The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Disturbed is scheduled to perform on Monday, January 14, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.EXPAND
Disturbed is scheduled to perform on Monday, January 14, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Travis Shinn
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If you’re into punk, ska, rockabilly, metal, or all of the above, you’re probably going to love this week’s concert offerings. Renowned acts like Reagan Youth, The Flesh Eaters, Disturbed, Reverend Horton Heat, and Mustard Plug are all scheduled to perform in the nights ahead. Plus, local concert promoter Will Anderson is also planning a punk fest at a local rock bar.

Elsewhere on this week’s slate of shows, Bayside will perform acoustic versions of its hits, Sianvar
and Amen Dunes return to the Valley, and That 1 Guy will bust out with experimental sounds.

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

Ball of Light's Charlie Williams, Patrick Cost, and Paul Schroder.
Ball of Light's Charlie Williams, Patrick Cost, and Paul Schroder.

Will Anderson's Punk Rock Extravaganza
Monday, January 14
Chopper John's

It's pretty safe to say that local rock concert promoter Will Anderson has a big thing for punk rock. For proof, look no further than the fact he booked shows at myriad Valley music venues over the past three decades, ranging from bygone favorites like the Mason Jar and Tempe's Green Room to modern-day spots like the Rhythm Room and Marquee Theatre. So the fact he's helping put on an event like "Will Anderson's Punk Rock Extravaganza" isn't much of a surprise. True to form, the gig will star a mix of local punk acts like The Declaimed, The Tak3down, and Hobo Bastard. Headlining the event will be Ohio-born metal-punk band Ball of Light. Start time is 8 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Amen Dunes returns to Arizona, his first time back since FORM Arcosanti.EXPAND
Amen Dunes returns to Arizona, his first time back since FORM Arcosanti.
Michael Schmelling

Amen Dunes
Monday, January 14
Crescent Ballroom

It's a sneaky idea for an essentially solo artist to perform music under a moniker that functions as a band name when they could easily rely on their own given name. It allows them to switch up styles or bandmates and steer the music into assorted directions without appearing too culpable. For several years now, Brooklyn's Damon McMahon has offered up psychedelia that's taken on different forms over the course of five full-length albums as Amen Dunes. McMahon's latest effort, Love, released on the dependably excellent label Sacred Bones (which boasts the Men and Psychic Ills, among others), still has the hazy psychedelic leanings he's honed, but in a more acoustic, accessible manner than ever before. But hey, it's not McMahon that’s behind the music, after all; it's Amen Dunes. Take it up with "them." Kelly Dearmore

Yes, Disturbed is still a thing.EXPAND
Yes, Disturbed is still a thing.
Travis Shinn

Monday, January 14
Gila River Arena in Glendale

When Chicago metal band Disturbed emerged with debut album The Sickness in 2000, having formed as Brawl in 1994, the hard-rock-loving world was nu-metal crazy. Bands like Korn and Coal Chamber (yes, even Coal Chamber) had convinced everyone that going severely bass-heavy and adding an element of hip-hop to the vocals was the way to go. Maybe throw in some industrial crunch. So for the next five years or so, bands like Static-X, Drowning Pool, and Taproot thrived — and so did Disturbed.

These days, however, people do their best to avoid the nu-metal tag, much like rock-and-roll bands spent the 1990s distancing themselves from the hair-metal label. Nobody wants to be associated with a scene that’s over. “I don’t think we were ever a nu-metal band to begin with,” says Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren. “I just think we happened to come out around the same time … I think that we have a connection with the fans, we write music about real stuff, and people are able to connect to that.”

The fans certainly did stick with the band, even when, in 2011, they decided to take a break for nearly five years. Their 2015 album, Immortalized, was a comeback and, as is usually the case with this band, it was adored by the fan base. Those same fans will flock to Gila River Arena in mid-January for Disturbed's latest Valley concert. Brett Callwood

Tuesday, January 15
Crescent Ballroom

Anthony Raneri, lead singer and guitarist of the emo rock band Bayside, doesn’t care what other people think of him or his band. He is proud of what the group has accomplished throughout their 19 years together and the seven studio albums they have released thus far.

“I learned that you can’t make everybody happy, so I never really think of a fan’s reaction to music, lyrics, or melody,” says Raneri. “I’ve learned that the best thing you can do is to make the best thing you stand behind and are proud of, and hope for the best.”

Raneri needn’t worry about the fan’s reaction to the band’s latest effort, 2018’s Bayside Acoustic Volume 2. Released 12 years after their first acoustic album, it boasts unplugged versions of a variety of fan-favorite tracks and deep cuts, including “Sick Sick Sick,” “It Don't Exist,” “Landing Feet First,” “Blame it on Bad Luck,” and “I Can’t Go On.” They’re current tour, which visits the Crescent Ballroom on Tuesday, features intimate performances of all of the tracks from the album, as well as other Bayside hits. Jason Keil

Bad Sneakers does Steely Dan and Tower of Power and does those bands well.
Bad Sneakers does Steely Dan and Tower of Power and does those bands well.
Courtesy of Bad Sneakers

Bad Sneakers
Tuesday, January 15
The Rhythm Room

Say “cover band” and people imagine a Rick Springfield look-a-like lead singer onstage with mediocre musicians who all regret the fact that they “never made it.” Pathetic.

Cover band Bad Sneakers breaks this stereotype to pieces. The band features three vocalists and anywhere from seven to ten (and sometimes more) musicians. And they are good. So good, in fact, they started as a Steely Dan cover band. (From a musician’s standpoint, that rock band is arguably one of the most complicated to cover.) Now the group has added Tower oOf Power – the horn-driven, soul powerhouse of funk – to its repertoire. Catch these pros perform at the Rhythm Room this week. And feel free to “make tonight a wonderful thing.” Lilia Menconi

The Flesh Eaters
Wednesday, January 16
Crescent Ballroom

The Flesh Eaters began as a project way back in 1977. Over 40 years later, they're still touring, recording and getting together to collaborate when time allows. Fronted by Chris Desjardins (a.k.a. Chris D), the legendary punk ensemble has featured a rotating cast of musicians and a history that stretches into the vaunted Southern California punk scene of yesteryear. Currently, the Flesh Eaters consist of John Doe, DJ Bonebrake, Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin, and Chris D. In short, its a punk-rocker's dream team lineup. Jeff Strowe

Mike Silverman is That 1 Guy.EXPAND
Mike Silverman is That 1 Guy.
Courtesy of Ticketfly

That 1 Guy
Wednesday, January 16
Valley Bar

Think one-man band: cymbals on the elbows, drum on the back, horns under the arms, and tambourines on the knees, creating a cacophony of sound designed to annoy passers-by. Now, try to envision That 1 Guy, a.k.a. Mike Silverman, as he takes the one-man band concept to a whole new level with the wide-ranging sounds created on his homemade Magic Pipe.

In fact, this 1 Guy sounds like a handful as he drifts through prog-rock overtures, funk dance grooves, avant-classical passages, and mind-melting free jazz expressionism. While Silverman does have set songs, his background practically dictates a need for improvisation and "going off on sonic adventures."

"The idea of being a one-man band was always in the back of my mind," he says. "When it finally became time to give it a try, it was basically me just figuring out how I could do it as a bass. I had a very percussive style on the upright bass beyond what the instrument was normally capable of. I pushed the boundaries of the instrument itself, but I wasn't satisfied with the sonic range I was getting out of it. I wished I could build an instrument that covered more ground and allowed me to be more dynamic and have a greater sonic range." Glenn BurnSilver

The members of Sianvar.
The members of Sianvar.
Jeremy Hernandez

Wednesday, January 16
The Nile Theater in Mesa

Blending together members of Dance Gavin Dance, Stolas, Hail the Sun and A Lot Like Birds, Sianvar proves to be the post-hardcore supergroup fans didn't know they needed. Donovan Melero (vocalist and drummer for Hail the Sun) puts his sticks aside and delivers falsetto-like vocals weaved throughout good old fashioned screamin' and hollerin', while Will Swan (Dance Gavin Dance) and Sergio Medina (Stolas) make up the rhythm and Michael Franzino (A Lot Like Birds) the bass. After releasing their first full-length LP, Stay Lost, in 2016, Sianvar landed themselves six spots on Billboard, including a debut at No. 5 for Top New Artist. They’ll be at the Nile Theater in Mesa this week for a Wednesday night show. Ghost Altas and Wolf & Bear will open. Diamond Victoria

Reagan Youth
Wednesday, January 16
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Arguably, the world has changed a lot since Reagan Youth was formed in 1980. But the legendary punk band’s original member Paul Bakija believes otherwise. Even though the faces and situations have changed, we're still facing the same exact mess that we were 30 years ago. The New York City where Bakija grew up has "disappeared," he says. "It's become Disney-fied." But it was in NYC in 1980 that he linked up with original Reagan Youth frontman Dave Insurgent. Bakija had been taking guitar lessons at the local music shop and Insurgent told him, "Don't go to that loser store. Get yourself some punk records and learn from them."

Tragically, Insurgent committed suicide in 1993. The band was already broken up for three years when Insurgent died, and there was no plan to reunite. That is, until a persistent street buddy told him he had booked a Reagan Youth show. Bakija asked him, "Who's going to sing? My singer's dead." The guy said he would sing and that he had a bassist and a drummer lined up. Bakija decided to play along: "You know, it was going to be my last hurrah." They had two weeks to get it together, and people started giving him shit that he was reforming the band without the original members. "I'd ask them, 'Well, who are the original members?' They go 'I don't know. But this isn't it,'" he remembers. "If it's so important, how come they don't know their names? If they would've just shut up, I would've played only that one gig. That would've been it." It wasn’t, and Reagan Youth is still alive and kicking to this day. Jose Flores

The good reverend will be in town this week.EXPAND
The good reverend will be in town this week.
Courtesy of Victory Records

Reverend Horton Heat
Thursday, January 17
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

You would be hard-pressed to find a traveling musician who plays as many shows and as many towns these days as Jim Heath, of Reverend Horton Heat. In fact, there are not too many saloons, night clubs, festival stages, and places that he hasn’t liked, and even fewer he has not played. If there is a town with fans of the man’s unique take on Gretsch guitar-laden psychobilly licks, chances are Heath has played on their stages.

Along with his trusty stand-up bass sidekick Jimbo Wallace and time-keeper, double-bass drumming machine Scott Churilla, Reverend Horton Heat has played Arizona dozens of times dating back to the early '90s. Across the globe, RHH has shared stages with some great acts at some of the top festivals in the world including: Coachella, Lollapalooza. Reading, Riot Fest Vans Warped, Punk Rock Bowling, Shindig, Bunberry Festival, Arizona Bike Week, Sturgis, and Azkana.

He has recorded 12 albums over the past 28 years, including last year’s Whole New Life on Victory Records. The band’s catalog has variety from high-energy head-boppin’ songs like “Wiggle Stick” or “Psychobilly Freakout” to the more tongue-in-cheek numbers like the double-entendre risqué of “Let Me Teach You How to Eat” or ridiculously fun countrified “Please Don’t’ Take the Baby to the Liquor Store.” And as much as RHH has accumulated a fan base that is spread out the world from the U.S. to the Ukraine, it is the serious craftsmanship of ever-evolving passion for perfecting this sound that has allowed him and band to endure. Mark C. Horn

Mustard Plug is still skanking after all these years.EXPAND
Mustard Plug is still skanking after all these years.
Courtesy of Brixton Agency

Mustard Plug
Thursday, January 17
Crescent Ballroom

Not many bands have attained popularity and commercial success outside the mainstream music industry box the way that Mustard Plug has done. While they can't claim to be most famous ska-punk band in existence, the septet have amassed a sizable cult following, as well as radio-friendly songs and music videos, like "You" and "Everything Girl."

After forming in 1991 and, a year later, releasing a full-length tape on Dashiki Clout, Skapocalypse Now!, Mustard Plug released the popular Evildoers Beware! in 1997 via punk label Hopeless Records. This was the beginning of their zenith, coinciding with the mid-'90s ska craze, which would continue for roughly five years until their breakup in 2002.

Fortunately, Mustard Plug got back together five years later and have since dropped a couple more records, including In Black and White (where they took their music in murkier directions, and 2014’s Can't Contain It. Now, 16 years after their breakup, Mustard Plug, who swing through Crescent Ballroom in January, is still kicking out ska and have come back around to their older, poppier rhythms while still developing a new sound. Garyn Klasek

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