The 15 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Post Malone is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 8, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.EXPAND
Post Malone is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 8, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Kyle Gustafson
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Are you up for seeing a concert? If so, the good news is that there are plenty happening in the Valley over the next seven nights, including shows from a wide variety of genres.

To wit: rapper Post Malone, indie rock legends Sleater-Kinney, indie-chamber pop hybrid San Fermin, avant-garde artist Simrit, R&B songstress Vanessa Williams, and the punk fiends of Strung Out all have performances at Valley music venues between Friday, November 8, and Thursday, November 14.

Other names scheduled to perform over the next several nights include Cold War Kids, The Menzingers, Nahko and Medicine for the People, The Aquabats, Matt and Kim, Assuming We Survive, and Two Door Cinema Club.

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.

Assuming We Survive

Friday, November 8
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

A bouncing synthesis of New Millennium middleweight rock influences, this five-member rock outfit see no reason why metal's clanking guitars and pop-punk's sanguine melodies and sunny harmonies shouldn't seamlessly coexist. These stylistic bedfellows get it on with gusto on songs like "Yea, So What If I'm Sprung," which is less frat-boy flippant than, say, Blink-182, but not as grudgingly burdened as full-bore "core" bands. It helps that singer Adrian Estrella actually can (and shuns his peers' almost obligatory screaming), while his bandmates convincingly summon many a mood from their instruments. Tuneful, rhythmically captivating, sincere without sounding overly serious, Assuming We Survive is great. Their latest Valley show happens on Friday night at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale. We Were Sharks, After the Calm, and Love Like Fiction will open the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Paul Rogers

The legendary Vanessa Williams.EXPAND
The legendary Vanessa Williams.
Gilles Toucas

Vanessa Williams

Friday, November 8
Highlands Church in Scottsdale

If there is one word that best characterizes the entertainment career of award-winning singer and actress Vanessa Williams, it’s versatile. Back in 1983, she became the first African-American winner of the Miss America Pageant. And in the 30-plus years since, Williams has honed a career on the silver and television screen, Broadway stage, and concert hall circuit.

She has her own clothing line, simply called V, and has lent her voice to portraying Miss Brown on the M&M TV commercials, because, well, that's just how she rolls. Williams' 1988 album, The Right Stuff, along with “Running Back to You” and “Dreamin’” all led to her signature song “Save the Best for Last” from her sophomore release, Comfort Zone. “Colors of the Wind” from Disney's Pocahontas won an Academy Award in 1995. She’s scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Highlands Church in Scottsdale. Tickets are $39-$86. Mark C. Horn

Post Malone is headed back to the Valley this fall.EXPAND
Post Malone is headed back to the Valley this fall.
Mikel Galicia

Post Malone

Friday, November 8
Gila River Arena in Glendale

While most artists struggle with staying relevant, Post Malone’s career trajectory seems to have carved him a permanent space on the Billboard Hot 100. Malone’s gnarly image may seem like a mismatch with his heavenly vocals, but he adds an undeniable heat to every single he touches. He broke out with the soothing “White Iverson” in 2015, and his first album, Stoney, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200. Since then, he has stayed on the charts with smash hits like 2017’s “Congratulations,” featuring Quavo, and “Rockstar” with 21 Savage. His winning streak continued into 2018 with “Sunflower,” which was featured in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Post Malone is a race-transcending, sing-rapping, chart-topping, laid-back workaholic who must be seen to be believed. And you can do just that when his Runaway tour, which features Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh as special guests, hits the Valley on Friday. The concert starts at 7:55 p.m. and tickets are $98.75. Alma Schofield

Matt Johnson (right) and Kim Schifino (left).EXPAND
Matt Johnson (right) and Kim Schifino (left).
Right On! PR

Matt and Kim

Saturday, November 9
Marquee Theatre In Tempe

Let’s go back, briefly, to the good old days of 2009. You just heard a wonderful new song come up on the Grizzly Bear Pandora channel. It’s “Daylight” by Brooklyn band Matt and Kim, a jaunty indie tune that you’ve heard somewhere before. An episode of Community, perhaps? A Bacardi commercial? Both. This song was everywhere 10 years ago. Everywhere. Ten years later, Matt and Kim are still together, as a band and as a couple, and they’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Grand, the album that spawned “Daylight” and jump-started their career as an indie-pop force to be reckoned with. They’ll play the album in its entirety, along with other tunes, at their upcoming stop at the Marquee. Beach Goons open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $29.50-$99. Douglass Markowitz

