Yeah, yeah, we know — it’s hot out. Really hot. Excruciatingly hot, even. If you’d like something to do besides suffer through the summertime swelter, consider checking out a concert this weekend. There are plenty of good shows taking place in the Valley from Friday, June 14, to Sunday, June 16.
J-Lo will be in town with her latest tour, a summer-long celebration of her 50th birthday. Plus, Michael Franti and Spearhead will perform their first Valley show in years, country music icon Charley Pride will be at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, and Shaun Fleming will bring his alter ego Diane Coffee to Valley Bar.
For those in the mood to headbang, local thrash legends Flotsam and Jetsam have a hometown show this weekend, while the annual Annefest will feature more than 12 hours worth of metal.
Details about each of these shows (and a few others) can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this weekend. And for even more live music happening, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Friday, June 14
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler
Country Music Hall of Famer and legendary voice of the ’70s Charley Pride is swinging through Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino this weekend. Soulful and warm, Pride’s crooning and effortless pop inclinations helped to define the way we think of country music today. As with much of the genre’s music, spiritual and romantic themes are a constant in Pride’s songs, but the artist’s rare knack for empathetic storytelling imbues his tracks with a poignancy unmatched by his contemporaries. Throughout his career, Pride has been exhaustively prolific, and at 85 his hunger for delivering memorable ballads in unforgettable ways is as steadfast as ever, as evidenced by the superb quality of his performances. His show at Wild Horse Pass on Friday night starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $59 to $109. Jonathan Patrick
Friday, June 14
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
On his grind for more than 25 years, Andre Nickatina — who at one time went by Dre Dog — has released 18 different albums, mostly through his own imprints. Still on the road in support of his most recent album, Pisces, the cocaine rapper and movie producer is due in the Valley this weekend for a Friday night show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe with support from J Lately, Stoner Jordan, OG Music, AK, Kill.Rxdical, and Skruff Zona. Becoming a living legend in his hometown of San Francisco while touring relentlessly to spread the Bay Area word, Nickatina has also collaborated with many of his peers, including a 2008 album, A Tale of Two Andres, which acted as both a joint effort and a tribute to the late Mac Dre. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $55. Bree Davies
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Friday, June 14
With his band, Spearhead, Michael Franti has spent the past quarter-century throwing big dance parties overflowing with peace 'n' love, the scent of reefer on the wind, and, of course, “The Sound of Sunshine.” These parties have been known to occur during major protests and in war zones, because fighting darkness with light is Franti's life philosophy. And he's doubling down: Despite our nation's seemingly unbridgeable gaps between races and genders and political parties, he says the real battle is the personal tug-of-war between cynicism and optimism.
Franti's new full-length documentary, Stay Human, follows his search for humanity in the face of trauma and loss. It focuses particularly on how people around the world cope with harsh everyday realities and thrive during challenging times. It also becomes clear that Franti has spent his career making hopeful music with positive messages because he personally battles depression and anxiety. Franti says he made the Stay Human film and the corresponding album of the same title because he wants them "to be part of people's medical arsenal they can go to when they need that extra inspiration." Howard Hardee
Flotsam and Jetsam
Saturday, June 15
Club Red in Mesa
For our money, Flotsam and Jetsam kick out some of the best metal around, and that’s not just because they are a bunch of hometown dudes who have made good. In fact, the glory days of “Flots” might be upon us right now. Eric “AK” Knutson, vocals, and Michael Gilbert, guitar, have been with the band the longest, but the current lineup, which also features guitarist Steve Conley, bassist Michael Spencer, and drummer Ken Mary, is nothing short of formidable.
The band have been touring in support of their new album, The End of Chaos, so they should be firing on all cylinders as they return to the Valley for a hometown show. So pull on your knee-high moccasins, bust out your tightest jeans and your favorite Maiden shirt, and get ready to rock: Flotsam and Jetsam are coming home. The show is at 6 p.m. and Footer, Condemned Till Dawn, Black Phantom, and Empire of Dezire will open. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tom Reardon
Saturday, June 15
Musical Instrument Museum
Anoushka Shankar gets it, she really does. She understands that when the general public hears the very distinctive sounds of her musical instrument of choice – the sitar – certain images come flowing into the mind. Certain images of an Age of Aquarius, or the sound coming from a 45 by the Beatles, Byrds, or Rolling Stones.
She’s also aware that her father — the late Ravi Shankar — was arguably the original source of it all because he (with a little help from his friend and student, George Harrison) popularized both the sitar and Indian classic music in the late 1960s, bringing it to many Western ears for the first time.
But as she has done throughout her entire career, Anoushka Shankar is pushing the boundaries of how the instrument is heard, perceived, and used in today’s musical climate. A new compilation record, Reflections, features not only Shankar’s take on traditional Indian music, but songs in the ballad, Latin, trance, and chill genres. She’ll perform at the Musical Instrument Museum at 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Tickets are $33.50 to $58.50. Bob Ruggiero
Saturday, June 15
North Phoenix rock bar Joe’s Grotto has always been a major haven for heshers. For proof of said statement, look no further than the staging of the annual Annefest at the venue this weekend. Kicking off at noon on Saturday, this all-day event will rock the Grotto’s black-painted walls with more than 12 hours of nonstop, thunderous sounds from more than 20 different bands and solo musicians performing on two different stages.
The lineup includes such local metal and hard rock acts as St. Madness, 2 in the Chest, Cowboys n Hell, Addict3d, Wicked Sister, Oddity Paradox, Autonomous Collective, Sectas, Camel Enamel, Crazy George, Mary Tyler Morfiend, DeadNamed, Downhill Trend, Dutch Rosenberg Theater, Iron Ozzy, Lovedrive, and Malo de Dentro. Best of all, it’s free to attend. Benjamin Leatherman
Sunday, June 16
Talking Stick Resort Arena
Jennifer Lopez is turning 50. That's a big deal for the chart-busting pop singer, who built her youthful reputation as Jenny From the Block. To celebrate, she's hitting the road for It's My Party: The Live Celebration. This will be the first time in six years J-Lo will be touring North America, and Phoenix has the honor of hosting one of the first shows. Expect to hear many of her biggest hits during the Sunday night concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena, as well as any of the slew of singles she’s released in recent years, including “Medicine,” the track Lopez dropped in April featuring French Montana. The concert is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20.20 to $495.20. Kyle Harris
Sunday, June 16
Diane Coffee is the creation of Shaun Fleming, the drummer of Foxygen. He and his band brew an appealing blend of American roots music, soul, rock and roll, gospel, R&B and the blues, and Fleming combines this survey sound with a strong stage presence reminiscent of Motown and David Bowie, perfecting a fluidly flowing performance.
First off, Fleming’s stage presence is astonishing. At one time he was a Disney voice actor, and that ability transfers to his very animated live sets. He captures all of his emotion in body movements and facial gestures. Watching Fleming perform, you can tell that he has conducted thorough research and perfected some of the most iconic bandleader movements, resulting in a mashup of Dr. Frank-N-Furter and James Brown, exerting high levels of energy, trying to escape the imprisonment of this little man’s body.
As with Foxygen, Diane Coffee mixes up a bunch of personas, mixing and meshing genres, stage presence and iconic pleasures to create a collage of personality. The band have impeccable taste when it comes to songwriting and structure, and the musicians themselves embody their musical influences in a powerful way. Overall, Diane Coffee's allure emanates from his onstage presence, how his band and their charismatic frontman's knowledge of music history and mystery can fill up a room. On Sunday, that room will be the music hall at Valley Bar. The show starts at 8 p.m. and Claire George and Roar will open. Tickets are $12 to $15. Alex Warzel
Sunday, June 16
The Rhythm Room
What would happen to a young Mexican-American musician who, decades ago, was brought up with traditional mariachi music, but in his teens discovered bands like Black Sabbath and the multiverse of hard rock and heavy metal? This is how the concept for Metalachi was born in the 1990s. Struggling with opposing musical genres, the band gave birth to an innovative new sound: the fusion of traditional Mexican mariachi folk music and the loud, wild, sleazy, and decadent vibes of heavy metal. Metalachi have been blowing minds and bursting eardrums, all with a high level of musicianship, showmanship, creativity, and tongue-in-cheek humor.
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With heavy roots in Mexican culture, the band spend most of their time on the road, breaking down musical and cultural barriers one performance at a time, including during a high-profile appearance on America’s Got Talent a few years ago where the band brought down the house with their rendition of Twisted Sister's classic, “We're Not Gonna Take It.” Their latest visit to the Valley comes on Sunday night at the Rhythm Room. The show is at 8 p.m. and Outlaw Inlaws will open. Tickets are $20. Alex Distefano
Long Beach Dub Allstars
Sunday, June 16
The Long Beach Dub Allstars began life as a spinoff of Sublime following the untimely death of singer Bradley Nowell in the mid-’90s. Over the past 20-odd years, however, the Allstars have endured their own internal drama (including breaking up in 2002 only to re-form a decade later) and have moved out of Sublime’s shadow to a certain degree. While they still sport a few former Sublime members in the lineup (including Michael "Miguel" Happoldt and Marshall “Rad MG” Goodman), and regularly cover hits like “40 oz. to Freedom” during shows, they’ve also created a catalog of dub/ska/rock/reggae songs. You can hear them being performed during LBDA’s invigorating and upbeat live shows along with high-energy covers of Operation Ivy, Winston Reedy, and Dennis Brown. Like the band they owe their origins to, the Long Beach Dub Allstars know how to put on an entertaining show. On Sunday night, they’ll do so at Crescent Ballroom. The Aggrolites, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, and Clint Stevens will open the show, which gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27 to $30. Benjamin Leatherman