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The 15 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Flying Lotus is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, September 18, at The Van Buren.
Flying Lotus is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, September 18, at The Van Buren. Tim Saccenti
The summertime swelter might be cooling off right now, but the Valley’s concert scene is heating up as we get into September. For proof, check out the array of enormous shows happening from Friday, September 13, to Thursday, September 19.

Large-scale venues like Talking Stick Resort Arena, Comerica Theatre, and Ak-Chin Pavillion have the big gigs, including appearances by Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Iron Maiden, Lenny Kravitz, and Dave Matthews Band.

Meanwhile, The Van Buren is hosting some attention-grabbing shows of its own, including Flying Lotus, Phantogram, and Paula Rubio. Other highlights over the next week include techno goddess Julia Govor, the EDM-centric Burial Grounds Arts & Music Festival, and a raucous performance by masked surf band Daikaiju.

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.

click to enlarge Dave Matthews Band will crash into the Valley on Friday. - DANNY CLINCH
Dave Matthews Band will crash into the Valley on Friday.
Danny Clinch

Dave Matthews Band

Friday, September 13
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Dave Matthews Band released their debut album, Under the Table and Dreaming, 25 years ago. The anniversary of the album also marked the band’s eligibility to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But the institution took a pass on Dave Matthews Band. Despite some affirmations of their talent over the years, they’ve become a band people love to hate. Maybe it’s because some of their albums sound the same. Maybe it’s because their fanbase is perceived to be riddled with frat boys. Either way, they’ll be at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Friday if people want to go sing along to “Crash Into Me,” or simply make fun of the people singing along to “Crash Into Me.” The concert starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $45.50 to $115. Jacob Vaughn

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Friday, September 13
Salt Tacos y Tequila in Glendale

To casual fans, the name Jazzy Jeff conjures up images of Fresh Prince's bubblegum raps — and it's true, Jeff Townes was the man behind the turntables and the beats on most of Fresh Prince's early work. But Jazzy Jeff is far more than the guy who produced "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson."

Making his name in the early '80s, Jazzy Jeff popularized the transform scratch, which emphasized cutting the sound in and out of the mix using the crossfader or line switches of a mixer. This alone is enough to place Jeff in the hip-hop history books, but his impact on the art doesn't stop there. After parting ways with Will Smith, Jeff continued to be a major player on the Philly scene. Since forming his production team, A Touch of Jazz, in 1990, Jeff has produced beats for artists such as City High, Lil' Kim, and his former partner, Will Smith. You can catch him working the wheels of steel along with DJ Scratch on Friday night at Salt Tacos y Tequila in Glendale. The wiki-wiki action gets going at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Dafydd McKaharay

Latin pop-rock band Maná. - LIVE NATION
Latin pop-rock band Maná.
Live Nation


Friday, September 13
Talking Stick Resort Arena

In some ancient Polynesian traditions, "mana" represents supernatural power. For fans of the Spanish rock gods of Maná, their influence may not be mystical, but it's magical. Since its inception in 1986, Maná have made a career embracing their Mexican culture. Instead of remaining a phenomenon in their hometown of Miami, the veteran Latin pop group transformed into a world-beating powerhouse.

Combining a sound that is passionate and rousing old-school rock 'n' roll with the occasional sentimental ballad, Maná are an arena-rock band in that it can make thousands roar in unified joy. It's a feat they will surely reproduce once again when they visit Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday night. The concert is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $74.75-$144.75. Angel Melendez

click to enlarge Techno DJ and artist Julia Govor. - HANNA STURM
Techno DJ and artist Julia Govor.
Hanna Sturm

Julia Govor

Friday, September 13
The One One Bar in Tempe

Russian-born electronic dance music DJ and producer Julia Govor creates forward-looking techno using ambrosial grooves, ambient beats, and plenty of emotion. And she’s spread it to all corners of creation, having performed in countless cities in her homeland and across four different continents. Govor’s also gotten props from iconic DJs like Carl Cox and Pete Tong and collaborated with the likes of Jeroen Search and Jeff Mills. On Friday night, she’ll perform at The One One Bar in Tempe. Local DJs Microfuture and SNAQS will provide support during the gig, which gets going at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. Benjamin Leatherman

