The 9 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

The Trap House-focused Trap Day benefit will take place on Friday, January 4, at Monarch Theatre.EXPAND
The Trap House-focused Trap Day benefit will take place on Friday, January 4, at Monarch Theatre.
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Now that the holidays are over with and done, we’re guessing you might have tons of spare time at your disposal. If that’s the case, fill it by attending one of the many concerts or dance parties happening around the Valley this weekend.

If you’re into hip-hop, a slew of local rappers will team up to help out one of their own. They’ll be performing at a benefit on Friday night for Phoenix-based rap star Trap House, who was recently diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

Other notable music events happening this weekend include an '80s tribute night, gigs by punk rock freakazoids The Dwarves and post-hardcore favorites Senses Fair, and a birthday party for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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.

Al Foul Trio
Friday, January 4
The Rhythm Room

Mammoth, Arizona-based Al Foul's website proudly proclaims the rockabilly singer performs “authentic American folk country & primitive rock-n-roll.” It's more than just an accurate boast: The local musician performs solo, snarling over a fat Gretsch guitar and stomping on a bass drum. But his songs aren't rowdy BBQ Show/Bob Log-style tirades. No, there's a lowdown elegance to songs like "Sugar Me and the Boy" and "Maybe Tonight," a restrained noir element that's as in keeping with Jarmusch's black-and-white films as it is with Sun Records' heyday. "Maybe tonight I'll freeze to death," he belts over a "Tequila"-style strum, a sturdy hiccup in his voice and a steady beat pounded out by his foot. If the one-man-band routine is the stand-up comedy of musical idioms, call him a Doug Stanhope — the kind of guy willing to bare his heart in order to make you laugh or break your heart. Jason Woodbury

Feeling the Selena love.
Feeling the Selena love.
Courtesy of Ticketfly

Club '90s: Selena Night
Friday, January 4
The Van Buren

Born in Texas in 1971, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was murdered in 1995 by the founder of her fan club. Known simply as Selena, and oft-lauded as the “Queen of Tejano,” she was a versatile artist whose creative talents included singing, songwriting, acting, and fashion design. Join fellow Selena fans at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 4, as they converge at The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix for a night of Selena music, video, and dance. It’s all part of Selena Night Phoenix, presented by Club ’90s, for patrons ages 18 and up. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show, or $18 at the door. Lynn Trimble

Tikey Patterson, better known as Trap House.EXPAND
Tikey Patterson, better known as Trap House.
Medaforacle Photography

Trap Day: A Benefit Celebrating Tikey Patterson
Friday, January 4
Monarch Theatre

Local rapper Trap House has overcome a lot of obstacles to get where he’s at in the hip-hop world today. Over the past decade, the Valley resident and MC (born Tikey Patterson) has battled personal and professional challenges, scene politics, and various drama to become one of Phoenix’s more prominent hip-hop performers.
And now he’s facing down his toughest challenge yet: cancer. Last year, Trap House revealed on social media that he’d been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and would be fighting back with all the energy he could muster. Thankfully, he won’t be going into battle alone.

Local hip-hop promoter Respect the Underground will be helping him in his via Trap Day, a benefit show on Friday, January 4, at the Monarch Theatre. A slew of local rappers — including JustUs, Yitti Hustla, OTS, C Leach, Hood and Judge Da Boss, Ricky Watkins (a.k.a. Young Face), Pokafase, Hanibal Leq, A Train, Pierre Kardin, Seamus Hennesy, and others — are scheduled to perform during the event, which kicks off at 9 p.m. DJ John Blaze will also be in the mix. Tickets are $15. Benjamin Leatherman

Expect antics at The Dwarves gig at the Yucca Tap.EXPAND
Expect antics at The Dwarves gig at the Yucca Tap.
Courtesy of The Dwarves

The Dwarves
Saturday, January 5
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Formed in the mid-'80s and inspired by the punk antics of GG Allin, The Dwarves have survived for 25 years by continually evolving their sound while always remaining entertaining. "I almost think it's a form of mass hallucination," declares Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia, "because by all rights, we should be done now, and yet we still exist."

