Otep is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 7, at Club Red in Mesa.EXPAND
Otep is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 7, at Club Red in Mesa.
Courtesy of Victory Records

The 7 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Got a free evening this week and some money burning a hole in your pocket? If so, consider escaping your air-conditioned sanctuary for an evening, weathering a possible monsoon thunderstorm, and seeing a show.

This week's lineup of live music includes gigs by the esteemed Tony Bennett, metal queen Otep, and hip-hop legends Sadat X and El Da Sensei.

Details about each of these gigs can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley this weekend, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

The man, the myth, the voice: Tony Bennett.EXPAND
The man, the myth, the voice: Tony Bennett.
Melina Dellamarggio

Tony Bennett
Tuesday, August 7
Celebrity Theatre

Tony Bennett, the legendary crooner known for signature tunes “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” is turning his stop at Celebrity Theatre into a family affair.

Daughter and next-gen performer Antonia Bennett opens the show, having inherited her father’s dreamy eyes and clear voice. She grew up in a household where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Gene Kelly were the norm, and has been opening for her father for the past decade.

As for the main attraction, Tony will offer up a marathon of crowd favorites and old classics, including “I Got Rhythm,” “Sing You Sinners,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” and “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road).” This powerhouse talent is still going strong at 91, and audience members will be ready to fly to the moon before this star-studded night is over. Vic Shuttee

The members of BODEGA.
The members of BODEGA.
Mert Gafuroglu

BODEGA
Tuesday, August 7
Valley Bar

Typically, art rock bands don't gain traction on a national level. However, if you mix in post-punk elements and have an intense live show, you can get plenty of attention like Brooklyn's BODEGA has.

"There's certainly a post-punk influence in our music. But that may be more intellectual, spiritual than anything exactly musical. Though we have borrowed some tricks from the post-punk vocabulary. I say art rock because it's more open-ended, but to me, art rock is just rock 'n' roll music that has a conceptual quality to it," says vocalist and guitarist Ben Hozie.

The band's debut album, Endless Scroll, is in a loose way, a Brooklyn-sounding album like a mix of Jeff Rosenstock and Parquet Courts. For that approach, the band recorded with Parquet Courts guitarist Austin Brown.

When the band performed at this last SXSW music conference, plenty of journalists were quick to compare them to the likes of Gang of Four, Parquet Courts, The Fall, and Wire. Catch them at Valley Bar this week. Local post-punk act Paper Foxes will open. David Garrick

The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.EXPAND
The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.
Ian Frank

Rebirth Brass Band
Tuesday, August 7
Musical Instrument Museum

You hear them before you see them – a sunny, brassy, and sassy expulsion of horns and clattering drums welling up in the distance, growing ever louder and more percussive as they approach in a second-line parade down a New Orleans street.

The horns are too loud and leering, a boozy cacophony of pent-up exultation, while the drums are too scattershot and shuffling to be militaristically formal. Instead, the drums groove like a drunk swaggers – loopy and seemingly chaotic, jerking in every direction, pulling themselves up smartly and tightly just before falling into the gutter.

This is no mere Crescent City tourist music; Rebirth Brass Band unself-consciously pour a whole lotta funk and a little hip-hop into their jazzy, Treme-tastic gumbo. Falling James

Otep is scheduled to play Club Red on Tuesday.EXPAND
Otep is scheduled to play Club Red on Tuesday.
PR Brown

Otep
Tuesday, August 7
Club Red in Mesa

In a genre of music where being a black sheep is a point of pride, Otep Shamaya stands out. Gifted with a powerful voice, Otep has carved an impressive place for herself in the world of heavy music. No mean feat, considering she's an outspoken liberal, lesbian, and vegan. When so many of her contemporaries make a big deal about meat-eating, machismo, and gun-touting politics, Otep's left-of-center status as a queer artist makes her the odd woman out.

