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The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Alice Cooper serves up his annual Christmas Pudding show this week.
Alice Cooper serves up his annual Christmas Pudding show this week.
Jim Louvau

Christmas is coming early for concertgoers of the Valley. True story. The next several nights will feature a lineup of blockbuster artists and acts performing at venues across the Valley.

The seven-day stretch from Monday, December 9, to Sunday, December 15, will see legendary names like Snoop Dogg, MC Chris, Kiefer Sutherland, and Rob Thomas.

Meanwhile, Ariana Grande and the Jonas Brothers will bring their current tours (Thank U, Next and Happiness Begins, respectively) back to the Valley after wowing local crowds earlier this year.

And if you’re in the mood for some holiday shows, Alice Cooper will present his annual Christmas Pudding extravaganza, and jazz artist David Benoit will pay tribute to the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley this week, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Nerdcore king MC Chris raps it up at The Rebel Lounge this week.EXPAND
Nerdcore king MC Chris raps it up at The Rebel Lounge this week.
Mara Robinson

MC Chris

Monday, December 9
The Rebel Lounge

The Mandalorian has a lot going for it: spaghetti Western vibes, Werner Herzog, and adorable marketing schemes. But one thing the streaming show is missing is dope-ass rhymes and beats that slap, bang, and/or knock. The Mouse House should throw some cash MC Chris’s way. The veteran nerd-rapper has been slinging hot bars about Mandalorians for years. The Aqua Teen voice actor and OG nerdcore rapper can drop verses with the best of them, but whereas most rappers wax poetic on C.R.E.A.M., MC Chris is more likely to rap about THAC0 and Muppet Babies.

MC Chris will be playing at The Rebel Lounge on Monday night. The show starts at 8 p.m. and Shubzilla opens. There will be a costume contest, so come dressed to impress in your Jabba’s Palace best. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of the show. Ashley Naftule

The Jonas Brothers during a Valley performance earlier this year.
The Jonas Brothers during a Valley performance earlier this year.
Leavitt Wells

Jonas Brothers

Tuesday, December 10
Talking Stick Resort Arena

In October 2013, the Jonas Brothers broke up, citing "a deep rift within the band." In an outfit comprising three siblings — Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas — disagreements are bound to happen. But six years after the trio broke countless young hearts around the world, they reunited and pushed out a brand-new record to celebrate their reconciliation. On tour in support of their fifth studio album, Happiness Begins, the Jonas Brothers will return to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday for another performance (they played the downtown Phoenix venue back in October). Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw will open. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $35 to $495. Matthew Keever

Indie R&B artist Son Little.EXPAND
Indie R&B artist Son Little.
ANTI- Records

Son Little

Tuesday, December 10
Valley Bar

Son Little is the musical nom de plume of Los Angeles-based musician Aaron Earl Livingston. A true virtuoso, he's a multi-instrumentalist whose vintage, indie R&B tunes have been recently praised by major outlets like NPR Music and The New York Times, to name just a few. He's also collaborated with The Roots and RJD2, and won a Grammy for his work on Mavis Staples' 2016 release, "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean."

Little's out on tour now in support of a recently released EP and will be releasing a full-length on ANTI- Records in late January. Catch him at the cozy confines of Valley Bar for the chance to say that you knew him before he played stadiums. The show is at 8 p.m., and Christopher Paul Sterling opens. Tickets are $18. Jeff Strowe

Rob Thomas: Give him your heart, make it real, or else forget about it.EXPAND
Rob Thomas: Give him your heart, make it real, or else forget about it.
Randall Slavin

Rob Thomas

Tuesday, December 10
Comerica Theatre

There’s an irrevocable immediacy to Rob Thomas. Watch any performance from his arena-selling glory days with Matchbox Twenty and it’s clear that the man belongs up onstage. Though he’s often bunched up with the rest of the adult contemporary gang of the late ’90s to mid-aughts (Train, Counting Crows), Thomas’ signature poppy songwriting alone proves he’s in a league of his own.

He has since become a modestly successful solo artist. The three-time Grammy Award winner built up a fan base by staying true to his pop sensibilities. He’s scheduled to perform on Tuesday night at The Van Buren with support from Daughtry and Stephen Puth. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $30. Patricia Cárdenas

A Charlie Brown Christmas feat. David Benoit


Tuesday, December 10
MIM Music Theater

Christmas music can be bad (we’re looking at you, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”), but the Vince Guaraldi Trio neatly righted that ship in 1965 with its now-iconic soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Renowned jazz musician David Benoit and guest vocalist Sara Gazarek stage a yearly tour in honor of both the special and its soundtrack, which stops by the MIM Music Theater on Tuesday. It's a festive reminder that holiday music can be an art and will feature many of your favorite tunes from A Charlie Brown Christmas, as well as some originals from Benoit, who took over as the composer for the newer Peanuts Christmas specials. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $53.50 to $73.50. Lauren Cusimano

Actor-turned-country musician Kiefer Sutherland.EXPAND
Actor-turned-country musician Kiefer Sutherland.
Mumpi Kuenster

Kiefer Sutherland

Wednesday, December 11
Crescent Ballroom

You probably know Kiefer Sutherland best for his iconic performances in movies like Stand by Me and A Time to Kill. Now it's time to meet Kiefer Sutherland, the country musician.

In 2002, he and his best friend, Jude Cole, launched a small record label. It wasn't until 2015 when Cole encouraged Sutherland to write more and lay down some tracks. Sutherland crafted nine songs for 2016’s Down in a Hole. Three years later, he’s got a new album out, this year’s Reckless & Me. Sutherland and his backing band will come to Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday. Singer-songwriter Max Gomez opens the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $38 to $43. Kyle Harris

The Doggfather returns to Phoenix this week.
The Doggfather returns to Phoenix this week.
Mike Brooks

Snoop Dogg

Wednesday, December 11
The Van Buren

From his online sports and culture commentary to his brilliant performance in provocateur Harmony Korine’s recent film The Beach Bum, Snoop Dogg never ceases to remain relevant. More than 26 years after his debut, Snoop’s iconic delivery is as enthralling as ever. He’s smooth as velvet, languid as a dream, and still scanning as something genuinely radical and peerless. The rapper is above lyricism, mood, and even presence. Snoop’s insouciant vibrancy, the way he ambles through each bar, remains his greatest feature. Each syllable is a hook to itself. Rap will never find another stylist quite like Snoop Dogg. Long live the king. He’s scheduled to perform on Wednesday night at The Van Buren. Warren G, RJMrLA, and Trae Tha Truth open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $59.75 to $110. Jonathan Patrick

Extreme metal band Cattle Decapitation.
Extreme metal band Cattle Decapitation.
Metal Blade Records

Cattle Decapitation

Wednesday, December 11
Club Red in Mesa

Cattle Decapitation break the mold of extreme metal. While incorporating themes of death and gore, as well as violent imagery, the heavy metal band, claiming vegetarianism, put a spin on extreme music. Using intense and violent concepts, the band tell tales of human demise and proclaim through song that the world would be a better place without the abundance of human consumption and waste. Vocalist Travis Ryan exceeds his duties as frontman, covering not only the deep growls that carry the band as death metal pioneers but also their onslaught of high-pitched black metal choruses. Guitarist Josh Elmore puts on a magnificent display of sweeping scales and intense performing that keep the band in the realm of mathcore and prog-metal. And while the band originally started with an all-vegetarian lineup, only Ryan and Elmore still subscribe to the philosophy these days. Tickets are $25. Cameron Martinez

Erin Birgy of Mega Bog.
Erin Birgy of Mega Bog.
Indigo Sparke

Mega Bog

Wednesday, December 11
The Trunk Space

Seattle’s Mega Bog, fronted by singer/guitarist Erin Birgy, have an avant-garde take on pop music reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s experimental flirtations with jazz. The band — actually more of a collective, given the involvement of 65 musicians since it was formed in 2008 — specializes in New Age-y, purposely vague compositions that sound like a theme song for an Alice in Wonderland dream. Mega Bog have released four full-length albums since 2010 and are currently touring in support of their latest album, Dolphine, and will perform at The Trunk Space on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. William Michael Smith

Ariana Grande looking fabulous.
Ariana Grande looking fabulous.
Miles Chrisinger

Ariana Grande

Thursday, December 12
Talking Stick Resort Arena

It's safe to say that Ariana Grande killed it in 2019. On the heels of the success of Sweetener, the pop star released her fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, full of bold, unapologetic tracks such as “7 Rings,” “Bloodline,” and “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” She became the first artist since The Beatles to hold all three of the top spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously. When a beef with the show’s producer prompted her to cancel appearing at the Grammys, she stayed home, Instagrammed herself lounging in a custom Zac Posen gown, and won best pop vocal album for Sweetener. Grande has taken charge, and we’re happy she’s brought us along for the ride, including staging her second performance in Phoenix in 2019. Joining her is the pop duo Social House, which co-produced Grande’s song “Thank U, Next.” The concert is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $45 to $275. Suzannah Friscia

Celebrate the holidays with the Blind Boys of Alabama.
Celebrate the holidays with the Blind Boys of Alabama.
Jim Herrington

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show

Friday, December 13
Chandler Center for the Arts

Maybe the greatest gospel group ever assembled, the Blind Boys of Alabama have a list of awards and honors that take up more space than we have allotted. Formed in 1939, the group has performed at The White House alongside Bob Dylan, become the darlings of the Americana Music Association, and have won so many Grammys that they're probably bored with the whole thing. Unlike many gospel groups, the Blind Boys embrace secular music and have worked with people like the late soul music giant Solomon Burke and Nashville über-producer Buddy Miller. Their current holiday tour sees the group performing songs from 2014’s Talkin’ Christmas! album and 2003’s Grammy-winning Christmas recording Go Tell It on the Mountain, along with gospel classics and other gems from their 80-year career. The show comes to Chandler Center for the Arts on Friday night and gets going at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $38 to $58. William Michael Smith

Doom metal band Khemmis.EXPAND
Doom metal band Khemmis.
Alvino Salcedo

Khemmis

Friday, December 13
Club Red in Mesa

If epic metal songs about wizards and dragons float your boat, Khemmis is for you. The Denver-born foursome plays not just doom metal, but straightforward rock ‘n’ roll as well. These musicians aren’t afraid to break out catchy riffs and hooks when creating their slow, heavy blend. Khemmis has gained national acclaim in recent years: they’ve toured alongside such acts as the Black Dahlia Murder and Pig Destroyer; earned Album of the Year honors from Decibel magazine in 2016 for their second release, Hunted; and inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records earlier this year. Khemmis is scheduled to invade local metal haven Club Red in Mesa on Friday night. Hovenweep and Un will open the evening, which begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Addison Herron-Wheeler

Doom metal band Khemmis.EXPAND
Doom metal band Khemmis.
Alvino Salcedo

Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding 2019

Saturday, December 14
Celebrity Theatre

When it comes to tradition during the holiday season, Phoenix isn't known for snowmen, hot cocoa, or sledding. But one thing that we can always be count on is Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding. And it's a tasty recipe. The annual variety show, which benefits his Solid Rock Foundation, kicked off in 2001, and some of the biggest names in music flock to the desert to be a part of the event. The 2019 lineup includes comedian/musician Gary Mule Deer, blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Mark Slaughter, and comic Jim Breuer. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $50 to $800. Lauren Wise

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