DJ Quik

Saturday, September 14
Stratus Event Center

It’s hard to find a more well-connected musician than DJ Quik. The Compton rapper has worked with 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Janet Jackson, Talib Kweli, Whitney Houston, Adina Howard, E-40, Jay-Z, Kurupt, Ludacris, Xzibit, Chingy, and a whole bunch more. With equal skills on the mic and behind the scenes, it’s easy to hear why. As an emcee, Quik commands attention with gritty rhymes and a smooth flow. His first two records, 1991’s Quik is the Name and 1992’s Way 2 Fonky, showed the world that the CPT wasn’t a one-trick pony ridden by N.W.A. But it’s his clean production techniques that separate the man born David Blake from other rhyme slingers. He’s scheduled to perform on Saturday night at Stratus Event Center. MC Eiht, Spice 1, C-Bo, and RBL Posse will open the show, which kicks off at 7 p.m. General admission is $25 and VIP is $100-$500. Ryan Ritchie

click to enlarge Guitar icon Eric Clapton. - TICKETMASTER
Guitar icon Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton

Saturday, September 14.
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Eric Clapton is one of the greatest guitarists alive. The man, currently touring with blues-rock axman Jimmie Vaughan, earned his place as a guitar god long ago. Clapton began his career in the early ’60s playing with British blues-rock pioneers The Yardbirds. Later, his guitar work shaped Cream, one of the most venerated rock outfits of the late ’60s, and Derek and the Dominos in the early ’70s spawned some of his most memorable work. Tracks like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” “Crossroads,” and of course, “Layla,” are all legendary hits. And although “My Father’s Eyes” sure isn’t the high-strutting, blues-rock homage to nose candy that “Cocaine” was, much of his latter work still deserves praise. Besides, when you catch him live at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday, you can still expect to hear the hits. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available for $84.75 and up. Christopher Lopez

Paulina Rubio

Saturday, September 14
The Van Buren

Following in the footsteps of Latina crossover artists like Shakira and Aterciopelados, this Mexican pop singer takes her music into directions from pop-flavored rancheras and rock to reggaeton-inspired moments. Critics may dislike this lack of focus, but that is precisely the point. Though born in Mexico, Rubio was raised in Spain and the U.S., following her mother — acclaimed film and TV actress Susana Dosamantes — wherever she was filming. Such diverse surroundings allowed her to absorb different cultures, which is reflected in the music she makes. Rubio has plenty of energy in her live shows, and the language barrier fades away as she also occasionally inserts English-language versions of her tunes. Her concert at The Van Buren on Saturday starts at 8 p.m.Tickets are $42-$45. Ernest Barteldes
click to enlarge Josh Friend and Pat Lundy of Modestep. - ACE AGENCY
Josh Friend and Pat Lundy of Modestep.
Ace Agency

Burial Grounds Arts & Music Festival

Saturday, September 14
The Pressroom

The sound system at The Pressroom is going to get a workout this weekend. Electronic dance music of the hard and heavy variety will blast out of the speakers at the downtown Phoenix concert venue and event space, on Saturday, September 14, courtesy of EDM acts like Modestep and Infekt. They’ll work the mixers during the Burial Grounds Arts & Music Festival, which will feature close to two dozen DJs and producers spinning such genres as dubstep, drum ’n’ bass, trap, and hardcore throughout the night. In addition to Modestep and Infekt, the lineup will feature such names as Hi I’m Ghost, Mvrda, Samplifire, Lit Lords, Throwdown, Casey Jones, D3V, DrinkUrWater, Mantik, and Youngblood. Other artists and DJs scheduled to perform include Dark Mark, GoodTimeMiller, Yonk, Hvrdwood, JCha, Martyr, Sleepercell, NastyHumanz, and TXNY. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the action goes until 3 a.m. General admission is $30, VIP tickets are $60-$100. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Get ready for an evening of mandolin, manly folk-rock, and handclaps when Mumford & Sons visit the Valley. - GAVIN BATTY
Get ready for an evening of mandolin, manly folk-rock, and handclaps when Mumford & Sons visit the Valley.
Gavin Batty

Mumford & Sons

Monday, September 16
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Mumford & Sons’ first few records were marked by a banjo-laden folk-pop style that became instantly successful in the early part of the decade. For 2015's Wilder Mind, they moved into rock territory, a sort of "Dylan goes electric" for the 21st century. No matter what Mumford & Sons sound like, what's important is that they're coming to Phoenix on Monday, September 16, for a concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, September 16. Gang of Youths will open the 7:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are $34-$179. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Electronic rock/dream pop duo Phantogram. - TIMOTHY SACCENTI
Electronic rock/dream pop duo Phantogram.
Timothy Saccenti


Monday, September 16
The Van Buren

When alt-rock duo Phantogram make their way to The Van Buren on Monday, September 16, they won’t be coming to play the hits and coast to the next stop. Going through the motions would be easy for the band, thanks to a catalog of catchy songs starting on their first record Eyelid Stories, but Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter of Phantogram will instead use the tour to showcase their first collection of new songs since their third album, the 2016 release Three.

