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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Old 97's, The Beths, Drug Church

Old 97's are scheduled to perform on Thursday, March 16, at The Rebel Lounge.
Old 97's are scheduled to perform on Thursday, March 16, at The Rebel Lounge. Alysse Gafkjen
Up for seeing a show this week? You’ve got a variety of options, ranging from legendary Americana act Old 97’s, post-hardcore favorites Drug Church, the indie-pop band The Beths, and metal icons Queensryche.

Read on for more details about each of their gigs or click over to Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar for more live music happening from Monday, March 13, to Thursday, March 16.

Drug Church

Monday, March 13
The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa
Aside from Protomartyr’s Joe Casey, nobody in the post-hardcore/modern punk scene writes lyrics better than Drug Church's Patrick Kindlon. The Albany, New York, band have a distinct sound: rusted, grungy guitars buzzing over sludgy rhythms and Kindlon's can-you-believe-this-shit bellow. Their 2018 track "Weed Pin" turns a disgruntled lab tech's woes into a generational "Slack Motherfucker" style anti-work anthem thanks to Kindlon’s iconic "I SHOULD'VE STARTED A CHEMICAL FIRE" shout. Their latest album, 2022’s Hygiene, breezes by in under a half hour but is packed with dense riffs and interesting lyrical threads to untangle. In most situations, calling something a “cancel culture record” would be a huge red flag but Kindlon’s musings on separating the art from the artist on “Detective Lieutenant” or coming to grips with the skeletons in your closet in “Super Saturated” are far more nuanced and empathetic than someone like Dave Chappelle grousing about being silenced on social media. The band sounds tighter than ever on Hygiene, conjuring up a muscular and fast-moving racket that keeps pace with Kindlon’s manic preaching of the gospel of Drug Church. With Prince Daddy and the Hyena, Anxious, and Webbed Wing; 6:30 p.m., $22 via Ashley Naftule


Tuesday, March 14
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe
For a band that have released 16 albums in the past four decades and carry with them a mountain of songwriting credibility, it is tragic that Queensryche would have had only one single, the 1991 power ballad "Silent Lucidity" — a markedly different song than anything the band had released before or since. However, unlike A Flock of Seagulls and thanks in large part to its devout fanbase, Queensryche was fortunate enough to not have one hit define its entire career. The band's latest album, Digital Noise Alliance, was released last October, and to the delight of their fans, the album actually pushes the band's sound forward at a point in their career when many bands become a tribute to themselves. Longtime solo artist and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman opens for Queensryche after a set from San Francisco metal band Trauma. With Show 'n' Tell and Spiritual Suicide; 6 p.m., $30-$50 via Lauren Wise

Old 97's

Thursday, March 16
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road
Old 97's should have hit it big in the late '90s, when fellow alt-country bands like Whiskeytown were riding the No Depression wave to success. Over the course of their 31-year career, Old 97's (named after a Johnny Cash cover) have toured consistently with the original lineup. And although they never reached breakout status, primary singer Rhett Miller and the Old 97's have successfully built a dedicated fan base — on the strength of their revved-up live shows, which showcase songs from their powerhouse alt-country albums like Too Far to Care and Fight Songs and their later works, such as the pop hook-heavy Satellite Rides (2001). Fans and critics appreciated the return of the Old 97's to Americana, which remains their dominant style. With Caitlin Rose; 8 p.m., $25/$28, tickets are available on the secondary market. Melissa Fossum

The Beths

Thursday, March 16
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
Out of Auckland, New Zealand, comes indie pop rock band The Beths, who have been coming up strong in their native country, shooting into New Zealand's top 20 with the debut album, Future Me Hates Me, in 2018. The band's 2020 follow-up, Jump Rope Gazers, peaked at No. 2 in New Zealand, but it was the band's most recent album, Expert in a Dying Field, that made the world take notice. Not only did the album shoot to the very top of the New Zealand charts, but many American music blogs and magazines found a place for the band on their year-end, best-of lists. This is a great time to see the band in a mid-sized venue like Crescent Ballroom. The next time you’ll see The Beths will be this fall when they open for The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie's tour supporting the 20th anniversary of Give Up and Transatlanticism. 8 p.m., $22/$25 via Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge
The interior of Phoenix Symphony Hall.
City of Phoenix

Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy

Thursday, March 16
Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street
Why is the Final Fantasy video game franchise so widely beloved by geeks? The reasons include the innovative and influential gameplay mechanics, unique and engrossing plots, and memorable characters offered by the series, which celebrated its 35th anniversary last year. And then there are its stirring soundtracks, many of which were composed by Japanese musician Nobuo Uematsu. His tunes will seem even more magical when Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy comes to Phoenix Symphony Hall this week. The touring concert features a full orchestra and chorus led by Grammy-winning conductor Arnie Roth and starring vocalist Susan Calloway that will perform various musical selections from the series while gameplay video is projected on a giant screen. 8 p.m., $53-$64 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Ashley Naftule
Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise

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