The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Sunflower Bean is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 12, at Valley Bar.
Sunflower Bean is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 12, at Valley Bar. Hollie Fernando
Phoenix's concert scene will really heat up this week. And we mean that both figuratively and literally.

As we're sure you're painfully aware, the mercury will keep going up and up. Meanwhile, music venues and concert joints throughout the Valley will host a grip of great shows, especially over the next several nights.

Highlights of this week's concert calendar include gigs by such artists and acts as indie rock trio Sunflower Bean, DJ extraordinaire Nightmares on Wax, R&B freak Har Mar Superstar, techno god Drumcell, and singer-songwriter Jeremy Enigk.

There will also be plenty of hip-hop to be had, courtesy of rappers and groups like Ceschi, Wrekonize, and Flatbush Zombies.

Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more music events happening around town this week, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Jeremy Enigk celebrates the rerelease of his debut solo album with a Phoenix appearance. - COURTESY OF SUB POP RECORDS
Jeremy Enigk celebrates the rerelease of his debut solo album with a Phoenix appearance.
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
Jeremy Enigk
Monday, June 11
The Rebel Lounge

As the one-time leader of acclaimed band Sunny Day Real Estate, Jeremy Enigk put the budding post-grunge emo genre, knowingly or not, on his back, and created a fervent and loyal fan base that would have done just about anything for the guy. Then, the band broke up and Enigk risked being cast out of favor before he resurrected himself as a solo artist.

Now, 22 years after the release of Enigk’s well-loved debut solo album, Return of the Frog Queen, Sub Pop Records is re-releasing the album, and Enigk will be doing a tour to celebrate its epic return. If you haven’t listened to the record, do yourself a favor and give it a spin (or a Spotify, at least), as fans of artists like Syd Barrett, Robyn Hitchcock, and David Bowie, at least for the Bowie-esque production quality, will undoubtedly love it.

Enigk, of course, has gone on to release more records since Frog Queen came out (four to be exact), and will most likely make more, but there is something incredibly special about this particular group of songs, which makes attendance at his upcoming Rebel Lounge show a must for both fans and those who would like to count themselves among the blisteringly cool. Tom Reardon

click to enlarge Shy Boys being not so shy on a park bench. Catch them in a small venue while  you can. - LIBBY ZANDER
Shy Boys being not so shy on a park bench. Catch them in a small venue while you can.
Libby Zander
Shy Boys
Monday, June 11
The Lunchbox

2013’s eponymous debut record by Shy Boys is a shimmering, delightful romp through the territory adjacent to slightly lo-fi shoegaze pop, and a heartsick version of a new Ben Kweller tribute band. You’ve heard something similar before, but not exactly the same, and the Kansas City, Missouri, quartet is sneaky-good at writing catchy riffs that probably started in one of their parents’ basements, before blossoming into what has now become the subtle strength of an underappreciated American working band.

With songs like “And I Am Nervous,” and “Is This Who You Are,” the band build their layered guitars over a capable rhythm section, using a ’60s tinged vocal approach, to drive the title into the listeners’ consciousness until there is no other choice but complete and utter surrender. New music is coming from the band, which you will be able to hear when they grace The Lunchbox with their wonderfully Midwestern presence on June 11. Heck, even if they only play the songs off Shy Boys, it will still be excellent. Tom Reardon

Julio Francisco Ramos, better known as hip-hop artist Ceschi. - DAVID VISNJIC
Julio Francisco Ramos, better known as hip-hop artist Ceschi.
David Visnjic
Tuesday, June 12
Last Exit Live

Few people are as qualified to wax philosophical on the concept of freedom as Julio Francisco Ramos, the musician and independent record label operator known as Ceschi. His adult life has pendulumed between having many personal freedoms stripped away by the state, to having an abundance that demands complete discipline, focus and responsibility.

When Ceschi talks freedom, you should listen.

"The concept of freedom is so malleable and subjective. One of the major things I learned is that, as long as we live within this society, there will be layers of imprisonment. For instance, in prison, we are grateful for being allowed time to step outside and walk around in a yard. That is a privilege for prisoners, not an expected right. Outside of prison bars, we can walk in backyards whenever we want, we can run on beaches, and through forests, and take flights around the world; but, what keeps us from ever attaining total freedom? What are the theoretical prison bars surrounding us at all times?" he posits, then lists some possibilities, like money and laws.

Notions like those are the core of Ceschi's most recent album, 2015's Broken Bone Ballads. The experimental folk rap artist is visiting Phoenix this week to perform songs from it, and a catalog that stretches back to the early 2000s. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

click to enlarge TICKETMASTER
Flatbush Zombies
Tuesday, June 12
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Even diehard rap fans will tell you: There's something about recorded rap music that often doesn't translate well to the stage. It makes sense for a lot of artists; for those who rely on a carefully chosen vocabulary, much of what makes an artist great can get completely lost in a noisy venue. Some rappers are magnetic in the first place because of their personality and energy, such as Flatbush Zombies. The Brooklyn-based act, which rose to fame with the weed-centric "Thug Waffle," will be in town this week for a show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Chris Gray

click to enlarge George Evelyn, better known as Nightmares on Wax. - SEQUOIA ZIFF
George Evelyn, better known as Nightmares on Wax.
Sequoia Ziff
Nightmares on Wax
Tuesday, June 12
Crescent Ballroom

For the uninitiated, "Nightmares on Wax" splashed across a gig poster might conjure to mind the soundtrack from a dark '70s or '80s slasher flick. But for fans of George Evelyn and his many collaborations with N.O.W., the name invokes a lengthy, decade-spanning back catalog of genre-bridging and genre-bending tracks that call to mind a much more laid-back and positively uplifting vibe — especially on the last two full-length albums.

Since 1989, Nightmares on Wax has continued to be a mainstay and one of the most iconic names on the roster of U.K.-based independent record label Warp Records. After releasing numerous notable singles, such as “You Wish,” “Flip Ya Lid” and "Les Nuits," Evelyn established himself as a respected electronic and trip-hop trendsetter, and his down-tempo and trip-hop approach to production creates a unique, influential sound built on numerous genres, including modern jazz, funk, soul, and R&B, as well as hip-hop, acid house, and dub.

A live band on the tour supports Evelyn’s latest full-length release, Shape the Future, a record that conjures on-the-couch vibes paired with positive messages and observations. Daniel Rodrigue
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers