Robert Randolph and the Family Band are scheduled to perform on Friday, June 8, at Crescent Ballroom.EXPAND
Robert Randolph and the Family Band are scheduled to perform on Friday, June 8, at Crescent Ballroom.
Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Got any big plans this weekend? Consider checking out a concert. After all, there certainly are plenty of worthwhile ones happening around town.

Over the next few nights, music venues around the Valley will host performances by the Alan Parsons Live Project, Maps & Atlases, Collie Buddz, Justin Townes Earle, and Sleep.

And with it being a weekend, there are certainly plenty of electronic dance music events happening in the Valley. And with it being the summer, there are also pool parties worth checking out.

All of the aforementioned gigs can be found in our rundown of the best concerts happening in Phoenix this weekend. For even more live music happening in the Valley, hit up the Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar.

Reggae artist Collie Buddz.EXPAND
Reggae artist Collie Buddz.
Phil Emerson

Collie Buddz
Friday, June 8
BLK Live in Scottsdale

When you think of dancehall music, it's safe to assume that the island of Bermuda isn't the first locale that leaps to mind. In fact, though Bermuda is often mistaken as a Caribbean island, its closest neighbor is actually North Carolina. Other Bermuda oddities include the Bermuda Triangle, Bermuda shorts, and the alternative singer Heather Nova, a native.

You may now add to that list the dancehall anthem "Come Around," which is sure to receive the acclaim Damian Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock" did last year. The song is performed by a Bermudian who goes by the handle Collie Buddz. Oh, and did we forget to mention that Buddz is white?

No matter. The song is a monster, from the roots-infused horn intro to the pumped-up basslines. "Finally the herbs come around," sings Buddz, whose stage name doubles as slang for a seasonal high-grade marijuana. His voice resembles Jamaican dancehall staples such as I-Wayne and Wayne Wonder, with a booster shot of rudeboy swagger. Esther Parks

Legendary rockabilly band The Paladins.
Legendary rockabilly band The Paladins.
Courtesy of The Paladins.

The Paladins
Friday, June 8
The Rhythm Room

One of the hardest-working rockabilly bands of the past few decades, The Paladins were formed by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and Thomas Yearsley at the height of the rockabilly movement in the early '80s. Over the next two decades, the trio toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, and the Blasters, and released 10 studio albums.

In 2004, The Paladins went on hiatus; Gonzalez subsequently started the Hacienda Brothers with Chris Gaffney and played with the country-soul Stoney River Boys. In 2010, Gonzalez reunited with the Paladins for some European dates, and the following year, the trio regrouped for their first American shows in seven years. They're still going strong these days and are scheduled to perform this weekend at The Rhythm Room. Local rockers Grave Danger will open. Jon Solomon

Urlo, Poia, and Vita of Ufomammut.EXPAND
Urlo, Poia, and Vita of Ufomammut.
Andrea Tomas Prato

Friday, June 8
Club Red in Mesa

The three musicians making up this Italian-born trio – who go by the monikers of Poia, Urlo, and Vita – specialize in hypnotically psychedelic doom metal. The repetitive drone of Ufomammut’s sludge riffage is laced with spaced-out fuzz effects that evoke a hallucinogenic trip, with just enough twists and turns to keep you a little on edge. Each song builds slowly, lulling listeners into a trance, before it crescendos into a powerful crash of beefy riffs and frantic drumming that leaves even the most hardened stoner-doom fan completely drained. Jason Roche

Alan Parsons Live Project
Friday, June 8
Celebrity Theatre

Alan Parsons became a household name around the world via the succession of gold and platinum albums that began with Tales of Mystery and Imagination in 1976, which were credited to The Alan Parsons Project. Although his partnership with co-founder Eric Woolfson ended in the ’90s, it did allow for us to finally enjoy the music the duo made in concert, starting with a 1995 European tour. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you ... The Alan Parsons Live Project.

“I do wish we’d done it sooner; the circumstances weren’t right,” Parsons says. “Eric wasn’t interested in touring, and it was only [when] we parted company after making the Freudianaalbum [a rock opera about Sigmund Freud] and all the legal wrangles that ensued after that, that we decided to put another band together to support another album that year called Try Anything Once [Parsons’ first solo album].”

Rightly or wrongly, the success of I Robot, Turn of a Friendly Card, and Pyramid earned Parsons his rep as the master of the concept album. Who better to ask if the overriding concept suggested the songs, or did the individual songs when collected form the overall concept? “I think a bit of both. Certainly with Tales of Mystery, the concept came first, and I Robot, the concept came first. Pyramid, there was one song called “Pyramania” that suggested a concept. That was originally going to be a witchcraft-based album, all things to do with voodoo, then we just zeroed in on pyramid power and the history of pyramids as being a really good concept.” Serene Dominic

Funk/soul musician Robert Randolph.
Funk/soul musician Robert Randolph.
Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Friday, June 8
Crescent Ballroom

If the sacred steel movement has a visionary leader, it's Robert Randolph, a ferocious, enormously talented steel guitarist who has deftly overseen his band's transition from the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey, to the world's premier stages.

