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The Eight Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

The Dead Milkmen are scheduled to perform on Thursday, May 30, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
The Dead Milkmen are scheduled to perform on Thursday, May 30, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Jessica Kourkounis
So, how was your Memorial Day weekend? If you survived either the drunken revelry of MDW or the nerdy free-for-all of Phoenix Fan Fusion, congratulations are in order. And if you’re still in the mood to get rowdy or geeky, this week’s concert offerings will give you the chance to do both.

The Dead Milkmen will give their first Valley show in more than a decade, which will likely give local rock geeks a major nostalgia trip. Elsewhere on the calendar, rappers E-40 and Young M.A will perform in town this week, as will country king Brad Paisley and indie bands Pinata Protest, Rooney, and Slow Caves.

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 around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge The accordion-powered punk rockers of Piñata Protest. - COURTESY OF PIÑATA PROTEST
The accordion-powered punk rockers of Piñata Protest.
Courtesy of Piñata Protest

Piñata Protest

Wednesday, May 29
Last Exit Live

Our border brothers in the northern Mexican states have a predisposition for accordion-filled norteños, while rural areas are known to indulge in the more traditional folk music of rancheras. If you're Mexican-American or Chicano, chances are you got a steady dose of both growing up. With that being said, you might think it a little odd when you hear a band like Piñata Protest, a self-described accordion-powered punk rock band that plays ... mojado rock?

When you think about the dichotomy of growing up Chicano, the fusion actually makes perfect sense. The San Antonio, Texas, natives say that their music is not your abuelo's norteño, but it also ain't your pappy's punk rock, either. The quartet, made up of accordionist Alvaro del Norte, guitarist Matt Cazares, bassist Marcus Cazares, and drummer J.J. Martinez, combine driving guitar rhythms, bellowing accordion blasts, and a blistering punk pace for a unique sound that's surprisingly palatable and pleasantly danceable. Anthony Sandoval

click to enlarge Robert Schwartzman of Rooney. - ZOEY GROSSMAN
Robert Schwartzman of Rooney.
Zoey Grossman


Wednesday, May 29
The Rebel Lounge

Rooney were formed in Los Angeles by Robert Schwartzman. (Yes, those Schwartzmans — Jason is his brother.) The band attracted a lot of attention for their British Invasion-influenced sound leading up to and following the 2003 release of their eponymous debut. That album featured songs such as “I’m Shakin’” and “Blueside.” (The latter was on the soundtrack to The Princess Diaries, in which Robert Schwartzman also starred as Anne Hathaway’s love interest.) Their popularity led to tours with other early ’00s acts such as Weezer and The Strokes.

Over the next decade, Rooney released two more albums, Calling the World in 2007 and Eureka in 2010, but in that era, the buzz was much quieter. Now it’s picking up again, thanks to a complete overhaul to the lineup. Schwartzman is the only member left standing in the second coming of Rooney, which sees the band move away from their throwback sound and toward more current, alternative rock. Caroline North

Brooklyn-born rapper Young M.A - MARCO TORRES
Brooklyn-born rapper Young M.A
Marco Torres

Young M.A

Wednesday, May 29
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

From mixtape cuts to more, Young M.A has made it her mission to make her gigs, whether she’s opening for the likes of 21 Savage or headlining her own tour, something that belonged to her. The Brooklyn-born firebrand’s first big break came in 2016 with her triple-platinum hit single "OOOUUU", which ranked on the Billboard Top 20 and racked up more than 296 million YouTube views. On the surface, “OOOUUU” is an extension of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” record from 2014, a burly, dance-ready anthem. Only difference is, Young M.A completely owns the fact that it mixes ownership of her sexuality rather than hardheads on the block who double as a crew. This week, she’s scheduled to perform at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale. The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $95. Brandon Caldwell

click to enlarge The Dead Milkmen will perform their first Valley concert in decades. - JESSICA KOURKOUNIS
The Dead Milkmen will perform their first Valley concert in decades.
Jessica Kourkounis

The Dead Milkmen

Thursday, May 30
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

While it can be difficult to watch certain punk outfits age (and settle into the awkward complacency that has plagued so many legendary bands in recent years), the brand of punk peddled by Philadelphia's Dead Milkmen — rendered with snarky, subtle intellect, rather than brute force — still sounds great after 36 years.

The Milkmen returned from hiatus in 2008 with as close to an original lineup as possible following the tragic loss of bassist Dave "Blood" Schulthise, and have since released new material and even occasionally played live shows. Right now, the band are in the midst of their latest tour and, later this month, the Valley will be fortunate enough to experience its first Dead Milkmen show in decades. They’ll bring out the punk rock girls and boys for a night of singing and slamming to the classics, as well as some unexpected new jams. David Von Bader
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers