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The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Khruangbin is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 6, at The Van Buren.EXPAND
Khruangbin is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 6, at The Van Buren.
Mary Kang

Look, whether you like it or not, this week is going to be dominated by Tuesday’s midterm election – and with good reason. It’s certainly going to be the focus of most media outlets (ourselves included) and probably will occupy a large portion of your social media feeds.

Heck, it's even playing a role in our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week, courtesy of the Go Vote 2018: A Concert and Rally on Monday night at The Van Buren.

It sort of goes without saying that you should probably go vote if you’re able to do so, regardless of your political leanings, given the importance of the election. Once that’s done, consider checking out one of the shows happening around the Valley this week.

That includes any of the gigs in the following list, which include performances by Deap Vally, Bettye LaVette, Khruangbin, Death from Above, All Them Witches, and Russ. Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more live music happening locally this week, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Alt-country/Americana rock band Lucero.EXPAND
Alt-country/Americana rock band Lucero.
Dan Ball

Monday, November 5
Crescent Ballroom

Two decades on the road and nine studio albums in the bag, indie-rock band Lucero — consisting of Ben Nichols (lead vocals, guitar), Brian Venable (lead guitar), Roy Berry (drums), John C. Stubblefield (bass) and Rick Steff (keys) — have never been afraid to experiment with their sound. While at their core a rock ‘n’ roll band, the group has had many sonic leanings over the years — country, punk and in recent years, Stax-horns and piano boogie-woogie. That is all but gone with their latest release, Among the Ghosts, with the band steering back to the straight-ahead, Americana rock ‘n’ roll that’s kept them afloat all these years.

Among the Ghosts is raw and dark, with Nichols’ sandpaper voice providing the signature grit that has always been a part of Lucero’s sound. The title track's intro hooks you with a haunting guitar riff that quickly segues into a song of desperation for home with Nichols screaming the chorus fearing that it is too late. Brian Venable’s guitar tones on “Bottom of the Sea” are practically an homage to The Cure, and “Everything Has Changed” has the markings of an Americana radio hit. The 10 songs that make up the record were all written within a year of one another, which gives the record a more cohesive vibe.

You’re likely to hear all of these songs when Lucero visits the Valley this week for a Monday night show at the Crescent Ballroom to promote the album. Local alt-country band American Longspurs opens. Cody Starr

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
Courtesy of PAO

Go Vote 2018: A Concert and Rally
Monday, November 5
The Van Buren

We’re just a day removed from what well may be the most important midterm elections in our lifetime. The stakes have never been higher for convincing folks to turn out on November 6. It's why every other billboard in town has been plastered with that potent four-letter word – "VOTE" – and all your friends on social media have been constantly reminding everyone on their feeds to perform their civic duty on Tuesday.

The fine folks at The Van Buren want to get in on the democratic process, too. That’s why they’re putting together an ambitious evening of performances on Monday, November 5, the eve of Election Day, called Go Vote 2018: A Concert and Rally. Hometown heroes Gin Blossoms will be headlining the evening and fellow kings and queens of the AZ scene Calexico and Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra will also be bringing the noise along with Mariachi Pasion.

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, will also be making an appearance at the rally. Proceeds from the show will benefit Giffords: Courage To Fight Gun Violence. If the prospects of hearing some great tunes and donating to a worthy cause aren’t already enticing enough reasons to come out, Chris Bianco will be making pizzas for the event. Ashley Naftule

Claudio Simonetti and Goblin's Suspiria show is absolutely bewitching.EXPAND
Claudio Simonetti and Goblin's Suspiria show is absolutely bewitching.
Courtesy Action! PR

Claudio Simonetti's Goblin
Tuesday, November 6
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

It’s probably not a coincidence that Claudio Simonetti's Goblin is touring their score for the 1977 horror film Suspiria just as the remake is being released into theaters. The Italian progressive rock band, who frequently collaborated with the film’s legendary director Dario Argento, is performing the operatic rock composition as the colorful classic plays onscreen. Though Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is receiving rave reviews for his scoring of the 2018 version of this giallo, it is hard to top the spine-chilling original, considered by many critics to be one of the best movie soundtracks of all time. Jason Keil

Tuesday, November 6
The Van Buren

The Houston-based trio may be proof that the Space City is starting to eclipse Austin as Texas’s capital of cool. Their take on Thai funk of the early ’60s, which they’d listen to on mixtapes in between gigs while driving long stretches of Lone Star State highway, is hypnotic and retro chic.Their latest release has nothing to do with Texas or Thailand: It’s a cover of Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just in time for the holidays. Douglas Markowitz

Wednesday, November 7
Gila River Arena in Glendale

The cocky hip-hop provocateur, record producer, and singer-songwriter behind such hit singles as "What They Want" and "Losin Control" is planning a stop at Gila River Arena in Glendale this week. And he’ll be bringing his man-bun with him. He’s touring in support of Zoo, the recently released follow-up to his 2017 debut album, There's Really A Wolf. The 26-year-old identifies 50 Cent, Eminem and G-Unit as early inspirations and began writing raps as young as 7 years old. But before Russ took his turn at making an album, he produced beats for six years starting at 14. You know, the same age y’all were in the midst of puberty and probably wondering what you were going to do with your life. Diamond Victoria

Death from Above
Wednesday, November 7
The Pressroom

Dance rock duo Death From Above 1979 – now actually just Death From Above – is a band with a story. They were big, they broke up, and they returned. And while they’ve released two studio albums since the 2011 reunion, DFA is leading a late 2018 tour with a major theme, revisiting their 2002 debut EP Heads Up. The tour's title – Heads Up! Is Now – is a nod to both the EP and their latest album Outrage! Is Now, meaning there will be new songs from their latest, plus 2014’s The Physical World and 2004’s You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, a mid-aughts dance party favorite.

