The 14 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

The musicians of Las Cafeteras.
The musicians of Las Cafeteras. Rafael Cardenas
There’s simply no shortage of things to do this weekend.

Thanks to the fact that the Fourth of July is a few days from now, fireworks displays and other patriotic celebrations will be in abundance. Ditto for both pool parties and club parties.

When it comes to concerts and other music events, there’s going to be plenty of those happening as well.

If you’re a hip-hop fan, you can attend the star-studded Sound Splash at the Pressroom or the more locally focused 18th anniversary party for the Avenue of the Arts crew a few miles away at Last Exit Live.

Meanwhile, rock ‘n’ roll will fill the air at outdoor venues on either side of the Valley this weekend. Living legend Carlos Santana will be at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Friday night, and KUPD’s first-ever Mesa Meltdown will bring Powerman 5000 and Stone Sour to Mesa Amphitheatre.

Want to know what else is on tap this weekend? Check out our online listings or peep the following list of the best concerts and music events happening in Phoenix over the next several nights.

click to enlarge Chris Stewart, better known as synth artist Black Marble. - JOSEPH JAGOS
Chris Stewart, better known as synth artist Black Marble.
Joseph Jagos
Friday, June 30
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Carlos Santana is a man at peace with his place in the musical universe. The guitarist and band leader has been performing for nearly 50 years — since the mid-1960s — including a legendary breakout performance at Woodstock. During this time, Santana, has crossed musical idioms from jazz to blues, Latin rock to Indian ragas, soul to funk. Tracks such as "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va," and "Black Magic Woman" have become classic rock radio hits, while later-period songs "Smooth" featuring Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas on vocals and "Maria, Maria" (both from 1999's Supernatural) serve to cement Santana's long-standing appeal and legacy. Having performed with a who's who of musical masters, including Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Tito Puente, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana admits nervousness sharing the stage with others. "Actually, I'm always scared to death," he says with a laugh. Still, Santana acknowledges feeling confident enough to hold his own and offer something unique in any situation. "It's frightening, but I tell myself, I have something they don't have and therefore I am significant and meaningful and they need that," he says. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge There ain't no Fourth of July party like a BroLoaf Fourth of July party. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
There ain't no Fourth of July party like a BroLoaf Fourth of July party.
Benjamin Leatherman
KUPD'S Mesa Meltdown
Friday, June 30
Mesa Amphitheatre

KUPD’s Mesa Meltdown is back for a one-day festival. This year’s edition of the summer rock show features Powerman 5000’s first stop in the Valley since a show at Club Red in January. The headliner is Stone Sour, who will celebrate the release of their new album, Hydrograd, out the same day. Rising Tempe nu metal band Ded will open the show, just before releasing their debut album, Mis•an•thrope, on July 21. They’re no strangers to big crowds, having just played to over 7,000 people at Rock on the Range Festival in Ohio. Still, they look forward to being home before a summer run with Korn and a slew of fests in the fall. It’ll be your last chance to see ’em for a while, but Ded have a few tricks up their sleeves. “We are extending the set a little bit, playing some songs off the record that many of our home town fans haven’t heard yet,” drummer Matthew Reinhard says. Ashley Harris

click to enlarge Animus Complex - COURTESY OF ANIMUS COMPLEX
Animus Complex
Courtesy of Animus Complex
Black Marble, Body of Light & Draa
Friday, June 30
Valley Bar

Were this bill exactly 120 minutes long, you would see that this lineup is a godsend to fans of the ideas and vibes once embodied by bands like the Cure and New Order. This a show for people who have feelings but who don’t necessarily trumpet them to all and sundry. This is a shebang for people who are aware of the anatomy of melancholy, but also inured to it enough to still want to dance. Furthermore, this is a party for people who are a little sensitive to natural light, but not so much that they would require colored contact lenses. Tex Kerschen

click to enlarge One's Prok and the other one is Fitch. - COURTESY OF CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY
One's Prok and the other one is Fitch.
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
What So Not
Friday, June 30
The Pressroom

What So Not began as an electronic-music project in 2011 between Christopher Emerson, who also performs as DJ Emoh Instead, and Harley Streten, who performs solo as Flume. The two hail from Sydney, Australia, and became overnight sensations on the strength of their first EP, 2011’s 7 Dollar Bill. Over the years, they’ve released EDM bangers like “High You Are” and “Jaguar,” collaborated with artists like RL Grime and Action Bronson, and remixed songs from artists such as Major Lazer and Tom Piper. Streten departed the project in early 2015, and Emerson now performs solo under the name What So Not; his latest EP, Divide and Conquer, was released last September to rave reviews. Riley Cowing

click to enlarge Stone Sour headlines KUPD's Mesa Meltdown this weekend. - TRAVIS SHINN
Stone Sour headlines KUPD's Mesa Meltdown this weekend.
Travis Shinn
Animus Complex
Friday, June 30
Club Red in Mesa

Fuzzy atmospherics, soaring melodies, heavy crescendi, riffs tinged with djent and jazz, sludgy breakdowns, vocals ranging from guttural to operatic — these are only a few characteristics you'll find in a track by Phoenix metal quartet Animus Complex. The members hesitantly define the music as progressive metal, but while their ever-evolving style is cutting edge, their influences and technique are classical in style. Animus Complex is a name that aptly describes the group's sound and vision (and, of course, it was inspired by a book about Carl Jung). "Animus is the inner feminine and masculine archetype that is projected onto others. It has a lot to do with attracting people or things based off of thoughts and psychological functioning," says founder/guitarist Jeremy Davis. Lauren Wise

DJ Les735 of the Avenue of the Arts crew. - COURTESY OF LES SIAS
DJ Les735 of the Avenue of the Arts crew.
Courtesy of Les Sias
Robin Schulz
Friday, June 30
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

Robin Schulz is best known for his groovy deep house remix of Mr. Probz’s hit track “Waves,” but his talent for ambient, soulful beats extends beyond his remixes. Schulz produces some of the sleekest deep house around, with a distinctly European vibe (it helps that the vocals on his popular original tracks are in German, his native language). Music is second nature to him, as his father was a DJ spinning in the '80s, and so Schulz has no problem making his tunes sound ethereal and unforced. For any fan of deep house or chill beats, Schulz is coming to Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale to lighten your mood and leave you floating. Sarah Purkrabek

Saturday, July 1
The Pool at Talking Stick Resort

Learning music production and DJing was an obsession for Erick Orrosquieta, better known as Deorro. As a teenager growing up in Southern California, Deorro took the bus four days a week down to Guitar Center, where the employees let him experiment with a display DJ mixer. He was still crossfading from one track to the next until a stranger showed him how to mix tracks and beat-match. Parties led to club nights, and Deorro cultivated a following among house-music enthusiasts. He worked for promoters handing out flyers, and worked his connections until he was booked to play various high-profile gigs. As he carefully built a team around him, it became apparent that the prudent choice would be to give up his onetime dreams of being a trauma surgeon and go with plan B: making music. Six years later, Deorro is an international success story. He’s a regular at EDM’s biggest festivals, and his original productions — many released through his own label, Panda Funk — are staples in his peers' set lists. He may not be saving lives in a hospital, but he’s still safeguarding people in his role as a mentor to the DJ community. Patrick Shannon

Read on for even more concerts and music events happening this weekend, including Sound Splash, BroLoaf’s Annual Patriotic Meltdown, and Las Cafeteras.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.