The next seven days and nights in Valley are going to be packed with concerts and music events. During the weeklong span from Friday, August 30, to Thursday, September 5, there will be pool parties, large-scale gigs, intimate performances, and even a fetish freakfest.
Highlights include concerts by such notable names as Korn, K. Flay, The National, Sevendust, Daniel Caesar, Ryley Walker, and The 126.96.36.199's, all of whom will grace stages at venues across the Phoenix area. Some of the final pool parties of the summer season will also take place, each boasting a number of big-name DJs like Dada Life.
Details about each of these shows and music event can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley over the next seven days. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Friday, August 30
The Van Buren
Canadian-born R&B/soul singer Daniel Caesar exists in that weird realm where he can craft beautiful, genuine, thought-provoking love songs. Hundreds of people have circulated “Get You,” 2016's about-perfect single with Kali Uchis. That hundred became thousands. It eventually grew to millions.
Needless to say, there are many folks in the know about Caesar's music these days. They will likely pack his concert at The Van Buren on Friday night. If you want to join them, the show starts at 8 p.m. and Reggae artist and rapper Koffee will open. Tickets are $39.50-$140. Brandon Caldwell
Dada Life, Party Favor, and Nervo
Saturday, August 31
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale
Dada Life have successfully built an EDM kingdom of their own, which could only be called Dada World, where the beats are massive and the preferred currency is bananas. As such, the nominally Swedish duo supply a hefty dose of whimsy within a scene forever on the verge of taking itself too seriously, for which their fans have rewarded them handsomely.
But all the ape masks, banana costumes, and oversize Champagne bottles would all be so much mush if Dada didn’t deliver where it counts, namely with plush electro jams tricked out to the gills with billowing synths and their patented “sausage fat” bass. Dada Life enjoy nothing more than partying like it’s the end of the world or the end of the summer. This weekend, they’ll have the honor of helping to wrap up Talking Stick Resort’s summer-long Release pool party series with plenty of champagne and bananas. EDM sister act Nervo and trap/electro-house artist Party Favor co-headline the event. Gates open at 1 p.m. and tickets are $30. Chris Gray
Korn and Alice in Chains
Saturday, August 31
With their low-end rumble, volatile emotions, and raw, barbed-wire energy, both Korn and Alice in Chains were fixtures of the alternative scene that dominated rock radio in the ’90s. Alice in Chains were one of the seminal, if less acclaimed, grunge acts when that genre was still a thing, while Korn found a middle between nu-metal and rap-rock, with lead singer Jonathan Davis snarling in his notoriously high-end caterwaul about everything from societal mistrust to personal abuse. A quick Spotify search reveals both bands’ most popular tracks (Korn’s “Freak on a Leash” and Chains’ “Would?”) have a combined age of 48 years — and here we are in 2019 and both acts are still filling 20,000-person concert venues. If you chalk it up to nostalgia, you’re probably mostly right, but is there something else to their infectious if garishly unsubtle art? Something that strikes at the benefit
of pure expression unfettered by heady encumbrances? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, their best tracks still slap. The concert is at 6 p.m., Underoath and Fever 333 open, and tickets are $39.50 to $135. Jonathan Patrick
Fetish Ball 2019
Saturday, August 31
Club Red in Mesa
Want to let your freak flag fly without fear? Consider attending Fetish Ball 2019, the kink-friendly affair at Club Red that’s being put on by the Arizona Fetish Society. No one’s going to think less of you, especially those in attendance at the event. Organizers state that this is a safe space for everyone where no judgments are made. No activity will happen without anyone giving consent.
The event, which is open to all manner of kinks and pansexual pursuits, will also feature a mix of DJs and bands of the hard rock and industrial variety. Electronic rock act Assemblage 23 and local industrial rock/EBM group The Strand will both perform and DJs such as Tristan/Iseult, //MIJITO//, and Aaron Coldblood will spin darker dance music genres such as goth, industrial, darkwave, witch house, and grave wave.
Meanwhile, there will be fetish-oriented performances by I Love Maegan Machine, Seattle Shibari, Lydia Wilts, Britni Bloodshed, Dita Dame Savage, Truth Winters, Lexi Locket, Lottie Bedlam, Jack McNeill, and others. A variety of vendors will also be on hand. The fetish fun begins at 8 p.m. and admission to the 18-and-over event is $25. Benjamin Leatherman
Sunday, September 1
The Chicago-based songwriter and guitar virtuoso Ryley Walker has made a name for himself by blending ’60s-inspired folk and ’90s alternative rock. It’s a charming and eclectic style that ambles along with the reflective strands of Nick Drake or Fairport Convention, and the noisy ebullience of Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr. His most recent original album, 2018’s Deafman Glance, saw him moving farther away from the solo troubadour territory he previously inhabited into a guise he’s becoming more amenable to: that of an indie rock songsmith. He’s also probably the funniest and most self-deprecating indie rocker on Twitter, so expect some hearty between-song banter at his Valley Bar show on September 1. Wild Pink opens the evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Jeff Strowe
Sevendust and Skillet
Monday, September 2
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Known for dark melodies laden with churning guitars, chunky riffs, and lead singer Lajon Witherspoon's haunting timbre, Sevendust carved their niche in the alt-rock/nu-metal landscape some years back. The release of the band's third record, Animosity, in 2001 is largely regarded as the quintet's breakthrough into mainstream popularity. Still, by then they'd already landed a spot on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack with "My Ruin," from their 1997 self-titled debut (which went gold). They jammed onstage with Pantera's late fretboard mangler, Dimebag Darrell. And they'd played more than their fair share of mud-caked mosh pits, including Ozzfest, Woodstock 1999, and Tattoo the Earth, not to mention much less grimy appearances on Conan O'Brien's and David Letterman's late-night talk shows. Last year, Sevendust released their most recent studio album, All I See Is War, which hit No. 2 on Billboard’s hard rock charts. This year, they’re touring with Skillet and will come to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Monday, September 2. Pop Evil and Devour the Day open the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $42.50 to $62.50. Arielle Castillo
Monday, September 2, and Tuesday, September 3
MIM Music Theater
Born in Germany to a Chinese-German father and a Hungarian mother, Ottmar Liebert began his love affair with the guitar at the tender age of 11. By the time he was 18, he was educated on the many ethnicities of music, and he began traveling as a musician throughout Europe and Asia before settling in the United States in the 1980s. His tastes have always veered toward the erudite and artistic, but it wasn't until forming the funky, folk-jazz ensemble Luna Negra in 1988 that he finally found a venue for his discerning craftsmanship. His expansive discography includes close to 30 different albums, including 2018's The Complete Santa Fe Sessions. His current tour brings him to (where else?) the MIM Music Theater on Monday, September 2, and Tuesday, September 3. Performance times vary and you can find more details on the MIM’s website. Tickets are $43.50 to $48.50. Abel Folgar
Tuesday, September 3
The National, everyone’s favorite band of brooding middle-aged indie rockers from the northeast, are touring behind a new album, I Am Easy to Find, along with a short film of the same name starring Academy Award-winning actress Alicia Vikander and directed by Mike Mills. That said, the film isn’t the album’s video, and the album isn’t the soundtrack to the film, and Mills calls the two works “playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other.” The new record follows 2017’s Sleep Well Beast and has offered a few singles, including “You Had Your Soul With You.” The tour visits Comerica Theatre on September 3. Alvvays will open the show, which is at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $42 to $59. Douglas Markowitz
Tuesday, September 3
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
The first time you hear L.A.-based alt-pop/hip hop artist K.Flay, two things stand out: Her introspective, witty songwriting is both subtle and bold, and her honesty borders on uncomfortable. Whether it’s her sucking her sorrows away in “Wishing It Was You” or shredding rhymes with Marshall Mathers-like calculation and speed in “Champagne,” K.Flay has made waves since releasing her first mixtapes at the age of 19.
K.Flay’s throaty vocals, defiant spirit, breezy rhythms, and textural, gritty vibes make the listener feel interconnected with something deeper than pop, rock, and hip-hop. She's scheduled to perform on Tuesday, September 3, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe with opening sets by Houses and Your Smith share the bill. Tickets are $22 to $125 and the show is at 7:30 p.m. Lauren Wise
Wednesday, September 4
The Rhythm Room
Call it the Quentin Tarantino effect. The famed director has made a habit of plucking lesser-known or long-forgotten musicians from obscurity, using their songs in his movies and propelling them into the pop-cultural spotlight. To wit: In 2003, QT tapped all-female Japanese rock trio The 188.8.131.52's for Kill Bill: Volume 1 to perform during the flick’s House of Blue Leaves scenes, which launched the band to international fame. Since then, their rip-roaring and fuzz-laden surf, rockabilly, and garage rock tunes have been featured in TV shows, movies, and an infamous mid-aughts commercial for Vonage.
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And when the band come to the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road, on Wednesday, September 4, we’re fairly certain the gig won’t end with ungodly amounts of bloodshed, unlike in Kill Bill. The Darts open the evening, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman
Thursday, September 5
Varsity Tavern in Tempe
House music DJ/producer Jay Hardway is what you’d call a well-traveled dude. Since debuting in 2012, the European-born electronic dance music artist has racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles while traveling to various gigs across his native continent and around the world. Hardway’s played numerous top-tier EDM festivals like Dance Valley in Amsterdam, Creamfields in Brazil, Tomorrowland in Belgium, not to mention scores of club gigs, in the past seven years. Needless to say, he’s in demand, especially after releasing tracks like “Wizard” (a 2013 collaboration with Martin Garrix) and last year’s “Electric Elephants.” This weekend, Hardway’s travels bring him to the Valley for a performance on Thursday, September 5, at Varsity Tavern in Tempe. DJ ShadeZ will open the 21-and-over affair, which starts at 10 p.m. Admission is free before 11 p.m. if you RSVP online and $10 thereafter. Benjamin Leatherman