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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Iceage is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 17, at The Rebel Lounge.
Iceage is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, April 17, at The Rebel Lounge. Christian Freidlander
Couldn’t find the means or money to make it to Coachella this year? No sweat, y’all. Thanks to the Valley’s proximity to Indio, California (the home to the high-profile music festival), several of the bands playing this year’s Coachella are coming to Phoenix to perform during the gap between weekend one and weekend two.

In other words, Coachella is coming to you (minus all the trendy fashion and overpriced amenities). Acts such as The 1975, Iceage, Sales, and Dennis Lloyd all have shows booked over the next several nights at various local venues, most of which are included in our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week.

Other highlights of this week’s concert calendar includes shows by DMX, Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Wayne “The Train” Hancock.

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

click to enlarge The 1975 time-warp into Phoenix on Monday night. - COURTESY OF CHUFFMEDIA
The 1975 time-warp into Phoenix on Monday night.
Courtesy of Chuffmedia
The 1975
Monday, April 15
Comerica Theatre

The 1975 are returning to Phoenix to kick off their latest North American tour in April. Along with opening act Pale Waves, they'll be celebrating their latest album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.

With over 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the English group is one of the most popular contemporary pop-rock bands. Their albums and singles regularly reach No. 1 on the U.S. and U.K. charts, thanks in no small part to their approachable sound and the rock star/heartthrob image of lead singer Matthew Healy. The tracks off the band's self-titled debut album were rock tunes, featuring breezy guitar riffs and lyrics about love and relationships.

Their more recent music has become poppier in nature, favoring sentimental, '80s-power-ballad synths on tracks like "Somebody Else" (they cite John Hughes as a primary influence) and even a tropical beat on their newest track, the bizarrely-titled "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME." Even more oddly titled was their last album, 2016's I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It (okay, dude). Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge See John Vanderslice this week at Valley Bar. - SARAH CASS
See John Vanderslice this week at Valley Bar.
Sarah Cass
John Vanderslice
Wednesday, April 17
Valley Bar

For those unfamiliar with John Vanderslice, who turns 52 in May, the longtime Bay Area-by-way-of-Florida musician and songwriter’s music is a treat for the ears and brain. His incredibly smart lyrics can put a smile on one’s face or tug on one’s heartstrings, and they’re on full display on his 11th studio album, The Cedars, released on April 5 via Native Cat Recordings.

As a guitarist and keyboardist, Vanderslice is more than adequate, but where he really excels is in arranging and mixing his songs so that every instrument — no, every sound — is in the right place. If you like well-arranged indie rock with a soulfully elegant pop sensibility, you’re going to love him whether you’re in your car, at your house, or at the show.

The list of clients Vanderslice has worked with at his Tiny Telephone Studios, which has locations in San Francisco and Oakland, is impressive — The Mountain Goats, St. Vincent, Sleater-Kinney, Spoon — but he’s not just into working with big-name artists. Tiny Telephone is a studio where anyone with a band can afford to record, and Vanderslice aims to keep it that way as long as he can. Tom Reardon

click to enlarge Jordan Shih (left) and Lauren Morgan (right) of Sales. - COURTESY OF APA AGENCY
Jordan Shih (left) and Lauren Morgan (right) of Sales.
Courtesy of APA Agency
Wednesday, April 17
Crescent Ballroom

The Orlando, Florida, duo of Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih are making deeply personal and reflective pop. Both guitarists who were once stuck in office jobs that stifled their spirits, Morgan and Shih create calm and soulful guitar melodies full of tenderness. Once performing with programmed drums, Sales has come to life with their rotating crew of tour drummers who punctuate the force behind Morgan’s true to life lyrics. “Outta sight, outta mind / You’ll ignore all the signs / How do you like me now,” sings Morgan over a introspective bassline. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge The musicians of Iceage. - STEVEGULLICK
The musicians of Iceage.
Wednesday, April 17
The Rebel Lounge

Iceage began a decade ago in Copenhagen as a gaggle of 17-year-olds. That youthful exuberance and cutting angst proved the foundation of 2011’s excellent New Brigade. Yet beyond that moroseness lay an emotional and sonic depth that perpetuated this precise pastiche of hardcore and noise. That grit and prowess fully blossomed with 2013’s You’re Nothing – with Iceage streamlining its bag of musical tricks – and 2014’s Plowing Into the Fields of Love, a nuanced spin on punk that belied their 20-something status.

It’s this year’s Beyondless that finds Iceage exploring new territories with unrivaled vigor. All but gone is the one-dimensional nihilism dominating that early catalog. The 10-track LP brims with a savvy and confidence forged by 10 years spent crawling around the big, scary world, picking up ideas and new passions while shuttering deadweight. Whether it’s the driving rhythms of “Hurrah,” the sax-powered alt-rock jam “The Day The Music Dies,” the swampy, Nick Cave-esque masterpiece “Catch It," or the vaudevillian oddball "Showtime," Iceage hums with life. A raw stream of vigor runs through their collective bloodstream, powering the members to drill deeper into the musical unknown. With Beyondless, Iceage haven’t simply matured – they’ve rounded out raw integrity with playful heart and boundless charisma. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones is their name, upbeat rockabilly is their game. - COURTESY OF ATOMIC MUSIC GROUP
Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones is their name, upbeat rockabilly is their game.
Courtesy of Atomic Music Group
Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones
Wednesday, April 17
The Rhythm Room

Individual music tastes tend to vary wildly from person to person. That said, it's pretty impossible to resist the charms of the jangling country subgenre of rockabilly, particularly the effusive version performed by Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones. The New York group present original roots music with an upbeat flair and have released a few albums in recent years, all featuring similarly cheerful titles like Love You to Life and Luck Maker. Be sure to bust out your finest gingham dress, poof up that pompadour, and channel the great Wanda Jackson for a fresh night on the town during the band’s show on Wednesday night at the Rhythm Room. Taylor Estape and Liz Tracy
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers