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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Quinn XCII is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 9, at Comerica Theatre.
Quinn XCII is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 9, at Comerica Theatre. Shervin Lainez
It’s going to be a busy week for concerts in the Valley. Big-name artists and acts like Quinn XCII, Ben Rector, Turnover, Sofi Tukker, and Kero Kero Bonito are all scheduled to perform at local venues both big and small over the next few nights.

Elsewhere this week, one-man band Lincoln Durham, the industrial noise freaks of Combichrist, instrumental fusion act Toubab Krewe, and indie rock/dream pop ensemble Turnover also have gigs going on.

Plus, this year’s Country Thunder festival makes its return to Florence, for those cowpokes interested in some boot-scootin’ action.

Details about each of these shows and events 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 town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.


Singer-songwriter Ben Rector. - CAMERON POWELL
Singer-songwriter Ben Rector.
Cameron Powell
Ben Rector
Monday, April 8
The Van Buren


When Ben Rector was nothing but a college freshman, he unknowingly was laying the groundwork for a career path that traditionally eschews the necessity of diplomas and degrees. In that first year at the University of Arkansas, Rector won the top prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for a song called “Conversation” off his debut EP. His first two albums were released before graduation amid local fanfare and general uncertainty on Rector’s part.

In an interview with Arkansas’ alumni association, the singer-songwriter from Oklahoma says he never expected his music career to take off as quickly as it did. And yet by the start of this decade, Rector was transitioning into a star. His third album, Into the Morning, set off a string of hits after its 2011 release, including tracks like “Brand New,” which was notably featured on everything from Hawaii Five-O to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Rector’s soothing brand of emotional folk-pop has garnered him an ever-growing fan base over the years, and it’s likely he’ll find even more in Phoenix. Nicholas Bostick

click to enlarge Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour is coming to Mesa. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour is coming to Mesa.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Tuesday, April 9
Mesa Arts Center


Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone player Melissa Aldana became the first female and South American to win the Thelonious Monk Competition for jazz musicians. Now, you can hear her perform with the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour at Mesa Arts Center. The tour stops at the MAC’s Ikeda Theatre on Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. It’s all about celebrating the joy of jazz, and the festival’s 60th anniversary, according to artistic director Tim Jackson. Expect jazz classics, plus music created by the performers, who play trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums. Naturally, jazz vocals are also in the mix. Tickets start at $36. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Take a bite of Combichrist's industrial noise this week at Club Red. - TOBIAS SUTTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Take a bite of Combichrist's industrial noise this week at Club Red.
Tobias Sutter Photography
Combichrist
Tuesday, April 9
Club Red in Mesa


As founder of the iconic futurepop act Icon of Coil, Norwegian sound terrorist Andy LaPlegua showed an early penchant for the darker, harder sounds of the industrial music fringe. However, it was with his current outfit, Combichrist, that he fully realized his caustic musical dreams.

Unapologetically eardrum-splitting, brutal, and even vulgar, the group represents the apotheosis of aggrotech, a subgenre that sounds exactly like its name. At the core of Combichrist songs are danceable beats that lock into a robotic, usually high-BPM groove. It's what keeps the common thread among songs that, above all that, gleefully push both sonic and content boundaries. For a clue, just check out the title of the band's most recent albums, including 2014's Throat Full of Glass and 2016's This Is Where Death Begins. Catch them at Club Red on April 9. Silver Snakes and Amnestic will open. Arielle Castillo

click to enlarge Danny Dempsey (left), Austin Getz (center), and Casey Getz of Turnover. - COURTESY OF APA AGENCY
Danny Dempsey (left), Austin Getz (center), and Casey Getz of Turnover.
Courtesy of APA Agency
Turnover
Tuesday, April 9
Marquee Theatre in Tempe


Steeped in the background and history of emo music, the Virginia group Turnover have taken the lyrical qualities of the genre alongside bright guitars and upbeat melodies. On their 2017 album, Good Nature, vocalist Austin Getz’s voice floats over echoed and punchy guitar. On “What Got in the Way,” a traditional emo heartbreak ballad becomes a bright and sunny day as Getz slips in a familiar pop sound. Joining Turnover is the Baltimore hardcore group Turnstile. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge Quinn XCII has faced his emotional demons. - SHERVIN LAINEZ
Quinn XCII has faced his emotional demons.
Shervin Lainez
Quinn XCII
Tuesday, April 9
Comerica Theatre


Ever since he dropped his 2015 debut, Change of Scenery, fans have been telling Quinn XCII that his music has helped them get through their lowest moments. “As more of [the messages] came in, it was as if the door was knocking on my brain and saying, ‘Why am I not speaking on my own struggles?’ Everyone’s telling me it helped them so much. The fans really gave me courage to [speak up more] as well,” he says.

Quinn (real name Mikael Temrowski) evolved quickly from being a dorm-room producer to a bona fide indie pop star. He's built his career on affectionate, catchy, and youthful songs. His latest album, From Michigan With Love, is the furthest he's waded into adulthood.

"With the exception of maybe two or three songs, the whole project theme is mental health," he explains. "The title is kind of me saying, ‘Here’s 12 songs of me talking about stuff that I went through back home growing up in Michigan, and how all of it has kind of not stopped following me — even with moving to L.A. and having a little bit of success in my career.’" Writing an album that he felt adequately addressed the importance of emotional and mental health tested him as a songwriter.

“The last year and a half spent working on this record, there were a lot of ups and downs with it," he says. "I got in my head a little bit about what I wanted to talk about, and I wanted to maintain momentum from the first record." Ben Wiese
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers