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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Bob Moses is scheduled to perform on Thursday, October 25, at The Van Buren.
Bob Moses is scheduled to perform on Thursday, October 25, at The Van Buren.
Paradigm Talent Agency

In the mood for some live music this week? If so, you've definitely got a variety of choices at your disposal. You could check out gigs by soul/gospel/folk act Nate Rateliff and the Night Sweats, spend an evening with electronica duos Bob Moses and Thievery Corporation, or soak up the blues and soul sounds of Boz Scaggs

This week’s concert offerings also include the chance to see rappers from both the old school (Aceyalone) and new school (Denzel Curry) or rock out with former Misfits member Michale Graves.

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.

Blues and soul singer-songwriter Boz Scaggs.EXPAND
Blues and soul singer-songwriter Boz Scaggs.
Chris Phelps

Boz Scaggs
Monday, October 22
Celebrity Theatre

Throughout his lengthy recording career — now clocking in at five decades — Boz Scaggs has been a tireless sonic alchemist whose output is the epitome of musical amalgamation. While best known for the blue-eyed soul and dance grooves of the monstrously successful 1976 Silk Degrees record, a casual listen to his discography also shows dips in the waters of blues, R&B, jazz, crooning, Latin, and rock styles.

On his last effort, this year's Out of the Blues, Scaggs completed a trilogy of albums that started with 2013’s Memphis and 2015’s A Fool to Care. A collaboration with friend and fellow musician Jack "Applejack" Walroth, Out of the Blues features a collection of blues-oriented tracks that cover such artists as Neil Young, Magic Sam, and Jimmy Reed. After its release this summer, the album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s blues rankings, proving that Scaggs ain’t done making chart-topping hits just yet. Bob Ruggiero

Thievery Corporation are punks without guitars.
Thievery Corporation are punks without guitars.
John Shore

Thievery Corporation
Monday, October 22
Marquee Theatre

“Thievery Corporation is a punk-rock band.” So says Eric Hill, one half of the decidedly not-punk-rock-band Thievery Corporation. Along with his longtime partner, Rob Garza, he has crafted 10 full-length records of lush electronica that melds worldbeat with acid jazz and trip-hop.

Still, this punk-rock declaration isn’t as wild as it first appears. Hill explains that it’s the rebellious spirit of Washington, D.C., his hometown and the birthplace of the band, that inspired both punk and Thievery Corporation. Like the experimental-rock bands of yesteryear, he and Garza have fused unlikely musical partners to produce ethereal and stylish jams that are at home both in a coffee shop and a giant tent at a sprawling EDM festival.

Yet a live Thievery Corporation show is a massive production with dozens of moving parts. “Our show is quite surprising to people who know Thievery and have never seen us, because it’s not a DJ show — it’s a live band, and it’s quite a lot of players. We have bass, guitars, drums, horns, percussion, Rob, myself, and then like five or six singers.” It’s a humble description at best. Angel Melendez

Denzel Curry's rapping is superhuman.EXPAND
Denzel Curry's rapping is superhuman.
Stian Roenning

Denzel Curry
Wednesday, October 24
Club Red in Mesa

Just before the volcano that is Miami’s SoundCloud rap scene blew up across the nation thanks to guys like Lil Pump and XXXtentacion, Denzel Curry stoked the flames. The rapper, a native of the tough Carol City neighborhood, gained fame in 2015 thanks to his explosive song “Ultimate” and the Vine meme that spawned from it a year later. The track, featuring combative bars about Dragonball Z characters and Lord Infamous (R.I.P.), was also an early showcase for producer Ronny J, whose blown-out beat perfectly matched Curry’s amped-up energy.

