The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Volvox is scheduled to perform on Friday, June 21, at One One Bar in Tempe.EXPAND
Volvox is scheduled to perform on Friday, June 21, at One One Bar in Tempe.
Tal Azulay
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This weekend’s slate of shows boasts all the hallmarks of the summer concert season in the Valley. There’s nostalgia aplenty, a locals-only showcase, and even a theme party.

Thanks to the fact that Rob Thomas and Santana each have separate concerts around town, you’ll be able to hear their 1999 mega-hit “Smooth” performed on two different days at completely different venues. It won’t be the only bending of the space-time continuum this weekend, as The Van Buren will be transforming into a 1970s roller disco on Friday night.

If you prefer more modern (or even experimental) sounds, burgeoning electronic dance music producer Volvox will provide techno mastery at One One Bar in Tempe, and noise artist Lav Andula will mystify the crowds at Valley Bar. Elsewhere, Bob Log III will be serving “boob scotch,” local metal bands will battle for supremacy, and D.R.I. will unleash frenzied hardcore.

Details about each of these shows and music events can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley from Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 23. And for even more live music, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

Headbang for the Highway Battle for Summer Slaughter

Friday, June 21
Club Red in Mesa

Death metal acts from around the Valley and throughout Arizona will square off on Friday, June 21, at Club Red in Mesa during a heavy-duty battle of the bands. At stake is an opening slot at the annual Summer Slaughter Tour when it comes to Phoenix in August, and we’re guessing that the competition will be just as fierce as the music.

Participating bands include Celestial Exile, Dead World Reclamation, Malnourished, Ocean Harvest, DovahKiin, Alchemy, and I Smite Thee. Expect plenty of heavy riffs, relentless grinds, and Cookie Monster-style vocals. Suffice it to say, you’ll want to bring some ear protection. The battle begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

Bob Log III

Friday, June 21
Valley Bar

At Bob Log III’s show, he probably won’t get shot out of a cannon. Rest assured, though, if the opportunity arises, he’ll be dressed for it. The one-man-band’s ensemble is completed by a helmet that is rigged to include a telephone receiver microphone. While that headgear is certainly a focal point, once Log digs into his blues-punk tunes, your eyes get mesmerized by all the other goings-on. There’s the slide guitar work with some intricate finger-picking, the drum section operated by each of Log’s feet hitting corresponding pedals, and the throaty vocals that drip with sass and twang. Tunes like “Shake a Little, Wiggle it, and Jiggle it Too,” “Boob Scotch,” and “Manipulate Your Figments” throw this blues-tinged ’50s-style rock and roll dance party into action.

Log, who grew up in Tucson, has been playing Delta blues since his teenage years and was in a couple of other bands before going solo. From 1990 to 1996, he was one half of the lo-fi blues duo Doo Rag, who spent a good chunk of time on the road supporting acts like Sonic Youth. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on stage — or on Log’s lap, in particular — at his live show on Friday night at Valley Bar; it’s a common occurrence at his rowdy shindigs. This one starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15. Amy Young

The Van Buren will become a groovy roller disco on Friday.EXPAND
The Van Buren will become a groovy roller disco on Friday.
Benjamin Leatherman

Roller Disco Dance Party

Friday, June 21
The Van Buren

It’s a good thing that the floor of the main room at The Van Buren is quite sturdy and durable, considering a good portion of it will be put to the test this weekend. A flock of roller skaters will glide about while doing The Hustle, The Bump, and maybe even the whole YMCA routine on Friday, June 21, during the latest Roller Disco Dance Party at the venue.

The interior of The Van Buren will be transformed into a 1970s roller rink, complete with glow-in-the-dark digs and retro arcade games, as attendees wheel about while dressed in period fashion and costumes. Meanwhile, the members of the Hi-Dreams DJ Collective will spin classic disco tunes and boogie tracks to help folks shake their groove thangs.

Dancing will also take place on The Van Buren’s stage for those who don’t want to strap on skates. The disco inferno starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. If you’re down to skate, there will be an additional $3 fee (which includes mandatory skate rental). Benjamin Leatherman

Renowned jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Renowned jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Mark Higashino

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Friday, June 21
Musical Instrument Museum

Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater could be considered a Renaissance woman. Born Denise Eileen Garrett, she’s gained fame on Broadway, in concert, and on vinyl, winning three Grammys and a Tony in the process. She hosted her own radio show on NPR and served as a United Nations ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. A read through her bio reveals a who’s who of the great jazz artists she’s performed with, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, and Max Roach among them. She’s also emulated others, recording a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald (Dear Ella) and an album dedicated to the songs of Kurt Weill (This Is New), and appeared onstage as Billie Holiday in Lady Day, a role that won her the Laurence Olivier Award for her portrayal. And let’s not forget that other notable role of fictional fame, Glinda the Good Witch from The Wiz, which garnered Bridgewater her first Tony in 1975. On Friday night, she’s scheduled to perform at the MIM starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $43.50 to $63.50. Lee Zimmerman

EDM artist Volvox.EXPAND
EDM artist Volvox.
Dario Castillo


Friday, June 21
One One Bar in Tempe

Ariana Paoletti, better known as Volvox, has earned a certain success and status in the electronic dance music underground over the last decade. And she’s done so with her enormous talents at conjuring mesmerizing mixes of techno, acid house, and electro beats.

A self-taught artist and DJ who gorged herself on industrial and EBM music as a teen, Paoletti spent her college years becoming entrenched in Boston’s underground scene (including stints at famed goth joint Manray). Moving to Brooklyn in 2011, she’s held down residencies at influential nightspot Bossa Nova Civic Club and events like the popular UNTER parties, becoming what Sleek Magazine calls "a spearhead of [NYC’s] underground techno scene." A self-described “techno mädchen,” Paoletti’s also appeared at influential festivals like POP Montreal, opened for the likes of The Black Madonna and Legowelt, and performed sets in Australia and Europe.

This weekend, local EDM collective Techno Snobs are bringing her to the Valley this weekend for a gig on Friday at One One Bar in Tempe. Shelby Athouguia and Court will open the night, which gets going at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. Benjamin Leatherman


Saturday, June 22
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Carlos Santana is a man at peace with his place in the musical universe. The guitarist and bandleader has been performing for more than 50 years — since the mid-1960s — including a legendary breakout performance at Woodstock. And he’s played alongside such legends as Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Tito Puente, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan over the years. During this time, Santana, who has crossed musical idioms from jazz to blues, Latin rock to Indian ragas, soul to funk, tracks such as "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va," and "Black Magic Woman" have become classic rock radio hits, while later-period songs "Smooth" featuring Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas on vocals and "Maria, Maria" (both from 1999's Supernatural) serve to cement Santana's long-standing appeal and legacy. His current tour, which visits Ak-Chin Pavilion on Saturday night, features The Doobie Brothers as openers. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $274.50. Glenn BurnSilver


Saturday, June 22
Club Red in Mesa

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, better known as D.R.I., started out as a speedy hardcore band in Houston in the early '80s. The band were renowned for their short songs, their leftist politics, and the frenzied passion of their playing. D.R.I.'s appropriately-titled, landmark 1987 album, Crossover, lived up to its name by introducing a sound that fully integrated breakneck hardcore rhythms with a thrashy guitar attack, which the group had been developing all along.

Marketed in the late '80s to both metalheads and hardcore fans, D.R.I. seemed to find an easy audience in anyone who loved aggressive music with anti-authoritarian lyrics. During the course of four more albums, up to 1995's Full Speed Ahead, D.R.I. mastered a sound that can be heard in virtually all metal and punk hybrid groups today. They’ll be slinging it on Saturday night at Club Red in Mesa. The show starts at 6 p.m. and Fastplants, NoseBleed, Godspeedball, Gnarcolepsy, and Blasphemous Inebriation will open. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Tom Murphy

Tacocat go forward and back.EXPAND
Tacocat go forward and back.
Michael Lavine


Saturday, June 22
Valley Bar

Even when Tacocat take on a serious issue, such as not being able to walk down the street without being harassed by strangers (“Hey Girl,” from their 2014 album, NVM), they always manage to do so with the saving grace of humor, combined with catchy pop-punk hooks. On the quartet’s 2016 record, Lost Time, lead singer Emily Nokes weighs in on other important topics, such as worrying about her hometown being destroyed by natural disasters (“I Love Seattle”), romance as work (“You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit”), unasked-for advice (“Men Explain Things to Me”) and her favorite FBI agent (“Dana Katherine Scully”). Local acts The Paranoyds and Audrey Heartburn will open Tacocat's 16-and-over show at Valley Bar on Saturday, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Falling James

Noise artist Lav Andula.
Noise artist Lav Andula.
Talaina Kor

Lav Andula

Sunday, June 23
Valley Bar

Named after a genus of flowering plants (whose most famous member is lavender), Lav Andula has been an active member of the Arizona avant-garde underground for years. They’ve regularly shared bills with fellow forward-thinking tinnitus inducers like Lana Del Rabies and Black Baptist at venues like The Lunchbox and Trunk Space. Seeing Lav live, one feels the aptness of that drearwave descriptor: Their harsh, gloomy music washes over you like the surf. Barbed fragments of melody stick to your eardrums like salt, while waves of feedback, warped beats, and hissing electronic sounds roll slowly and steadily through you.

One of the best introductions to Lav Andula’s unique approach to noisy electronic music can be heard on their cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” The song starts violently with percussive clangs and flying-UFO drone sounds before Bush’s familiar, bewitching melody seeps through the maelstrom. Lav’s voice is mixed in a way that’s hazy and disembodied, like they’re an echo in the distance or they’re the ghost of a voice caught on an EVP recording. The song is simultaneously lovely, lush, and unnerving. Lav Andula is scheduled to perform at Valley Bar on Sunday evening. The show is at 7:30 p.m. and Precious Child and Clown Doll open. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Ashley Naftule

Rob Thomas: Give him your heart, make it real, or else forget about it.EXPAND
Rob Thomas: Give him your heart, make it real, or else forget about it.
Randall Slavin

Rob Thomas

Sunday, June 23
Comerica Theatre

Rob Thomas is playing at Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix on Sunday night. But, you already knew that. You screamed, "OH, HELL YES!" when you saw the show was announced. You went online to buy tickets, and things got even better: This is a Rob Thomas solo tour. He's on his own without the 19 other Matchboxes in the Matchbox Twenty commune.

Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty have been writing hits for you to secretly jam to when you're alone in your car for decades, from "Bent" to "How Far We've Come." This time, at Comerica, it's Matchbox 1: Just Rob Thomas, his Rob Thomas guitar, his Rob Thomas piano and his bad-to-the-bone Rob Thomas voice, promoting his new Rob Thomas solo album, Chip Tooth Smile. It's going to be intimate. It's going to be lovely. It’s going to be starting at 7:30 p.m. with an opening set by Abby Anderson. And if you didn’t buy tickets already, they’re $53 to $93. Alice Laussade

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