Things to Do

The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Poppy is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 20, at The Pressroom.
Poppy is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 20, at The Pressroom. Sam McGuire
click to enlarge Poppy is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 20, at The Pressroom. - SAM MCGUIRE
Poppy is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 20, at The Pressroom.
Sam McGuire
What do you have going on this week? Are you recovering from Valentine’s Day or enjoying all the nice weather? Great.

If you'd rather check out a show, we've got plenty of suggestions, all of which can be found in our list of the best concerts from Monday, February 17, to Sunday, February 23.

Highlights include performances by YouTube personality-turned-metalhead Poppy, emo stalwarts The Used, all-female mariachi ensemble Flor de Toloache, and indie singer-songwriter Andy Shauf.

Three festivals also take place this weekend. There's the reggae-centric Arizona Roots fest, the metal-loving Planet Mammoth, and the experimentally minded OME New Music Festival.

Details about each of these shows can be found below. Head over to Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar for even more live music happening around the Valley.

click to enlarge Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf. - COLIN MEDLEY
Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf.
Colin Medley

Andy Shauf

Tuesday, February 18
Crescent Ballroom

On his latest album, The Neon Skyline, singer-songwriter Andy Shauf chronicles the happenings that take place over the course of an evening at a local dive bar. Over gently strummed acoustic guitars and snippets of horns and clarinet, Shauf turns a ho-hum night into a veritable page-turner. You grow connected to the characters and by album's end have a genuine connection to their plights. It's the type of concept album that should play well in a live setting, where Shauf's breezy delivery might just come across like an off-Broadway play. Hear it for yourself when he plays Crescent Ballroom on Tuesday night with support from Molly Sarle. The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Jeff Strowe

click to enlarge Drakulas don't suck. - DIRT NAP RECORDS
Drakulas don't suck.
Dirt Nap Records


Wednesday, February 19
The Rebel Lounge

This Austin, Texas-based concept band’s sound seamlessly blends proto-punk and '80s synth and New Wave, as Drakulas' members don black turtlenecks and embrace a retro approach to songcraft. The band's look is firmly rooted in the past, evoking the aesthetic from the late 1970s and early ’80s, ranging from occult imagery, pop culture, cinema, and TV. Now on Dine Alone Records (which seems more fitting for a band called Drakulas), Drakulas’ Terminal Amusements is due for release in early April with singles “Fashion Forward” and “Pretty Tommy” off the Stuart Sikes-produced record already available. Expect to see fans singing along when Drakulas haunt The Rebel Lounge on Wednesday night. Spells and It's Embarrassing open the 8 p.m. show. Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Daniel Rodrigue

click to enlarge Renowned Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra. - LUCKYMAN ONLINE
Renowned Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra.
Luckyman Online

Dark Star Orchestra

Wednesday, February 19
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

There are hundreds of Grateful Dead tribute bands around, but only Dark Star Orchestra actually play the Dead. Allow us to explain. DSO pick a Grateful Dead show from a list of thousands spanning the Dead's 50-year career, listen to it, and then perform that setlist. The band always bring in the right equipment – organs or pianos, percussion instruments, the "Donna" singer, etc. – to get the feel as right as the songs. Yet, Dark Star Orchestra don't try to emulate the concert note for note, but rather put their take on the show. Having studied the Dead for so many years, DSO accurately capture the feel and intensity that was the Grateful Dead. This is as close to the real thing as it gets. See if you agree when attending their show at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Marquee. Tickets are $27 to $47. Glenn BurnSilver


Thursday, February 20
The Pressroom

The Los Angeles-based artist/actress Poppy built up her oddly cute “robotic” persona with a series of YouTube videos in 2014, eventually making her way into music.

With a wide range of styles including bubblegum pop, reggae, and even “music to sleep to,” Poppy’s newest musical venture is heavy metal. Teaming up with NYC rock group Blame Candy for her band, the 24-year-old has fully embraced her darker side.

Her latest album, I Disagree, came out last month, and was described by one critic as being “full of daring theater and snarling forward motion.” She’s scheduled to perform at The Pressroom with support from Vowws. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $25.25. Cameron Martinez

This certainly is not the classical music you're expecting. - OME
This certainly is not the classical music you're expecting.

OME New Music Festival

Thursday, February 20, to Sunday, February 23
Various Locations

Band geeks, rejoice. No longer will you have to indulge your lust for woodwinds and strings in private. Like-minded fans of New Music (i.e. modern compositions that draw on classical and avant-garde traditions) will get a chance to hobnob and hear cutting-edge sounds at the seventh annual OME New Music Festival. Over the years, the event has grown and expanded into a multiday operation by gathering talent from across the world to perform in venues across the Valley. This year’s edition will feature performances at Valley Bar on February 20; The Lunchbox and The Newton on February 21; Phoenix College on February 22; and Onyx Art and monOrchid on February 23. Tickets and the full schedule and lineups can be found on OME’s Facebook page. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Take Over and Destroy - RYAN ROBERTS
Take Over and Destroy
Ryan Roberts

Planet Mammoth Music Festival 2020

Friday, February 21, to Sunday, February 23
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Mammoth by name, mammoth by nature. The lineup for this three-day metal extravaganza is quite enormous, featuring 24 bands of the stoner/doom/sludge/deathrock variety from Arizona or around the Southwest. And they all plan to get loud, filling the Yucca Tap’s main room with heavy riffs and fearsome grinds throughout the weekend. San Diego’s Great Electric Quest and L.A.-based band Salem’s Bend top the list of participating bands, which also includes locals like Take Over and Destroy, Via Vengeance, Thra, Old Fashion Assassin, Hovenweep, Mississippi Nova, and others. Performances start at 5:30 p.m. each night. Admission is $10 to $12 per day, $30 for the whole festival. Benjamin Leatherman
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.