Mac Sabbath is scheduled to perform on Saturday, November 24, at BLK Live in Scottsdale.EXPAND
Mac Sabbath is scheduled to perform on Saturday, November 24, at BLK Live in Scottsdale.
Paul Koudounaris

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

So, have you slept off your food coma yet? Yes? Cool. Consider offsetting your massive caloric intake from Thanksgiving by getting off the couch and out of the house for a few hours. And where should you go from there? Consider attending one of the many concerts and music events happening this weekend.

There are gigs by Good Charlotte, Meat Puppets, and L.A. Guns happening (in case you feel like rocking out), as well as blues band The Sugar Thieves and indie folk artist Cat Power (in case you don’t).

If you’re up for something a bit more magical, the Phoenix Symphony will perform a live accompaniment of the score of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban during screenings of the film this weekend. Or if you’d like to see something ultra-colorful and ultra-bizarre, McDonald's-themed Black Sabbath tribute act Mac Sabbath will perform at BLK Live in Scottsdale on Saturday night.

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

The boys of Good Charlotte.
The boys of Good Charlotte.

Good Charlotte
Friday, November 23
The Van Buren

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There was a time not too long ago when anyone who had a disregard for societal norms could throw on some heavy eye makeup, latch a few safety pins onto their messenger bags, and crank up. Good Charlotte? Yeah. Remember that? Those were the good old days of not wanting to fit in too much but definitely not badass enough to break too many rules. It was a perfect compromise for angsty teens who still enjoyed a catchy chorus or two. The pop-punk quintet will be back in town this month for a show at The Van Buren during Thanksgiving weekend. Sleeping With Sirens, Knuckle Puck, and The Dose will open. Diamond Victoria

William Reed is back in town.
William Reed is back in town.
Dani Meigel

SHAKE! A Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party
Friday, November 23
Crescent Ballroom

A lot of artists leave the Valley in search of greener pastures and bigger prospects. But not everyone found success. William Reed, however, is an exception. After putting Arizona in the rearview in 2013, the tastemaking DJ made it big in L.A., becoming one of the city’s most sought-after selectors. Over the past five years, Reed’s worked all manner of high-profile gigs, including performing at post-Oscar bashes and holding down residencies at such see-and-be-seen spots at Ace Hotel and The Standard.

Reed is returning to the Valley for the Thanksgiving holiday and will revive one of his signature dance parties, SHAKE!, in honor of the occasion. Its one-night-only return happens on Friday night at the Crescent Ballroom and will feature spins from Reed and special guests Mr. Brightside and Gabrielle Marie. Expect a curated mix of rock selections that will get you moving on the dance floor. The party starts at 11 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Catch the Meat Puppets at Crescent Ballroom on Friday night.EXPAND
Catch the Meat Puppets at Crescent Ballroom on Friday night.
Sonia Bovio

Meat Puppets
Friday, November 23
Crescent Ballroom

If you’re just shy of 40, Meat Puppets have been making music longer than you’ve been alive. The Phoenix-based band started back in 1980 by brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood — guitar/vocals and bass/vocals, respectively — and drummer Derrick Bostrom, who hasn’t been a member since the band went on their first hiatus in 1996.

Moving away from the hardcore sound early on, the band started incorporating country and psychedelia into their rock and roll and created a unique style that made them a longtime underground favorite and inspiration to tons of bands. Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. are a couple of acts that have cited Meat Puppets as influences, especially their first couple of records. They got a good chunk of radio play in ’94 with the single “Backwater," and continued adding members to their diehard fan base. They now have 15 albums under their collective belt, so go see the well-seasoned Kirkwood brothers and current drummer Shandon Sahm tear it up in downtown Phoenix. Amy Young

The Sugar Thieves
The Sugar Thieves
Chadwick Fowler

The Sugar Thieves
Friday, November 23
The Rhythm Room

Guitarist Mikel Lander and vocalist Meredith Moore originally met in 2006 through a mutual friend at a Tempe house party. It may not have been a meet-cute sort of encounter (and Lander initially rebuffed Moore’s invitation to jam together) but it wound up changing both of their lives forever. The couple, who’ve been married for a few years now, form the core of The Sugar Thieves, one of the Valley's best roots/blues acts the serve up “meat shakin’” sounds that showcase their singing talents (Lander boasts a Tom Waits-meets-Nick Cave growl, while Moore has an astounding vocal range that’s always pitch-perfect) and his skills as a picker. Over the last decade, they’ve won the Arizona Blues Challenge on three occasions, gigged at venues across the Valley, and put out a few albums. Catch them this weekend at local blues haven The Rhythm Room. Benjamin Leatherman

Relive the music and magic of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this weekend.
Relive the music and magic of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this weekend.
Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert
Friday, November 23, to Sunday, November 25
Phoenix Symphony Hall

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment of the multibillion-dollar film franchise was originally scored by John Williams and was nominated for Best Original Music Score at the Academy Awards. Over the weekend of Friday, November 23, through Sunday, November 25, the Phoenix Symphony is putting on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert, a screening the film with live music from the orchestra, at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. Even though the Harry Potter series doesn't technically count as holiday films, engaging in nostalgia is a typical way to spend the Thanksgiving through Christmas time period. If you want to partake in watching this classic, tickets range from $25 to $93. Angelica Cabral
Mac Sabbath
Saturday, November 24
BLK Live in Scottsdale

