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Collie Buddz is scheduled to perform on Sunday, February 10, at Arizona Roots Festival at Rawhide in Chandler.
Collie Buddz is scheduled to perform on Sunday, February 10, at Arizona Roots Festival at Rawhide in Chandler.
Courtesy of Ineffable Music

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

What’s on tap for this weekend in the Valley when it comes to concerts? Plenty of rap and hip-hop, for starters, as well as one of the first big music festivals of the season and a chance to relive your high school prom.

Hip-hop shows will be in the mix the next few nights in metro Phoenix, including gigs by Project Pat and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse. Rap-rock act Kottonmouth Kings will also be in town and the first-ever Arizona Roots Festival at Rawhide on Saturday and Sunday will feature names like Atmosphere and J Boog. The folks behind the Blunt Club will also celebrate the life and legacy of the late J Dilla on Friday night at Crescent Ballroom.

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Other notable concerts this weekend include performances by Holy Fawn, Tommy James and the Shondells, and Cafe Jaleo.

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.

The late J Dilla.EXPAND
The late J Dilla.
Roger Erickson

Beats, Rhymes & Donuts
Friday, February 8
Crescent Ballroom

When it comes to influential hip-hop artists, J Dilla ranks up there as one of the biggest. So much so that fans of the late record producer and rapper are still feteing his legacy more than a decade after his untimely passing in 2006. Hence the annual celebration of J Dilla Day, which takes place each year in cities across the world around February 10 (the day of his death). Here in Phoenix, local hip-hop artists and rappers will gather at the Crescent Ballroom a few days prior on Friday, February 8, to honor the man and his music.

The celebration has been dubbed Beats, Rhymes & Donuts (a reference to his third album, Donuts) and will feature sets by a slew of hip-hop artists, including Elzhi, Bronze Nazareth, Marley Bertrand, Cash Lansky Writers Guild. Rockness Monster (a.k.a. Rock) of hip-hop collective Boot Camp Clik and the duo Heltah Skeltah will be the special guest and local DJs like Fact135, Tricky T, J20, Reflekshin, DN3, and Pickster One will be on the record decks. Additionally, Blunt Club founder Adam “Dumperfoo” Dumper will beingdoing a live art sesh and free doughnuts from Welcome Chicken + Donuts will be served. The beats get going at 7 p.m. Admission is $20. Benjamin Leatherman

Kottonmouth Kings
Friday, February 8
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

For 22 years, the Kottonmouth Kings have been grinding out albums deeply smitten with weed. You don't need to go parsing the band's lyrics in "Proud to Be a Stoner," "Pack Ur Bowls," and "Roll It Up" to detect the obsession. Hell, you don't even need those song names when you consider album titles like Rollin' Stoned, Joint Venture, and 2012's Mile High. The outfit hit their mainstream peak in the early 2000s when rap-rock dominated the world (the Kings' core hip-hop sound is greatly influenced by alt-rock and reggae), but Kottonmouth Kings still boast a loyal fan base and consistently tour and record. The band's discography is increasingly sprawling – more than two dozen albums, including the 2018 compilation, The Harvest.

Much like the Beastie Boys, Kottonmouth Kings' sound sprouted from hardcore punk roots and fused its stylings, energy, and verve with hip-hop. And ever since the Kings debuted as a band in 1996, it's been focused on weed, with that lyrical theme popping up in band's 1998 first album, Royal Highness, and the act never leaving it behind. Reyan Ali

A scene from last year's Emo Prom.
A scene from last year's Emo Prom.
Michelle Sasonov

Emo Prom
Friday, February 8
The Rebel Lounge

If ever there was a holiday conducive to the emotionally wrought nature of emo music, it’s Valentine’s Day. So DJ duo Daylight Heist (the dudes behind the monthly Emo Night PHX) earn a few genius point for having an Emo Prom during the lead-up V-Day. Eric Lambert of Blessthefall and local selector Svmuel will also perform and there will be a photo booth. Obviously, we can’t promise you’ll make a love connection at the event. As a matter of fact, things might get a little weird. But that’s okay, since awkward social interactions and moping over lost love are what prom and emo are all about. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is $5. Benjamin Leatherman

Holy Fawn: The perfect band to soundtrack getting lost in the woods at midnight.
Holy Fawn: The perfect band to soundtrack getting lost in the woods at midnight.
Matt Cardinal

Holy Fawn
Saturday, February 9
The Rebel Lounge

Holy Fawn have only been around for a few years, but in that short span of time between 2015 and 2018 they’ve managed to put out two stunning albums and made a name for themselves outside Arizona. Their latest LP, 2018’s Death Spells, has landed on several year-end best of lists from publications like Stereogum. They’ve also drawn the attention of labels like Deathwish and the U.K.’s Holy Roar, who are both set on releasing Death Spells on vinyl in spring 2019. Not bad for a group that was born from the ashes of a folk band. Ashley Naftule

