Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

A Perfect Circle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 20, at Comerica Theatre.
A Perfect Circle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 20, at Comerica Theatre. Speakeasy PR
Thanksgiving week offers many perks. Besides the chance to gorge yourself silly and reunite with family, it's essentially a three-day work week.

Here’s another bit of good news, there are plenty of shows and other music events happening at venues around the Valley this week, particularly on Wednesday night (a.k.a. Thanksgiving Eve). You’ve got a colorful and varied selection to choose from, including gigs by A Perfect Circle, Daft Punk tribute act One More Time, Scandinavian metal act Korpiklaani, ska legends The Skatalites, and rockabilly/swing act Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys.

Other artists and acts scheduled to perform this week include Celtic Thunder, Sandra Collins, Dead Hot Workshop, and House of Stairs.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley this weekend. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.


click to enlarge Scandinavian folk metal band Korpiklaani. - COURTESY OF NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Scandinavian folk metal band Korpiklaani.
Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
Korpiklaani
Monday, November 19
Crescent Ballroom


Metal is serious business to a lot of people, but even the most grim-faced metalhead in a long-sleeve death metal t-shirt still needs to relax and have some fun every now and then. Korpiklaani deliver the fun in spades, blending instruments such as violins and accordions into upbeat thrashers. (They're known for drinking and partying in Scandinavian forests.) Most of their songs are sung in the band's native Finnish, but you'll likely be too drunk by the end of their set to notice. Arkona and Helsótt open. Jason Roche

click to enlarge Celtic Thunder rolls into town this week. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
Celtic Thunder rolls into town this week.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Celtic Thunder
Tuesday, November 20
Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center


Celtic Thunder singer Ryan Kelly knows that if he ever forgets his lyrics, he just has to look out into the audience and thousands of Thunderheads (the preferred term for what fans of the Irish mega-group are called) are there to help him along. "We know that if we go onstage and make a mistake, everyone in the audience is going to know it," he says, “Because they know all the words, they're always singing along. It keeps us on our game; we can't fake a line or mumble an ending."

Kelly, who speaks with a thick Irish brogue (and says charming things like "a wee bit"), sings with flawless American pronunciation. We ask if stepping in front of a microphone somehow magically changes his accent. "If I sang with my own accent, the people wouldn't have a clue what I was singing about," he says.

Kelly and company are currently touring in honor of Celtic Thunder’s 10th anniversary. They’ll be in the Valley this week for a performance inside the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center on Tuesday night. Start time is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $38.50-$68.50. Olivia Flores Alvarez

Holly Pyle of House of Stairs. - RAYSQUARED
Holly Pyle of House of Stairs.
RaySquared
House of Stairs
Tuesday, November 20
The Lost Leaf


Phoenix’s jazzy House of Stairs cites Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher — known for a mathematical style of design — as an influence. But they aren’t trying to emulate Escher’s visual aesthetic through asymmetrical haircuts or black-and-white outfits. Instead, they use his calculated style as an inspiration for their songs (and their name).

That approach helps House of Stairs deliver a unique twist on soulful jazz. By playing with the vocals and strategically layering them, they inject their music with a futuristic vibe. It’s hard not to be immediately sold when you hear Holly Pyle’s powerful voice. It has so much age and wisdom in it, you might guess she was bred in a jazz lab. But beyond the frontwoman is a band that thoughtfully creates a sonic landscape full of unexpected edges and corners that flow so smoothly they feel soft and winding.

This show at The Lost Leaf is a chance to enjoy them in an intimate setting, soaking up the sounds and enjoying the way they play with space, time, and rhythms. Amy Young

click to enlarge The current lineup of famed ska act The Skatalites. - COURTESY OF THE BAND
The current lineup of famed ska act The Skatalites.
Courtesy of the band
The Skatalites
Tuesday, November 20
Crescent Ballroom


If anything is going to take you back to your high-school ska phase, it's going to be this show at Crescent Ballroom starring famed Jamaica outfit The Skatalites. Originally founded back in 1964, the band was instrumental in forming the rude-boy sound by collaborating with iconic artists including Prince Buster. Unlike many of their contemporaries from ska’s first and second waves, The Skatalites are still around to this day, having survived and endured through multiple breakups and hiatuses. Much of the band's original lineup – they feature have a four-piece brass section – still rocks steady on signature tracks and hits as such as "Guns of Navarone" and "Garden of Love." Local ska act 2Tone Lizard Kings will open the evening, and DJ Evil Luck will spin between sets. Chandler Levack

click to enlarge Maynard James Keenan performs with A Perfect Circle in 2017. - JIM LOUVAU
Maynard James Keenan performs with A Perfect Circle in 2017.
Jim Louvau
A Perfect Circle
Tuesday, November 20
Comerica Theatre


Maynard fans, don't despair. It doesn't like a new Tool record is coming out this year, but everybody's favorite hard rocker-slash-wine impresario and Arizona hero released a new album with his other big band, A Perfect Circle, earlier this year. In April, APC put out their fourth studio album, Eat The Elephant, their first batch of new material in going on 14 years. But they haven't been idle in that long gap since 2004's Emotive; they've kept their live music chops sharp. They showed there was no rust on their guitar strings when they played a killer show at Comerica Theatre in 2017. Obviously, with a new record comes a new tour, which means that Maynard, Billy Howerdel, James Iha, and the rest of the APC gang have hit the road and will return to return to Comerica on Tuesday night. Ashley Naftule
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers