The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Keb' Mo' is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, May 22, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.EXPAND
Keb' Mo' is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, May 22, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Andrea Lucero
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This week’s concert calendar features a number of living legends coming to the Valley to perform. That’s because renowned artists and acts like Willie Nelson, Keb’ Mo, Little Feat, New Kids on the Block, Salt N Pepa, and Wisin y Yandel all have shows scheduled around the Phoenix area over the next few nights.

Other highlights of this week’s live music offerings include gigs by Young Nudy, Skeletonwitch, Bright Light Social Hour, Good Charlotte, and Tatsuya Nakatani.

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

Extreme metal band SkeletonwitchEXPAND
Extreme metal band Skeletonwitch
Nico Poalillo


Monday, May 20
The Rebel Lounge

Skeletonwitch are notable for the deadly serious way they confronted toxic masculinity within their own ranks. When singer Chance Garnette was arrested on domestic violence charges, his brother Nate and the other two members decided to cut him loose. They’ve continued to play and record with a new singer, and 2018’s Devouring Radiant Light was one of their best-reviewed records yet. They play The Rebel Lounge’s fourth-anniversary show with Soft Kill, Wiegedood, and Portrayal of Guilt. Start time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Douglas Markowitz

The boys of Good Charlotte
The boys of Good Charlotte
Courtesy of MSO PR

Good Charlotte

Monday, May 20
The Van Buren

There was a time not too long ago when anyone who had a disregard for societal norms could throw on some heavy eye makeup, latch a few safety pins onto their messenger bags, and crank up. Good Charlotte? Yeah. Remember that? Those were the good old days of not wanting to fit in too much but definitely not badass enough to break too many rules. It was a perfect compromise for angsty teens who still enjoyed a catchy chorus or two. The pop-punk quintet will be back in town this week for a show at The Van Buren on Monday night. Post-hardcore band Being As an Ocean will open. The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $33 to $36. Diamond Rodrigue

The man, the myth, the legend: Willie Nelson.
The man, the myth, the legend: Willie Nelson.
David McClister

Willie Nelson

Monday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 21
Celebrity Theatre

Outlaw country legend and cool stoner dad Willie Nelson is an American hero. We love Willie in the morning or night. We love him in his home state of Texas, in the country music capital of Nashville, and even when he plays the Valley. When he performs here on May 20 and 21, he’ll surely be wearing his signature look: a bandanna, braids, jeans, and red, white, and blue macrame sash. He’ll be backed by his band, Family, with his actual sister, pianist Bobbie. Nelson might not have the same chops he had in the ’70s, but he has just as much heart and style. He’s one of a kind and forever at the top of his cool game. Liz Tracy

Tatsuya Nakatani plays a gong like a fiddle — literally.
Tatsuya Nakatani plays a gong like a fiddle — literally.
Courtesy of Tatsuya Nakatani

Tatsuya Nakatani

Tuesday, May 21
The Trunk Space

Tatsuya Nakatani is a sound artist and master percussionist hailing from New Mexico. Whereas so many new music/avant-garde musicians tend to stay rooted in one place, Nakatani is a veteran road dog. He frequently tours across the country, either doing solo shows or as the ringleader of his Nakatani Gong Orchestra. Ashley Naftule

The members of Bright Light Social HourEXPAND
The members of Bright Light Social Hour
Nicole Fara Silver

Bright Light Social Hour

Wednesday, May 22
Valley Bar

Bright Light Social Hour debuted in late 2010 in Austin, Texas, with an eponymous LP that was all over the place in the best possible way, a sometimes-confounding mashup of styles that nonetheless felt comfortable in its own skin and instantly marked them as a band worth paying attention to. Years later, the five-piece are still at it with a bespoke brand of rock that delights in blurring the boundaries between art-rock adventure and outright jams. They’re currently touring in support of their latest full-length album, Jude Vol. I, which dropped in February. Expect to hear a track or two from the album at the band’s gig at Valley Bar. Chris Gray

