Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Toni Braxton is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 21, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler.
Toni Braxton is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 21, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler. Courtesy of We Care Alot PR
Eager to see a concert this week (and have the time and disposable income to do so)? The good news is you’ve got a wealth of options to choose from – 10 of ‘em, to be precise. As we always do every Monday, we’ve searched our extensive live music listings and picked out a mix of notable shows in metro Phoenix this week that are worthy of attending.

This week, our selections include performers and bands from a variety of genres, ranging from R&B and hip-hop to alternative, indie rock, and country. There are also plenty of famous names involved, including Toni Braxton, Rosanne Cash, Cypress Hill, and The Smoking Popes.

Details about each of their shows — and several other other notable gigs this week in the Valley — can be found below. And for even more live music happening on the local level, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Awakebutstillinbed and Sundressed
Monday, February 18
Valley Bar

When Shannon Taylor of Awakebutstillinbed screams the opening lyrics of "life," the second song on their 2018 album what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you, her voice cracks, desperate to convey the helplessness in the situation. San Jose, California-based Awakebutstillinbed and Phoenix pop-punk band Sundressed set off a two-week tour in Fresno, California, and stop in Phoenix for a night at Valley Bar. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge Influential indie rock band The Smoking Popes. - COURTESY OF ATOMIC MUSIC GROUP.
Influential indie rock band The Smoking Popes.
Courtesy of Atomic Music Group.
The Smoking Popes
Monday, February 18
The Rebel Lounge

The brothers Caterer had no way of knowing the far-reaching effect they would have on the music world when they formed The Smoking Popes in 1991. How could they? At the time the youngest of the three, guitarist Eli, was only 16 years old. Fast-forward nearly three decades, and the seminal pop-punk band's work is cited by many of today's giants of the field as an influence.

Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba has said it was one of the reasons he started a band in the first place; Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has compared the group favorably to fellow Chicago act Naked Raygun. In this writer's opinion, however, Smoking Popes blows all of the aforementioned bands out of the water. Daniel Hill

click to enlarge Country queen Rosanne Cash. - MICHAEL LAVINE
Country queen Rosanne Cash.
Michael Lavine
Rosanne Cash
Tuesday, February 19
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Even the briefest essay about Rosanne Cash requires a list of her reckonable accomplishments: the 11 number one singles, the Grammy award, and always, always her royal musical lineage. But if being Johnny Cash's daughter got her foot in Music City's door, and while all those hits kept her on Columbia Records' roster for many years, it was her wider contribution to country music – the urbane, deeply personal poetry that transcends the twangy he-done-me-wrong songs that typify Nashville – with which she's made her mark.

Which isn't to say we don't love Cash's 21 Top 40 country hits. "Seven Year Ache" is the smartest musical memory to linger from pop radio's lamentable early '80s romance with country music, and her version of John Hiatt's "Runaway Train" was a high point in both their careers. But it's fair to say that, ever since 1979's Right or Wrong, she's made gloomily sophisticated music fashionable in a way that Laura Nyro never could; helped reshape what country music sounds like; and has upheld the singer-songwriter tradition in a world overrun with Shanias and Faiths and Carries. For that, and for all the hits, and the gorgeous ruminations wedged between them, we're deeply grateful. Robrt L. Pela

Big Bite
Tuesday, February 19
The Trunk Space

Seattle-based Big Bite released their self-titled debut album last year and unleashed a wave of distortion. There's always a guitar bending somewhere in the background on their debut album, and there's very little break from it all. It's not quite punk and it's not quite shoegaze, but in the basement of The Trunk Space, it'll sure be loud. Tucson shoegazers Hikikomori will join locals Duerio and The Delphies. If you want a night of guitar pedals getting worked, then this is the show for you. Julian Hernandez

B-Real of Cypress Hill. - MILES CHRISINGER
B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Miles Chrisinger
West Coast High 2019 feat. Cypress Hill and Hollywood Undead
Wednesday, February 20
The Van Buren

Are you insane in the membrane? Or are you just an American tragedy? Either way, we're pretty sure you're a fan of chooming on that lound, so what better way to enjoy a weeknight than spending it at a conspicuously themed concert extravaganza? West Coast High 2019 is taking control at The Van Buren on Wednesday night. Cypress Hill, everyone's favorite '90s hip-hop mainstays, weed enthusiasts, and Simpsons guest stars, are heading up the affair, and they're putting some more bud in your bowl by bringing along rap-rockers Hollywood Undead. We assure you, folks, this show isn't mid, nor is it reggie; In fact, this evening will see the fans cheefin' on that O.G. Cali Kush (metaphorically, of course). Douglas Markowitz
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers