Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Whitney Rose is scheduled to perform on Thursday, March 28, at the Rhythm Room.
Whitney Rose is scheduled to perform on Thursday, March 28, at the Rhythm Room. Jen Squires
This week’s concert calendar is nothing if not eclectic. Bands and artists from a wealth of varying genres and styles – ranging from the metal gods of Queensrÿche to country music chanteuse Whitney Rose – are scheduled to perform at Valley music venues from Monday, March 25, to Thursday, March 28.

There are also some rather eccentric acts in the mix, including outsider musician David Liebe Hart and gonzo rock group Electric Six, as well as a band that covers the songs of Phish, Talking Heads, and Pink Floyd.

Other highlights of this week’s concert scene in the Valley include gigs by rapper Lil Tracy, indie act King Buffalo, Boyce Avenue, and The Dollyrots.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our of the best shows to see around town over the next few nights. And for even more live music happening in the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Tuesday, March 26
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Formed in the former sleepy Seattle suburb of Bellevue in 1982 by guitarist Michael Wilton along with guitarist Chris DeGarmo, bassist Eddie Jackson, drummer Scott Rockenfield, and singer Geoff Tate, Queensrÿche would have a slow start with its debut album, The Warning. In retrospect, that album failed to capture the imaginations of the fans and the band.

With 1986's follow-up effort, Rage for Order, the band began introducing progressive elements, then nascent studio techniques to achieve a distinct sound that immediately set them apart from other metal bands. With the release and subsequent touring for Operation: Mindcrime and Empire in '88 and '90, respectively, Queensrÿche became a household name and one of the most successful metal outfits, with numerous Grammy Awards and over 20 million album sales worldwide.

At the conclusion of the '90s, the band amicably parted ways with DeGarmo and in 2012 famously entered into a bitter split with singer Tate that resulted in the temporary usage of the moniker by both camps — a move that caused a splintering of their fanbase. After this highly publicized debacle, Wilton and the rest of the band eventually reconvened with singer and Florida native Todd La Torre, formerly of Crimson Glory. With La Torre, the band is now two albums into that new chapter, the most recent being the just-released LP The Verdict, produced by Chris “Zeuss” Harris. Queensrÿche are currently touring in support of the album and pay a visit to the Valley this week. Abel Folgar

click to enlarge
Emo rapper Lil Tracy.
Courtesy of Ticketfly
Lil Tracy
Tuesday, March 26
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

It’s now safe to say that sad-boy rap is here to stay. The Virginia Beach emo rapper Lil Tracy, member of the emo rap collective GOTHBOICLIQUE, is stopping in Phoenix on his Goth Cowboy Tour. Tracy suffered a heart attack in the summer of 2018 after mixing various drugs with alcohol, and on his new single, “Don’t Touch,” he takes a new, straight-edge approach while staying true to the GBC ethos. Where else will you hear a rapper sing “I don’t pop xans. I don’t drink lean. You’re my drug”? Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge
David Liebe Hart: outsider artist, puppeteer, musician, TV star.
Courtesy of David Liebe Hart
David Liebe Hart
Tuesday, March 26
The Trunk Space

David Liebe Hart approaches the familiar from an unusual angle. He sings about aliens like he’s singing a love song, and he sings about love like he’s singing about aliens. Like all great outsider artists, he doesn’t have a filter that tells him to spare his ego and keep his dry spell to himself. It’s that level of blunt, searing honesty and his willingness to talk about whatever’s on his mind that makes Hart such a fascinating figure.

For any [adult swim] fan, Hart’s bespectacled face is a familiar sight. He’s been a recurring player on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, and he’s also set to star in his own show on [adult swim] this fall. But Hart had been plugging along long before he carved out a niche for himself on late-night absurdist TV. He first made a name for himself as part of the long-running public access show Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show.

It’s hard to deny that his work isn’t user-friendly. Hart the singer sounds like a crank on the bus, rambling more than actually singing. The production on his songs can range from spare instrumentation to ’50s sci-fi movie soundtracks thanks to the efforts of past collaborator Adam Papagan and current musical partner Jonah Mociun. And the subject matter can be just plain bizarre, ranging from Hart’s sexual frustration and conflicted feelings about rap music to his fascination with railroads and UFOs. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge
This photo pretty much sums up King Buffalo's sound.
Courtesy of High Road Touring
King Buffalo
Wednesday, March 27
The Rebel Lounge

Upstate New York can be a cold and unforgiving place, where subzero-temperature basement shows are the norm. The Rochester trio King Buffalo pay homage to their prog-rock roots while exploring the sounds of stoner metal, doom metal, and psychedelic rock. On “Morning Sun,” the opening track to their 2018 album, Longing to Be the Mountain, King Buffalo weave chords of acoustic guitar, fitting of the song title, into the distorted chords of early-’90s stoner metal. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge
Electric Six have more than just that "Gay Bar" song in their repertoire.
Courtesy of Reybee
Electric Six
Wednesday, March 27
Valley Bar

Most of America got to know Electric Six in the video for the 2003 single “Gay Bar,” which featured the sextet’s members gyrating and cavorting while dressed as hot-pants-clad Abraham Lincoln impersonators. That song, from the band’s debut, Fire, represents the height of their commercial success, but not their creativity.

In the 16 years since, Electric Six have released 18 albums, from the hyperactive, funk-filled I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being the Master to their most recent LP, Bride of the Devil. (They even put out a Christmas album last year, A Very Electric SiXmas.) But the members, who perform under stage names like Dick Valentine and Smorgasbord, have never lost their playfulness. Adam Roy
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