Project Pat
Saturday, February 9
Club Red in Mesa

As the older brother of Juicy J and an unofficial member of the Tennessee rap group Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat has been steadily releasing mixtapes and albums since the early aughts on Hypnotize Minds and his own label Project Records. Along with DJ Paul and other Southern rappers and producers, Project Pat helped craft the sound and characteristics of trap, the style that dominates hip-hop today. If there is a sound that is ever-present when Project Pat performs and records, it’s the deep, drawn-out bass that rumbles your body, along with that crisp 808 hi-hat. Julian Hernandez

Gary Richards, also known as Destructo.
Gary Richards, also known as Destructo.
Courtesy of MSOPR

Destructo
Saturday, February 9
Shady Park in Tempe

Destructo (a.k.a. Gary Richards) is the electro-house chief in charge of Hard Events, the good people behind Holy Ship!!! and the Hard Miami parties during Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week. But Richards is more than just a promoter. He's been DJing and producing his own killer tracks since the early '90s. And this Saturday, he'll be showing off those skills at Shady Park in Tempe.

Destructo knows how to put together a tight show, because he knows how to keep a crowd bouncing till the birds sing. He’s witnessed a lot of trends over the years, and he believes most crowds are ready for the next thing. They just need someone fearless enough to take them there.

"People want to hear new shit, but they're just not getting it," he said. "I think a lot of times, the promoters just serve up the same-old same-old because it's easy or they just think, 'Oh, that guy can sell tickets,'” he says. “I'm always trying to challenge people and get them to hear new things and bring new things to the table." Kat Bein

Tommy JamesEXPAND
Tommy James
Courtesy of Ticketmaster

Tommy James and the Shondells
Saturday, February 9
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

At the end of the '60s, Tommy James' stock was on the rise. Early entries like "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Mony Mony" helped assure the Shondells their Top 40 appeal, but "Crimson and Clover" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" found them fusing their commercial instincts with headier aspirations and studio innovation. This weekend, James and the current version of the Shondells (which includes John Golden, Bobby Guy, Glenn Wyka, Greg Smith, Mike DiMeo andJonathn Ashe) comes to Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35. Lee Zimmerman

J Boog will perform on Saturday at Arizona Roots Festival.EXPAND
J Boog will perform on Saturday at Arizona Roots Festival.
Courtesy of Press Junkie PR

Arizona Roots Festival
Saturday, February 9, and Sunday, February 10
Rawhide Western Town in Chandler

Love reggae, rock, dub, rocksteady, or any combination of these genres? You’ll likely dig this two-day music festival on Rawhide’s Riverwalk with performances from more than 20 local and touring bands and artists of the reggae-rock/roots reggae variety, as well as a few prominent rappers.

The lineup on Saturday, February 9, will include sets from Rebelution, Atmosphere, J Boog, Trevor Hall, Mike Love, Katchafire, Clint Stevens, Tha 'Yoties, and Rilen' Out. On Sunday, February 10, there will be performances by Stick Figure, Dispatch, Collie Buddz, The Movement, Iya Terra, Xiuhtezcatl, Synrgy, Black Bottom Lighters, Kill Babylon Coalition, and Mellow Psychedelic Culture. Gates open at noon both days. General admission is $50 to $100 and VIP tickets are $140 to $750. Benjamin Leatherman

Cafe Jaleo
Sunday, February 10
Crescent Ballroom

There aren’t many opportunities or places to hear cumbia live in Phoenix. While the genre may have traveled from Colombia to many parts of the world, the practice of live cumbia never became solidified here in the Valley. That’s a shame because it’s perhaps the most inviting sound in the world to dance to. The tempo is never so fast that you’re afraid of twisting up your spaghetti legs, and the percussion practically guides your feet. When Cafe Jaleo takes the stage at Crescent Ballroom, you’ll finally understand what that ballroom is for. Julian Hernandez

Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse.EXPAND
Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse.
Benjamin Leatherman

Shaggy 2 Dope
Sunday, February 10
Club Red in Mesa

In 1997, when a heavy, rock-influenced sound and record label meddling gave Insane Clown Posse their first brush with the mainstream, it was hard to imagine Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope remaining relevant in 2003, let alone 2019. That's because none of us were taking the Juggalos into account. In the 27 years since the release of their first album, 1992’s Carnival of Carnage, ICP has watched as a devoted fanbase morphed into a closely knit culture and a lifestyle all its own. Local Juggalos are likely to be in abundance when Shaggy 2 Dope’s current solo tour comes to Club Red in Mesa on Sunday. Ouija Macc will open. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20-$25. Dan Moore

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