The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Jessica Hernandez wants to reach out with the Deltas' latest album, Telephone/Telefono.
Jessica Hernandez wants to reach out with the Deltas' latest album, Telephone/Telefono. Taylor Bonin
Want to catch a great concert this weekend in Phoenix? You’ve certainly got plenty of options available to you, considering that music venues both big and small across the Valley will host gigs over the next several nights.

Naturally, we’ve got a few suggestions – 11 of ‘em, in fact. And it’s an eclectic bunch.

There’s a music festival celebrating the full moon, for instance, as well as a performance by an all-female Black Sabbath tribute band, and the chance to see dudes in lucha libre masks slinging surf rock.

Other highlights of this weekend’s slate of concerts include shows by Wovenhand, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, and local indie act Dirty Sunset. Death Cab for Cutie will also make its debut at newly opened “it” spot, The Van Buren, and Latin pop star Luis Fonsi of “Despacito” fame will be at Comerica Theatre.

Here’s a rundown at what’s worth seeing here in Phoenix from Friday, September 8, to Sunday, September 10. (And for even more music events happening this weekend, hit up our online concert calendar.)

click to enlarge The current lineup of Death Cab for Cutie. - COURTESY OF ATLANTIC RECORDS
The current lineup of Death Cab for Cutie.
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
Death Cab for Cutie
Friday, September 8
The Van Buren

Death Cab for Cutie will make a very special stop at The Van Buren this week. It’s one of just a few dates they have on the calendar this year, with the Phoenix show bringing them south, and closer to San Bernardino, California, for the band’s appearance at High and Low Fest the following day. But fewer shows don’t mean that the band hasn’t been busy. Their Grammy-nominated album, Kintsugi, dropped in March 2015, and they toured on it relentlessly until September 2016. They also released a standalone track at the end of last year called “Million Dollar Loan,” part of the 30 Days, 30 Songs project protesting President Donald Trump. Singer Ben Gibbard recently released Bandwagonesque, a full-length cover album of alt-rock stalwarts Teenage Fanclub’s tremendous 1991 album. It was released as part of Turntable Kitchen’s “Sounds Delicious” monthly cover album subscription series. Ashley Harris

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
Friday, September 8
The Rebel Lounge

Jessica Hernandez honed her chops on the coffee-shop and open-mic circuit. Painfully shy from the start, she stuck to playing folksy guitar tunes inspired by Regina Spektor, Joanna Newsom, and Conor Oberst. It was that shyness that made her start playing with others. She recruited her musical friends and gave the group the temporary name of the Deltas, after the 1967 Delta 88, one of her favorite cars. By the time she remembered the name was only meant as a placeholder, she decided it wasn’t worth going to the trouble to change it. Now the Deltas are a full, bona fide band, bonded by what Hernandez describes as a “siblingship.”

On their sophomore album, Telephone/Telefono, the full band’s presence is especially felt. Whereas Hernandez wrote the entirety of her debut studio album, 2014’s Secret Evil, by herself, she wrote a significant chunk of Telephone together with her bandmates while holed up in a cabin in northern Michigan. The record bursts with zippy, soulful pop rock that draws on dynamic Latin influences, ’80s synth-pop, and a bit of blues flair for its power. Telephone/Telefono is actually two albums: There’s an English and a Spanish version, the latter of which Hernandez re-recorded with friends in Mexico City. Collectively, the two albums speak to representation, visibility and inclusion. As a woman of color, Hernandez knows she’s not the typical rock songwriter. And now she’s making an attempt to shift that paradigm. Elle Carroll

click to enlarge DJ Stoneypie is scheduled to perform at the Full Moon Festival in downtown Phoenix this weekend. - JIM LOUVAU
DJ Stoneypie is scheduled to perform at the Full Moon Festival in downtown Phoenix this weekend.
Jim Louvau
Full Moon Festival: Harvest Moon
Friday, September 8
Unexpected Art Gallery