But this tour is a bit different. Not only will the band be selling copies of the vinyl repress of Heads Up, but bassist Jesse Keeler and drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger will also play the EP in its entirety. For fans, this is great news. The 2002 EP is a 14-minute, six-tracked explosion that does some serious damage. It’s move music. It picks up 13 seconds in and doesn’t relent until you’ve made it from point A to point B in a light sweat. Expect the same at their tour stop at The Pressroom on November 7. Lauren Cusimano

All Them Witches will rock out at Rebel Lounge this week.EXPAND
All Them Witches will rock out at Rebel Lounge this week.
Courtesy of New West Records

All Them Witches
Wednesday, November 7
The Rebel Lounge

Nashville band All Them Witches first debuted in 2012 with the album Our Mother Electricity, and they’ve since continued diving into experimental waters. Their newest album, ATW, premiered in September and it’s what the doctor, specifically Dr. Timothy Leary, ordered — by ranging between traditional hard rock and brain-bending psych. On Wednesday night, All Them Witches’ tour will make a stop at The Rebel Lounge. Buffalo, New York-based indie rock band Handsome Jack share the bill. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Eva Raggio

Soul sensation Bettye LaVette.EXPAND
Soul sensation Bettye LaVette.
Marina Chavez

Bettye LaVette
Wednesday, November 7
Musical Instrument Museum

Soul singer Bettye LaVette’s genius lies in her uncanny ability to wring emotional depth from even the most innocuous of pop songs. Her plaintive rasp exposes the lovestruck vulnerability at the heart of “Maybe I’m Amazed,” plumbs the spookiest depths of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and fills Elton John’s barroom confessional “Talking Old Soldiers” with almost unbearable world-weariness. An R&B ingenue in the 1960s, LaVette’s career never really took off until a boutique French label released her debut album in 2000 — 28 years after she recorded it for Atlantic/Atco Records, which for mysterious reasons chose not to release it. Since then, she’s sung “A Change Is Gonna Come” at Obama’s first inaugural celebration, stolen the show at the Kennedy Center Honors with a rendition of “Love, Reign O’er Me” that reduced Pete Townshend to tears, and generally disproved F. Scott Fitzgerald’s old saw that American lives have no second act. Andy Hermann

Deap Vally
Thursday, November 8
Valley Bar

The hard rockin' duo shtick has been done ad nauseam since the White Stripes stormed the airwaves in the early 2000s. Though life has gotten better for jilted bassists and keyboardists in recent times, who says there isn't always room for a new twist on an old trick? For proof, look no further than DeapVally, two young women that have made a sound completely their own within the confines of the drum and guitar duo.

Grown under the romanticized sun of Southern California, Deap Vally's music is a melange of all that is great about the golden era of rock 'n' roll. The duo's debut full length from 2013, Sistrionix, was produced by former member of the Mars Volta, Lars Stalfors, and has enjoyed some serious critical praise. The album was painted in fuzzed-out guitars that sputter and scream over thumping drums in a way that smacks of the British greats, but the heart of '70s Detroit proto-punk fuels the affair. Their sophomore effort, 2016’s Femejism, featured Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner as producer and earned critical lauding from Vice and Rolling Stone.

This week, Deap Vally brings its thick rock riffs to Valley Bar on Thursday night. Local acts The Apaches and Weird Radicals will kick off the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $18 at the door. David Von Bader

Chris Dudley, Tim McTague, Spencer Chamberlain, Grant Brandell, James Smith, and Aaron Gillespie of Underoath.EXPAND
Chris Dudley, Tim McTague, Spencer Chamberlain, Grant Brandell, James Smith, and Aaron Gillespie of Underoath.
Dan Newman

Thursday, November 8
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Metalcore band Underoath just released its eighth studio album, Erase Me. This year's lengthy tour comes after eight years of studio silence and a three-year hiatus. And after nearly two decades of identifying as a Christian band, it ditched the religious label with its latest release, perhaps opening the door to more musical creativity. They visit the Valley this week for a concert at the Marquee on Thursday night. Post-hardcore/math rock band Dance Gavin Dance and metalcore act The Plot in You will open. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $31.50-$61.50. Diamond Victoria

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A scene from a previous edition of the Mesa Music Festival.EXPAND
A scene from a previous edition of the Mesa Music Festival.
Melina Dellamarggio

Mesa Music Festival 2018
Thursday, November 8, to Saturday, November 10
Downtown Mesa

What do you call a music event that promotes up-and-coming bands rather than established stars, and presents performances in vacated buildings, a cookie shop, music store, coffee house, smoke shop, and open spaces, rather than 20,000-seat arenas or 100-acre farmland? The Mesa Music Festival. Now in its third year, the city of Mesa-sponsored annual event has become a premier emerging artist symposium in Arizona.

The 2018 event is being held November 8-10 and will feature more than 200 acts from such styles as rock, pop, indie, folk, hip-hop, soul, and metal that will perform at various venues and locations throughout downtown Mesa. Many hail from the Valley, but even more are from all over the country and world.

The festival’s first night on Thursday will include a “welcoming party” at The Castle, 18 West Main street, starting at 8 p.m. that will feature sets from Tucson band Sharkk Heartt, local folk artist Danielle Durack, San Diego-based electronica artist MALU, and others. Performances will also take place inside the Interchange Audio Room at The Galleria, 29 West Main Street, starting at 6 p.m. Admission info and the full schedule can be found here. Mark C. Horn

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