The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Terror Jr is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 5, at Crescent Ballroom.EXPAND
Terror Jr is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 5, at Crescent Ballroom.
Neil Favila
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The Valley’s concert best offerings this weekend will give you the chance to take an audio excursion to a far-flung destination.

You can cruise down to N’awlins or Havana for the first-ever Soul Shabang at Crescent Ballroom, for instance, which will feature sets by the Rebirth Brass Band and Afro-Cuban act Son Led. Meanwhile, the legendary Buddy Guy will be serving up Chicago-style blues at Celebrity Theatre and this year’s Phoenix Lights festival will offer a mix of EDM and ETs in an otherworldly setting.

Other highlights of this weekend’s concert scene include performances by Terror Jr, Leikeli47, Los Tigres Del Norte, This Wild Life, and Taking Back Sunday.

The choice (and destination) is yours to decide.

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 town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Blues legend Buddy Guy.
Blues legend Buddy Guy.
Paul Natkin

Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan
Friday, April 5
Celebrity Theatre

At 82 years old, blues legend Buddy Guy is one of the last of his kind. He's a virtuoso of guitar and demands his audiences pay attention during his performances (he's been known to, playfully but seriously, tell a crowd to "shut the fuck up"). And Guy deserves our full attention. The eight-time Grammy winner is one of Rolling Stone magazine's best guitarists of all time and has influenced some of music's most iconic players like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He’s currently touring alongside blues-rock legend Jimmie Vaughan, who will join Guy during his Celebrity Theatre show in April. Diamond Rodrigue

Taking Back Sunday is in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary as a band.
Taking Back Sunday is in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary as a band.
Shamus Coneys

Taking Back Sunday
Friday, April 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Taking Back Sunday is a band living in two different times. After releasing their seventh studio album in 2016, Tidal Wave, the band had clearly entered a new era in their careers. Taking measures to push the boundaries, sounding more like traditional rock music with each track, yet they still could be recognized as the band that wrote “MakeDamnSure.” But in 2019, Taking Back Sunday is relishing the nostalgia after 20 years as a band. Their latest release is a questionably collated compilation album titled Twenty, featuring between two and four tracks from each of the band’s seven albums as well as two previously unreleased songs. Their current tour, which celebrates the band’s 20th anniversary, visits the Marquee Theatre on Friday night. Nicholas Bostick

Terror Jr
Friday, April 5
Crescent Ballroom

Liza Vitale and David Singer-Vine, the duo behind the pop group Terror Jr, are producing radio-ready melodies with lyrical complexity that isn’t always present at the top of the charts. Vocalist Vitale’s bubbly, almost conversational approach to her singing masks the messages she brings forth in her songs. Whether it’s society’s pressure on women to conform in “Loner,” or unrealistic beauty standards in the era of moneyed social media on “Pretty,” Terror Jr delivers catchy hooks with substance. Julian Hernandez

The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.EXPAND
The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.
Ian Frank

The Soul Shabang
Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6
Crescent Ballroom

Need some rhythm in your life? Head down to Crescent Ballroom on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, for The Soul Shabang. The venue is closing down Second Avenue for two nights so you can move to the beat. The B-Side Players will pay tribute to the legendary Curtis Mayfield on April 5 while Louisiana’s own Rebirth Brass Band will blow their horns. A traditional New Orleans crawfish boil will also help feed your feet. The Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra headline the festivities on April 6 along with Seattle's own The Dip and Son Led from Havana. Jason Keil

Leikeli47 brings her fiery LP Acrylic to Phoenix.
Leikeli47 brings her fiery LP Acrylic to Phoenix.
Philip-Daniel Ducasse

Saturday, April 6
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

"I cannot get on a stage and halfway do anything,” Leikeli47 says to Phoenix New Times. “I don’t know any other way than all out.”

Leikeli is talking about the tour in support of Acrylic, the second album in a trilogy of releases surrounding the theme of beauty. After a return trip to SXSW, she began a four-week venture across the United States, bound for the West Coast. This string of dates follows a collection of high-profile performances in 2018, including a spot at Boston Calling introduced by Natalie Portman. But the Brooklyn rapper makes it clear that the fanfare is the furthest thing from her mind when she is on stage.

“I can never do that,” she continues. “I have to give my all at every single last show. It speaks to the performer in me. My soundchecks are lit.” Gerrit Feenstra

The scene at last year's Phoenix Lights festival.EXPAND
The scene at last year's Phoenix Lights festival.
Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Lights 2019
Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6
The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler

A word of warning, Earthlings: Thousands of strange and colorful beings will descend upon a remote area of the southeast Valley in the very near future. Is it an alien invasion? Nope, just an alien invasion-themed dance music party. Phoenix Lights, the annual EDM festival inspired by the legendary local UFO fly-by of Arizona, returns this weekend for its fifth edition. And it's going to involve some close encounters of the raging kind.

Phoenix Lights 2019 will invade the Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on Sunday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, and (much like in previous years) offer two days of performances by superstar DJs and electronic dance music artists, as well as an otherworldly atmosphere. This year’s lineup is headlined by Grammy-nominated producer Kaskade, bass oddity Excision, progressive house practitioner Arty, and Dirtybird Records founder. Other artists scheduled to appear include Big Gigantic, Dirt Monkey, Shiba San, Black Caviar, Doctor P, Cookie Monsta, Lane 8, Decadon, Minesweepa, and many more.

Performances will take place on three different stages situated around the Park at Wild Horse Pass, which is located near 48th Street and Wild Horse Pass Boulevard in Chandler. Befitting the extraterrestrial theme, mockups of crashed UFOs and alien-like artworks will also be located around the park during Phoenix Lights. You can also expect to see plenty of weird beings as well. Benjamin Leatherman

Los Tigres Del Norte
Sunday, April 7
Mesa Amphitheatre

This San Jose-based group of brothers are one of the largest and most beloved musical ensembles to come out of the Mexican norteño genre. Over the last four decades, Los Tigres Del Norte has released more than 50 albums, selling over 30 million copies, and have contributed greatly to the modernization of corridos, the classic Mexican ballad. Whether they sing songs of lovers torn apart by family quarrels, songs of heartbreak, or the ballads of those caught up in the illegal drug trade, everyone in Mesa Amphitheatre will be singing along to Los Tigres. Julian Hernandez

DJ superstar Cedric Gervais.EXPAND
DJ superstar Cedric Gervais.
Courtesy of Red Light Management

Soundwave Pool Party feat. Cedric Gervais
Sunday, April 7
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

There’s very little that Cedric Gervais hasn’t done as a superstar DJ/producer. There are all the usual accolades, such as lighting up the Billboard charts with his tracks, moved millions of units, and performing at high-profile venues and festivals across the globe. The French-born artist has also produced a slew of attention-grabbing songs and remixes, ranging from 2012’s controversial “Molly” to his megahit remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness,” which blew up big time on Top 40 radio and even earned him a Grammy.

The 39-year-old hasn’t been resting on his laurels by any means. “My gigs are going crazy,” Gervais told our sister publication Miami New Times . “But I’m not satisfied yet. I’m still working towards it. It’s like, ‘Great, I got a Grammy. What’s next?’” Continuing to tour the world, by the looks of his upcoming schedule. That includes a gig at the first Soundwave pool party of the year at Maya in Scottsdale on Sunday. Doors open at noon. Admission is $10. Benjamin Leatherman

The members of California Guitar Trio (from left): Hideyo Moriya, Bert Lams, and Paul Richards.EXPAND
The members of California Guitar Trio (from left): Hideyo Moriya, Bert Lams, and Paul Richards.
Patty Urlaub

California Guitar Trio
Sunday, April 7
Chandler Center for the Arts

Created in 1991 after taking part in Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists, the trio formed by Paul Richards, Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya form a rare musical partnership that reaches across various genres without any form of prejudice. During the trio's live sets, they go through tunes as diverse as Ennio Morricone’s theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Beatles’ “Get Back,” Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” and Radiohead’s “Daydreaming” without (literally) missing a beat. In fact, that musical eclecticism that has kept them going for almost three decades, attracting fans from various walks of life while allowing the musicians to share the stage with Tito Puente, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin – who has produced some of their recordings – John McLaughlin, and numerous others.

The secret behind the trio's success seems to be the fact that they're able to surprise audiences wherever they go – one night, they might play a straight classical set, while during another gig they might do an effects-laden take on Pink Floyd's "Echoes." Also unlike most other groups, they do allow fans to tape their sets – but not for commercial use – so you don't have to worry about having your portable camera confiscated at the door. Ernest Barteldes

Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso of This Wild Life.
Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso of This Wild Life.
Courtesy of Epitaph Records

This Wild Life
Sunday, April 7
The Rebel Lounge

What started as a pop-punk band complete with wild guitar solos and fast-paced drums became two guys with acoustic guitars. As This Wild Life, Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso play a refreshing take on acoustic-fronted pop music. They’re known to do the occasional cover from early 2000s pop-punk but really shine on their composed duets. When the two harmonize on “Westside” or “Fade,” you might begin to wonder how they haven’t hit it big on the radio yet. Julian Hernandez

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