Things to Do

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

The Flaming Lips are scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 6, at the Arizona State Fair.
The Flaming Lips are scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 6, at the Arizona State Fair. George Salisbury
Looking for something to do this weekend? You’ve certainly no shortage of options, considering the wealth of events happening during the next few days or nights.

The weather’s pretty awesome right now, which is good news for anyone planning to attend outdoor events like the latest First Friday, the annual Tour de Fat in Tempe on Saturday, or the Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest. Meanwhile, this year’s Arizona State Fair is kicking off its monthlong run. Oh yeah, tons of haunted houses will also be serving up scares.

Beyond that, there’s live music and lots of it happening around the Valley this weekend.

Besides the state fair’s concert series (which will include a can’t miss gig by the Flaming Lips on Saturday night), highlight include Best Coast performing at the newly opened Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, the alt-rockers of Garbage taking over the Marquee, and a show by Tennis at Crescent Ballroom.

You could also check out live electronica sessions at Lost Leaf, the annual Chandler Mariachi Festival, and concerts by Chelsea Wolfe and Mat Kearney.

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

click to enlarge Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. - BRILLIANT CORNERS
Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast.
Brilliant Corners
Best Coast
Friday, October 5
Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe

There's an oft-used analogy in sports about how a team functions best when its “glue guys” are performing at a high level. What's a “glue guy?” He's someone who keeps the team focused when there's a bevy of distractions from the team focusing on its goal, like, say, if your lead player is dating someone famous or if the hype is getting to be too much. You need a “glue guy” in music, too, especially when you're getting a ton of hype, and your lead player dates the dude from Wavves.

That's why many consider Best Coast's Bobb Bruno the ultimate music “glue guy,” including his longtime bandmate and musical collaborator, Bethany Cosentino. That's cool because he's an integral part of the band, but he doesn't get any of the press because of music journalism's obsession with lead singers, especially female ones. So it's nice to see that Bruno's bandmate, who's frequently the focal point of the group's press, believes he's so integral. Partnerships lead to great work, and if the critics are to be believed, the partnership that's Best Coast has done just that. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore of Tennis. - LUCA VENTER
Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore of Tennis.
Luca Venter
Friday, October 5
Crescent Ballroom

Being in the landlocked state of Colorado must be really grating for the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley (an Arizona native) and Alaina Moore. It’s why they so continually take to the ocean in their 30-foot sailboat, the Swift Ranger, to find musical inspiration from the waves, the wildlife, and the wind at their backs. The last time they set sail, they began in San Diego and ended up in the Sea of Cortez, and blogged about it for Urban Outfitters (which apparently doesn’t just sell overpriced, trend-hopping clothes).

“Our routines are simple and the album is starting to take on a definite sound and shape,” they wrote at the time. “The inherent limitations of working on the boat have given us a streamlined sense of focus that we don’t have on land. It’s easier to see right to the heart of a song, to know what you have and if you’re doing what’s best.” How romantic! It’s as if Hemingway were still alive and had a man-bun. As for the music, the trip resulted in Tennis’ album Yours Conditionally, which continues their fascination with retro pop. Douglas Markowitz

The Front Bottoms
Friday, October 5
The Van Buren

The Front Bottoms’ early folk-punk songs were Brian Sella’s explosions of emotion. His angsty lyrics about love and mundane matters drew crowds that cherished singing along to every diaristic word. But when the New Jersey band started 10 years ago, Sella admits, “I had no idea how to write a song.” Not that that stopped him. The results, bordering on unhinged and a bit too confessional, were powerful.

Sella’s creative energy and imperfect voice have provoked many critics to compare him and the Front Bottoms to the Mountain Goats and its frontman, John Darnielle. And like Darnielle, Sella has become more calculated and experimental over the years. Over the past decade, he’s schooled himself in the craft of songwriting and musical production, and while his songs still come off as unabashedly frank, the newer material is more self-conscious in its construction.

