Concerts in Phoenix August 25-28: Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, Kacey Musgraves | Phoenix New Times

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

We're in for a week of rock 'n' roll legends.
Mick Jagger and the rest of The Rolling Stones are scheduled to perform on Monday, August 26, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
Mick Jagger and the rest of The Rolling Stones are scheduled to perform on Monday, August 26, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Marcel Antonisse/CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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We’re in for a week of concerts by rock 'n’ roll legends here in the Valley – and it kicks off with one of the biggest bands of all time: The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger and company will take over State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Monday night for what’s expected to be one of the year’s best shows. Tickets are still available as of this writing. It’s likely to be a memorable night of rock anthems from the hall of famers.

Meanwhile, Ringo Starr of The Beatles will be performing across town at the Celebrity Theatre with the current members of his All-Starr Band (which features Steve Lukather from Toto, Santana's Gregg Rolie, and Colin Hay from Men at Work). Tickets for this show are a little harder to come by, but can be had if money’s no object.

Other legendary acts and artists due in the Valley this week include Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Chris Isaak, and Heart. The equally iconic KRS-One is scheduled to perform at Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Wednesday night.

If none of that interests you, Kacey Musgraves, Mames Babegenush, Mannequin Pussy, and The Bird and the Bee will headline local venues over the next few nights. Details about each of these gigs can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, head over to Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar for more shows this week.

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Legendary rock 'n’ roller and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band

Monday, August 26
Celebrity Theatre

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band bring together music icons of the '60s and '70s and the fans who adore them. If we're being honest, Starr is probably our favorite Beatle, and he's toured with 12 variations of the band since 1989. He plays a bit of his solo material as well as some Beatles songs, and the rest of the touring band members follow suit with their music. The current lineup includes Toto's Steve Lukather, Santana's Gregg Rolie, Men at Work's Colin Hay, multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham, drummer Gregg Bissonette, and Hamish Stuart. Starr and company are scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Celebrity Theatre. Tickets are mostly sold out at this point, so call the box office at 602-267-1600 or check out the secondary market if you’d like to attend. Diamond Rodrigue

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The Nude Party invades Valley Bar on Monday night.
Sacha Lecca

The Nude Party

Monday, August 26
Valley Bar

A band like The Nude Party are what happens when you move into a lake house with five of your friends and step-siblings to jam every night. The North Carolina bro band celebrate frat rock that was coming out in the ’60s. But, before they moved into that lake house and became The Nude Party, the band were just a group of old friends playing together at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., around 2012.

The band spent the next few years playing local clubs and bars until they met Black Lips drummer Oakley Munson. The drummer was impressed with the band and went on to record The Nude Party’s first EP, Hot Tub, which was released in 2016. Two years later, they released their self-titled debut album. Kentucky group Boa and local band Louisiana-born soul/rock band Seratones will open the night, which kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16. Jacob Vaughn

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The members of Mames Babegenush.
Torito Artists

Mames Babegenush

Monday, August 26
The MIM Music Theater

The MIM Music Theater isn’t the type of venue that houses a rowdy crowd, but that could all change when Mames Babegenush (which means “mom’s aubergine salad” in Yiddish) take the stage. This rowdy group of six Danish musicians are known for their unique take on klezmer jazz music, so when Emil Goldschmidt’s clarinet swoops in, it will be difficult for anyone to stay seated. Their raucousness comes from their ability to give the traditional music style an appealing rock edge. It’s not like attendees are going to tear the roof off the theater, but don’t be surprised if a small mosh pit forms in the front row during their show on Monday night, which is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $33.50 to $38.50. Jason Keil

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The one and only Rolling Stones.
Dave Hogan

The Rolling Stones

Monday, August 26
State Farm Stadium in Glendale

It's difficult now to picture The Rolling Stones as a threat to corruptible youth, but when they first became a cultural phenomenon five decades ago, that was exactly how they were perceived. While The Beatles were their innocuous altar boy counterpoints, the Stones did everything they could to reinforce their bad-boy reputations, through lineup changes, deaths, overdoses, arrests, and an entourage of supermodel wives and daughters.

Now septuagenarians, the Stones are still standing — mostly without difficulty. That's because the group are as indestructible as guitarist Keith Richards, adapting their genre to changing times, from the early pristine simplicity of "As Tears Go By" to the disco-inspired "Miss You." Between that, their mystique, their debauchery, and their moves like Jagger (well, they are Jagger's), the band has not only become rock 'n' roll deities but also inspired a multiplying breed of imitators. The Stones roll into State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Monday night for what should an epic concert. Blues-rock band Kaleo opens the evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $42 to $442. Eva Raggio

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Mannequin Pussy: Seriously, don't Google them at work.
Epitaph Records

Mannequin Pussy

Tuesday, August 27
The Rebel Lounge

Mannequin Pussy's new album Patience, released on Epitaph Records back in June, features a delicate balance of the hard-driving, screaming force the band have come to be known for, in addition to a newfound sense of softness that deals differently with pain. With songs deeply immersed in the struggle between independence and co-dependence, Patience asks listeners to take on the full spectrum of human emotion and deal with the negatives more positively — something that singer and guitarist Marisa Dabice says invites people to do by attending their shows.

"I think the show above anything else should be a positive experience," she says. "A lot of the shows that we play have been really positive experiences, with people dancing and screaming and singing along, sharing things that they've been through."

There's a stigma-like awkwardness attached to attending a concert alone. It's easy to feel alone when one is surrounded by groups of people sharing the experience. Those who face their fears and their social anxiety are certain to be rewarded. Dabice says that the communal experience Mannequin Pussy offer fans will turn strangers into friends and maybe even more. See if that's the case after attending their Tuesday night show at The Rebel Lounge. Empath and T-Rextasy will open the evening, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 at the door. David Fletcher

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Pop star Kacey Musgraves.
Kelly Christine Sutton

Kacey Musgraves

Tuesday, August 27
Comerica Theatre

In taking home four Grammy Awards back in March, including the prized Album of the Year honor for Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves has established herself as an unadulterated pop star. It's been a whirlwind couple of years for the country artist and Texas native. Moving up on the Austin scene about a decade ago, Musgraves' stature rose steadily with 2012's standout track "Merry Go Round," putting her talent on notice. From there, it's been full-steam ahead. Her 2015 album Pageant Material led to frequent TV appearances, headline slots on festival tours, and a bevy of Grammy and CMA nominations. This last year has taken things to a whole other level as her sound has achieved a full-blown crossover standard that has captivated industry voters and the more general public. Her show at Comerica Theatre on Tuesday evening starts at 8 p.m. with an opening set by Poolside. Tickets are $43 to $140. Jeff Strowe

Chris Isaak still looks great after all these years. His music ain't bad either.
Andrew MacPherson/Vanguard Records

Chris Isaak

Tuesday, August 27
Mesa Arts Center

Chris Isaak will never not be cool. The embodiment of all things California suave, the San Francisco-based crooner just turned 61. Isaak remains boyishly handsome. The years have been kind to his voice as well. It adds the kind of melancholy wisdom that comes from singing songs about the one that got away for more than 30 years. Fans who may have lost touch with Isaak since his “Wicked Game” days, or perhaps 1995’s Grammy-nominated Forever Blue, will be pleased to know that he’s still making excellent records. See it for yourself on Tuesday at Mesa Arts Center. There’s no opener and the show begins promptly at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 to $85. Chris Gray

Heart and Joan Jett

Wednesday, August 28
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Not a lot of shows taking place outside in August are worth dealing with the Arizona heat. After all, it's triple digits out there right now, and brushing up against sticky, sweaty concertgoers is more than a little off-putting. And while Joan Jett and Heart have toured together in recent years, the chance to see rock ‘n’ roll royalty in concert make it safe to say a little perspiration never hurt anyone. Singer-songwriter Elle King, best known for her mega-hit "Ex's & Oh's," will open the night at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50. Diamond Rodrigue

