The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Pitbull is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, October 17, at the Arizona State Fair.
Pitbull is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, October 17, at the Arizona State Fair.
Courtesy of RCA Records

You really oughta get out of the house right now. The weather couldn’t be any more ideal these days and there’s plenty to do around the Valley, including a lot of great shows.

To wit: This week’s concert calendar features gigs by such notable names as rock legend Graham Nash, Latin hip-hop king Pitbull, punk/indie rock band Screaming Females, alt-metal group System of a Down, R&B act Rhye, and thrash metal titans Anthrax.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley this week. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Rock 'n' roll legend Graham Nash.
Rock 'n' roll legend Graham Nash.
Amy Grantham

Graham Nash
Monday, October 15
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Of all the hits that Graham Nash has written in his 50-plus years as a professional musician (and there are a lot of hits), his defining and most popular one is likely “Teach Your Children.” Clocking in at just under three minutes, the gentle ode to intergenerational education and the passing on of life experiences from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1969 album Déjà Vu is also a favorite audience singalong when performed live.

“Teach Your Children” – along with a raft of Graham Nash songs recorded with CSN, Crosby/Nash, CSNY, and solo – are featured on the new anthology Over the Years. But it’s the bonus disc of the original demos of many of those songs and other different ones that has caught the attention of listeners. Spare, and often just featuring Nash’s voice with elegant piano or acoustic guitar accompaniment, some of them differ in lyrics and tempo from the final versions that have been implanted in the brains of classic rock fans for decades.

Nash is also hitting the road, with guitarist/vocalist Shane Fontayne and keyboardist/vocalist Todd Caldwell in tow. He says that this means they’ll change up the setlist from his last stop in Phoenix years ago, and can now sing with three-part harmony. And it won’t be the same tunes from night to night. “The truth is, I’ve written a lot of songs!” he laughs. Bob Ruggiero

The members of punk band Alkaline Trio.EXPAND
The members of punk band Alkaline Trio.
Epitaph Records

Alkaline Trio
Tuesday, October 16
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Long before he stepped in for UFO-obsessed Tom DeLonge in Blink-182, Matt Skiba had Alkaline Trio. Although the world has heard more out of Blink-182 for the past few years, Skiba wisely kept his other band going. The trio is touring behind their newest album, the 13-track effort Is This Thing Cursed?, and has a stop scheduled for October 16 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Expect another delightful night of bruised pop-punk with this band. Their tunes have withstood trends in pop-punk, and they speak to the angry teenager and the confused adult. Eric Grubbs

Mike Milosh of Rhye.EXPAND
Mike Milosh of Rhye.
Genevieve Medow Jenkins

Tuesday, October 16
The Van Buren

Six years ago, a mysterious R&B group suddenly appeared out of thin air to woo and capture the hearts of music journalists everywhere. A few months later, in 2013, they released their debut LP, Woman, and there was hardly a soul unmoved or a libido unaroused. The hype grew, and even Pitchfork, an outlet that famously hates everything worth loving, gave the record an astonishing 8.5 in its review.

Rhye, the band behind Woman and most likely a few unplanned pregnancies, was revealed to be a pair of first-time collaborators: Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal of Quadron and Canadian singer/songwriter Michael Milosh. The combination of sparse, jazzy, and elegant synths with Milosh’s evocatively androgynous contralto (reminiscent of Sade) made it one of the year’s best albums.

These days, Milosh is the sole mastermind behind the project. Despite the rave reviews Woman received, Milosh still struggled to get support from his label and has remained largely independent, both as a solo artist and with Rhye. His lyrics have always been intensely intimate and sensual. And it turns out every song is as personal as it seems. Angel Melendez

Experimental rock act This Will Destroy You.EXPAND
Experimental rock act This Will Destroy You.
Veronika Reinart

This Will Destroy You
Tuesday, October 16
The Rebel Lounge

This Will Destroy You creates music that was originally pegged as too similar to Explosions in the Sky. Since their third LP, Tunnel Blanket, they've made their own sound, mixing Animal Collective influences and others that don't make you say Texas Forever. With a new rhythm section in hand, the four-piece have a brand new album out called New Others Part One. They will return to the Valley this week for a show at The Rebel Lounge, a place that's a perfect fit for them. You have to let their music slowly seep into your bones, and it creates a feeling you can't really get with another band out there. Eric Grubbs

Screaming FemalesEXPAND
Screaming Females
Girlie Action

Screaming Females
Tuesday, October 16
The Trunk Space

Indie band Screaming Females have spent the better of a decade making the music they want to make. Hallmarked by chaotic tonal and genre shifts in the middle of songs ranging from pop breakdowns to jazz bridges, their music has always been a little frenetic, but their most recent album, All At Once, finds them sharpened and more focused. The album feels like a whole thought, a complete line of thinking that began with 2015’s Rose Mountain, their first endeavor with Minus The Bear’s Matt Bayles.

