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G-Eazy is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 3, at Ak-Chin Pavilion.EXPAND
G-Eazy is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 3, at Ak-Chin Pavilion.
Bobby Bruderle

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Okay, we get it. Staying home might seem like a good idea right now, but you oughta get out now and again. If you need justification, consider checking out one of the 11 great concerts and music events happening around the Valley this weekend.

It’s hard to remain a homebody when you’ve got the opportunity to see hip-hop superstars like G-Eazy and Rick Ross in concert, bounce around to bass at Shady Park, or celebrate the birthday of local promoter Stateside Presents.

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There are also shows by Shooter Jennings, Lisa Loeb, Hop Along, Kool and the Gang, and Alterbeast happening over the next few nights at local venues.

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.

Even after 50 years, for Kool and the Gang, the party is still going and every night is ladies' night.EXPAND
Even after 50 years, for Kool and the Gang, the party is still going and every night is ladies' night.
Silvia Mautner

Kool and the Gang
Friday, August
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler

Kool and the Gang didn't only contribute to the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever, but also for that of our party lives. Few bands' songs are so universally recognizable and still stay so freaking funky and cool from generation to generation. "Too Hot" shows you how you chill out a little when things are getting a bit too sticky. "Celebration" is the least annoying wedding/bar mitzvah/nightclub jam of all time. And "Ladies' Night" – need we explain the continued relevance of this tune?

Kool and the Gang are still working and still together. These guys are involved in like a million projects, including performing at gigs around the world, including festivals and during various tours. This weekend, they visit Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler for a Friday night concert. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $55 to $105. Liz Tracy

Technical death metal band Alterbeast.EXPAND
Technical death metal band Alterbeast.
Courtesy of Unique Leader Records

Alterbeast
Friday, August 3
Club Red in Mesa

Sacramento technical death metal band Alterbeast have gained fast popularity in the hard rock world after unleashing their first demo back in 2012. Originally formed under the cringe-inducing moniker Gary Busey Amber Alert (GBAA),the band wisely ditched the jokes and focused on what they do best: performing their hard-hitting style of tech-death. On both of the albums they’ve released thus far (2014’s Immortal and this year’s Feast), Alterbeast merges influences from bands like Necrophagist, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Morbid Angel with lightning-quick riffs and brutal lyrics for a super heavy, classic death-metal style. Catch the band on Friday when they take over Club Red in Mesa. Reaping Asmodeia opens. Lauren Wise

Rapper Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy.
Rapper Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy.
Bobby Bruderle

G-Eazy
Friday, August 3
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Hard-partying Bay Area rapper G-Eazy can’t remember when or where hip-hop mogul Puff Daddy gave him the best advice of his career, but he remembers the sage wisdom. “The best music is always the most vulnerable, because it’s the most real, the most human, the most raw,” G-Eazy told the U.K.’s Weekly Standard.

The 29-year-old put that advice to practice on his third studio album, The Beautiful & Damned, coupling his low-key flows with introspective storytelling about the risks of addiction and the sacrifices that come with fame. Those vulnerable expressions resonated with his loyal fan base, sending the album to No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts. G-Eazy’s not all about cautionary tales, though. He’s still plenty interested in good times and playing the role of heartthrob, as heard on his hit single “No Limit” alongside Cardi B and A$AP Rocky. This month’s Phoenix date is the latest stop of the Endless Summer Tour tour, which also features buzzing up-and-comers Trippie Redd and Phora. Mikel Galicia

Jeffrey Paradise (left) and Filip Nikolic of Poolside.EXPAND
Jeffrey Paradise (left) and Filip Nikolic of Poolside.
Chris Juare

Stateside Sweet 16 Birthday Bash
Saturday, August 4
The Van Buren

The company that brought us Valley Bar, Crescent Ballroom, and The Van Buren is turning 16 on Saturday, August 4. So it’s time to party at the Stateside Sweet 16 Birthday Bash. DJs Sean Watson, A Claire Slattery and Stoneypie will start the night off by spinning dance tracks from MGMT, The Weeknd, the xx, Passion Pit, and Childish Gambino. This will be followed by a live performance from the band Poolside. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Will there be cake? Duh. Carnival games? It’s a given. Doors are at 7 p.m. Admission for the 21-and-up event is $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. Lindsay Roberts

Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb
Juan Patino

Lisa Loeb
Saturday, August 4
Musical Instrument Museum

If you can’t beat ’em, sell ’em. Some artists find their images stifling, and the thought of projecting and maintaining a “personal brand” chafes them. But others know how to lean into the quirks that make them stand out. Lisa Loeb is one of the latter.

Immediately recognizable for the cat-eye glasses she wore in her “Stay” music video, Loeb has embraced her image as America’s singing librarian. She even has her own line of signature eyewear. While she’s best known for her contribution to the Reality Bites soundtrack, there’s a lot more to Lisa Loeb than “Stay (I Missed You).” She’s released a string of best-selling records like Tails and Firecracker, full of memorable moments and distorted guitars.

In addition to cutting her own albums, Loeb is also a busy entertainer onstage and in Hollywood. She co-wrote a musical called Camp Kappawanna, co-starred in a Food Network show with Dweezil Zappa called Dweezil and Lisa, and has worked as a voiceover artist on TV and in film. She’s also released a few children’s music albums, where her sweet voice is a natural fit for lullabies and sing-alongs. Ashley Naftule

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour
Saturday, August 4
Symphony Hall

Even if you are nerdy enough to own every iteration of the Kingdom Hearts video game and its soundtrack, you may want to buy your tickets for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour, like, right now. Original soundtrack composer Yoko Shimomura will be headed to Symphony Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 4. A full orchestra will be playing fan favorites such as “Dearly Beloved” and “Simple and Clean.” Tickets start at $49. Lindsay Roberts

Hop Along
Hop Along
Tonje Thilesen

Hop Along
Saturday, August 4
Crescent Ballroom

Frances Quinlan has a voice like a feral cat: It never does what you expect it to do. Her voice gives Hop Along’s songs a unstable, mutable energy. From howls and croons to raspy whispers, Quinlan’s voice hops up and down her register. She treats her melodies like lumps of clay that she’s trying to stretch to their limit.

Hop Along was originally a freak-folk solo project for Quinlan. Writing and performing songs while she was still in high school, Quinlan quickly developed a following and recruited her brother Mark on drums. Signing to Saddle Creek Records, Hop Along have released four albums, each one building on and refining the earnest, driving sound of Quinlan’s songs.

2018’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog fleshes out Hop Along’s sound by layering strings, Rhodes pianos, backing vocals, and gorgeous filigrees of guitar work on top of Quinlan’s dog-gnawing-on-a-bone singing. While the music is more knotty and intricate, Quinlan’s poetic lyrics are as thoughtful and poetic as ever. She has a knack for seeing through the eyes of others, whether it’s a frustrated waitress or troubled folk singer Jackson C. Frank. Quinlan knows how to hop along in someone else’s shoes. Ashley Naftule

Shooter Jennings
Shooter Jennings
Courtesy of Big Hassle Media

Shooter Jennings
Sunday, August 5
The Rebel Lounge

If we truly do learn by osmosis, then it was in the cards for Shooter Jennings to be a killer musician. Born Waylon Albright Jennings to country music legends Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings, he was surrounded as a child by fearless crooners like Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. He started his career early on, learning piano at age eight and guitar at 14. In mid-‘90s, he recorded an album with his father called Fenixon, and since then, he’s blasted out a number of releases that exemplify his love of outlaw country.