The punky Chicago iconoclasts have always been shapeshifters. Their '86 debut, Horror Stories, leaned hard on the grimy garage-psych of bands like the Sonics, but by 1988's Toolin' for a Warm Teabag, they'd moved on to the atavistic punk of Allin. They even adopted many of his boundary-pushing antics, such as self-mutilation, on-stage hummers and punching audience members, while wisely avoiding Allin's shittiest behavior.

The Dwarves' outrageous stage behavior has greatly diminished over the years. Their performances now are simply those of a loud, raucous, fun-loving garage-punk band. Dahlia credits this to both age and different membership before returning to the context of their performances as a driving force. Chris Parker

Holiday Hangover: An '80s Tribute Festival
Saturday, January 5
The Van Buren

Any show that features sets by The Cure, New Order, Duran Duran, and This Smiths would be considered a blockbuster. And, most likely, one you wouldn’t want to miss, right?

Okay, next question: Would it matter if the aforementioned bands and musicians were all tribute artists? It really shouldn’t, considering they’re all quite skilled at mimicking their source material and are arguably the next best thing to the real McCoy. No, seriously. The tribute bands that star in this weekend’s Holiday Hangover at The Van Buren — including L.A. acts Substance: A New Order Tribute and The Cured — are all adept at impersonating the sound, look, and feel of the actual artists.

Besides, after a few drinks you either won’t know the difference or simply won’t care, preferring to just have a good time instead of nitpicking. Duran Duran tribute act Arena and Smiths/Morrissey tribute Maladjusted will also perform. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

2000 Foot Turtle
Sunday, January 6
The Rebel Lounge

2000 Foot Turtle describe themselves as a “couple pals makin’ funkadelic music in the ’burbs.” Maybe that elicits quaint images of dudes in sweater vests, but 2FT nevertheless deliver grimy grooves from the badlands. Last year’s It Came From The Swamp is four tracks of filthy, lo-fi blues rock, slick and sexy on one hand, and utterly brash and bizarre on the other, less the swagger of The Black Keys and more the unkempt vigor of a Hasil Adkins.

For 2019, 2FT is set to hit the road for a weeklong spring tour of Arizona and a subsequent West Coast jaunt. Both outings will highlight the band’s live show, which they describe as the battle between “the musician and the music, and out of that struggle comes something beautiful.” That very same live show will be re-created with the band’s upcoming full-length, Bald Man In A Wet World, which, true to the band’s “suburban” roots, was recorded in the garage of singer-guitarist Clay Knutson’s sister. 2000 Foot Turtle: a pillar of family values and ultra sludgy blues-rock. Chris Coplan

The late Randy Linthicum.
The late Randy Linthicum.
Courtesy photo

Risky Business: A Celebration of Life Through Drum 'n' Bass
Sunday, January 6
Monarch Theatre

The local dance music scene suffered a loss last year when Randy Linthicum, who DJed around town as Risky Business, died in November. The 37-year-old Valley resident was reportedly a longtime fan of drum 'n' bass and often spun the dance genre during his sets at local club and raves. Hence this weekend’s event at the Monarch, which shares its name with Linthicum’s DJ moniker and will serve as a celebration of both his life and his love affair with DNB. Several prominent drum 'n' bass artists will perform — such as AK1200, Dieselboy, and MC Dino — as will local DJs and friends like Sluggo, Mendez, and Blakout. Start time is 8 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

The members of Senses Fail (from left): Matt Smith, Buddy Nielsen, Jason Black, Dan Trapp, and Zack Roach.EXPAND
The members of Senses Fail (from left): Matt Smith, Buddy Nielsen, Jason Black, Dan Trapp, and Zack Roach.
Brandon Aviram

Senses Fail and The Amity Affliction
Sunday, January 6
The Van Buren

Post-hardcore band Senses Fail joined the scene in the early 2000s with Let It Enfold You, an album catchy enough and edgy enough to earn plenty of praise in the post-hardcore world. These days, only one original member remains, lead singer Buddy Nielse, but Senses Fail easily draws in crowds nonetheless. The band released its seventh full-length studio album, If There Is A Light, It Will Find You, last February, which means you’re likely to hear songs from the project this weekend when they visit The Van Buren along with metalcore act The Amity Afflitction. Diamond Victoria

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