward in fascinating (and tasty) weavings of cumbia, flamenco and mariachi, gently futuristic electronic bleepery, and even avant-ish contemporary classical tonalities, all the better to serve their probing flights into the beckoning desert light and its even pricklier nights. John Payne

The boys of Playboy Manbaby. - JIM LOUVAU
The boys of Playboy Manbaby.
Jim Louvau
Playboy Manbaby
Friday, June 1
The Rebel Lounge


Some bands sound like the electricity that’s powering their instruments is surging into their bodies. Dayton nerd-punks Brainiac and the noisy Japanese Devo-worshippers in Polysics come to mind, but you don’t have to go as far as Osaka or Ohio to find a group that sounds as fired up with energy as Ben Franklin’s kite. Just look in your own backyard: Odds are good Arizona’s very own Playboy Manbaby are doing a set there.

Standing still at a Playboy Manbaby show seems to be an impossibility for both the audience and the band themselves. The band merges the party-happy vibe of ska with punk fury, yelping B-52-esque vocals, and thoughtful, smart-assy lyrics. PM’s Robbie Pfeiffer remains one of the Valley’s most memorable frontmen: His vocals twitch and bounce and leap all over their records and live shows, as malleable and rubbery as a cartoon character that’s been hit with an anvil.

While their live shows are essential, records like Lobotomobile and Don’t Let It Be show that the band has the songwriting smarts and studio chops that they could pull an XTC tomorrow, retire from performing live, and still be a group worth following. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Ghastly returns to The Van Buren this weekend. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Ghastly returns to The Van Buren this weekend.
Benjamin Leatherman
Ghastly
Saturday, June 2
The Van Buren


Like any electronic dance music artist who’s skyrocketed to fame, there are plenty of wild rumors and curious stories associated with bass music producer Ghastly. Some are actually true. Like, for instance, the fact he was raised on a goat farm over in Buckeye and started crafting beats at the age of 16 before moving to LA and living out of his van while attempting to break into the EDM biz.

Here’s another fact: Ghastly, whose real name is David Crow, has spent most of the last decade building an impressive catalog of bass-heavy tracks, including many he’s created for Skrillex’s OWSLA label and in collaboration with such artists as Getter, Brillz, and Zomboy.

This weekend, Ghastly will return to the Valley for a hometown gig at The Van Buren. The last time he performed at the venue, it was a near sellout and promoters are expecting the same for his show on Saturday. In other words, you'd better get tickets while you still can. And that's a fact. Benjamin Leatherman
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David Ensminger
Jaron is a musician, writer, promoter, videographer, and a founder of the like-minded collective and movement known as Starstruck.
Contact: Jaron Ikner
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Katie Moulton
Contact: Katie Moulton
Ashley Naftule
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young