Aside from his astute musicianship, it’s his raw vocals – deliberate, low-toned, and full of pointed lyrics – that get you in their grip. Whether he’s feeling the heartbreak and letting it out so listeners can share in the devastation, or he’s simply caught in a rage, he drives it home with an unflinching, gravely drawl. Jennings is also not one to shy away from experimentation: he occasionally adds a psychedelic or hard rock twist to his sounds. He’s about to drop his new record, Shooter, on August 10, so if you’re headed to the show, keep your ears open for some new tunes. Amy Young

Hip-hop icon Rick Ross.EXPAND
Hip-hop icon Rick Ross.
Ticketmaster

Rick Ross
Sunday, August 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

While William Roberts II, more famously known as Rick Ross, seems to have been continually assailed by medical issues over the past handful of months, it seemingly hasn’t slowed him down one bit. His 10th studio album, Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill, dropper earlier this year and his entrée into the world of male beauty products was even well received, if only for the hilarity of ingredients like champagne and caviar extract.

A former corrections officer, Ross’ debut Port of Miami topped the charts in 2006 as Ross’s bossy baritone became a staple of the naughty oughties’ strip clubs and lowriders. None of his albums have failed to debut within the top six of the Billboard 200 chart, so like it or not, he’s a rap icon with plenty of gas left in the tank. At 42 and with a successful Wing Stop franchise to fall back on, Ross continues to entertain and innovate. Nicholas Bostick

Mr. Frenkie and Dima Demian of Phlegmatic Dogs.EXPAND
Mr. Frenkie and Dima Demian of Phlegmatic Dogs.
Courtesy of Night Bass

Phlegmatic Dogs
Sunday, August 5
Shady Park in Tempe

These dogs don’t bite, but they definitely bounce. The dance music duo of Dima Demian and Mr. Frenkie, a.k.a. Phlematic Dogs, create bass house tracks infused with crunchy warbles that bound along with energy. Since debuting in 2010, they’ve put out three EPs via AC Slater's Night Bass label that are filled with said sounds, including the recently released (and aptly named) No Cats.

The pair will headline this weekend’s TreeHouse Sunday at Shady Park in Tempe on Sunday, August 5. Local DJs like Briggs, Dylan Heckert, and Savagez will provide support. Doors are at 3 p.m. and Admission is $10 to $20. Benjamin Leatherman

Barefoot & Pregnant will rise and shine on Sunday morning to celebrate the repeal of Arizona's blue laws.
Barefoot & Pregnant will rise and shine on Sunday morning to celebrate the repeal of Arizona's blue laws.
Courtesy of Barefoot & Pregnant

Valley Fever's Rooster Club
Sunday, August 5
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

As regressive and arbitrary as the Arizona State Legislature can be, it achieved a moment of clarity in 2010 when it repealed Arizona’s blue laws, which allowed liquor sales on Sundays before 10 o’clock in the morning. You can celebrate the seventh anniversary of this victory for both Arizona’s name and good sense at 6 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe during the annual Rooster Club hootenanny. The promoters behind long-running country music night Valley Fever put on the event each August and this year’s lineup includes performances by Barefoot & Pregnant, Flathead, and other local acts. There’s also a Bloody Mary bar, breakfasts specials, and no cover.

Blue laws, also referred to as Sunday laws, date back to colonial times. The idea was that immoral activities such as gambling, alcohol sales, and pagan sacrifices should not be permitted on Sundays, for obvious religious reasons. And when the blue laws came off the books, Valley Fever founder and DJ Dana Armstrong celebrated the repeal with friends — the "original" Rooster Club.

She and Monicque Faber (of Barefoot & Pregnant) came up with the idea for an official event full of drinks, music, and the strict door time of 6 a.m. "I’m treating it like it’s 6 p.m., because when you go in [Yucca Tap] and the doors close, it’s like a time warp. When the doors are closed and it’s daytime, it could be any time," Armstrong told Phoenix New Times in 2015. Well, except the distant, sobering time of the blue laws, that is. Stephanie Chen

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