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The 15 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Post Malone is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 8, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Post Malone is scheduled to perform on Friday, November 8, at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Kyle Gustafson
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

click to enlarge The legendary Vanessa Williams. - GILLES TOUCAS
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

click to enlarge Post Malone is headed back to the Valley this fall. - MIKEL GALICIA
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

click to enlarge Matt Johnson (right) and Kim Schifino (left). - RIGHT ON! PR
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

click to enlarge Ellis Ludwig-Leone of San Fermin. - BIG HASSLE
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

click to enlarge Indie rock/pop band Two Door Cinema Club. - GLASSNOTE RECORDS
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

click to enlarge Attendees of last year's Ocotillo Open Air Festival. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
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

click to enlarge Sleater-Kinney in concert. - JASON WILLIAMSON
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
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers