The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week
| July 22, 2019 | 12:17pm
Henry Vargas and José Corona of The Red Pears.
Want to spend a hot summer night at a cool concert? You’ve got plenty of opportunities to do so this week, as the Valley’s concert slate features plenty of notable shows, all of which are worthy of your time and a modest amount of disposable income.
A combination of indie acts and legendary bands will make their way to music venues around town this week on their current tours. Highlights include renowned prog-rock groups Yes and Asia, as well as such indie favorites as The Head and the Heart, Gardens & Villa, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Man Man, and Twin Tribes.
Other artists and acts scheduled to perform in the Valley include Christian metalcore ensemble August Burns Red, Zydeco king Terrance Simien, and reggae/soul singer J.Boog.
Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Indie folk band The Head and the Heart.
Curtis Wayne Millard
The Head and the Heart Monday, July 22
After losing two original band members to addiction and burnout, The Head and the Heart took a different approach with writing their fourth studio album: They turned to outside writers. This upset some longtime fans and even irked band members at first mention, but the final product turned out just fine. None of the band's chemistry was sacrificed, even if the Seattle outfit's folk-heavy anthems took a sharp turn toward pop. The group bring their updated sound – which fans can hear on "Missed Connection" and "People Need A Melody" – to Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix on Monday night in support of their newest record, Living Mirage. Hippo Campus will open the evening, which gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 to $56. Matthew Keever
Terrance Simien Tuesday, July 23
Musical Instrument Museum
If you’re Terrance Simien, every day is Mardi Gras. That is to say, the renowned musician, Louisiana resident, and frontman for the six-piece Zydeco Experience celebrates the music and culture of the Creole people and his native state whenever and however possible, regardless of the date. As such, he tours the country with the act and brings their roots, funk, and reggae-flavored version of this classic Louisiana music to all corners of creation. "Zydeco music is the music of the Creole people," he says. "The Creole people have been in Louisiana for over 300 years. We have our own music, our own food, and it's a music that has two lead instruments." These are the accordion and the rubboard. Simien is himself an eighth-generation Creole.
He heads up a six-piece band that he's played with for more than 30 years. They've performed all over the globe. Hailing from southwestern Louisiana, Simien taught himself to play the accordion as a 13-year-old when his father bought him the instrument for his birthday. He also sings. "This music is popular in the area where I grew up." He says, "They have zydeco dances at these dance halls and I fell in love with the music." The unique genre exploded around the world in the '80s, Simien says, and now people have zydeco bands all over the world. "It's a dance music," Simien confirms. Catch him in concert at the Musical Instrument Museum on Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $33.50 to $38.50. Liz Tracy
Gardens & Villa return to Phoenix with their new single, "Underneath The Moon."
Clifford John Usher
Gardens & Villa Tuesday, July 23
Every epic journey of legend shares a quintessential trope: the resolve of the return home. Santa Barbara, California, indie rock band Gardens & Villa have endured an odyssey of sorts in their decade together. They endured the frigid Midwestern winter for sophomore LP Dunes and built a fortress out of a Los Angeles warehouse for follow-up Music For Dogs. But for their fourth outing, they found themselves returning to once-familiar landscapes turned somber with the passage of time.
Our first taste of Gardens & Villa's next chapter comes in the form of “Underneath The Moon.” This blissful summer single is reminiscent of the band’s early singles like “Black Hills” and “Orange Blossom,” but also showcases a decade’s worth of songwriting growth and evolution. The song speaks to the power of love to bridge differences between people and worlds, a notion mostly lost to our increasingly reactionary times.
“This record has a lot more love energy, and a 'return to nature' theme,” says singer Chris Lynch of Gardens & Villa. “It’s also a long story of our friendship as musicians and brothers. And life, really — we’ve all gone through a lot of shit in the last four years. It’s been good and bad and all around we’re making it.” Gardens & Villa is scheduled to perform on Tuesday night at Valley Bar starting at 8 p.m. Flower Festival opens. Tickets are $15. Gerrit Feenstra
Gardens & Villa return to Phoenix with their new single, "Underneath The Moon."
Clifford John Usher
The Red Pears Tuesday, July 23
The Rebel Lounge
One hot summer day in 2014, a seed was planted somewhere around El Monte, California. It happened the moment musicians Henry Vargas and José Corona started talking about starting a band. The two played their first show, with Vargas on guitar and vocals, Corona on drums, at an open mic hosted by a local church. However, the tree that would later produce The Red Pears didn't really take root until the addition of Patrick Juarez on bass. About a year into its growth, the band released their album We Bring Anything to the Table… Except Tables, We Can’t Bring Tables to the Table and that was it. The Red Pears finally fell from the tree and were ready to be consumed by the masses. That means you. Get your bite on Tuesday at The Rebel Lounge. The Grinns and Instructions share the bill at the all-ages show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Jacob Vaughn
Scottish indie rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks.
Clarion Call Media
We Were Promised Jetpacks Tuesday, July 23
Among the many things that come to mind when someone mentions Scotland, underrated emo post-rock is probably near the bottom of the list. But We Were Promised Jetpacks is the reason that would be on the list in the first place. One of Scotland’s most notable exports, the band is probably best known by their 2009 anthem “Quiet Little Voices” off their debut album, These Four Walls. A gem of the latter heydays of 2000s pop-punk, the album seemingly didn’t get its due as the wheel of trends spun away from sappy rockers and onto sappy singers.
Criticized for repetitious lyrics and a tone deemed to be too earnest for some, both qualities can now be found in abundance on all manner of 2019 radio stations and music sales charts. It’s more likely that We Were Promised Jetpacks just missed the boat on the days of listening to an entire album from start to finish. Because when you do that, the 11 tracks on These Four Walls can stand alongside any world eating Jimmy or Dashboard Confessional. We Were Promised Jetpacks’ current tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of These Four Walls, comes to Crescent Ballroom on Tuesday night. Their show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Nick Bostick
Reggae/soul singer J Boog.
J Boog Wednesday, July 24
It has been a long musical journey for reggae/soul singer J Boog since his start making beats in his garage. Born Jerry Afemata, he was raised in a tight-knit Samoan community in Compton, California, where instead of gangster rap and hip-hop, his home radiated with the reggae of Bob Marley, as well as Polynesian music. “We used to bump some cat named Fiji growing up. He was one of the guys we latched onto because he was Polynesian and we were Polynesian. I was always like, hell yeah, this guy is it.”
By chance, Fiji himself, George Veikoso, discovered him through mutual friends and asked the young singer/producer to come to Hawaii to record with him. J Boog left Compton behind, traveling the world and making music with the likes of legendary producer Don Corleon (Rihanna, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj), who produced his breakout hit “Let’s Do It Again.”
J Boog’s most recent album, 2016’s Wash House Ting, is an amalgam of different influences, including Boog's frequent tour mates Rebelution and SOJA, and has contributions from a mix of Jamaican and European producers such as Jr. Blender, DJ Frost and Gramps Morgan. Like his sound, there’s also some R&B flavor, influenced by artists like Mint Condition, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo – but mostly the album is reggae, the genre that remains J Boog’s biggest influence. His concert on Wednesday night is at 8 p.m. Siaosi will open. Tickets are $22. Juan Gutierrez
The prog-rock legends of Yes.
Yes and Asia Wednesday, July 24
One of the most successful and influential prog-rock outfits of all time, Yes have been a household name for the better part of 40 years. During that time, nearly 20 people have come and gone from the band's lineup, which no longer features any of the original members. Nevertheless, the English outfit have experienced quite a bit of success over their storied career, which spans 21 studio albums, never quite finding themselves down for the count, no matter the odds. They visit Comerica Theatre on Wednesday night with fellow prog-rockers Asia, John Lodge, and Palmer's ELP Legacy. Start time is 7 p.m. and tickets are $58 to $225. Matthew Keever
Christian metalcore band August Burns Red.
August Burns Red Wednesday, July 24
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
August Burns Red have the distinction of being the first (and likely only) Amish-inspired Christian metalcore band in the world. And when they slay, they slay in the name of Jesus. The band's 2009 album, Constellations, garnered a 2010 Dove Award nomination, which is the Christian equivalent of a Grammy.
It's not the only honor that August Burns Red have achieved over the last 16 years; the band’s last three albums – 2013’s Rescue and Restore, 2015’s Found in Far Away Places, and 2017’s Phantom Anthem — all landed on the Billboard 200 chart. Rescue and Restore was also the No. 2 U.S. Christian album while the song "Identity" from Far Away Places received a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. In other words, they’ve certainly lived a blessed life. They’ll be in the Valley this week for a show on Wednesday night at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, which is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. Silverstein and Silent Planet will open. Tickets are $25 to $55. Justin Criado
Pow Pow (left) and Honus Honus of Man Man.
Man Man Thursday, July 25
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, if I may direct your attention to the center of the Big Top stage: Man Man's musical three-ring circus is sure to amaze and amuse us all, as the band render their sad songs through maniacal performance.
Critics cite an impressive group of off-kilter musicians like Waits, Zappa, and Beefhart when describing Man Man, but such comparisons are useful only to the extent that Man Man set an expectation for the exuberantly unusual. All six superb musicians belt great songs of love and loss on everything from traditional rock band instruments to tin cans, marimbas, and toys (seemingly all at once) in the controlled chaos that's a true joy to watch. No, you probably aren't going to dance if you attend Man Man’s show at Crescent Ballroom on Thursday night. But you will smile. The show is at 8 p.m. and Rebecca Black will open. Tickets are $18 in advance, $21 at the door. Doug Davis
Twin Tribes Thursday, July 25
The Rebel Lounge
Texas-born indie band Twin Tribes are bringing their darkwave, synthesized post-punk sound to The Rebel Lounge this week. The duo, made up of Luis Navarro on vocals, guitar, synth and beats, and Joel Niño Jr. on bass, synth, and vocals, released their debut album, Shadow, last year with a music video to boot. In the music video for the title track, the band display an apparent affinity for the occult, with visuals of ritualistic cannibalism. They’ll be sharing the bill with fellow post-punk/darkwave act Deaf Dance as well as locals Bella Lune and DJ Xam Renn. The show is at 10 p.m. and tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Jacob Vaughn