Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Paul Oakenfold is scheduled to perform on Friday, January 11, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale.
Paul Oakenfold is scheduled to perform on Friday, January 11, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale. Scott Ramsay
So, how's your January shaping up so far? Hopefully as good as the Valley concert scene, which is finally done with its post-holiday doldrums and is loaded up with noteworthy shows and events this weekend.

Highlights include legendary mixmaster Paul Oakenfold making a return to Scottsdale and performances by such notable rock bands as Melvins, Mother Mother, Stix, and El Ten Eleven. Also, Americana/blues artist Paul Thorn has two gigs planned at local venues, the Mississippi Records American Tour is swinging through town, and the annual Arizona Bach Festival kicks off this weekend.

Details about each of these gigs 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 Hey, hey its the Melvins. - SPEAKEASY PR
Hey, hey its the Melvins.
Speakeasy PR
Melvins
Friday, January 11
The Rebel Lounge


Many cool bands that formed in the '80s have lost their relevancy, but the Melvins are not among them. The Washington-bred heavy-stoner-rock trio not only still tour but also fully maintain their cool status. Singer and guitarist Buzz Osborne is an outspoken character who is likely the inspiration for The Simpsons' Sideshow Bob. He also introduced Dave Grohl to the rest of Nirvana, which is appropriate because the Melvins influenced grunge and sludge sounds quite a bit. Catch them on January 11 at The Rebel Lounge for an intense and intimate performance. Liz Tracy

click to enlarge Kristian Philip Dunn and Timothy Fogarty of El Ten Eleven. - TOPSHELF RECORDS
Kristian Philip Dunn and Timothy Fogarty of El Ten Eleven.
Topshelf Records
El Ten Eleven
Friday, January 11
Crescent Ballroom

It's not experimental prog rock, it's not self-indulgent noodling instrumentals and it sure as hell isn't post-rock. What El Ten Eleven does do, however, is maintain their own lane. The rapport between guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty is palpable, almost fraternal, and rightfully so – they've been working together for more than 15 years. The "power duo," as they've been affectionately coined, started in 2002 in Los Angeles, carving out hooky songs devoid of lyrics while maintaining an earworm quality. Yet for an act fully in their own niche, there's a decisive lack of critical reception to El Ten Eleven. It's baffling to the band themselves, but it does lend to some ravenous fans and respect among their peers. K.C. Libman

click to enlarge The entrance to Valley Bar. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The entrance to Valley Bar.
Benjamin Leatherman
Mississippi Records American Tour
Friday, January 11
Valley Bar

Go get your hammers, all you local blues hounds, jazzcats, world music lovers, and vinyl fiends: It’s time to smash your piggy banks. The legendary Mississippi Records is coming to town.

On Friday, January 11, the Portland, Oregon, record store is swinging by Valley Bar as part of its national tour. Founded by Eric Isaacson and Warren Hill in 2003, Mississippi Records is both a brick-and-mortar shop and a record label. Over the course of their 15 years and counting, they've put out over 230 records by artists like Michael Hurley, Dead Moon, and Abner Jay. The label specializes in unearthed rarities: They've reissued incredible funk, blues, world music, and American soul albums.

Store owner Isaacson will be presenting a film and talk presentation called "A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music According to Mississippi Records, "a mix of audio, film, and slides that will illustrate Isaacson’s attempt to tell the entire history of recorded music in 90 minutes. Mississippi Records will also be presenting short films by Raw Music International, which feature performances from musicians in Kenya, Trinidad, Ukraine, Iraq, Burma, Mongolia, Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, Zanzibar, Thailand, and the Western Sahara. And Gordon Ashworth of Olvido Records will also be doing a DJ set. Ashley Naftule


Paul Oakenfold
Friday, January 11
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale


Paul Oakenfold’s place in DJ history is secure. Widely considered to be a godfather of electronic dance music, the British-born mixmaster has influenced countless artists and helped shape EDM culture over the past four decades. In that time span, he’s also sold millions of records, topped the charts, been cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful DJ ever, and performed around the world (including atop the Great Wall of China and deep in the rainforests of Argentina).

So what does an internationally known and phenomenally influential DJ do when there are few, if any, worlds left to conquer? Easy, he performs at Mount Everest. No, really. In 2017, Oakenfold worked the decks at the “highest party on Earth” in a base camp on the mountain. And just last year, he followed it up by becoming the first person to DJ at Stonehenge with an epic sunset performance alongside the prehistoric monoliths.

So what’s next for the EDM pioneer? We wouldn’t be surprised if tops himself even further by pulling off a gig aboard the International Space Station. Until then, Oakenfold will pass the time doing what he does best at nightspots across the country, including his set on Friday, January 11, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale. Doors open at 10 p.m. and admission is $10. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Rock legends Styx. - RICK DIAMOND
Rock legends Styx.
Rick Diamond
Styx
Friday, January 11, and Saturday, January 12
Celebrity Theatre


Styx is still straddling a line between being an arena rock band and a progressive rock band. They're going to play a couple of new songs, since they're touring off of their 2017 concept LP, The Mission, but expect their show at Celebrity Theatre to also be a hits-laden gig. Songs like "Lady," "Renegade," and "Too Much Time on My Hands" will be performed by a lineup that has been together for almost 20 years.

Lawrence Gowan has proved to be a suitable replacement for Dennis DeYoung since he can replicate DeYoung's vocals and not come across as a Svengali. Tommy Shaw and James "J.Y." Young seem happy touring with this version of their band, and most Styx fans do, too. Eric Grubbs
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers