Emo Night PHX patrons.
Emo Night PHX patrons.
Jim Louvau

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

It's going to be a week of music legends here in the Valley. That's because a variety of iconic and influential musicians – including Arlo Guthrie, Chick Corea, and Martin Sexton – all have concerts happening at local venues over the next few nights.

Other notable shows and music events happening around town this week include gigs by Latin pop singer Romeo Santos, burgeoning rap star Maxo Kream, infamous metal act Prong, and jazz/funk jam band Galactic.

Details about each of these events can be found below in our rundown of the best concerts in the Valley this weekend. And for even more live music happening at local venues, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Rap star Maxo Kream.
Rap star Maxo Kream.
Greg Noire

Michael Schenker Fest
Monday, March 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Rock-indoctrinated at an early age by brother Rudolf, a founding member of German hard-rock heroes the Scorpions, Michael Schenker quickly proved himself to be something of a guitar prodigy, landing lead duty in his brother's band as a young teen. His initial Scorpions tenure was short-lived; he jumped ship at the invitation of British space-metalers UFO a short two years after recording Scorpions' debut album. While Schenker's harder guitar sound contributed to UFO's waxing popularity, he drank his way out of the band inside of five years, eventually returning to the Scorpions' fold for one year and one album.

Then, with the guitarist preferring the complete control of an eponymous project, came the Michael Schenker Group. In 1984, the Scorpions hit it big with quintessential '80s cock-rocker "Rock You Like a Hurricane," while Schenker's group struggled for chart success. Since then, though, Schenker (a longtime resident of the Valley) has rejoined both of his previous bands several times while continuing to ply his craft both solo and in projects like MSG and his current gig, the Michael Schenker Fest. Nicholas J. Hall

Patrons of Emo Night PHX.EXPAND
Patrons of Emo Night PHX.
Jim Louvau

Maxo Kream
Monday, March 26
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

To many people, Maxo Kream might seem like a new rapper, even though he’s been building his name since the beginning of the decade. A native of Houston, he started performing while still attending high school, including a stint with rap group Kream Clicc. Maxo skyrocketed to fame after he dropped a remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Rigamortus" on YouTube in 2011 that went viral. A slew of mixtapes followed, including, Retro Card, Quicc Strikes, and 2015's #Maxo187.

These days, Lately, you can catch Maxo hobnobbing with the latest crop of rap stars on both coasts, recording tracks and doing shows. With the smash, "Grannies" – an independently released jam that scored big YouTube and serves as the lead single from his debut album, Punken – he proved once again he’s on top of his game. Camilo Hannibal Smith

Legendary rock guitarist Michael Schenker.
Legendary rock guitarist Michael Schenker.
Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra feat. Chick Corea
Tuesday, March 27
Mesa Arts Center

Since getting his start playing gigs in high school, Chick Corea has gone on to release dozens of outstanding discs under his own name, platters like Now He Sings, Now He Sobs and My Spanish Heart.

After playing on Miles Davis's late '60s/early '70s jazz-rock fusion albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, the prodigious and legendary jazz pianist helped propel fusion even more with various incarnations of Return to Forever.

Corea is still doing his thing at the age of 76 and is currently touring with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which he's referred to as “the greatest big band on the planet,” and is performing new reinterpretations of his music at venues across the U.S. This week, the tour comes to the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center for a Tuesday night performance. Jon Solomon

Famed jazz pianist Chick Corea.
Famed jazz pianist Chick Corea.
Courtesy of The Kurland Agency

Galactic
Wednesday, March 28
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

First things first: Galactic is one hell of an instrumental band. Wherever they go, the New Orleans-based group carry the spirit of Mardi Gras with them, and any venue is instantly turned into a block party on Bourbon Street. What makes one of their concerts all the more interesting is the cast of characters not just onstage but in the audience — and the spark of life Galactic seems to ignite in them. And their music and performances are what lights the match.

The band's current touring vocalist, Erica Falls, was made for everything Galactic excels at – funk, jazz, and soul – and her singing is as rich and engaging as the rest of the band. Although each member gets a chance to shine at their concerts, including guitar and drum solos, it's the brass section – saxophonist Ben Ellman and trombone player Corey Henry – that typically put on the most spectacular and showstopping performances.

Galactic is a jam band for all types of dancing, regardless of rhythm or skill and at each of their shows, this group of veteran musicians put on a clinic showing how to do it right and provide the soundtrack to all-night grooving, each fan swaying to the beat of his or her own inner drum. As a matter of fact, Galactic would be welcome most anywhere a free-minded good time was needed. Angel Melendez

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy of The Roots Agency

The Limit Club
Wednesday, March 28
Rips Ales & Cocktails

It has to be said: The Arizona music scene suffers from a severe lack of spookiness. Perhaps it's the overabundance of sunshine or scarcity of graveyards, but in the greater Phoenix area, it's hard to get rocked in that "this music could very well be sucking the blood from your major arteries" sort of way. Thankfully, The Limit Club is more than willing to carry the Phoenix gothabilly torch through zombie-infested catacombs and into your wildest dreams — er, nightmares.

Guitarist/vocalist Nick Feratu has been crafting eerily danceable tunes since 2005, citing a broad spectrum of influences from The Damned to Ricky Nelson to Nick Cave. Since the band's first full-length album, God Damn The Limit Club (2007), Feratu and a lineup of backing musicians he's recruited over the years for the band (which is currently a foursome) have been touring relentlessly and spreading gothabilly terror across the land. Adriane Goetz

Galactic is bringing their jams to the Marquee in Tempe this week.EXPAND
Galactic is bringing their jams to the Marquee in Tempe this week.
Courtesy of Anti Records

Romeo Santos
Thursday, March 29
Talking Stick Resort Arena

In the world of Latin music, where every note is sensual and passionate, the genre known as bachata embodies that heat exactly. And only a supremely confident and charismatic personality can hold court as “El Rey de La Bachata,” the title held by Romeo Santos.

With the group Aventura, the Bronx-born Santos helped redefine and modernize bachata, updating its traditional Dominican elements with dashes of pop, hip-hop and R&B. Santos has continued to charm his fans as a solo artist with smooth tracks about love and lust. His most recent album, 2017's Golden, features a mix of reggaeton and tropical beats and welcomes superstar guests like Daddy Yankee, Julio Iglesias, Swizz Beatz, and Nicky Jam. Santos will be in the Valley this week for a gig at Talking Stick Resort Arena in support of the album, which has already gone quadruple platinum. Marco Torres

Martin SextonEXPAND
Martin Sexton
Courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum

Prong
Thursday, March 29
Club Red in Mesa

Long ago, Prong mutated into its own musical entity, untouched by the concept of selling out, turned on by underground clubs and sweaty mosh pits, pulsating and spreading outward with dissonant hard-hitting riffs and amplified distortion.

Founder and frontman Tommy Victor has always been all about the dedicated fan base, celebrating the ignorance of the mainstream, growing more hard-edge and pissed off every year. Which is exactly how their fans like it. Lauren Wise

The current lineup of The Limit Club.
The current lineup of The Limit Club.
Heyooooo Photos

Martin Sexton
Thursday, March 29
Musical Instrument Museum

Martin Sexton is a singer's singer. Whereas most male vocalists are tethered by timbre to a particular style, Sexton bends his voice with the fluid flexibility of a skilled instrumentalist, adapting to fit his frequent stylistic tangents with aplomb. An instrumental analogy is apt, as Sexton is equally likely to employ his vocal cords for nonverbal effect.

For a lesser vocalist, it would be a dangerous enterprise, at best, to make such frequent use of potentially contrived-sounding techniques like scat singing, whistling, and (most alarmingly) vocal simulation of actual instruments. Sexton does it so casually and effectively, though, that it never feels out of place or affected.

He's no slouch with an actual instrument, either, frequently relying on an acoustic guitar as backup to his vocal shenanigans. The guitar becomes an extension of his voice (or vice versa), and the two share the duty — and the spotlight — with equal verve and charm. Nick Hall

Singer Romeo Santos, also known as the king of bachata.
Singer Romeo Santos, also known as the king of bachata.
Marco Torres

Arlo Guthrie
Thursday, March 29
Mesa Arts Center

As the son of "the patron saint of protest and the man who inspired generations of young men like Bob Dylan to pick up their guitars and rail against injustice," Arlo Guthrie, like his father, Woody, has never been — as pointed out by our sister paper Miami New Times — "about the range or perfection of his singing voice or technical ability as a guitar player. Heck, it really isn't even about his songwriting, though he writes good ones. Arlo's primary offering is his ability to entertain while making meaningful statements."

And this week, the singer will be at the Mesa Arts Center along with his offspring Abe and Sarah Lee as a part of the “Re:Generation Tour,” which will feature the three performing various Guthrie family tunes going back to Woody's heyday. And, of course, that includes Arlo's always popular trademark hit, “Alice's Restaurant.” Laurie Charles

Singer Romeo Santos, also known as the king of bachata.
Singer Romeo Santos, also known as the king of bachata.
Marco Torres

Emo Night PHX
Thursday, March 29
The Rebel Lounge

Scan the roster of bands on the playlists of Daylight Heist, the two-man DJ team composed of Cody Reyher and Joe Strelsky that serve as residents of The Rebel Lounge’s Emo Night PHX, and you’re certain to spot a variety of bands that qualify as emo. And they’re united more by feel and appeal than actual musical style. And perhaps that’s why the emo designation endures. Beyond its stylistic signifiers (octave chords, crybaby lyrics), emo has always been whatever its listeners ask it to be.

At the latest edition of Emo Night PHX on Thursday, March 29, Daylight Heist will be backed up on the decks by DJ Lazadork and Sad & Boujee. The 21-and-over party starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Jason P. Woodbury

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