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The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

The New Pornographers are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 5, at Crescent Ballroom.
The New Pornographers are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 5, at Crescent Ballroom. Jenny Jimenez
February’s going to be a busy month for concerts in the Valley. Case in point: this week’s packed schedule of shows, which includes the 13 gigs we’ve chosen to feature in the following list.

Over the next seven nights, you can partake in the power-pop of indie darlings The New Pornographers, enjoy the introspective hip-hop of Atmosphere, or get your eardrums rattled by Crobot.

Other notable shows happening from Monday, February 3, to Sunday, February 9, include performances by iconic emo act Dashboard Confessional, R&B singer Xavier Omar, djent metal artists Periphery, trance king Armin van Buuren, jam-band Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and more.

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

click to enlarge Djent metal band Periphery. - 3DOT RECORDINGS
Djent metal band Periphery.
3DOT Recordings


Monday, February 3
The Van Buren

Periphery are one of those bands who are difficult to forget. You remember them because of their musical prowess. The heavy yet delicate mix of poly-rhythmic patterns and climactic melodies. The unexpected tumultuous flow of the music, and variation between raw screams and soaring vocals. The members – vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Halcomb, and Jake Bowen, and drummer Matt Halpern – are progressive in every sense of the word.

Periphery are a djent movement pioneer, often compared to a younger, heavier Dream Theater. The members self-produce everything they do, and since their self-titled debut a decade ago, they have released several other albums. Their latest, Periphery IV: Hail Stan, came out last April. They’re scheduled to perform on Monday at The Van Buren. Plini and Arch Echo will open the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $27.50 to $30. Lauren Wise

click to enlarge Slug (left) and Ant (right) of Atmosphere. - DAN MONICK
Slug (left) and Ant (right) of Atmosphere.
Dan Monick


Tuesday, February 4
Marquee Theatre

Over the last few cycles of extreme bravado in hip-hop, MC Slug, producer Ant, and their assorted Atmosphere affiliates have been the pillars of hip-hop’s most navel-gazingly emotional quadrants. That’s not to say the duo haven’t maintained a certain degree of rap’s hypermasculine energy. It’s just that the intensity of the MC’s lens (usually projected onto hyperbolic accounts of achievement) is instead projected inward, where violent fantasies are subbed out for an extra dose of Dashboard Confessional-style self-obsession and/or loathing. The result has been entire albums spent languishing over the trials of life and mulling over the winding worries wandering through the rapper’s delicate psyche. They’re currently touring in support of their latest album, 2019’s Whenever, and visit the Marquee Theatre on Tuesday night. The Lioness, Nikki Jean, and DJ Keezy open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $26. Matt Preira

click to enlarge Australian-born blues artist C.W. Stoneking. - KANE HIBBERD
Australian-born blues artist C.W. Stoneking.
Kane Hibberd

C.W. Stoneking

Tuesday, February 4
Valley Bar

Australian artist C.W. Stoneking manages to combine blues, boogaloo, and calypso music without coming across as a throwback. It is easy to imagine Josephine Baker shaking her famous banana skirt to his exotic songs. “I just played old blues stuff really for a long time – that was the whole focus of my life really for pretty long – and then I just started writing songs. I guess I just got impatient; I started looking for other music that would give me a thrill,” says Stoneking.

Stoneking has successfully explored varied sounds on all three of his albums, King Hokum, Jungle Blues, and Gon’ Boogaloo, tapping a rich blues sound combined with more Caribbean and African influences. Stoneking brings the blues to Valley Bar on Tuesday evening. Local Americana band Blood Feud Family Singers will open the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are $15. Gladys Fuentes

The New Pornographers

Wednesday, February 5
Crescent Ballroom

The New Pornographers have been making power pop for two decades. Oddly, guitarist, vocalist, and frontman Carl “A.C.” Newman attributes the longevity of the band to the fact that many of their members have other successful projects (such as vocalist Neko Case’s solo career) that take time away from it. “We’re not a band that tours eight months out of the year,” Newman says. “That made it to where we don’t grow to hate each other.” The band formed Canada in 1997 and attracted attention with their debut, Mass Romantic. Now they’re on the road promoting their eighth album, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights. They’ve never had a hit single, per se, but every album seems to yield songs that people really want to hear again and again. The New Pornographers’ music is timeless and happy, and they're scheduled to stop at Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday night for an 8 p.m. show. Diane Coffee opens. Tickets are $30 to $48. Eric Grubbs

click to enlarge Hard rock band Crobot. - MASCOT RECORDS
Hard rock band Crobot.
Mascot Records


Wednesday, February 5
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

Crobot are everything right about hard rock. The bearded group – whose self-described sound is “Dirty. Groove. Rock.” – definitely have been in demand on the festival and touring circuit, including opening for metal acts like Anthrax and Black Label Society. (Motörhead even tapped the Pennsylvania band to perform on their Motörboat cruise, back when the legendary band were still around.) Crobot feel just as comfortable in small clubs as they do in front of 20,000 in the blazing sun of a festival crowd, so their performance at Pub Rock Live on Wednesday night should be a rollicking affair. Like Machines and Stereo Rex share the bill and the show gets going at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Amy Harris

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are not afraid to let their musical freak flag fly. - MIZ CHANGES PHOTOGRAPHY
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are not afraid to let their musical freak flag fly.
Miz Changes Photography

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Wednesday, February 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Greg Ormont likes to get funky — and so does his band. The guitarist and vocalist for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong says his jam-centric group have been focused on having fun since their beginning in 2009. "We started out [at the University of Maryland] casually noodling and writing goofy songs," Ormont, a resident of Baltimore, recalls. "We were an acoustic duo, and eventually we got a drummer. Once we added bass and started practicing regularly, we found a friend's garage where we liked to hang out. We set up space heaters and wore warm clothes when we jammed out in the winter months, which is not the best for guitar tuning. We felt like the rite of passage was to play in a garage somewhere, and so we did. It was a relaxed and organic scene. We still like to keep that same lighthearted vibe."

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, who describe their music as high-energy psychedelic funk, are not afraid to let their musical freak flag fly. See for yourself when the band roosts at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $21 to $31. Nick Hutchinson

click to enlarge Trance legend Armin van Buuren. - RUUD BAAN
Trance legend Armin van Buuren.
Ruud Baan

Armin van Buuren

Thursday, February 6
The Van Buren

Trance music is as big as it's ever been. Just ask Armin van Buuren, who has been one of the EDM genre’s gurus. This Dutch superstar has been winning the hearts and minds of clubbers the world over with trance since the late ‘90s. Wherever van Buuren plays, he draws massive crowds of bliss-seeking trance acolytes. So if hands-in-the-air breakdowns and simple, shiny melodies over off-beat bass lines are what you seek, catch van Buuren’s performance at 9 p.m. on Thursday, which is fittingly happening at The Van Buren.  Tickets are sold out but are available on the secondary market. Cory Casciato
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers