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.
Andy ShaufTuesday, February 18
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
DrakulasWednesday, 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
Dark Star OrchestraWednesday, 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
PoppyThursday, February 20
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
OME New Music FestivalThursday, February 20, to Sunday, February 23
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
Planet Mammoth Music Festival 2020Friday, 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
The UsedSaturday, February 22
The Used became one of the most commercially successful and culturally significant acts to sprout from emo’s darker and more abrasive side, and with 2004’s In Love and Death, the band cemented themselves as one of the movement’s leading figures. In the 2010s, the emo subculture started waning, and as a result, fixtures of the scene burned out or faded away. While bands like My Chemical Romance broke up, Paramore and Fall Out Boy reconfigured their sound to adapt to the cultural evolution. Meanwhile, tawdry metalcore bands tried and failed to pick up the movement’s residual slack. Amid such turbulence, The Used have stuck together and remained true to form while achieving an impressive longevity. Tickets for their sold-out Crescent Ballroom show on Saturday, which starts at 8 p.m., can be purchased on the secondary market. Dragged Under will open. Garrett Gravley
Delta NoveSaturday, February 22
Last Exit Live
Southern California-based eclectomaniacs Delta Nove blend the percussive powers of roots reggae, rock, world music, and funk, and the well-traveled seven-piece do so with style. The troupe have spent the last two decades spreading their sound across counties, communities, and clubs throughout the country, often playing with the likes of the Black Crows, Ozomatli, and scores of others. Part of their legacy are the band’s live jam sessions known as the “Collab Lab,” which have taken place at venues in and around their home base of Orange Count,y where they ask a musician or two to join them on stage and hash out some improv jams and one-of-a-kind moments. Delta Nove are likely to get a similarly groovy jam going at their gig at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Last Exit Live. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Nate Jackson
DestructoSaturday, February 22
Sunbar in Tempe
Destructo (a.k.a. Gary Richards) has been DJing and producing his own killer tracks since the early '90s. Richards knows how to put together a tight show, because he knows how to keep a crowd bouncing till the birds sing. He’s witnessed a lot of trends over the years and he believes most crowds are ready for the next thing. They just need someone fearless enough to take them there. “I'm always trying to challenge people and get them to hear new things and bring new things to the table,” Richards says. If you’re down, he’ll be at Sunbar on Saturday night. Doors are at 9 p.m. and Cafe Caderas and Noises open. Tickets are $20. Kat Bein
Flor de ToloacheSaturday, February 22
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
In 2020, it’s easy to think that everything has already been done. Flor de Toloache break with this sentiment by being the first all-female mariachi band. The trio weave traditional mariachi music with more modern influences of rock, pop, and R&B producing a powerful sound that has gained them three Latin Grammy nominations, with one win. They made history by being the first all-female group to take home a Latin Grammy for Best Ranchero/Mariachi album in 2017. Flor de Toloache are a breath of fresh air in an often cookie-cutter mainstream music scene. For Latina women around the world, and especially in the United States, it is very empowering to see them represent two often marginalized groups. See them live on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Tickets are $18 to $33. Gladys Fuentes
IntronautSaturday, February 22
Club Red in Mesa
Plenty of metal bands play heavy riffs, but the four men comprising Intronaut layer those riffs with a stunning musical dexterity. Albums like 2013's Habitual Levitations show a group walking a delicate balance between stoner-doom and polyrhythmic jazz-fusion structures. They're able to pull it off because guitarists/vocalists Sacha Dunable and Dave Timnick roar mightily and rain down riffs that appeal to fans of acts like Mastodon and Isis. Bassist Joe Lester provides a strong underpinning that makes one want to head-bang — without losing the groove. Intronaut’s newest album, Fluid Existential Inversions, drops later this month on Metal Blade Records, and they’re scheduled to play Club Red on Saturday night. Media, Stray Deity, and The Accident Theory will open. The show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Jason Roche
Arizona Roots Music Festival 2020Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23
Rawhide Western Town in Chandler
Love reggae, rock, dub, rocksteady, or any combination of these genres? You’ll likely dig this two-day music festival at Rawhide Western Town with performances from more than 20 local and touring bands and artists. Headliners include Damian Marley, Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz, The Expendables, Hirie, and Iya Terra. Other acts scheduled to perform at Arizona Roots include Passafire, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Satsang, Dubbest, and Artikal Sound System. Gates open at noon both days. General admission starts at $69 per day and $129 for the weekend. See the festival’s website for full details. Benjamin Leatherman
Magic City HippiesSunday, February 23
Playing major music festivals such as Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo is an impressive accomplishment, considering Magic City Hippies are entirely DIY. Formerly known as the Robby Hunter Band, the project grew out of Hunter's work as a solo artist. He used to perform hip-hop covers on the streets of Miami by laying down live loops of himself beatboxing, playing guitar, and rapping. And though the live setup is vastly different with Pat Howard (drummer, producer) and John Coughlin (guitars, keyboards) in the band, good-time party grooves remain central to the sound. Magic City Hippies are now making enough money from Spotify revenue to pay for cross-country travel (two singles, "Limestone" and "Fanfare," each garnered more than 10 million streams). They’ll be at Crescent Ballroom on Sunday in support of Modern Animal, their self-financed debut album from 2019. The show starts at 8 p.m. and The Palms open. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 at the door. Howard Hardee
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