Heavy music, like heavy food, is best consumed voraciously and without much thought. But the McGenius behind Mac Sabbath is that they obviously put a lot of thought and skill into their quirky musical cookery, which roasts greasy fast-food corporations as much as it pays tribute to the pummeling rock of Ozzy and Sabbath. Like many gimmick-driven grinders, the members shroud themselves in secret sauce. From their elaborate, super-sized costumes (Grimalice, the Catburglar and Slayer McCheeze back up creepy clown crooner Ronald Osbourne) to their clever, freak-fried takes on Sabbath's lyrics ("Pair-a-Buns" to the tune of "Paranoid," "Frying Pan" to the tune of "Iron Man"), these Happy Meal menaces sizzle live, and always serve up much more than the empty calories of most cover bands. Lina Lecaro

The outdoor bar park at Shady Park in Tempe.EXPAND
The outdoor bar park at Shady Park in Tempe.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Shady Park Three-Year Anniversary
Saturday, November 24
Shady Park in Tempe

The last three years have been busy ones for Tempe’s Shady Park, particularly when it comes to music. Since the popular spot opened in late 2015 near Arizona State University, its hosted a wide selection of local and touring bands, as well as high-energy shows. The place has also become known as a hot spot for electronic dance music and, as such, has featured well-known DJs and producers on the regular underneath the starts in its outdoor bar park. Its only fitting then that Shady Park’s three-year anniversary festivities this weekend will feature plenty of superstar DJs over the course of three days, including EDM acts Break Science, Russ Liquid, MIDIcinal on Saturday night. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $25. Benjamin Leatherman

L.A. Guns
Saturday, November 24
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

The story of this band is a long and complicated one, but what you need to know is that they essentially used to make up half of Guns N’ Roses. In 1984, they combined with members of Hollywood Rose to form the iconic rock band. After lots of breakups and reformations, the band currently includes Tracii Guns, one of the original members. After 35 years in the industry, they will be releasing their 12th studio album in March 2019. If you’re into seeing old legends perform, this is the show for you. Angelica Cabral

Sam Young, better known as Vanilla Ace.EXPAND
Sam Young, better known as Vanilla Ace.
Infamous PR

Vanilla Ace
Sunday, November 25
Shady Park in Tempe

When he's not remixing everyone from Basement Jaxx and Destructo to Yolanda Be Cool and Moon Boots, 38-year-old Londoner Sam Young, otherwise known as Vanilla Ace, can be found touring the world, setting the party mood for over 12,000 people in Green Valley, Brazil, throwing down at Holy Ship in Miami, and manning the decks at HARD Summer in L.A.

Raised on a typical '90s U.K. diet of hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, and house music, Young picked up DJing at 17 and has since settled into a grooving, bass-injected nu disco/indie-house sound that's earned him support from dance music heavyweights like Pete Tong and Seth Troxler — not to mention invitations to play George Clooney’s wedding and Elton John’s birthday party.

This weekend, Vanilla Ace brings his expertly honed mixes of funky deep house, nu disco, and bass-heavy deep cuts to Shady Park in Tempe for a Sunday afternoon performance in honor of the spot’s three-year anniversary. VNSSA opens. The music starts at 2 p.m. Admission is $15. Falyn Freyman

Cat Power's Chan Marshall.
Cat Power's Chan Marshall.
Eliot Lee Hazel

Cat Power
Sunday, November 25
The Van Buren

This has been a fairly eventful year for Chan Marshall of Cat Power. In addition to changing labels, she’s put out her 10th album, a record that could double as a sampler and summation of all the stylistic shifts she’s taken over the years. The sparseness of her earlier records, the shift into electronic textures on Sun, the way her voice can contort itself to convey ecstatic bliss as easily as it can plumb the depths of crushing sadness: It’s all there on Wanderer. And while the record will never be mistaken for 25, it does feature a few hat tips to the pop zeitgeist with a Rihanna cover and a Lana Del Rey collab.

But 2018 is also significant because it marks the 20th anniversary of Chan Marshall’s masterwork: Moon Pix. Recorded in Melbourne with Mick Turner and Jim White (two-thirds of Australia’s instrumental group The Dirty Trio), Marshall’s fourth studio album was inspired by a vivid nightmare she experienced while staying in a farmhouse in South Carolina. Even if you didn’t know the backstory to the record, you can hear it all over Moon Pix: It’s a nocturnal, somber record. The songs are like sleepwalkers, propelled by an unconscious momentum.

As on all her records, the most striking aspect of Moon Pix is Marshall’s voice. On album opener “American Flag” (which features a drum sample of the Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” played backwards), her voice is a languorous moan — it stretches itself all over the track, rolling around in it and occasionally lashing out with a wail, like her feline namesake. Ashley Naftule

Jane Monheit
Sunday, November 25
Musical Instrument Museum

If there’s one thing that the more recent work of jazz/pop vocalist Jane Monheit proves, it’s that maturing doesn’t mean losing freshness and immediacy. Now more than 15 years into a scintillating career, the thrush might not be trying to invoke the nubile mermaid image she once projected, but she’s still performing with verve and impeccable instinct. She has always sung ballads with an understanding beyond her years, and that hasn’t changed one iota: Just when she seems to have lofted the final breathtaking note, she inevitably adds something astonishing. David Finkle

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