There’s no better time to get out and see a show than this week. The weather’s going to be nice, and there are tons of big-name artists scheduled to perform from Monday, February 24, to Sunday, March 1.
A ton will be at Tempe Beach Park for Innings Festival 2020, which will feature sets by Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, Dave Matthews Band, and ZZ Ward (just to name a few).
If festivals aren’t your thing, notable acts like Aurelio Voltaire, Thrice, Eliza & the Delusionals, PUP, Harry Connick Jr., and Al Jardine have shows scheduled this week. You can also raise a toast in honor of legendary local dance night Panic!, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary.
Details about each of these gigs can be found below. For even more live music happening around the Valley this week, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
ThriceMonday, February 24
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Post-hardcore band Thrice are on a national tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of their fourth studio album, Vheissu. When Thrice first came onto the scene in 1998, they were known for their fast-paced rhythms and heavily distorted guitar riffs before incorporating a more experimental and electronic approach in later albums. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and birthed the charting single "Image of the Invisible," which made its way to No. 24 on the publication's Mainstream Rock chart. Thrice’s Monday night show starts at 6:30 p.m. and Mewithoutyou, Drug Church, and Holy Fawn open. Tickets are $25. Diamond Rodrigue
Steep Canyon RangersMonday, February 24
Highlands Church in Scottsdale
Bluegrass combo Steep Canyon Rangers formed in the shadow of academia. Banjoist Graham Sharp, bassist Charles Humphrey III, guitarist Woody Platt, fiddler Nicky Sanders, and mandolinist Mike Guggino were students at the University of North Carolina when they first debuted in 2000 and became one of the genre's most high-profile acts. And they became even more prominent the past several years after hooking up with jokester-turned-banjoist Steve Martin in 2009 and won a Grammy for best bluegrass album in 2013 for their solo album, Nobody Knows You.
While the Rangers won't have Martin in tow when they pay a visit to Highlands Church in Scottsdale this week, they will be performing the sort of upbeat down-home sounds that attracted the legendary actor/comedian in the first place. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $26 to $59. Michael Roberts
PUPTuesday, February 25
The Van Buren
Toronto punk band PUP aren’t named for a small dog. The group’s moniker is an acronym for “Pathetic Use of Potential,” which is how singer/frontman Stefan Babcock’s grandmother described his career choice when the band formed in 2010. Born out of the same thriving scene that produced Fucked Up and Metz, PUP cut their teeth opening for other bands and taking midday slots on the now-defunct Warped Tour. Their most recent album, 2019’s Morbid Stuff, was a breakthrough in many ways. It’s major step up from the band’s previous work, but it’s most notable for the lyrical deep dive Babcock takes into the darkest recesses of his despondency. Screaming Females and Drew Thomson Foundation will open PUP’s Tuesday night gig at The Van Buren, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $25. James Biagiotti
Al JardineTuesday, February 25
Musical Instrument Museum
Al Jardine played stand-up bass on the very first Beach Boys single, "Surfin'." Since then, he's been an integral part of the band's sonic makeup, playing guitar and navigating complexities not often associated with The Beach Boys: environmental concerns ("Don't Go Near the Water," written with Mike Love), transcendence ("All This Is That"), and spoken-word prose (Jardine read Robinson Jeffers' poem "The Breaks of Eagles" as part of the band's stunning "California Saga" from Holland).
Though he left the touring version of the 'Boys in the '90s, Jardine settled a lawsuit with Mike Love and contributed to the 2012 album That's Why God Made the Radio with all surviving original members. He’s also toured and performed with various incarnations of The Beach Boys over the last several years. He’ll make a stop at the Musical Instrument Museum on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. performance. Tickets are $59.50 to $79.50. Jason P. Woodbury
Wishbone AshWednesday, February 26
The Rhythm Room
More influential than most of today's hard-rock fans realize, Wishbone Ash fall in along with UFO, Status Quo, and Humble Pie as groups that have been all but forgotten except by those who remember them all too well. Founded in 1969, the U.K. band featured a relentless dual-lead-guitar attack that soon filtered down to such '70s greats as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy.
Like many of their era, Wishbone Ash – newcomers should start with their 1970 masterpiece Argus – dabbled in prog-rock and full-tilt boogie. Unlike them, they kept right on going. Now steered by co-founding guitarist Andy Powell, in recent years Wishbone Ash have released critically lauded albums like 2011's Elegant Stealth and 2014's Blue Horizon. Catch them in concert at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Rhythm Room. Tickets are $30. Chris Gray
Eliza & the DelusionalsWednesday, February 26
Indie rock outfit Eliza & the Delusionals are yet another talented Australian band making modern music business waves. The past few years have been a wild ride for the four-piece act. They went the usual route by gigging hard at home and releasing music onto social media platforms. Last year, the single “Just Exist” took YouTube by storm. Before they knew it, radio stations had worked the track into their rotations, and show offers began pouring in. Besides a run with Silversun Pickups this spring, the band have other key dates circled on the calendar. In March, they’ll release the EP A State of Living In An Objective Reality. They’re headed for SXSW. They’re on the lineup for June's Firefly Music Festival. This week, they’re headed to the Valley for a Wednesday night gig at The Lunchbox. Lifeguard and Danielle Durack open the 8 p.m. show Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Badfish: A Tribute to SublimeThursday, February 27
The Van Buren
Scott Begin and some of his friends at the University of Rhode Island grew up in the early '90s during the heyday of the original incarnation of Sublime. They were such big fans that they formed a Sublime tribute band and named it Badfish, in honor of one of the legendary ska-punk band's most popular tunes. Badfish do Sublime and do it well, and therein lies their appeal. Of course, had the band simply been some nostalgia act, their appeal likely would have worn off long ago. Instead, quality tunes and a true affinity for Sublime are what keep Badfish going nearly two decades into their run. They’re scheduled to perform on Thursday night at The Van Buren. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 to $20. Clint Hale
Mike and the MoonpiesFriday, February 28
The Rebel Lounge
Mike and the Moonpies have been a staple of the Texas country music scene for more than a decade. Their lineup has changed numerous times, and now they have a solid cast of six guys who play the music of the heartland and have numerous albums under their belt. They've opened for the likes of Eleven Hundred Springs and Hayes Carll – and if these guys are good enough for them, they're good enough for you. Mike and the Moonpies are scheduled to perform on Friday night at Rebel Lounge. Quaker City Night Hawks, Some Dark Hollow, and Jim Bachmann and the Day Drinkers open the show. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $16 at the door. H. Drew Blackburn
Aurelio VoltaireFriday, February 28
Club Red in Mesa
Aurelio Voltaire's music is described as "dark cabaret." Leaning on strong folk elements and combined with his powerful voice, this self-described Renaissance man (who has gone by the moniker Voltaire in the past) often focuses on the darker aspects of existence. If this Cuban-born artist isn’t singing about death and destruction, he’s alluding to it on songs such as "When You’re Evil." He could be crooning about the monsters under a young child’s bed or even what he would do if he could embody the Grim Reaper himself. His mischievous lyrics are mixed with his larger-than-life appearance (think The Cure's Robert Smith with better hair and darker eyeliner), which is what brings people back for more. But to be clear, he's not a "death metal" artist, but a folk artist who is thrilled by the stranger things in life. The Strand and U.S. Grave will open things up at the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. Barbara Smith
Panic! 20-Year AnniversarySaturday, February 29
Thursday nights were a big thing for Robden Brethauer and DJ Manchester back in the 2000s. Every Thump Day, the duo were behind the now-legendary weekly dance party Panic! at the now-defunct Scottsdale spot Anderson's Fifth Estate. It was a popular destination for the fans of Britpop, alternative, and indie rock during its era. Or as we at Phoenix New Times noted: “Panic! [was] the gold standard for shoegazing-prone dance-floor denizens." This weekend, Brethauer and Manchester will reunite for the Panic! 20th Anniversary on Saturday, February 29, at Rips, 3045 North 16th Street. “Hopefully so many of us who have moved can come back for this reunion, as it will more than likely be the last,” Brethauer states on Facebook. As always, DJ Manchester will be in the mix. The party starts at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $5. Benjamin Leatherman
Innings Festival 2020Saturday, February 29, to Sunday, March 1
Tempe Beach Park
Innings Festival, held at Tempe Beach Park, caters to a decidedly different crowd: the horde of baseball fans that invade every year for spring training. They've prepared a lineup that's a mix of indie rock (Death Cab for Cutie, Portugal. The Man, Pedro the Lion) and a few choices that are decidedly, uh, safe (Dave Matthews Band, Weezer). Other bands in this year’s lineup include Strand of Oaks, ZZ Ward, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Dr. Dog. Several former MLB players such as Bret Saberhagen, Shawn Dunston, and Kenny Lofton will make appearances as well. Gates open at noon both days and general admission tickets are $99 per day or $159 for both days. Douglas Markowitz
Harry Connick Jr.Sunday, March 1
Arizona Federal Theatre
Nobody woos us quite like the dreamy, blue-eyed crooner Harry Connick Jr. Picking up where Sinatra left off, Connick mixes easy listening with the spunk of swing and big band to create something delightfully cheesy that warms our hearts and gets the butterflies fluttering. Aside from his successful acting career, including kicking the tires and lighting the fires in Independence Day, romancing Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats, and stalking Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter in the thriller Copycat, he’s released dozens of albums. His latest is True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, which pays tribute to the legendary composer and songwriter. Connick’s tour brings him to Arizona Federal Theatre on Sunday night for a 7:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are $48.50 to $289. Diamond Rodrigue
James SupercaveSunday, March 1
James Supercave aren’t very forthcoming online. (Heaven forbid an up-and-coming indie band should build a mystery while keeping some distance from the spotlight.) But there is nothing but praise for this spacey trio. After opening for the likes of Crystal Castles and Silversun Pickups, the band are embarking on a headlining tour to support their EP M.O.W.O. (Money is the Only Way Out). The three-piece ensemble rely heavily on pianos and slow melodic beats in order to convey their feelings of hurt and heartbreak. It’s very LANY meets Angel Olsen: intimate lyrics with a rhythm that’s ready for the dance floor. Mute Swan and surreal-pop rockers and former Valley residents Bogan Via will open things up at the Sunday night gig, which gets going at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. Barbara Smith
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