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The Bird and the Bee are Interpreting The Masters again, this time with Van Halen.
Alexa Nikol Curran

The Bird and the Bee

Wednesday, August 28
Crescent Ballroom

Somewhere on the great rock ’n’ roll altar in the sky, there is a lengthy tally of the music duos that have defined our time. Inara George and Greg Kurstin, a superstar duo themselves, are slowly working their way down that list while finding themselves along the way. Ten years ago, The Bird and the Bee gave us Interpreting The Masters Volume 1, a pitch-perfect tribute to Hall & Oates in the form of punchy synth-pop renditions. Now, they set their eyes on a beast of a very different color with Interpreting The Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen.

The Bird and the Bee are plenty busy outside of their passion project. Kurstin is a seven-time Grammy-winning producer who has worked with everyone from Adele to Kendrick Lamar. George, meanwhile, consistently has released solo records for the duration of the duo’s career, as well as guesting on a variety of records, including the Foo Fighters’ Concrete and Gold. But take one listen to Kurstin’s stripped-down solo piano take on “Eruption” and you’ll get the idea. The Bird and the Bee aren’t out to capitalize on watered-down pop renditions of these ubiquitous classics. Rather, they let the technical brilliance and psychic chemistry of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth guide them on a hard rock odyssey, which comes to Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday night. Alex Lilly and Samantha Sidley share the bill of the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $17 to $27. Gerrit Feenstra

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Hip-hop icon KRS-One.
Luckyman Concerts


Wednesday, August 28
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

KRS-One (real name Lawrence Parker) is also known as the Teacha. He identifies as a philosopher and, at 54, still likes to cause a ruckus. During interviews over the last several years, he’s called the ruling class of white people in our society psychopaths, threatened to sue mainstream radio stations for playing his music, and bagged on artists who sign traditional record deals.

KRS-One is an undeniably important figure in the history of rap, but considering an artist’s legacy usually implies they’re done making music worth listening to — that their life’s work is done — and that’s not the case here. The World Is Mind, his 2017 album, is a thought-provoking album tackling the issues of today, continuing KRS-One's long tradition of putting out socially conscious music.

The entire album is a reminder of KRS-One’s impact on the world of hip-hop, and all the rappers who followed in his footsteps by daring to discuss something outside of money, cars, and clothes. He’s scheduled to perform at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $17 for general admission, $25 for the balcony. Howard Hardee

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ZZ Top in concert.
Photo by Melissa Fossum

ZZ Top and Cheap Trick

Thursday, August 29
Comerica Theatre

If you have trace memories of immortal blues-rock combo ZZ Top, it's probably of two bears with long beards spinning guitars, a drummer without a beard (named Beard), and legs ("she's got ... 'em"). A few years before that, though, just before punk broke, Circus Magazine described the band as "blue-collar nihilistic" and "cornered animals gone nasty.”

Tres Hombres is easily one of the top albums of 1973, its road-tested swelter-boogie featuring a balls-out tribute to a bordello (first hit, "La Grange"), along with garage-gospel ("Precious & Grace") and the origins of cowpunk ("Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers"). Inspired by greats like John Lee Hooker and the Stones, Billy Gibbons (vocals, guitar), Dusty Hill (bass, backing vocals), and Frank Beard (those oh-so-tight drums) spent several '70s LPs being as soulful and organically powerful as peyote and barbecue. That's right up till 1979's Degüello, when the robot-rock set into their video-ready rhythms and they became ubiquitous on MTV three years later.

Everything they did was as infectious as venom, but real riff fans grit their teeth at those stupid jokes these days about facial hair and synthesizers, knowing deep in their hearts that ZZ Top was as important as AC/DC and Sonic Youth, and sounded like both, often at the same time. They’re scheduled to perform at Comerica Theatre on Thursday along with fellow rock 'n’ roll legends Cheap Trick. Country artist Austin Hanks opens the show at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $48.50. Chris Estey
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