The moment you’ve been dreading has arrived. Summer is here. It’s going to be really friggin’ hot this week (particularly on Wednesday), and there are a couple of ways you can deal with this unfortunate situation. You could go into hermit mode, staying inside your domicile with the AC running at full blast. Or you could spend your evenings out at a local music venue, where they’ll also have the AC running at full blast.
We recommend the latter, especially since there are a slew of great shows happening over the next few nights such as Aly and AJ, Weyes Blood, Mark Sultan, The Offspring, She Wants Revenge, and John Paul White. Other notable names headed to the Valley this week include Luke Bryan, Megafauna, The Mystery Lights, Chris Webby, Neckbeard Deathcamp, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.
Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this week. And for even more live music happening around town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Mark SultanMonday, June 10
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe
Mark Sultan is an accomplished, unique songwriter, so it may seem wrong to reduce him to the more outrageous aspects of his persona. Unfortunately, we can't help it. The man (who has traveled and performed under any number of aliases over the years, including Needles, Krebs, Skutch, Blortz, and BBQ) wears various costuming onstage and has previously gone on record as finding dubstep capitalistically unrighteous.
Extracurricular weirdness aside, Sultan is a relative traditionalist. He plays hulking, honking garage-rock that melds a sequence of retro influences — jukebox blues, doo-wop, space-surf psychedelia — into something utterly timely. Sultan found his voice playing in the Spaceshits, a group of demented Montreal punks, and achieved indie rock star status after that group self-imploded in typically violent fashion in 1999 and Sultan teamed with King Khan for The King Khan & BBQ Show. He’s currently touring as a solo act and swings through the Yucca Tap in Tempe on Monday night. The 16 Eyes and robot (re)pair will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door. M.T. Richards
The Mystery LightsMonday, June 10
The Rebel Lounge
Brooklyn’s Mystery Lights, are a garage outfit who match diligent crate-digging with the haunted feel of the 13th Floor Elevators or even Cold Sun. A lot of so-called psychedelic bands now are all flash; these guys are fog and smoke, with slo-mo fuzz leads lurching out of the darkness like the torturous final reveal of some low-budget movie monster. Their self-titled album and accompanying 45 single are well worth your judicious examination — they’ve got not just the sound, but the feel and the spirit of the real-deal bands from right now as well as back then. Some might call it raw, but really, it’s just pure. Future Punx and Godstar share the bill of their Monday night show at Rebel Lounge, which gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Chris Ziegler
The OffspringMonday, June 10
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
When The Offspring's Dexter Holland sang “Why don’t you get a job” back in 1998, he probably didn't realize that a 9-to-5 wouldn't be part of his future. But 20 years later, it's clear that the band helped revive mainstream interest in punk rock alongside acts like Rancid, Green Day, and NOFX. The Offspring went on to sell more than 40 million albums, ultimately becoming one of the most commercially viable punk rock bands of all time.
Much beloved for their 1994 album Smash, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the band finally attracted major-label interest that same year, as did Green Day's Dookie. The Offspring went on to reach multiplatinum and gold success from 1997 to 2003 with their next four studio albums.
Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman, and drummer Pete Parada, they've inspired a number of musicians, from heavy metal act Trivium to British synthpop group Cuban Boys. And while their music has resonated with listeners for decades on a comedic, cultural, and nostalgic level, the band aren't about to stop creating. Tickets to their Monday night show at the Marquee, which gets going at 7:30 p.m., are $35 to $55. Lauren Wise
John Paul WhiteMonday, June 10
Musical Instrument Museum
John Paul White is a man fiercely devoted to the craft. An Alabama native who lives in and owns a studio in Florence, White spent over a decade working long and hard as a songwriter on Music Row, churning out hits for other country-oriented artists. Concurrently, he was busy with his own music, too, releasing his debut album in 2008. A year later, he joined fellow singer-songwriter Joy Williams to form The Civil Wars, a folk duo that captured two Grammy Awards in 2012. White followed the split of that project with Beulah, a celebrated solo album released in 2016 that featured a plethora of his trademark plaintive and heart-wrenching story songs. He's quickly following up that album with another one slated for an upcoming release.
Known for working with sparse arrangements that serve to highlight the quiet, often reflective nature of his songs, White hints at a new direction for this upcoming batch of tunes. “These new songs are adult-oriented, for sure. Writing the material and working on it really forced me to think about what I wanted to be when I grow up,” he chuckles. “I really thought about what to say and expressly how to say it.” See White in concert on Monday night at the MIM. The show starts at 7 p.m., The Prescriptions will open, and tickets are $38.50 to $48.50. Jeff Strowe
My Life With the Thrill Kill KultTuesday, June 11
Club Red in Mesa
When Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy started My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (or TKK for short) back in the late '80s, it was hard to imagine them still going strong all these years later. Their disorienting industrial sleaze rock was hardly in vogue with the nouveau pop or hair metal sounds that then dominated the airwaves. Furthermore, their sporadic shock-value antics, involving satirical riffs, quasi-satanic rituals, and lots of sexual innuendos, hardly screamed staying power. However, here they are, as sprightly bound and charismatic as ever in 2019. Out touring on both an extended 30-year anniversary run and in support of their latest album, House of Strange Affairs, the band will bring their thunderous rock and raucous antics to the stage of Club Red in Mesa on June 11. Expect a room full of diehard fans to offer their allegiance and pay homage to a veteran band of misfits who have more than earned the adulation. The show is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Jeff Strowe
Aly and AJTuesday, June 11
The Van Buren
Sisters Aly and AJ Michalka have been making magic for more than a decade. Most know the siblings from their Disney Channel debut in 2006. Their original movie, Cow Belles, allowed viewers to fall in love with AJ as Courtney Callum and Aly as Taylor Callum. From there, AJ appeared on Six Feet Under, General Hospital, and The Guardian, while Aly had roles in Easy A, The Roommate, and Hellcats. Though their acting careers have fluctuated, one thing has remained constant: their music.
The two pop stars grew up loving music. Born in Torrance, California, they were raised by Christian parents. Their mother, Carrie, is a musician and performed with the Christian rock group JC Band. The sisters have been playing guitar and piano since childhood. Their music duo, Aly and AJ, was formed in 2004. “Do You Believe in Magic” quickly became a single stuck in every little sister’s head thanks to the constant video airtime on the Disney Channel. The 2005 song skyrocketed to No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Singles, while its album, Into the Rush, sold more than 800,000 copies in the States and 1 million worldwide.
The magic has stuck with them throughout their music career. From their holiday album, Acoustic Hearts of Winter, to their third album, Insomniac, the duo continued to push the pop agenda. “Potential Breakup Song,” their second smash, charted on Billboard's Top 20 Hit Singles, giving young girls everywhere another chance to sing off-key. Although Aly and AJ left their label, Hollywood Records, and briefly changed their group name to 78violet, they continued doing what they loved most: music. Their concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $250. Cristina Jerome
MegafaunaTuesday, June 11
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe
Megafauna are this way trippy experimental rock act out of Austin, Texas, who will be here annihilating the Yucca Tap Room on Tuesday night with their incredibly varied approach to music. Vacillating between angelic vocals and being punched in the breadbasket by a fist wrapped in tri-tones counts as variety, right? Well, you can go to the Yucca Tap on Tuesday and find out whether your innards will become your outtards from the mad phatness of Megafauna's music. The free show starts at 8 p.m. and Twin Ponies will open. Jef Rouner
Neckbeard DeathcampTuesday, June 11
Club Red in Mesa
Hailing from Bordeaux, France, a city that was at one point occupied by actual Nazis, Neckbeard Deathcamp are weaponizing the language of the 4chan-happy alt-right to fight against them in the form of black metal. Their 2018 record, White Nationalism Is for Basement-Dwelling Losers, became the No. 1 album on Bandcamp days after its release thanks to very funny song titles like "Incel Warfare," "Please Respond (I Showed You My Penis)," and “The Fetishization of Asian Women Despite a Demand for a Pure White Race (Outro)."
In a way, it makes sense for a band like Neckbeard Deathcamp to exist. White supremacists have hid in punk and metal circles for so long that there are movies about the topic. With metal fans wanting to enjoy their music without being associated with Nazi cretins, an anti-fascist metal band had to come along at some point — we're lucky they're as cool and good as these guys. Fair warning: Based on recent activities by the Proud Boys in our area, you may want to come to this show ready to fight some right-wing freaks. The show is at 6 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Theories, Dryad, Sorrower, and Woundvac will open. Douglas Markowitz
Weyes BloodWednesday, June 12
The beautiful and grotesque have echoed through the chords of Weyes Blood (a.k.a. Natalie Mering) since its inception. The very name (pronounced “Wise Blood”) recalls the title of a Flannery O’Connor Southern Gothic novel. The beauty and growth of nature is often a fount of inspiration for artists, but Mering found inspiration in what might happen to it when it is gone. Her album Titanic Rising examines this, as well as ideas of time, and what it means to rise and fall.
Throughout the album, water rises as love falls: a crescendo and decrescendo, everything moving in and out, up and down, like a heartbeat or heat wave falling down but ready to rise again. “Born in a century lost to memories / falling trees, get off your knees / no one can keep you down,” Mering sings. The ease in which she carries each note heavily contrasted with the weight of her lyrics, but she never explains them or the songs during the performance because she does not need to. When Mering does speak, it is in tune with the show: graceful and confident, moving from one word to the next, following a rhythm of sorts.
Catch Weyes Blood in concert on Wednesday night at Valley Bar. Singer-songwriter Jackie Cohen will open. The show is at 9 p.m. and tickets are $15. Atheena Frizzell
Chris WebbyWednesday, June 12
Club Red in Mesa
Chris Webby has "203" inked across his right side, a gothic "Connecticut" burned into the skin beneath his neck. There are the scattered images of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mario Brothers, and Transformers among his tattoos; a search online suggests Simba exists on his leg, but I didn't check. Some tattooist put a coupling of eighth notes a few inches above his hip.
This frat boy-turned-rapper is suburban, aggressively so, the voice of parking lot angst, the face of middle-middle-class rage. And Webby’s achieved a certain level of success since debuting a decade ago. Outside of the traditional hip-hop blogs, far away from radio, he’s released 11 mixtapes, three EPs, numerous singles, and a single full-length album debut, Chemically Imbalanced. He’s also racked up some 134,000 followers on Twitter, 309,000 fans on Facebook, and gazillions of YouTube plays. In other words, expect his Wednesday night gig at Club Red in Mesa to be packed. Start time is 7 p.m. and Grieves will open. Tickets are $25. Jeff Rosenthal
JOHNNYSWIMThursday, June 13
The Van Buren
This Nashville duo have created a sound that's part soul, part blues, and part folk. JOHNNYSWIM'S ability to sync up is no coincidence — the duo have been married since 2009, but that hasn't put a single bump in their pursuit of harmonized, soulful music. Shared vocal duties and a strong sense of driving rhythm and melody make their songs infectious and catchy. See them in concert on Thursday night at The Van Buren. Start time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $28 to $30. Matt Wood
She Wants RevengeThursday, June 13
Life often serves up some unexpected twists, some of which wind up being positive. Just ask Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge. In 2016, American Horror Story, which starred noted SWR fan Lady Gaga, used the band's breakout hit "Tear You Apart" in an alluringly disturbing scene involving a vampire orgy.
Fans of both the show and She Wants Revenge went gaga (if you'll pardon the pun) over the scene, and it sparked renewed interest in the post-punk/darkwave band, which had been on a lengthy hiatus for several years following their third full-length album, Valleyheart.
After a one-off reunion show in L.A. a few months later, Warfield and Braven decided to hit the road again and have been filling venues across the country with their gothy and synth-y stylings that still seem fresh after more than a decade. On Thursday night, they’ll come to Crescent Ballroom for a performance, which is likely to include hits like “Tear You Apart,” “These Things,” "Written in Blood," and "Maybe She's Right." The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $35. Benjamin Leatherman
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Luke BryanThursday, June 13
Luke Bryan is considered the King of Bro Country, a title he seems to embrace while also hoping to be treated as a serious artist. Count all the lyrical references to alcohol, trucks, gurrls (not just girls), rural settings, and catfish you like. Thing is, the thousands of people who will come to Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 13 want to have a good time, pure and simple.
This three-act blockbuster show is what country music sold to a mass audience looks like these days, but it gets some real credibility from openers like Cole Swindell and Jon Langston. Most mainstream country music is for people who grew up on Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Tim McGraw, and Def Leppard, and weren’t afraid of hip-hop, either. Plus, it’s family entertainment. As easily mocked as the bro country genre is, it sure isn’t losing any steam by snark from those who don’t get it. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $59.25 to $109. Eric Grubbs