Randolph has always sliced and diced considerable secular influences into his fervid gospel sound, and that was even more the case with the Family Band's 2006 album, Colorblind. That album had a guest shot from Dave Matthews, an assortment of ballads amidst the rousing rave-ups, and a thorough airing of influences from the likes of Sly, Hendrix, and Stevie Wonder. Plus, Randolph's also proved he can go head-to-head with guitar greats such as Eric Clapton, who traded licks with him on Colorblind. Rick Mason
Release Pool Party feat. W&W
Saturday, June 9
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Get pumped up for W&W's "trouse," or as the DJ duo puts it in their bio, "uplifting and melodic elements of trance" fused with "the raw intensity of electro and progressiveness of house." You can hear it for yourself this weekend when Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst, the Dutch electronic dance music artists that represent the W's in W&W, headline the latest Release pool party at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. German-born EDM duo Cosmic Gate, which specialize in mixes of a trance and techno variety, will open. The party starts at noon. Tickets are $20. Laurie Charles

Sleep are ready to unleash primordial riff-rock.EXPAND
Sleep are ready to unleash primordial riff-rock.
Courtesy of Southern Lord Recordings

Saturday, June 9
The Van Buren

If any band could be accused of hibernating between albums, it’s stoner metal power trio Sleep. Take a look at the band’s small but potent discography, and you’ll see huge gaps between most of their records: seven years between Sleep’s Holy Mountain and Dopesmoker, and 19 years between Dopesmoker and The Sciences. It isn’t hard to imagine the trio of Matt Pike, Al Cisneros, and Jason Roeder lapsing into a fuzzy kush coma between recordings, slumbering beneath sheets of heavy smoke, until they’re summoned to unleash their primordial riff-rock on the earth again.

Don’t write off Sleep as lazy stoners, though: The trio are extremely busy when they’re not Voltroning together to form the Black Sabbath of weed rock. When he isn’t playing guitar for Sleep, Pike’s the frontman for High on Fire; Cisneros also lends vox and bass duties to the drone metal titans in OM; and Roeder does double duty as the drummer for Sleep and seminal Oakland, California, metal heroes Neurosis. Together, the three of them combine their considerable chops, and their love for slow, crushing sounds, to conjure up Sleep’s potent music.

The other reason for Sleep’s periods of hibernation: The band used to be plagued by label problems. Legal wranglings with Earache Records after the release of 1992’s Sleep’s Holy Mountain led the band to jump ship to London Records, which screwed them even harder with the release of their legendary Dopesmoker record. Composed of an hourlong song that took the band four years to write, and two months of studio time to record, Dopesmoker didn’t get an “official” release until 2012. London Records didn’t know what to do with the original recordings and sat on them, leading to the release of four different versions of the album over the years.

Considering all the bullshit the stoner metal band have put up with over the years, you couldn’t blame them for wanting to hang up their spurs. While they’ve reunited to play shows over the years, it didn’t look like we’d get new material from them anytime soon — which makes the surprise release of 2018’s The Sciences so shocking. The Sciences may be the strongest album they’ve ever released: The band takes the earthquake riffs and beats of Dopesmoker and condenses them into shorter bursts, creating an album with sounds that aim for the heavens, but are heavy enough to pin you to the ground. Ashley Naftule

Indie rock act Maps & Atlases.
Indie rock act Maps & Atlases.
Courtesy of Paradigm Agency

Maps & Atlases
Saturday, June 9
The Rebel Lounge

Maps & Atlases frontman Dave Davison lost his father six years ago to brain cancer. His death served as the inspiration for the indie rock band's latest album, Lightlessness Is Nothing New, their first since 2012’s critically-acclaimed Beware and Be Grateful.

Davison’s father died right before the math rock group toured on that record. The vocalist and guitarist believes that going on the road was a positive thing to do, and was grateful for the distraction that came with a full-length touring schedule, and being surrounded by his friends and bandmates, bassist Shiraz Dada and drummer Chris Hainey.

When the tour ended, Davison took time away from the band to create something new. Instead of writing specifically for Maps & Atlases, he wanted to see where the music took him. As the songs Davison was writing began to take shape, he knew Dada and Hainey would be the perfect musicians to accompany him. “It was interesting to re-form the band in an organic way, not that it ever broke up,” describes Davison. “I’m glad it came back together the way that it did.” Jason Keil

Alt-country musician Justin Townes Earle.
Alt-country musician Justin Townes Earle.
Joshua Black Wilkins

Justin Townes Earle
Saturday, June 9
Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum's in-house performance venue will get down when Justin Townes Earle drops by to play his soulful songs in a rare solo set. Earle has been proving he's more than the son of Steve Earle for a good while now, and his last album Kids In The Street is pretty wonderful. The always impressive alt-country of Lydia Loveless, whoselatest album is called Boy Crazy and Single(s), will be on as direct support and opener for this all-ages show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.50 to $45.50. David Garrick

Jessica Phillippe, better known as J.Phlip.EXPAND
Jessica Phillippe, better known as J.Phlip.
Vitali Gelwich

Sunday, June 10
Shady Park in Tempe

Dirtybird Records might just be the most fun-loving collective in electronic dance music with its barbecue parties, ass-clapping bass music, and lively gang of artist pals who are always down for laughs. But among the Dirtybird boys — Justin and Christian Martin, Claude VonStroke, Worthy, etc. — one character stands out because of an X chromosome: J.Phlip (a.k.a. Jessica Phillipe), the sole lady on the roster. But just like the rest of the crew, she's a slayer when it comes to banging out slick tracks in the studio and making booties bounce in the club. Go find out for yourself this weekend when she rattles the speakers at Shady Park in Tempe during the latest edition of TreeHouse Sundays. Ghost Effect, Brando, and Marv will open. Sean Levisman

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