But it's that outsider status that's helped her forge a connection with audiences that metal bands typically don't court: women and queer audiences. It's paid off for the singer and her group over the last 15 years. Releasing a string of thunderously loud yet melodically appealing albums, they've built up a devoted following. In 2016, Generation Doom hit No. 7 on Billboard's Rock Chart and 10 on the Independent Chart in its first week. Their cover of Lorde's "Royals" became a radio hit, and Otep's racy and provocative video for "Equal Rights, Equal Lefts" has been banned in over 12 countries. She's also drawn attention for her work as a spoken-word artist, appearing on Def Poetry back in the day. Ashley Naftule

The Rebel Lounge in Central Phoenix.
The Rebel Lounge in Central Phoenix.
Courtesy of The Rebel Lounge

Sadat X and El Da Sensei
Wednesday, August 9
The Rebel Lounge

Sadat X and El Da Sensei both have a lengthy history in hip-hop. The former is a member of long-running ensemble Brand Nubian, which has been kicking around the rap scene since 1989. Meanwhile, El Da Sensei, who was a member of underground hip-hop act The Artifacts before releasing several critically acclaimed solo albums. Back in 2005, the two MCs combined to form the collaborative project XL and have released a variety of albums and tracks over the last decade.

XL’s current tour bring them to The Rebel Lounge on Wednesday night. Locals Edo G, Bukue One, Joey Baggs, and Don Pacto will also perform while turntablists DJ Tricky T and DJ Fact135 provide the backing beats during and between sets. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the venue. Benjamin Leatherman

GoGo Penguin is a whirlwind of experimental sounds.
GoGo Penguin is a whirlwind of experimental sounds.
Courtesy of Blue Note Records

GoGo Penguin
Thursday, August 9
Musical Instrument Museum

The forward-thinking Manchester, England-based trio GoGo Penguin is a squarely acoustic act with a piano, an upright bass, and a drum kit, but the group's songs are interpretations of electronic-music projects the act first builds on a computer using software like Logic or Ableton.

Take “Initiate,” from 2016’s Blue Note album Man Made Object. When drummer Rob Turner brought an electronic-music project he had built to pianist Chris Illingworth and bassist Nick Blacka, it had African and tribal samples and wild percussion, but no drum kit or piano. “It had really weird synth sounds and then just loads and loads of really sine-wave sub-y kinds of bass,” Illingworth says. “I remember just thinking, ‘I can do that.' I was saying to Rob, ‘Give me that tune. I’ll go out and do some work with it.’”

Even when the songs are reinterpreted on acoustic instruments, they sometimes sound like electronica songs thanks to Turner’s inventive drumming and percussion. The music evokes Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Orbital, and Massive Attack, all bands the musicians admire. Jon Solomon

Lucki Eck$
Lucki Eck$
Courtesy of Ticketfly

Lucki
Thursday, August 9
The Rebel Lounge

Rapper Lucki Eck$ — better known simply as Lucki — has a song called “Poker Face” on his 2017 release Watch My Back. But make no mistake, it’s not a cover of Lady Gaga’s hit from back in 2008.

Where Gaga’s track is about relationship drama, Lucki’s is a nod to Wockhardt, the pharma company that produces a codeine-laden cough syrup famously used to concoct lean, which blends the medicine with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers. And Lucki doesn’t seem to care about his songs reaching the same level of popularity as Gaga, as he notes in the track: “Baby rock-hardt, I feel like a Wock star / I don’t fear a thing but a cop car / Underground king, fuck your top chart.”

With that song and others, it takes a minute to focus on the lyrics because his vocal delivery is so laid back, mellow, and hypnotic. It’s not surprising he’s collaborated with similarly mysterious FKA twigs. The beats below the words aren’t too hyper either; they’re melodic and popping with energy, creating a balance with his low-and-slow singing style. Things get grittier when you do zone in on what Lucki’s saying, as he offers slices from his life, referencing topics from drugs to gang life. Amy Young

Editor's Note: This article has been updated since its original publication to reflect the cancelation of Trinidad Cardona's performance at Crescent Ballroom on Thursday.

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