Some of the high-profile artists and acts scheduled to perform this weekend include Latin trap star Anuel AA, pop-punk band New Found Glory, indie rock act Futurebirds, and rapper Jon Bellion. Local bands Harper and the Moths and Holy Fawn also have gigs, the Techno Snobs will be bringing in the DJs of OMEN Recordings, and the folks at Shirts ‘n’ Things will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a huge show at Club Red on Saturday night.
Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this weekend. And for even more live music happening around town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Jon BellionFriday, July 5
Jon Bellion cites Kanye West as an influence. He even went as far as dropping out of college to take on music as a career. Just like Yeezus himself, it seems like his determination paid off. Bellion wrote the hook to the Eminem and Rihanna single "The Monster," and ever since then, he's slowly been garnering more and more attention. As a pop artist, Bellion has let the rap influence change up the usual pop artist plan of action by releasing a slew of mixtapes before a proper release. His 2014 tape, The Definition, opens on probably the most recognizable thing Kanye West has ever said (well, on an actual song), "Wait 'till I get my money right," and is filled to the brim with grandiose pop ballads. Bellion’s latest release is 2018’s Glory Sound Prep, which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard charts. H. Drew Blackburn
FuturebirdsFriday, July 5
The future is now, but what do you know? It sounds an awful lot like the past. This could serve as a mantra for Athens, Georgia's Futurebirds, though it's rare to find a band so expertly mixing together so many disparate styles. A heady dose of alt-country, replete with pedal steel, leads the way, but the songs truly take flight on a healthy merging of '60s psychedelia, '80s power pop, and reverb-drenched folk harmonies for an all-encompassing, swirling and jangling sound. Feelings float on high-lonesome swells before getting chopped up with gritty guitar interludes or simply drifting away all together in a technicolor acid wash.
Like so many southern-based Americana-leaning acts (think Drive-By Truckers), the lyrical imagery is naturally strong and decidedly visual, moving from tales of heartbreak to happy times gone bad. And have we mentioned the harmonies enough? Even The Beach Boys would be proud of what this five-piece act accomplishes. But Futurebirds also are known for high-energy shows that might find Townshend-esque windmills on stage and line-dancing in the crowd — that is, until feedback sends everyone into a frenzy. What could be more unexpected — and better — than that? Catch them at Valley Bar on Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Glenn BurnSilver
Harper and the MothsFriday, July 5
Even in a city like Phoenix, where the music is diverse, some bands can fall into a routine. The shows start to feel the same, and musicians eventually burn out and fade away. Harper and the Moths knew they were falling into that trap. The east Valley quartet were going at a pretty steady clip since they formed in 2013, playing a few shows a month while recording and releasing new tracks. After successfully building a following and releasing three EPs, the band were exhausted. They made the bold choice to sit things out for a while.
“We started out saying that we just want to have fun and to write the best music we possibly could,” says lead singer Harper Lines. “There was never any goal of getting a deal. We just want to be the best at what we do. We took a break and spent a year to write as many songs as possible.” The band, which include bassist David Campbell, Etti Bowen on percussion and keyboards, and guitarist Salah Moharram, whittled down the 50 songs they had written to 12 for Dark Enough to Dance.
Lines and Campbell agree that the thematic dance record focuses less on blues rock for more of a new disco feel. Lines pits his powerful vocals against a polished digital soundscape and the occasional Nile Rodgers-esque rhythm guitar. Listeners might catch a tip of the hat to Billy Idol and Let’s Dance-era David Bowie, but the group are clearly riding their own groove. Harper and the Moths will debut Dark Enough to Dance on Friday, July 5, at Crescent Ballroom during an all-ages show with El West, Whstle, New Heat, and Sugar Skulls. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Jason Keil
OMEN Recordings ShowcaseFriday, July 5
So there’s nothing much going on in the Valley’s club scene in the summer, you say? The Techno Snobs will have to disagree with you on that one. The local electronic dance music collective have been attempting to change that perception recently by bringing groundbreaking EDM artists to town for shows this summer. And they’ve also got a higher purpose in mind by doing so. “[We’re] seriously trying to curate a culture for techno and house in Arizona,” they tell Phoenix New Times.
Their latest effort on that front comes this weekend, when they’ll welcome a trio of DJ/producers from innovative techno label OMEN Recordings to the Valley, on Friday, July 5. Label co-founder Federico Sanchez (better known as AXKAN) will perform at the club along with UVB and Manni Dee. All three will unleash heavy-duty techno soundscapes teeming with goth, industrial, and EBM influences that will rattle eardrums and “satisfy even the most obscure tastes.” The techno takes over starting at 9 p.m. at an off-the-radar location. Check out the Facebook event page for location details or visit this site to purchase tickets (which range from $25 to $30). Benjamin Leatherman