Celebrations fill this week's concert schedule. To wit: There’s the annual Bassrush Arizona Massive at Rawhide on Saturday, which celebrates electronic dance music the bass-filled variety, or the Abbott Fest at Joe’s Grotto, which fetes dearly departed metal icons "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and his brother Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Elsewhere, Strangelove and This Charming Band will be celebrating the music of Depeche Mode and The Smiths, respectively, while The Blunt Club will throw a party in honor of its 17th anniversary and local jazz act the Mammoth Ensemble pay tribute to the music of Cowboy Bebop.
Other highlights of the Valley’s concert offerings include gigs by Alesana, Bloodshot Bill, BJ Thomas, Markus Schulz, and Skinlab.
Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley this weekend, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
AlesanaFriday, August 23
Club Red in Mesa
To prevent confusion in our readership, Alesana
Bloodshot BillFriday, August 23
The Rhythm Room
The world needs artists like Bloodshot Bill and his slicked-back hair to remind us what rock 'n' roll is all about. The Canadian one-man band has been releasing albums, EPs, and splits nonstop while constantly touring North America. Even a weird issue in 2006 at the U.S.-Canada border that banned him from the States for five years didn't slow him down.
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Inspired by artists such as Hasil Adkins and Charlie Feathers — and collaborations with others like King Khan and Shannon Shaw — the 43-year-old Montreal native truly has encapsulated the sound, look, and energy of rockabilly.
For Bill's live solo shows, his setup is simple. "I have the same bass drum, hi-hat, amp, and vocal ... There's no harmonica, even though it's been reported like that," he shares. Although the setup appears minimal, Bill's energy is wild and loud. His vocals involve lo-fi roars, yelps, and hollers reminiscent of old-school blues and country. It’s a show worth seeing at the Rhythm Room on Friday night. Savage Gospel, The Limit Club, and Tin Can Screamers open the evening, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Catherine Toruño
The Music of Cowboy Bebop
Friday, August 23
One of the Valley's most notable jazz acts, the Mammoth Ensemble,
Markus SchulzFriday, August 23
Shady Park in Tempe
The only constant in Markus Schulz’s life
This ever-changing self-expression and venting approach to music never stops. His original productions are reactive to world events. He tells stories in his 12-hour DJ sets, and a weekly podcast is in tune with the seasons. Some musicians enter the studio to make sick drops, and others tell stories — Schulz is the latter.
Schulz is a familiar name to veterans of the local club scene, as he spent the formative years of his DJ career performing at legendary Scottsdale nightclub The Works (read more about the place here). He returns to the Valley for a gig at Shady Park in Tempe on Friday. Sean & Xander, Danny Stephen, and Ericksii will open the evening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. Elvis Anderson
Abbott Fest: A Tribute to Dime & VinnieSaturday, August 24
For more than a decade now, metalheads around the Valley have gathered every August to celebrate the life and music of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, the late guitarist of Pantera. Here in the Valley, the event was known as the annual Dimefest and took place the past several years at north Phoenix rock bar and hesher haven Joe’s Grotto. This year, however, the party will raise a toast to Dimebag’s dearly departed brother, Pantera frontman Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died last year.
Now known as Abbott Fest, it will feature performances by a half-dozen bands at Joe’s Grotto. As in years past, expect to see hard-hitting local musicians paying tribute to the Abbotts with deep metal grooves, shred-
The Blunt Club 17-Year AnniversarySaturday, August 24
Hip-Hop has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and its influence is everywhere, from Kendrick Lamar winning the Pulitzer Prize to Beyoncé and Donald Glover starring in The Lion King reboot (well, their voices, but you get our point). The rest of the world may (finally) be catching on to hip-hop’s awesomeness, but it’s nothing new for the Valley’s longest-running hip-hop night, The Blunt Club.
Get into the groove during The Blunt Club’s 17-Year Anniversary at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, August 24, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This 21-and-over event is free and includes a live performance by The Stakes with resident DJs Pickster One, M2, Tricky T, Fact135, and Melo in the mix. Melissa Fossum
BJ ThomasSaturday, August 24
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale
The music world’s first taste of BJ Thomas came with his cover of Hank Williams Sr.'s "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" with his original band, The Triumphs. He'd go on to the bright lights of the recording industry within a decade, teaming with pop maestro Burt Bacharach for "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," the musical calling card of Paul Newman and Robert Redford's classic buddy flick Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Later on, hits like "Hooked on a Feeling," "I Just Can't Help Believing," and "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" installed Thomas in the pantheon of grinning, nice-guy singer-songwriters. By the early '80s, he was juggling fans of his countrypolitan, rock, and gospel output, after a more spiritual calling saw him praising the Lord and leaving behind the nightlife. The man can turn out a helluva — we mean heckuva — version of "Amazing Grace." His performance at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $65. Chris Gray
Strangelove and This Charming BandSaturday, August 24
Chandler Center for the Arts
From leather jackets to vintage synths, Strangelove's tribute to Depeche Mode is heavy on the details and made for hardcore Modies. Singer Freddie “Devotional Dave” Morales not only does a spot-on impersonation of Dave Gahan's croon, but he also nails the hip-swivels. Once he grabs that microphone stand and spins, you will question your ability to tell the difference between the tribute band and the real thing. Strangelove's resemblance, both visually and sonically, to Depeche Mode is amazing. This weekend, they’ll amaze a nostalgia-seeking audience inside the Chandler Center for the Arts. They share the bill with Smiths tribute act This Charming Band. The show starts at 7 p.m.
Bassrush Massive Arizona 2019Saturday, August 24
Rawhide Event Center
Bass music has a funny effect on certain people. Not only does it have a tendency to get hearts pounding, fists pumping, and eardrums rattling, but electronic dance tracks that are heavy on booms, low-end blasts, and sub-harmonic sounds have a way of making bodies move harder, faster, and stronger. There’s even a scientific study from years ago stating that bass-heavy music makes listeners feel more powerful. (Remember that scene from Breaking Bad where Walt revved up his new hot rod while Knife Party’s “Bonfire” played?)
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Then there are those folks who just dig bass and lots of it. They will hit up EDM gigs where the speakers and subwoofers are rattling with dubstep, drum ’n’ bass, or genres of that ilk — like at Bassrush Massive Arizona 2019 on Saturday, August 24, at Rawhide Event Center. As its name implies, the festival focuses on bass-oriented sounds like
SkinlabSunday, August 25
Club Red in Mesa
In another age, Skinlab might be playing bright-sheen post-biker metal à la Iron Maiden. They are with us in the here and now instead. And so, they play a mix of nu-metal and hard rock. They pretty much rule at it, too. Skinlab play with a conviction and intensity that bands like P.O.D. and Papa Roach couldn't even fake well, and it will probably mean a lot to a fair number of people. They exemplify a thing somewhat bigger than the tropes to which nü metal's marketers routinely reduce it. They are worth watching. See for yourself when they hit Club Red in Mesa on Sunday night with Arrival of Autumn,