“Ultimate” however, might as well be a small town swallowed up the pyroclastic flow of Curry’s new album, 2018’s TA13OO. Split between three “acts” — light, gray, and dark — and incorporating production from Ronny J, Charlie Heat, Billie Eilish, and DJ Dahi among others, the record is high-concept and bold, tackling themes of police brutality, mental health, and music industry fuckery with the force of a linebacker. Curry’s rapping is vicious and the features from equally-aggressive hip-hop up-and-comers like JPEGMAFIA, Goldlink, and J.I.D are no less ferocious. Douglas Markowitz

Troye Sivan in concert.
Troye Sivan in concert.
Mike Brooks

Troye Sivan
Wednesday, October 24
Comerica Theatre

Many people associate Troye Sivan, a South African who grew up in Australia, with YouTube. He gained significant acclaim from putting out videos on the site, even winning a Teen Choice Award for a collaboration with fellow YouTuber Tyler Oakley. However, he started his musical career, which he’s more known for now, when he performed at the Channel Seven Perth Telethon, a charity event, in 2006. He even released an EP, Dare to Dream, when he was 12 years old. But his musical career wouldn’t really take off until years later, after he had already accumulated millions of subscribers YouTube.

In 2013, he signed to a music label housed under Universal Music Australia. Now he’s a bona fide superstar, performing at Radio City Music Hall and Washington D.C.’s Pride celebration. Through his music, and simply his existence as an out-and-proud pop star, he has become a voice for many LGBTQ+ youth who relate to his struggles and the hardships portrayed in his music videos. He’s also appearing in Boy Erased, a film about a boy who is forced to attend a gay conversion camp, which will be released November. With his focus on important social messages and easy pop ballads, his show is sure to be an entertaining one. Angelica Cabral

Michale Graves
Wednesday, October 24
Club Red in Mesa

The second incarnation of genre-defining horror-punk band the Misfits was (and probably always will be) a polarizing thing for punk-rock fans, but one thing that was never really in question was whether the band's second singer, Michale Graves, was anything but a true talent. An athletic vocalist and electrifying frontman, Graves never quite got due credit amid the in-fighting and drama that has plagued the Misfits organization since the band originally split in the '80s. While a version of Misfits endures as an embarrassing shell of that band's former glory, Graves has kept extremely busy since his tenure with the group ended in the '90s, and he's back again with a couple of new records, last year’s Backroads and The World Turned Upside Down, as well as his current tour, all of which will speak to any fan about what made the Misfits so essential. David Von Bader

Alternative hip-hop artist Aceyalone.
Alternative hip-hop artist Aceyalone.
Courtesy of Bionik Music

Wednesday, October 24
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

If language were a virus, then L.A. rapper Aceyalone would be one of the sickest men ever to touch a mic. Whether pioneering the art of modern freestyle in the late '80s as part of Freestyle Fellowship or releasing classic underground albums such as 1998's A Book of Human Language and 2003's Love and Hate, Aceyalone has built one of the most impressive portfolios in all of hip-hop.

In many ways, he's the Jimi Hendrix of rap: spitting tongue-twisting, multisyllabic raps that are both mesmerizing and utterly exhausting. His literate and intricate style has served as a blueprint for an entire generation of underground warriors. And his live shows, which include not only a rundown of his hits but also extended freestyle ciphers, are among the most exciting and unpredictable in the business. Samuel Chennault

Bob Moses in concert in 2016.
Bob Moses in concert in 2016.
Miles Chrisinger

Bob Moses
Thursday, October 25
The Van Buren

It was a long journey for Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie, the electronic duo now known as Bob Moses, to start making music together. It was a journey that involved them crossing international borders, reuniting unexpectedly in a Lowe's parking lot, and eventually recording together in a renovated candle factory in Brooklyn.

Vallance, who holds down keyboards for the duo, had been interested in different styles of electronic music growing up, citing ’90s crossover artists like Chemical Brothers and Moby. Howie on the other hand, who plays guitar and sings in the group, went more the singer-songwriter route. A desire to be a part of the music scene brought Vallance and Howie, each on their own path, to New York. This is where the fabled Lowe's parking-lot meeting would occur, the coincidence of which prompted the two to start writing together at Vallance's apartment. Their styles blended harmoniously; Howie describes their first sessions together as "creative fireworks."

After dubbing themselves "Bob Moses" after Robert Moses, the city planner responsible for New York landmarks like Shea Stadium, the two started churning out material and released three EPs from 2012 to 2014. Their style is an interesting divergence from most electronic dance music, with energy coming from space rather than sound. Their songs are mainly driven by the low end, usually with a thumping bass or beat that eventually swells to a peak. This leaves space for Howie's vocals and guitar to shine through. "We felt like songs hadn't really been written in the genre the way that we wanted to hear," says Vallance. John Nicholl

Nate Rateliff and all the members of the Night Sweats are headed to this year's fair.EXPAND
Nate Rateliff and all the members of the Night Sweats are headed to this year's fair.
Malia James

Nate Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Thursday, October 25
Arizona State Fair

At this stage of his career, Nathaniel Rateliff is a man who requires absolutely no preamble — his reputation precedes him. The soul/gospel/folk singer-songwriter and Denver native has been involved in various projects of both a solo and group nature (including performing as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel and his current stint with the Night Sweats) since debuting in 2015. Although Rateliff has one of the most silken voices around, on these vintage-flavored, horn-bolstered soul songs, he sings with a fervent abandon that adds an unexpected but completely gratifying layer of depth and expressiveness. Later this month, Rateliff and the Night Sweats will stage their first-ever performance at the Arizona State Fair. As is the case with all concerts at the event, admission is free. Dave Herrera

Punk stalwarts Agent Orange.
Punk stalwarts Agent Orange.
John Leach

Agent Orange and UK Subs
Thursday, October 25
Club Red in Mesa

Though birthed in the dysfunctional cradle of the Southern California hardcore scene, Agent Orange never stuck to convention. Although the group's debut, Living in Darkness, contained the instant punk-rock classic "Bloodstains," the outfit's influential sound is equal parts hardcore, power pop, and surf rock. At heart, though, as evidenced by its ferociously fun live shows, Agent Orange is really nothing less than an outstandingly entertaining rock 'n' roll band.

The group's influence can be still be heard in many of the punk bands that followed in its wake. Though never as commercially successful as its followers – like the Offspring – Agent Orange has nonetheless maintained its underground credibility. Touring consistently since the early '80s, Fullerton's favorite sons make a great case for sticking with what you do best. Never ones to follow contemporary fashion, the members of Agent Orange have found their own musical formula, which is, well, killer.

You can catch the band doing their thing this week at the Yucca Tap Room along with similarly iconic punk acts UK Subs and Guttermouth. Doors are at 6 p.m. and tickets are $21. Dave Herrera

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Saintseneca's Zac Little
Saintseneca's Zac Little
Nick Fancher

Thursday, October 25
Valley Bar

As the frontman and creative center of Saintseneca, Zac Little has many talents as a songwriter. He’s as adept at crafting a clever turn of phrase as he is at arranging rousing folk-punk harmonies. But what sets him apart from so many of his peers is his knack for mixing the metaphysical with the mundane. “38 dollars on The Book Of The Dead felt steep/Oh, but then again / How do you put a price on ancient wisdom,” he muses on 2017’s “Book Of The Dead On Sale.” Saintseneca know how to bring transcendence and theology down to earth.

Formed in 2007 in Columbus, Saintseneca has gone through a few lineup changes over the course of four studio albums and three EPs. Little, an earnest and laconic storyteller who makes jewelry in his spare time, has been the nucleus of the ever-shifting group. Over the last few years, a core group of collaborators has solidified around: All Dogs/Yowler musician Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek of The Sidekicks, Jon Meador, Matt O’Conke, and producer Mike Mogis (whose been an old hand behind the board for groups like Bright Eyes, Cursive, The Faint, and Tilly and The Wall).

At times, Little’s voice is reminiscent of The Decembrists’ Colin Meloy. But while Meloy comes off as the world’s biggest theater kid, Little’s vibe on record casts him as the misfit who cuts out of class to smoke cigarettes in the stairwell and talks your ear off about Ouija boards and Alan Watts paperbacks. Aside from Little’s voice as the band’s lead singer and songwriter, one of the other constants behind Saintseneca is their ragtag blend of electronics and folk-instrumentation. Synths chime alongside bouzouki, hammered dulcimers, violin, cellos, strings, percussion, and guitars. Ashley Naftule

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