May brought with it “Into Happiness,” lighter by comparison in its tone, with darker lyrics that rest beneath the poppier surface while last month saw the premiere of “Mister Impossible,” a moody, rhythmic amalgam of foot-thumping beats and seductive lyrics. Barthel is sworn to record label secrecy on whether these singles will be part of an upcoming fourth album, but she assures us more music will be available sooner than later. You’re likely to hear them during Phantogram’s gig at The Van Buren. Bob Moses will open the evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$45. Brad LaCour

click to enlarge The metal gods of Iron Maiden. - JOHN MCMURTRIE
The metal gods of Iron Maiden.
John McMurtrie

Iron Maiden

Tuesday, September 17
Talking Stick Resort Arena

As is often the case when the religious right ascribes Satanic messages to heavy-metal music, Iron Maiden had the last laugh. The band went on to sell 100 million albums throughout its career, surpassing metal icons such as Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Today, Maiden claims three spots on Rolling Stone’s "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time," including number four with 1982’s The Number of the Beast. Catch them in concert on Tuesday, September 17, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The night starts at 7:30 p.m. with a set by The Raven Age. Tickets are $44.75-$120.25. Wendy Rhodes

Daikaiju will go wild at The Grid on September 18. - LAURA VOSTERYTE
Daikaiju will go wild at The Grid on September 18.
Laura Vosteryte


Wednesday, September 18
The Grid in Mesa

The band's name is a reference to kaiju, a Japanese film genre that features giant monsters attacking cities. With songs referencing famous movie monsters such as Mothra, the Huntsville, Alabama-based quartet play surf instrumentals with a twist. Not only is there no singing, but also the four members of Daikaiju do not speak during their concerts. Or perhaps they do speak, but audiences never hear what the guys are muttering because their faces are covered with kabuki masks.

Daikaiju takes its performances to another level. The band's shows are raucous affairs punctuated by loud, shredding surf guitar and pyrotechnics courtesy of drum kits set ablaze. Let’s hope the folks at The Grid in Mesa are prepared for Daikaiju’s performance on Wednesday, September 18. The Surfside IV open the evening at 8 p.m. Admission is $7. David Rolland

click to enlarge Get ready for a trippy, terrifying, and altogether incredible experience with Flying Lotus. - TIMOTHY SACCENTI
Get ready for a trippy, terrifying, and altogether incredible experience with Flying Lotus.
Timothy Saccenti

Flying Lotus

Wednesday, September 18
The Van Buren

"FIRE IS COMING. FIRE IS COMING. FIRE IS COMING." These were the words uttered by none other than David Lynch in a video from innovative electronic/hip-hop producer Flying Lotus that teased his latest album Flamangra. The infamous film director and artist spoke from inside the wide-open mouth of a taxidermied wolf sitting in a wheelchair, addressing a group of filthy children, all dressed as wolves, inside an equally dirty apartment in a building surrounded by a city in flames. So that should tell you all you need to know about the new album.

He's set to return to The Van Buren in Phoenix on Wednesday, September 18, for what's sure to be a trippy, terrifying, and altogether incredible evening of beats and surrealism. Brandon Coleman Spacetalker, Salami Rose Joe Louis, and PBDY will open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $30-$33. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Are you gonna go his way? - PRESS HERE TALENT
Are you gonna go his way?
Press Here Talent

Lenny Kravitz

Wednesday, September 18
Comerica Theatre

Lenny Kravitz is a multi-talented artist. He released timeless singles like "Fly Away" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way," which never get old no matter how many times you hear them. What's strange about Kravitz is that he mixes all sorts of genres in his work. He’s still touring behind last year’s Raise Vibration and is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Comerica Theatre. Tickets are $58.50-$125. Jeremy Hallock

Kansas (from left): Richard Williams, Billy Greer, Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, Ronnie Platt, David Manion, and David Ragsdale. - MICHIE TURPIN
Kansas (from left): Richard Williams, Billy Greer, Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, Ronnie Platt, David Manion, and David Ragsdale.
Michie Turpin


Thursday, September 19
Mesa Arts Center

Kansas could have called it quits when legendary singer and keyboardist Steve Walsh departed. Instead, the veteran rockers carried on with two original members remaining — guitarist Rich Williams and drummer Phil Ehart — and released The Prelude Implicit, their first new studio album in sixteen years. The ten-song disc shows the septet in fine form, proving that rock isn’t always a young man’s game. Kansas is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, at Mesa Arts Center. Admission is $43-$128. Chris Callaway
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers