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.
Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan
Friday, April 5
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
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
Friday, April 5
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 Soul Shabang
Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6
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
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