Young Nudy

Wednesday, May 22
Club Red in Mesa

Rap runs in the family of Quantavious Thomas, a.k.a. Young Nudy, who just so happens to be the cousin of 21 Savage. The two grew up together in Atlanta's gritty Zone 6, and were both arrested in the same sting that nearly led to the London-born 21's deportation this past February. Of course, Nudy isn't letting that incident kill his career momentum: Earlier this month, he dropped Sli'merre, an extremely wavy collab tape with Playboi Carti producer Pi'erre Bourne. Featuring tracks like "Mister" with 21 and "Extendo" with Lil Uzi Vert, it might just be the breakout rap release of the year. Douglas Markowitz

NKOTB is still hanging tough and cashing in on nostalgia.EXPAND
NKOTB is still hanging tough and cashing in on nostalgia.
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

New Kids on the Block

Wednesday, May 22
Talking Stick Resort Arena

New Kids on the Block, the ’90s boy-band that stole millions of hearts and sold millions of records back in the day, are hitting the road again for another summertime tour steeped in nostalgia. And they’re bringing fellow throwback artists and acts Salt N Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson along for the ride. To celebrate the occasion, NKOTB recorded a throwback song, "’80s Baby," with said artists and acts and even created a lyric video filled with 16-bit graphics. Expect plenty of other nods to their heyday when the tour hits Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix on May 22. Kyle Harris

Little Feat

Wednesday, May 22
The Van Buren

In 1969, when Little Feat were formed by keyboardist Bill Payne and the just-fired Mothers of Invention guitarist Lowell George, 50-year-old bands didn't exist. Yet 50 years later, Little Feat are still cranking out their original brand of Southern boogie, which merges funk, jazz, blues, gospel, folk, soul, rock, and New Orleans' unique rhythmic pulse. Perhaps even more surprising is just how fresh and vibrant the music remains on Rooster Rag, the group's most recent effort. When, at just 34, George died of a heart attack in 1979, the band effectively died along with him. But Little Feat's popularity never waned, and the remaining members re-formed in 1987, releasing the acclaimed Let It Roll.

Though the band experienced some lean times in the 1990s, and juggled a rotating cast of vocalists, the core (and current) members Payne, Sam Clayton, Paul Barrere, Kenny Gradney, and Fred Tackett (who joined in 1987), plus recently deceased drummer Richie Hayward, kept the group's decisive groove flowing. The band's re-energized outlook and vintage sound should remind people why Little Feat formed in the first place: to boogie all night long. Glenn BurnSilver

Renowned blues musician Keb' Mo'EXPAND
Renowned blues musician Keb' Mo'
Andrea Lucero

Keb' Mo'

Wednesday, May 22
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Although he is often described as a blues musician, Kevin Moore – better known as Keb' Mo' – is far from a purist in the tradition of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf. Such a distinction is a good thing, as Mo' has served as a link between those legendary figures and a more contemporary, soul-influenced style of blues. Songs like "The Worst is Yet to Come" and "Do it Right" are well-played, slickly produced, and easily digestible mixtures of pop, rock, and blues that go well with sitting on the couch and throwing back some cold ones. His show at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $47 to $169. Darryl Smyers

Wisin y Yandel

Thursday, May 23
Comerica Theatre

For the last several years, there have been people asking: “Is reggaeton dead? Or is it just hiding out in the hills of Puerto Rico, waiting for the world’s pop music clocks to rewind all the way back to 2006?” Sure, this line of questioning might be totally bogus, as it was with rock ’n’ roll and punk and rap. But if there were anyone on Planet Earth with the authority to speak on the health and whereabouts of this formerly insurgent Latin phenomenon, it should be Wisin y Yandel. Yet even these one-time poster boys for the Latin urban music movement have gone on to the next thing. Neither Wisin (a.k.a. Juan Luis Morera Luna), nor Yandel (a.k.a. Llandel Veguilla Malavé Salazar) bother to identify with the reggaeton tag these days, preferring to simply call it “pop.” And really, why should Luna and Salazar wait for reggaeton to make its comeback when they never went away? S. Pajot

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