Shawn MendesTuesday, July 9
Gila River Arena in Glendale
Truly a product of the social media era, Shawn Mendes gained fame by posting covers to the now-defunct video platform Vine. Since then, the Canadian singer has turned into a force on the charts, becoming one of only five artists to top the Billboard 200 Albums chart before the age of 18. Last year, Time named him to their 100 Most Influential People list. His hit songs include “Stitches” and "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back." He’s also got an unlikely admirer in rapper Kevin Abstract; on the BROCKHAMPTON song “STAR,” the out-and-proud artist admitted, “I don’t fuck with no white boys / Unless the nigga Shawn Mendes.” That’s enough of a cosign for us. Alessia Cara, another artist who got her start posting covers online, will open. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and is officially sold out, but tickets can be found on the secondary market. Douglas Markowitz
GusterWednesday, July 10
The Van Buren
Certain bands – think Flaming Lips, Mudhoney and the like – gain a legion of loyal followers during their career, but never truly break out as full-fledged, arena-filling mainstream superstars. Guster, a Boston-based quartet that formed 28 years ago, certainly fits that bill.
The alt-rock/jangle pop band have released eight full-length studio albums since 1995. Of those eight albums, six have charted on the Billboard Top 200, and four have even peaked inside the Top 40 – the band’s latest, this year’s Look Alive, even debuted atop the Billboard U.S. Indie Albums charts. However, not one of them has even gone gold. What the band have written is a steady stream of quality tunes that has kept Guster in business for going on three decades.
Their current tour in support of Look Alive rolls into The Van Buren on Wednesday night. Desert disco/space blues band KOLARS will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Clint Hale
Horse Jumper of LoveWednesday, July 10
In case you haven’t heard the news, local music venue The Lunchbox – which hosted numerous local and touring bands of the indie, obscure, avant-garde, and experimental variety – is closing its doors on August 1. "It was not an easy decision to make and I am truly heartbroken," venue owner Danny Levie wrote in a Facebook post announcing The Lunchbox’s closure.
Levie also stated that his venue will host show up until the end of July, including this week’s gig by indie band Horse Jumper of Love. The Boston-based “slow rock” trio, which the scribes at Stereogum have described as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” is touring in support of their recently released LP, So Divine, and will perform at The Lunchbox on Wednesday evening. Local indie rock bands Twin Ponies and Dueño share the bill. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10. Benjamin Leatherman
Howard JonesThursday, July 11
Forget the fact it's been more than 30 years since Howard Jones wrote the songs that made him a radio staple. With a string of chart triumphs including tracks such as “New Song,” “Life in One Day,” “Like to Get to Know You Well,” “No One Is to Blame,” “Hide and Seek,” and “What Is Love,” his career has taken him well beyond the status of a mere one-hit wonder. True, he's frequently relegated to classic-rock radio these days, but Jones' creative instincts are still vibrant thanks to his determination to reinvent and reconstruct his musical inventory in ways that lead to new challenges and achievements.
Jones' latest endeavor is Transform, a 10-song LP released back in May that’s earned positive reviews from critics. He’s currently touring in support of the album (and also in honor of the 35th anniversary of his debut LP, Human’s Lib). Men Without Hats and All Hail the Silence are joining Jones on his tour, which rolls into Celebrity Theatre on Thursday night. The performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $75. Lee Zimmerman
VansireThursday, July 11
The Rebel Lounge
Minnesota dream-pop band Vansire’s primary members Josh Augustin and Sam Winemiller met as teenagers playing in the high school band and began experimenting with music together. After discovering they were creatively compatible, the two set out to form a band that sounded like Mac DeMarco. An online random word generator had them set on Vansire for the name of their new project, the name of an obscure mongoose. The rest, like their 2019 two-song release, Metamodernity and their 2018 album, Angel Youth, is history. Catch them at The Rebel Lounge on Thursday night. The show starts at 8 p.m. and BOYO and Gabi Jr. will open. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Jacob Vaughn