Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Stephen Steinbrink is scheduled to perform on Thursday, December 6, at The Rebel Lounge.
Stephen Steinbrink is scheduled to perform on Thursday, December 6, at The Rebel Lounge. Hannah Klein
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.

click to enlarge Red Fang returns to the Valley this week. - SPEAKEASY PR
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

click to enlarge Renowned roots musicians Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore. - TIM REESE PHOTOGRAPHY
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

click to enlarge Fucked Up - JOHN LONDONO
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
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Phoenix New Times Music Writers