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A Perfect Circle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 20, at Comerica Theatre.EXPAND
A Perfect Circle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 20, at Comerica Theatre.
Speakeasy PR

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

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.

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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.

Scandinavian folk metal band Korpiklaani.EXPAND
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

Celtic Thunder rolls into town this week.EXPAND
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.
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

The current lineup of famed ska act The Skatalites.EXPAND
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

Maynard James Keenan performs with A Perfect Circle in 2017.EXPAND
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

One More Time in concert at The Van Buren earlier this year.EXPAND
One More Time in concert at The Van Buren earlier this year.
Benjamin Leatherman

One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk
Wednesday, November 21
The Van Buren

Is there room for two Daft Punks in the world? Really, there’s barely room for the one, at least psychically — but One More Time found a tribute-band-shaped space somewhere in there and managed to cram in their own Daft Punk light-up pyramid. Founded well before the release of Random Access Memories, One More Time keep the Alive 2007 era, well, alive more than a decade later in 2018, delivering what will one day be called the “classic” Daft Punk live experience.

They got all the details handled, including some particularly deft costume changes, and they come with enough power to push through an hour-plus set of Daft Punk hits, sleeper hits, and even some original remixes. Harder better faster stronger? Well, definitely hard and fast and strong enough. Chris Ziegler

Sandra Collins
Wednesday, November 21
Bar Smith

A few months before the first Coachella, Woodstock '99 hit New York and became a symbol of everything that could go wrong at a music festival. That aside, Sandra Collins was one of the handful of DJs to play the rock-oriented event. Her bio still mentions the lengthy, middle-of-the-night set, which all seems kind of crazy now. How often do you see a DJ play more than an hour at a festival?

That's the kind of clout that Sandra Collins had during the 1990s dance music boom. After getting her start in the Phoenix scene way back when, she headed for L.A. and superstardom. That success continued in the early years of the new millennium. Some of her highest profile mixed CDs, like ones from Cream and Perfecto, came out after 2000. Sandra Collins still plays out constantly and was event featured in the 2015 female DJ documentary, Girl.

Collins is returning to her old stomping ground of the Valley for a gig at Bar Smith in downtown Phoenix on Thanksgiving Eve. Liz Ohanesian

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
Wednesday, November 21
The Rhythm Room

Rockabilly's endurance continues to defy those who regard the genre's resurrection as more of a fashion statement than a musical movement. While you'll probably see less gingham and grease in local clubs these days, interest in rockabilly's rabble-rousing sounds remains solid. Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys are a fine example of why this music continues to please: The Southern California outfit led by the amiable, appealing Big Sandy (né Rusty Williams) approaches it with a dexterity and musicianship that makes the stuff look easy.

While Sandy's sound — a kind of retrobilly fused with a big-band flair, peppered with occasional excursions into country, swing and even calypso — is certainly rooted in nostalgia, there's a timeless quality to it. It could be the band's smooth, almost seamless delivery, or the way the tunes make you want to take to the dance floor. Then again, maybe it's just Big Sandy's big ol' smile. Laura Bond

The members of legendary Tempe band Dead Hot Workshop.
The members of legendary Tempe band Dead Hot Workshop.
Courtesy of Onus Records

Dead Hot Workshop
Wednesday, November 21
Crescent Ballroom

Dubbed the "poet laureate of Mill Avenue" by former Phoenix New Times scribe Chris Hansen Orf, singer-songwriter Brent Babb is still one of the Valley's most respected rock talents, more than 20 years after the release of the band's lone major-label album, 1001 (Atlantic). A gritty country-rock band with just a hint of the old Mill Avenue jangle, DHW ditched their label in the '90s but never stopped making music that makes you wonder why they never broke out commercially (maybe it's their commitment to profanity: "Fuck No" off their 2006 LP Heavy Meadow is the album's choicest cut).

This weekend, the band stages a Thanksgiving Eve concert at the Crescent. Fellow Tempe scene favorites Banana Gun, Pistoleros, and Truckers on Speed share the bill. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Craig Outhier

DJ Tricky TEXPAND
DJ Tricky T
Benjamin Leatherman

The Blunt Club's Bluntsgiving
Thursday, November 22
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

The more things change, as the old saying goes, the more they pretty much stay the same. Long-running local hip-hop night the Blunt Club, for instance, was originally a weekly event before becoming a monthly a few years ago and now takes place on an irregular basis, more or less. Despite these changes to its schedule, there’s one Blunt Club party that’s happened on the same date, year after year, without fail: the annual Bluntsgiving celebration.

Held every Thanksgiving night, the affair features The Blunt Club’s resident DJs and regulars dropping hip-hop cuts and laying out a repast of beats and rhymes while local b-boy dancers do their thing on the dance floor.

This year’s event takes on Thursday, November 22, and will feature sets from longtime Blunt Club selectors like Pickster One, Logan “Element” Howard, Tricky T, DJ M2, and DJ Fact135. Valley native and Blunt Club’s co-founder Adam “Dumperfoo” Dumper, who moved to Portland in 2016, will be on hand for the occasion and will serve up some live art. The party will also commemorate the life and times of Blunt Club DJ and collaborator Cameron “Pnyce” Wright, who passed away earlier this month. The beat-slinging and b-boy action starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 with proceeds benefiting the Wright family. Benjamin Leatherman

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