Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

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
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.

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.

click to enlarge The late J Dilla. - ROGER ERICKSON
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 being doing 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

click to enlarge A scene from last year's Emo Prom. - MICHELLE SASONOV
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

click to enlarge Holy Fawn: The perfect band to soundtrack getting lost in the woods at midnight. - MATT CARDINAL
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
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers