This weekend, you can catch Johnny Depp playing rock star, party with EDM mainstay Fedde Le Grand, or set sail on the seas of soft rock.
What else is on tap for the concert scene over the next few nights? Gigs by blues kings Coco Montoya and Johnny Rawls, the latest Full Moon Festival, a visit from metal legends Death Angel, and more
Details about each of these concerts and music events can be found in the following list. And for even more live music happening around town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Fedde Le GrandFriday, May 17
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale
In 2006, "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit" catapulted Dutch house producer Fedde Le Grand into the spotlight. Beyond that, it helped revive a flagging industry and is commonly regarded as one of the crucial tracks of the rebirth of dance music.
Like EDM itself, Le Grand has thrived over the last decade. Much of his success is thanks to the launching pad that was "Hands Up 4 Detroit." He acknowledges he was merely a part of the whole movement that re-energized dance music. That movement included Eric Prydz's "Call On Me" and Mason's "Exceeder."
"I'm just thankful to be a part of that whole thing," Le Grand says. You can thank him personally for helping fuel EDM revival over the last decade when he hits Maya in Scottsdale on Friday night. Doors are at 10 p.m. and tickets are $10. Angel Melendez
Death AngelFriday, May 17
Club Red in Mesa
From 1982 to 1991, there probably wasn't a more interesting metal act than California's Death Angel. Not only did the band consist of five Filipinos, but they didn't stick to any standard metal blueprint either. Despite the serious moniker, Death Angel displayed a musical variety and sense of humor missing from most bands in the genre. Sadly, a horrific auto accident sowed the seeds for the band's dissolution. But after a decade-long hiatus, Death Angel was reborn in 2001. Since then, albeit with a slightly different lineup, Death Angel hasn't looked back. And on Friday night, the band stop in the Valley for a show at Club Red in Mesa. Striker, Warhead, Sectas, and Archenaut will open and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Darryl Smyers
Brett DennenFriday, May 17
Musical Instrument Museum
With six studio albums under his belt, Brett Dennen has fully established himself as a troubadour interested in spreading the love – and, quite specifically, not the dour. Look, there's no getting around it: The 39-year-old folk-funkster is a glass-half-full kind of guy. Nothing wrong with that.
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What's interesting, though, is how Dennen can effortlessly take sad or somber subjects and make them sound downright peppy. His songs thrive on that duality: What may seem like a breezy, bare-footed summertime mixtape selection is often detailing something deeper, something more socially conscious than the way the wet, gritty sand tickles his toes.
Go ahead: Paint him with the same guitar-slingin' pretty-boy brush as John Mayer and Jason Mraz, if you must. On the surface, it seems to be an easy match. But under the surface lies substance that undermines any real attempt to label him as an empty-headed California space-case. See for yourself at his show at the MIM on Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $33.50 to $43.50. Kelly Dearmore
Hollywood VampiresFriday, May 17
The Pool at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale
Formed at L.A.’s legendary Rainbow Bar & Grill in the early '70s, the original Hollywood Vampires – a drinking club, not a band – held court in the upstairs bar at the famed location. Many of the biggest names in rock were part of the unofficial club, including John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Mickey Dolenz, Ringo Starr, and Vampires president Alice Cooper. Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, previous Cooper drinking buddies, were posthumous "honorary" members.
Though many of the original Vampires died years ago, Cooper and his pal Johnny Depp floated around the idea for years of recording an album that paid tribute to Cooper's old drinking pals. In 2015, the Hollywood Vampires rose from the dead and became a rock supergroup.
A few months later, the ensemble, which now includes Cooper, Depp, and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry as members, released their self-titled album, which features covers of songs made famous by their fallen Vampire brethren. They’re back on the road again and are scheduled to perform at Talking Stick Resort on Friday. Daniel Kohn
Tedeschi Trucks BandSaturday, May 18
Before TTB’s 2010 founding, guitarist Susan Tedeschi had success as a solo artist. Her husband and co-bandleader, Derek Trucks, led a group, was a permanent member of the Allman Brothers Band, and was a touring axeman for Eric Clapton. Doyle Bramhall II, a fellow guitarist on that tour, has become a close friend and writing partner for Tedeschi and Trucks. While the band lineup has changed slightly over the course of three studio LPs and two live records, Tedeschi enjoys the somewhat controlled chaos of the circus. “This band is really unique, and there are so many great players and the personalities are just wonderful,” she says. “I’m very lucky to be in this circus, too." Bob Ruggiero
Full Moon Festival: Pink MoonSaturday, May 18
Picture this: A throng gathers for a monthly celebration in downtown Phoenix that's a free-for-all of cutting-edge art, burgeoning musicians, underground sounds, interactive installations, and rampant creativity. First Friday, right? Nope, and it isn’t Third Friday, either. Instead, all this action is unfolding at the Full Moon Festival, a multigenre mix of music, art, and culture that coincides with the monthly celestial event and is a bit more free-spirited than any local art walk.
According to co-founder Jonathan Luther, the festival is aimed at fostering and showcasing budding creatives looking for exposure. And it's doing so by offering multiple stages at each edition for up-and-coming bands, performers, and DJs, as well as ample space for newbie painters to create live art or sell their works. It's also one helluva party, filled with art cars, a silent disco, and other illuminating fun.
This weekend’s edition of the FMF celebrates May’s “Pink Moon” and will feature sets by rappers Mega Ran and Mouse Powell, as well as local bands The Color 8, Emby Alexander, and Hollowpoint Vigils, Meanwhile, the DJ lineup includes Sean Watson, TokyoNotJapan, NastyHumanz, Tryb, Sejo, Lavander, Dan Lunsford, Osutin, and others. The party starts at 8:08 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $25. Benjamin Leatherman
Johnny RawlsSaturday, May 18
The Rhythm Room
Johnny Rawls is a decidedly old-school kind of guy. An award-winning singer, he takes his cues from classic R&B singers like Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and his personal mentor, O.V. Wright, the man he credits with launching his career.
“I sing soul,” Rawls insists. “I stand out because I do original songs that have a good beat to them. It’s a different side to the blues. I take a lot of time and effort to write songs so they don’t sound like they were just thrown together. In order to stand out, you have to write great songs.”
And you can hear these great songs being performed by Rawls on Saturday night at The Rhythm Room. The show is at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the venue. Lee Zimmerman
Yacht Rock RevueSunday, May 19
The Van Buren
A band named Yacht Rock Revue is coming to downtown Phoenix music venue The Van Buren, which is hundreds of miles removed from any actual yacht clubs. That shouldn’t dissuade you from attending their gig on Sunday night, as the Atlanta-bred tribute band has the '70s and '80s light rock vibe down pat. Beyond playing everything from Michael Jackson to Kenny Loggins, the band have played with a handful of icons, too, including John Oates and Eddie Money. That’s good enough for us. The show sets sail at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $22. Jesse Scott
Coco MontoyaSunday, May 19
The Rhythm Room
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In 1995, blues musician Henry “Coco” Montoya launched his career as a bandleader/singer/guitarist with the album Gotta Mind to Travel and a hectic touring schedule he’s never abandoned. His newest effort – back on former label Alligator Records – is Hard Truth. Its 11 tracks run the gamut from hard rocking to gut-wrenching blues, including a cover of Albert Collins’s “The Moon Is Full.”
And though he only has a co-write on one of the songs, two in particular stand out to him on a personal level: Dan Steen’s “Lost in the Bottle” and Mike Farris’s moody “Devil Don’t Sleep.”
“‘Lost’ is a very poignant thing, especially with me being sober now," says Montoya. "It spoke to me, and I was happy to get Lee Roy Parnell to play on it. ‘Devil’ was a bit of a challenge, and it took me to task to do something that raw.
“I think the concept on any record is to be able to take it somewhere else, even if it’s out of your comfort zone," he adds. "And that’s the healthiest place to go to. To find something challenging, and not formulaic.” His Sunday evening gig at The Rhythm Room gets going at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Bob Ruggiero