The coming of the full moon each month has been an event that’s been celebrated for millennia, dating back to ceremonies performed by the Celts and Druids. In more modern times, there are events like the annual Full Moon Party in Thailand, which features a raucous, rowdy, and colorful celebration. Here in the Valley, organizers of the Full Moon Festival will get into the spirit of the occasion on Friday, September 8, with an evening of music and revelry at Unexpected Art Gallery. (While it’s true that the full moon technically occurs two days prior, we’re willing to forgive ‘em for their fuzzy math.) The event will offer four separate stages of performances from dozens of local DJs, hip-hop artists, and bands, as well as fire-dancing and art displays. The lineup will include such names as Stoneypie, Dadadoh, FunkLunch and the Brady Bunch, Prism Skvnk, Slothra, Sage, Guilty, Eli Young, Truvonne, I-Dee, GUILD, Lamar Crushin, and many more. The event runs from 8:08 p.m. to 3:33 a.m. Admission is $9.99 and costumes and outfits that reflect the “magic and majesty of the moon” are encouraged. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Darude: Yes, he spins more than just "Sandstorm." - COURTESY OF SOAPBOX AGENCY
Darude: Yes, he spins more than just "Sandstorm."
Courtesy of Soapbox Agency
Friday, September 8
Maya Day & Nightclub

Finnish dance-music producer Ville Virtanen, better known as Darude, scored a monster hit with his first release "Sandstorm," a track that's sold millions of units worldwide since its release. While he's never managed to replicate the success of that initial monster track, he's managed to carve out a respectable niche for himself among the world's top trance producers and DJs. And he’s not slowing down by any means, constantly touring and releasing new works, including his most recent album, 2015’s Moments. Darude hits the nightclub at Maya in Scottsdale this weekend for a Friday evening gig. It’s free to attend if you RSVP online and $10 general admission if you don’t. Cory Casciato

click to enlarge Local pop-punk band Paper Foxes. - DAGAN SASSARINI
Local pop-punk band Paper Foxes.
Dagan Sassarini
Homegrown Battle for ALT AZ 93.3's Dia De Los Alt
Friday, September 8
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale
Five local bands will duke it out on Friday night at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale in what’s likely to be a massive melee. Lest you think we’re endorsing musician-on-musician violence, you should probably know that this particular face-off won’t involve any punches being thrown. Instead, the acts involved will be competing for a chance to perform as an opener at Alt AZ 93.3's Dia De Los Alt music festival later this month out at Fear Farm. Friday night’s showdown – which will feature Paper Foxes, Stinkeye, People Who Could Fly, Rival Coast, and Daisy – is being put on by Alt AZ’s weekly locals-only radio segment “Homegrown with Mo.” Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission to the all-ages event is free for anyone 21 and over and $5 for anyone under 21. May the best band win. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge The late Jeff Pettit. - NOELLE SIMPSON
The late Jeff Pettit.
Noelle Simpson
¡Viva Jefe!
Saturday, September 9
Time Out Lounge in Tempe

The Phoenix community, especially many people whose relationships were cemented by a love of rock 'n' roll, suffered a tremendous loss last month. Former Arizona resident Jeff Pettit was found unresponsive at Fond Object, the Nashville record store he co-owned. Originally from Wisconsin, the 46-year-old Pettit, whom his pals lovingly called “El Jefe,” was a tireless supporter of the Valley music scene and a former Zia records employee. His love for music was fuel for his activities, like going to shows and collecting records, as well as in his bonds with others, from gabbing about music to going to shows to ultimately joining forces with a few more music fanatics to open Fond Object, the Nashville record store he co-owned. Here in the Valley, Kevin Daly of Grave Danger has helped to organize a memorial show called ¡Viva Jefe! at the Time Out Lounge in Tempe on Saturday, September 9. Friends will gather and celebrate Pettit’s life, with a live musical soundtrack from bands including Grave Danger, Deadbolt, Flathead, Bad Catholics, and Steve Larson. The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Amy Young

Read on for more "can't miss" concerts in Phoenix this weekend, including Luis Fonsi, Wovenhand, and Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets.
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