Ellis Ludwig-Leone of San Fermin.EXPAND
Ellis Ludwig-Leone of San Fermin.
Big Hassle

San Fermin

Saturday, November 9
Valley Bar

On the surface, it'd be easy to see classical and pop music as polar opposites. But the world of baroque pop is proof that there's an unexpected harmony between pop melodies and classical arrangements. Ellis Ludwig-Leone (whose own name is half classical, for God's sake) uses flexible vocals to work around an arrangement of horns and pianos while singing about timeless topics like the perils of falling in love and the fear of growing older. In keeping the lyrics broad, it helps San Fermin connect the classical and modern by reminding us that the more things change, the more they stay the same. San Fermin plays Valley Bar at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $15-$75. Matt Wood

Indie rock/pop band Two Door Cinema Club.EXPAND
Indie rock/pop band Two Door Cinema Club.
Glassnote Records

Two Door Cinema Club

Saturday, November 9
The Van Buren

Contagious choruses are hardly anything new to the music industry. They're almost the heart of it. Just ask three-piece band Two Door Cinema Club, who have climbed the charts even without straight pop hooks. Their music, a genre-bending fusion of pop, indie rock, and dance, makes it stand out from the rest of the radio stuff. For 12 years, frontman Alex Trimble has led the band at music festivals, both in the act’s native continent of Europe and here in North America. Their latest U.S. tour comes to The Van Buren on Sunday night. The show is at 8 p.m., and Peach Pit will open. The show is technically sold out but tickets are available on the secondary market. Christine Borges

Attendees of last year's Ocotillo Open Air Festival.EXPAND
Attendees of last year's Ocotillo Open Air Festival.
Benjamin Leatherman

Ocotillo Open Air Festival

Sunday, November 10
Ocotillo Restaurant & Bar

As you probably noticed, it’s nice out. It’s the perfect time for an event like the Ocotillo Open Air Festival. As its name implies, the afternoon-long electronic dance music event will take place in al fresco fashion, specifically on the outdoor terrace and patio at Ocotillo Restaurant and Bar in midtown Phoenix. Organized by local DJs MyKill and Sean Watson, the festival will feature a mix of deep house, progressive trance, and progressive house that will be spun by such headliners as Grum, Öona Dahl, David Hohme, and Alex Cruz. The party goes from noon to 9 p.m., and admission starts at $25. Benjamin Leatherman

Sleater-Kinney in concert.EXPAND
Sleater-Kinney in concert.
Jason Williamson


Monday, November 11
The Van Buren

Portlandia is dead — long live Sleater-Kinney. The influential rock act featuring Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker re-formed officially in 2015 and released the album No Cities to Love after a lengthy hiatus that saw Brownstein’s acting career advance exponentially thanks to a certain IFC show. Now, they’ve released a new album (The Center Won’t Hold), which was produced by Annie Clark, better known as indie icon St. Vincent. Two godlike entities of guitar rock on the same project? Now we’ve seen everything. Sleater-Kinney’s current tour comes to The Van Buren on November 11. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32. Douglas Markowitz

Immortal Technique

Monday, November 11
Club Red in Mesa

If you’re looking for rap’s political lyrical genius, listen no further than Immortal Technique. The Peruvian-born rapper doesn’t spend his time spitting bars about sex and violence. The poetic mastermind drops rhymes about everything from poverty to socialism and governmental issues (far beyond the standard police brutality) to societal warfare. Immortal Technique is the kind of rapper who’ll make you smarter and teach you about the world you live in while you jam out. He’s scheduled to bring his current tour, which features plenty of new material, to Club Red in Mesa on Monday, November 11. The gig starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $25. Josh Chesler

The punk fiends of Strung Out.
The punk fiends of Strung Out.
Fat Wreck Chords

Strung Out

Tuesday, November 12
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

Punk rock band Strung Out have been around since 1990, and the almost-always on tour outfit is not showing any sign of slowing down. Originating in an era when the Southern California punk sound dominated the underground airwaves, Strung Out were an anomaly in a sea ruled by Bad Religion, NOFX, and numerous other similar-sounding bands. While other bands from that era have continued their careers and refined their sound, Strung Out came out of the gate with their eclectic attitude. Their current tour comes to Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale on Tuesday, November 12. The Casualties will open the 7 p.m. gig. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Abel Folgar

The artist known as Simrit.EXPAND
The artist known as Simrit.
Ingrid Nelson


Tuesday, November 12
Tempe Center for the Arts

World music often gets shafted in popular music discourse. Despite encompassing the breadth of what the world offers musically, it often isn't treated with the same reverence and passion Americans reserve for today's electronic and rock acts. But if that fact bothers Simrit Kaur, known simply as Simrit, it certainly doesn't show. "[The music] is hard for us to describe," Simrit says. "People have told us: 'It's not mantra music, but you do have some mantras in it. But wait, it's definitely not pop music. It's not just African music even though you have African music in there...What do you call it?' It's kind of hard for us to describe what it is." Experience it for yourself at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, at Tempe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $35-$75. Zach Schlein

Nahko Bear of Nahko and Medicine for the People.EXPAND
Nahko Bear of Nahko and Medicine for the People.
Nahko and Medicine for the People

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Tuesday, November 12
The Van Buren

Formed in 2008, Nahko and Medicine For the People have spread their message of harmony and inner strength throughout the world. Though the members of the six-piece hail from all around the globe, the group have quickly bonded with not only each other but their steadily growing fanbase, which they refer to as their tribe. Their sound encompasses a fusion of various cultural and musical influences each from their journeys, making them a frequent addition to many major music festivals around the world. Led by frontman Nahko Bear, the ensemble have produced five albums thus far, including this year’s Take Your Power Back. They’ll pay a visit to The Van Buren on Tuesday, November 12. Australian/Jamaican roots musician Nattali Rize will open. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $35-$40. David Garcia

Members of The Menzingers.EXPAND
Members of The Menzingers.
Epitaph Records

The Menzingers

Wednesday, November 13
Club Red in Mesa

Formed in 2006, The Menzingers consist of Tom May and Greg Barnett (both sharing guitar/vocal duties), Joe Godino (drums), and Eric Keen (bass). Not a lot of bands can pull off having two frontmen without it turning into some nasty power struggle (case in point: Husker Du), but The Menzingers pull it off gracefully. And few bands benefit from having two songwriters working at the peak of their craft. Catch them in concert at Club Red in Mesa on Wednesday, November 13, Tigers Jaw and Culture Abuse will open. The concert is at 8 p.m.Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door. Ashley Naftule

The Aquabats invade the Valley this week.
The Aquabats invade the Valley this week.
Leave Home Booking

The Aquabats

Thursday, November 14
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

With their golden-age comic book costumes, silly supervillains, and absurd song titles, The Aquabats are punk rawk's answer to GWAR. Only instead of promising the destruction of the known universe through copious bodily fluids, the 'Bats are out to protect it. They differentiated themselves from the ska pack with ridiculous-but-inspired lyrics about Martians, killer snakes, and men born of powdered milk. Who doesn't love that? Over the years, the Aquabats have endured countless lineup changes. As a result, they dropped the ska element from their music, replacing noisy brass and staccato rhythms with nerd-rock synthesizers and heavier guitar work. And oddly, the change seems to fit their personas as geeky defenders of the free world even better. Catch them in concert on Thursday, November 14, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. PPL MVR opens the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $25-$55. John Linn

Cold War Kids.EXPAND
Cold War Kids.
One Beat PR

Cold War Kids

Thursday, November 14
The Van Buren

For Cold War Kids’ lead vocalist Nathan Willett, "go big or go home" is not the dominant sentiment to describe the making of their recent release. The group dropped New Age Norms 1 on November 1, and the record is the first in a trilogy, and Willett says that “tightening things up” was a goal. “We used a lot of the same people for the production, there were just some changes in the approach,” he says. “It’s very natural for me to want to stack more vocals onto parts of a song and to layer things and make things enormous — that feels very natural to me.”  Happily defying his nature to make this record, Willett says he and the band are happy with the results. “The overall tone seems a little different. Maybe that’s just from it being a bit cleaner and tighter. Smaller is a good way to describe it.”

The band has always maintained a soulful component to their music but make no mistake; New Age Norms 1 jumps out of the realm of the indie-rock sound of releases like 2013's Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. The evolution works. The record offers a sense of contentment that can accompany taking risks. Cold War Kids’ tour in support of the album comes to The Van Buren on Thursday, November 14. Samia opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $26-$28. Amy Young

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