The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Stephen Steinbrink is scheduled to perform on Thursday, December 6, at The Rebel Lounge.EXPAND
Stephen Steinbrink is scheduled to perform on Thursday, December 6, at The Rebel Lounge.
Hannah Klein
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Got any big plans this week? If not, consider checking out one of the many concerts or music events happening around the Valley over the next few nights. If you could use some suggestions, we’ve got some of those – 10 of 'em, as a matter of fact.

It includes gigs from Red Fang, Fucked Up, Slow Caves, The White Buffalo, and the duo of Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. This week’s concert offerings also feature a hometown performance by Valley native Stephen Steinbrink and Live 101.5's annual Jingle Bash affair.

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

Red Fang returns to the Valley this week.
Red Fang returns to the Valley this week.
Speakeasy PR

Red Fang
Monday, December 3
The Rebel Lounge

Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang is a breath of upbeat, stoner-rock fresh air. Well, upbeat for the genre. The 13-year-old band flat-out rocks, combining the best elements of the Palm Springs-area desert-stoner scene (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) with the punk/metal hybrid ideology that fans of Mastodon and the Melvins crave. Melodic yet powerful with a good dose of seriously pent-up, sludge-y anger, Red Fang delivers the goods, as they say, especially on its most recent album, Only Ghosts, which boasts a whopping 12 tracks on the special edition (Relapse Records) and came out in 2016.

Interestingly enough, Joe Baresi (Tool/Queens of the Stone Age knob-twiddling duties) mixed the record, so the connection to Red Fang’s desert brethren is more than just apparent in sound. “Cut It Short,” which is the second track on the record, is strongly reminiscent of Kyuss and QOTSA but morphs near the 2:10 mark into its own unique creation. Vocalist/guitarist Bryan Giles and lead guitarist David Sullivan create an interesting dynamic of noisy guitar and vocals throughout the record that make this latest Red Fang album well worth any discerning fan’s time. Having toured with many of the best heavy hitters in stoner and progressive metal over the last half-decade or so, Red Fang has honed some considerable live chops as well. Tom Reardon

Live 101.5's Jingle Bash feat. Camila Cabello
Monday, December 3
Comerica Theatre

Between her hit song “Havana,” earning the MTV Artist of the Year and Video of the Year awards, and touring with Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello has had a banner year, despite some frostiness with her old band, Fifth Harmony. In a recent interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that creative differences in appearance and music urged her to leave the band in 2016. That didn’t stop the remaining members from dissing her in a stunt at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, but the pop star has managed to rise above the controversy. Her last album was Camila, released earlier in 2018. Cabello’s headlining Live 101.5's Jingle Bash this year, which will also feature sets by off-kilter EDM producer Dillon Francis, dance/electronic artist Lauv, DJ trio Cheat Codes, and rapper Bryce Vine. Julio Lugo

Renowned roots musicians Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore.EXPAND
Renowned roots musicians Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore.
Tim Reese Photography

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Monday, December 6
The Rhythm Room

Grammy-winning rock and folk guitarist-singer Dave Alvin and Grammy-nominated country strummer-warbler Jimmie Dale Gilmore grew up 1,100 miles apart and in different decades. So how is it that founding and former blues blaster from California, Americana Alvin, and the Lubbock flatlander with Native American heritage, Gilmore, have a common ground?

It’s a funny thing that can happen when an unlikely duo has traversed separately the long and winding tour road from rebel-rousing roadhouse to regal rock halls. They crossed paths over the past three-plus decades time and again. Along the way they discovered a mutual appreciation for the other’s music, and discovered they are equals in terms of the dizzyingly deep and versatile catalog of music collections. It is one that covers a good part of the past century of American folk, pop, rock, blues, and roots music. Catch them this week at the Rhythm Room during their Monday night show. Mark C. Horn

Fucked Up
Fucked Up
John Londono

Fucked Up
Tuesday, December 4
Crescent Ballroom

Forget Johnny Rotten sneering “No future” – Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham shouting “I don’t wanna live in this fucking world for one minute more” is the nihilistic punk slogan that’s right for our times. California is turning into smoke and fire, fascists are on the rise all over the world, arctic ice is melting into a sea that’s slowly turning into a poison soup of plastics, oil, and acid – we’re closer to Fucked Up’s “no present” than we are to the Pistols’ “No future.” For them, dystopia was a black spot on the horizon, an oncoming train twisting around a far-off bend. For anyone listening to Fucked Up’s Dose Your Dreams in 2018, there are days where that black spot is the whole horizon, where the train is hurtling so close we can see our breath fogging up the conductor’s windshield.

You’d expect that an album with a lyric like that would be an unremittingly bleak affair, but Fucked Up’s Dose Your Dreams isn’t a sad wallow in hopelessness. It’s a deeply urgent, often beautiful, and furious record.

Fucked Up have never been hardcore traditionalists. Even as far back as 2006’s Hidden World, they were incorporating string arrangements into their molten blasts of larynx-shredding punk. Saxophones, ambient interludes, psychedelia, pastoral flute music, dance beats, concept albums: The Toronto band have played with just about every “indulgent rock band” trope imaginable without it compromising their sound. Dose Your Dreams takes that kitchen-sink approach to a glorious extreme. Ashley Naftule

The Slackers
Wednesday, December 5
The Van Buren

Ska! Say it. Sounds funny, huh? And not just because the genre has become one of the most beloved-turned-maligned styles in history since disco. Ska, at its core, is unpretentious, buoyant, and just plain goofy. But it has deep soul and jazz attached to its calypso roots, a fact that hasn't been forgotten by the Slackers. Formed 15 years ago in New York City – then a hotbed for retrofitted ska – the horn-packing sextet eventually signed to Epitaph Records (and, later, Rancid's Hellcat imprint), releasing a string of discs featuring singer Glen Pines's impassioned rasp that paid homage to the traditional ska and rocksteady eras of the Skatalites and the Paragons. The group's various albums in recent years are solid slabs of Slackers that integrates '60s R&B and Bo Diddley stomp, as well as some deadly serious protest lyrics. Fads and punchlines may come and go, but the Slackers abide. Jason Heller

Dave Wakeling of The English Beat.EXPAND
Dave Wakeling of The English Beat.
Hunt Emerson

The English Beat
Wednesday, December 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

In the beginning (i.e., 1978), the music gods created The Beat. And verily, the firmament known as Birmingham, England, brought forth a mighty 2-tone ska revivalist group, infused with sped-up reggae beats and poppy dancehall sounds and fronted by co-vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger. And it was good. Their music spread forth a host of chart-topping singles unto the Earth, such as "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Hands Off ... She's Mine," spreading joy throughout the British Isles and all of creation (including the U.S., where they were known as "The English Beat"). After the band's breakup in 1983 wiped their music from the land, a one-night reunion at Royal Albert Hall 20 years later eventually led its members to become fruitful and multiply into two separate ska bands, each unleashing the same ska-heavy hits: The Beat (led by Roger and located in the U.K.), and The English Beat, featuring Wakeling and touring the States. And it is still good. Benjamin Leatherman

Redd Kross
Thursday, December 6
Last Exit Live

Influential proto-alternative band Redd Kross started in 1978, when bassist Steve McDonald and his older brother, Jeff, were 11 and 14, respectively. They had grown up in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, where they, led by Jeff, discovered underground music from magazines like Creem and Rock Scene. They'd already experienced stadium rock at a young age. By the time they started their own act, they had discovered a punk band whose members lived and practiced nearby: Black Flag.

The Flag, a fairly new band at the time, took these kids under their wings. And Redd Kross's first show, as "Red Cross" – the band's name before it was legally forced to change its name by the medical organization – was at an eighth-grade graduation party in someone's living room.

From those humble beginnings, Redd Kross took its glam-rock influences and infused them with a wide variety of musical styles and a punk attitude defined by irreverent humor and a skepticism about fitting in; the result was one of the most secretly influential bands of the era. You can hear the impact of Redd Kross in generations of musicians, including Sonic Youth, the Melvins, and Nirvana. Tom Murphy

Stephen Steinbrink
Thursday, December 6
The Rebel Lounge

Before he was Olympia, Washington's Stephen Steinbrink, he belonged to Phoenix. He makes some of the best indie pop available these days with his glorious vocals, melodic guitar lines, and a dreamy soundscape that closely approaches The Shins at their best moments. The exception here is that every one of his songs seems like one of those "best moments." His albums are amazingly consistent, including his latest, Utopia Teased, which came out earlier this year on Western Vinyl. Steinbrink returns to the Valley on December 6 for a show at The Rebel Lounge. AJJ frontman (and fellow “local boy made good”) Sean Bonnette shares the bill. Mitchell Hillman

The members of Slow Caves.
The members of Slow Caves.
Evan Olea

Slow Caves
Thursday, December 6
The Trunk Space

Listening to Slow Caves’ lush, intelligent music, it’s easy to forget that the band’s members are all in their early 20s. Inexperience might hamper some groups, but Slow Caves are an exception. Although their songwriting reflects suburban ideals and millennial angst, the Colorado-born indie band — made up of singer/guitarist Jakob Mueller, drummer Jackson Lamperes, singer/guitarist Oliver Mueller and bassist David Dugan — shuns many of the musical clichés used by younger artists in favor of intelligent compositions and complicated time signatures generally seen in post-punk acts that rose to prominence in the mid-’90s, when these guys were just kids. The band’s most recent release, a seven-inch composed of the songs “Poser” and “Rover" came out in February. Slow Caves has also been in the process of recording a full-length album. This week, they’ll pay a visit to the Trunk Space for a Thursday night show. Moth Wings, Lychee, and James Band open. Andy Thomas

The White Buffalo
Thursday, December 6
Crescent Ballroom

Sometimes a solo artist and sometimes performing as a trio, Jake Smith, a.k.a. The White Buffalo, has been plying his trade since 2002, when he released his first record, Hogtied Like a Rodeo. Smith describes The White Buffalo as “More American roots music. County, rock ’n’ roll, folk. Organic music. Like Creedence [Clearwater Revival], or Bob Seger, or Tom Petty, or Tom Waits.” The songs are dark and somewhat brooding at times, although the band is not afraid to crank it up a notch and get the tempo going.

Fortune smiled on The White Buffalo several years ago as a few of Smith’s songs wound up being featured on television shows Sons of Anarchy and Californication, which had an effect on The White Buffalo’s crowd size.

“The demographic changed a little bit. The audience grows incrementally. The exposure from that [Sons of Anarchy] show has introduced [my music] to vast numbers of people. A lot of them [the audience] have kind of gone deeper into the catalog. I think you hook ’em with the live show, so if you get ’em out [to the show], you’ve got ’em. We try to bring it every night with passion and try to take the crowd on an emotional ride,” Smith says. Tom Reardon

Editor's Note: The original version of this story had incorrect venues for Stephen Steinbrink and Redd Kross. It has since been corrected.

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