Are you up for seeing a concert this week? You’ve got plenty of options from a variety of genres, including rock, pop, R&B, country, and punk.
The seven-day stretch from Monday, January 20, to Sunday, January 26, will offer performances from such varied artists and acts as hip-hop duo EarthGang, indie-pop band Saint Motel, alt-rockers Nada Surf, female-fronted punk group Tsunami Bomb, and singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield.
You can also skank like a ‘90s college kid at The Ska Parade, grove along with electronica ensemble SunSquabi, partake in the fetish fun of the CUPCAKE!, or cowboy up at Valley Fever’s Quarantine country music showcase.
The choice is yours.
Details about each of these shows and music events can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Steve Gadd BandTuesday, January 21
MIM Music Theater
Steve Gadd has been one of popular music’s most sought-after drummers for decades, appearing on hundreds of recordings and performing live with the likes of Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, and many other top acts. He’s joined on his current tour, which visits the Musical Instrument Museum on Tuesday night, by a group of fellow all-stars, including trumpet player Walt Fowler, pianist Kevin Hays, and the brilliant electric string duo of bassist Jimmy Johnson and guitarist Michael Landau. Performances will take place at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $28.50 to $48.50. Tom Meek
Nada SurfWednesday, January 22
Nada Surf could have become a forgotten band of the mid-1990s after an enormous hit on their debut album, High/Low. The tongue-in-cheek “Popular” was all over radio and MTV with its Weezer-like charm, but the song was anomalous to the rest of the band’s material. Songs like “Tree House” and “The Plan” were more of a college rock/punk rock hybrid in line with contemporaries such as Buffalo Tom, Superdrag, and Dinosaur Jr.
Nada Surf's third album, 2002's Let Go, ushered them into the kind of career the band members always wanted to have. Thanks to its success, the band have maintained a sustaining career. Catch them in concert on Wednesday night at the Crescent. ROAR will open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $32. Eric Grubbs
The Booze BombsWednesday, January 22
Starlite Lounge in Glendale
Whether you like it or not, winter visitors have invaded the Valley en masse. Some we can tolerate, others we despise. A good example of the former is German rockabilly foursome The Booze Bombs. Consisting of a quartet of bombastic, hepcat Berliners (who have the rockabilly sound and shtick on lock), the group have made it a regular habit to visit the Valley around this time of year during their annual visit to America, staging performances for local 'billy-loving boys and girls at numerous venues in Phoenix and around Arizona.
This year, the Booze Bombers are kicking off their annual visit to the states with a show at Starlite Lounge in Glendale before heading out across the Southwest on tour. Local bands Whiskey Kiss and Tin Can Screamers will open the night, which gets going at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman
Juliana HatfieldFriday, January 24
Solo or with one of her bands (Blake Babies, Some Girls, and the Juliana Hatfield Three), this pop singer-songwriter's moody MOR jangle-and-coo always anticipated a sort of indie rock styled for performing on late night talk shows. While that's not necessarily a diss, her sweet child-voice requires a bitter trade-off. She's written some of the best lyrics ever written about punishing asshole boys, and one's asshole self, for the stupidity that love inspires.
Best known for the 1995 hit “My Sister” from Only Everything, Hatfield’s lengthy discography also includes such standouts as 2008’s How to Walk Away, where she gently crooned her catchiest songs ever. More recently, she collaborated with Paul Westerberg on the 2016 side project The I Don't Cares and released both original material (2019’s Weird) and covers, including albums filled with the songs of Olivia Newton-John and The Police. You’re likely to hear songs from each of the aforementioned projects when Hatfield performs at the Crescent Ballroom on Friday. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Peter S. Scholtes
SunSquabiFriday, January 24
Sunbar in Tempe
It shouldn’t seem surprising a band with SunSquabi’s pedigree would come from Boulder, Colorado. Even the band’s name has a kind of stoner mountain vibe to it. Yet, SunSquabi aren't exactly stoner rock, at least not in the sense of bands (Fu Manchu, Kyuss, Eagles of Death Metal, etc.) typically labeled with that moniker. Why? Because the music is a trippy blend of jazz, funk, cosmic disco, classic rock, and hip-hop fused together with looping technology, live improvisation, and a willingness to take chances.
What sets SunSquabi apart is working off a live looping platform that offers bassist/synth player Josh Fairman and guitarist/keyboard player Kevin Donohue the ability to switch instruments midstream, adding musical layers on the fly. The band is scheduled to perform on Friday at Tempe’s Sunbar with an opening set by Balkan Bump. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $21 to $71. Glenn BurnSilver
EarthGangFriday, January 24
The Van Buren
How do hip-hop duo EarthGang begin a show? By saying they're over the shit of one certain squatter in the White House but definitely not over getting high. And they’re a lot of fun to see live: constantly engaging, and actually funny. They're like your Georgia cousins who introduced you to smoking weed correctly and dared you to get the finest woman you knew. Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot don’t look anything like Atlanta firebrands on the surface, but it takes them no time to get a crowd in the palms of their hands. They’ll take over The Van Buren on Friday, along with openers Mick Jenkins, Jurdan Bryant, and Wynne. Start time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $22.50 to $25. Brandon Caldwell
The Ska ParadeSaturday, January 25
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale
If you adore ska's third wave, then you should give thanks to Tazy Phyllipz. It was the Southern California disc jockey and his influential radio show, The Ska Parade, that helped launch the careers of some of the biggest tastemakers from the genre's massive mid-'90s revival. He was the first to air No Doubt's "Just a Girl," the song that helped sell a kabillion copies of the band's breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom. Ditto for the music of Sublime and Reel Big Fish, who went from working the ska circuit to getting their videos in heavy rotation on MTV after Phyllipz broadcast their music.
The show is celebrating its 30th anniversary by touring with a host of ska practitioners from throughout North America, including Los Kung Fu Monkeys, The Holophonics, Hans Gruber and the Diehards, and Joker's Republic. DJs Jr. Ska Boss and Selecta Scream from Viva Ska Radio will spin between sets, and Phyllipz will emcee. The tour hits Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale on Saturday, and the skanking starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17. Benjamin Leatherman
Raphael SaadiqSaturday, January 25
The Van Buren
You may know old-school soul/R&B singer Raphael Saadiq from his days in Tony! Toni! Toné! He’s released five solo albums, including 2008’s The Way I See It, a perfectly crafted tribute to Al Green and The Temptations. The album demonstrated how Saadiq has the pipes and the passion to pull off old-school soul without sounding like a retread. He comes to The Van Buren on Saturday. Jamila Woods and DJ Duggz open. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35 to $175. Darryl Smyers
Valley Fever's Quarantine VIISaturday, January 25
The Dirty Drummer
When DJ and promoter Dana Armstrong revived The Dirty Drummer last year, it was pretty much a given that the self-described “eatin’ and drinkin’ place” would feature local country music on the regular. After all, Armstrong’s been bringing down-home sounds to the masses for more than a decade with her now-legendary Valley Fever night.
This weekend, the spot hosts Valley Fever’s annual Quarantine show, which will offer 14 hours of performances by local country, Americana, and rockabilly bands and musicians. The lineup includes such acts and artists as Flathead, Tony Martinez, Jim Bachmann and the Day Drinkers, Mario Moreno and the Ramblers, Brea Burns and the Boleros, Dime Store Western, Chip Hanna, Bobby Perez, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, Maricopa County Prison Band, and many more. The pickin’ and hollerin’ starts at noon and goes until 2 a.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman
Tsunami BombSaturday, January 25
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe
When punk rockers Tsunami Bomb reunited in 2015, fans of the female-fronted band were ecstatic. The current lineup features original members Dominic Davi on bass, vocalist/keyboard player Oobliette Sparks, and drummer Gabe Lindeman along with new additions like vocalist Kate Jacobi and guitarist Andy Pohl. Catch them in concert on Saturday evening at the Yucca Tap with support from The Venomous Pinks, First or Last, and Off the Mark. Admission is $15 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Jesse Sendejas Jr.
CUPCAKE! Cirque Berserk!Saturday, January 25
The Rebel Lounge
Fetish freaks and geeks of the Valley, your favorite dance night is making a return, albeit for one night only. Local DJs Betty Blackheart and Self.Destrukt are bringing their infamously lascivious dance night CUPCAKE! back from the dead this weekend.
If you never had the chance to attend the monthly event during its original run from 2012 to 2019 at the now-defunct Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, each CUPCAKE! party offered a unique theme and an “anything goes” atmosphere that mixed libations with libidinous hi-jinks. There were go-go girls, costumes both fetishistic and otherwise, burlesque entertainers, grind artists, and a host of colorful weirdos in attendance.
You can expect a similarly sinful scene unfolding at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road, during CUPCAKE! Cirque Berserk! on Saturday, January 25. The party will celebrate the eighth anniversary of CUPCAKE! and guest DJs will include Sid Snow and Tucson’s Plastic Disease. The big-top bacchanal starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Benjamin Leatherman
Saint MotelSunday, January 26
The Van Buren
Saint Motel are a band that makes pop music that's not just a guilty pleasure. Refreshingly unafraid to heckle their own image, the band's hit 2014 single "My Type" embodies the inherent blithe tone of Saint Motel: "You're just my type/You got a pulse and you are breathing."
Saint Motel are epigrammatic. Lyrically, there's enough sweetness and ambiguity to allow listeners a personal interpretation. Musically, energetic horns and happy key melodies bridge for an overall good-time-band sound. Their show is at The Van Buren and kicks off at 8 p.m. KOLARS will open. Tickets are $26 to $88.88. Stephanie Grey
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