“The first time we went in to the studio with Matt, it was the first time we worked with a producer, period. We’ve always just sort of done it ourselves,” says frontwoman Marissa Paternoster. Still, nobody steered them towards the concentrated and anthemic power pop songs that pepper the album. Screaming Females' obstinate and unabashed commitment to their sound has everything to do with their roots. They hail from the underground punk scene in New Jersey, before the time of Facebook.

The band has achieved a level of success few bands with its background have, with All At Once featuring Fugazi’s Brandon Canty on the drum, a 2012 album produced by Steve Albini, performances with Ted Leo and collaborations with Garbage’s Shirley Manson. “We never thought we would be working with some of our most influential musicians growing up, but when it was happening, it didn’t really change anything about who we are and what we do," Paternoster said. "We were never going to let that change us.” Taylor Frantum

System of a Down
Tuesday, October 16
Talking Stick Resort Arena

These Armenian-American genre-benders are perhaps the ultimate déjà vu delight for Hotmail-era heshers. The only act on the planet that could both headline Ozzfest and serve as Borat's wedding band, they marry death metal's vomitoid guitars and Iron Maiden's galloping melodrama to imploring Old World harmonies and a twinkling, folksy embrace. It's possible that they're just touring again for the money (particularly since they haven’t released an album more than a decade) and probable that they'll play no new material, but so long as they make that sound, no one will even care. Paul Rogers

Pitbull in concert in 2015.EXPAND
Pitbull in concert in 2015.
Ken Hamblin.

Wednesday, October 17
Arizona State Fair

The one, the only Pitbull (a.k.a. “Mr. 305” and “Mr. Worldwide”) is coming to the Valley for the annual Arizona State Fair. The Miami-born rapper has been making bangers since I was in the third grade, and while I shouldn’t have been listening to “Shake” or “Culo” at such a tender age, his high-energy music was too good and got everyone dancing. Aside from generating hits, Pitbull has been a businessman and an activist. He stands for Latinos across the globe and advocates for the environment, which makes sense given his “Mr. Worldwide” moniker. Pitbull has even opened his own charter school called Slam in Miami.

It’s the first time Pitbull will be playing the event, but not his first time performing at a state fair. Last month, he did his thing at the California Mid-State Fair. The last time the rapper rolled through town was in June 2017, when he co-headlined a concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena with Enrique Iglesias. Fans of his music and folks who love to party can expect nothing less than a good time when he steps onstage at the fair on Wednesday. Get ready to shake your culos. Julio Lugo and Benjamin Leatherman

Monster Magnet
Wednesday, October 17
The Rebel Lounge

They don't make too many rock bands like Monster Magnet anymore, but maybe they don't need to. Such clear descendants of Deep Purple you can almost see the smoke on the water – though we bet "Highway Star" is more their speed – Dave Wyndorf's New Jersey-based marauders love good drugs, fast women and (strangely enough) science fiction. No matter the subject, though, Monster Magnet hammers their songs home with some of the tastiest, most righteous hard rock of the past 20 years.

You probably remember them from 1998's "Space Lord" (motherfucker), but after a period off exploring other galaxies, Monster Magnet is right back in your face with more recent albums like 2013’s Last Patrol and this year’s Mindfucker. With Electric Citizen and Dark Sky Choir. Chris Gray

Anthrax is scheduled to perform on Thursday, October 18, at the Arizona State Fair.EXPAND
Anthrax is scheduled to perform on Thursday, October 18, at the Arizona State Fair.
Jimmy Hubbard

Thursday, October 18
Arizona State Fair

One of the Big Four of thrash metal, Anthrax was formed in 1981 by Scott Ian and Danny Lilker. It wasn't until a few lineup changes later that the act hit its stride with the addition of talented vocalist Joey Belladonna in 1985. Long before it became fashionable, Anthrax introduced elements of hip-hop into its music with its landmark 1987 album, Among the Living, and the band went on to record songs with Public Enemy and UTFO. Beyond a healthy sense of humor, Anthrax had that rare combination of impressive musical chops and imagination. The outfit's 1993 album, The Sound of White Noise, which featured John Bush on vocals, included the song "Black Lodge." A collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti, the tune made for some of the creepiest moments in the history of metal. Tom Murphy

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