But the old days are still front and center in the Front Bottoms’ music, especially on the band’s newest EP, Ann. The album, which has been well received, is a balm to fans who might have been irked by 2017’s Going Grey, the Front Bottoms’ foray into a more experimental pop style, with multilayered instrumentation and high-end production. Kyle Harris

Local electronica artist E Alo keeps it real. - RAY SQUARED PRODUCTIONS
Local electronica artist E Alo keeps it real.
Ray Squared Productions
Live Electronic at The Lost Leaf
Saturday, October 6
The Lost Leaf

Think that all it takes to be a DJ these days is simply to press play on a laptop or sound system? You’re not the only one, since it’s a negative stereotype that has dogged the dance music industry for ages. Oh, and you’re not wrong, as a significant number of DJs, ranging from local club jocks to globe-trotting superstars, are certainly guilty of the practice. Not all DJs are that lazy, however, and actually put in some effort and artistry while working the decks, whether they’re mixing on the fly or creating live electronic music on the spot.

Local artist Erica Lynne, who performs as E Alo, falls into the latter category; she crafts impromptu soundscapes of ambient grooves and downtempo electronica at her gigs, and nary a note is prerecorded. “Because there is little to no awareness and appreciation for people making original electronic music and actually performing it live, most people think I am DJing when I perform; I explain the difference, and they’re usually intrigued,” Lynne says. “I think DJs are just super-familiar to people nowadays, and this is a whole new thing to them. It’s a whole different thing to create something from scratch and then figure out a way to perform it live and then to execute it in an enjoyable way in front of folks.”

This weekend, you can catch Lynne and several other local DJs and artists serving up similar sets during Live Electronic at The Lost Leaf on Saturday, October 6. The event will feature performances by such names as Atreetalking, Ed Kennedy, Schux Famicom, and Majestic Dubs, all of whom will be laying it down live inside The Lost Leaf. Local drummer Spencer Ferrarin will also provide an accompaniment of live percussion to Lynne’s set.

The night will also include a live mix from by Djentrification, who will present his usually intoxicating blend of world sounds and obscure cuts using a combo of record decks, used vinyl, and various gear. “He is hands-down the most unique vinyl DJ I have experienced, and I have the utmost respect for him and his creativity,” Lynne says. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

The Goddamn Gallows
Saturday, October 6
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

The Goddamn Gallows knows you, Phoenix. But, they don't really know you. The self-proclaimed “hobocore” band formed in 2004 and has played its share of squats, basements, and dives. Over the years, they've built a following on incessant touring, insanely energetic live shows, and a half-dozen albums. Their latest, The Trial, dropped earlier this year. They would be pleased to truly make your acquaintance. If the feeling is mutual, they invite you to come fraternize while they throw down their own brand of "gutterbilly" punk rock on Saturday night at the Yucca Tap Room.

The divey Tempe venue should prove rather accommodating the band, which consists frontman Fishgutzzz and his bandmates: Joe Perreze, Mikey Classic, Baby Genius, Jayke Orvis, and TV's Avery. There is some fucked-up stuff out there and any band that tours as much as the Goddamn Gallows is bound to come across it. It's the sort of world that leads a band to write a song like, "Y'all Motherfuckers Need Jesus," from the band's 2011 effort, 7 Devils. You’re likely to hear the song during their show on Saturday, which will feature opening sets by Gutter Demons, The Strikers, and Whiskey and the Barrels. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

click to enlarge Mariachi Angeles de Pepe Martinez Jr. - COURTESY OF CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Mariachi Angeles de Pepe Martinez Jr.
Courtesy of Chandler Center For the Arts
Chandler Mariachi & Folklorico Festival
Saturday, October 6
Chandler Center For the Arts

I wonder what it’s like to be in a mariachi band. You get up, you put on an immaculate, tastefully-embroidered suit and ascot, maybe a wide-brimmed sombrero, comb your mustache and slick back your hair, then grab your guitar, or horn, or violin and join your amigos in playing a musical genre that usually gets played for laughs on TV.

Really, mariachi is an incredibly underrated genre that has defined the sound of Mexican music for decades. That’s why we should all be excited for the 19th Annual Mariachi and Folklorico Festival happening at the Chandler Center for the Arts. It’s a chance to explore the many variations on this traditional form of songcraft and hear from some of its most skillful practitioners, including Angeles de Pepe Martinez Jr., Sandra Guevara, and many more. Some of the performers will be coming directly from Guadalajara. Tickets are expected to sell out. Douglas Markowitz
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers