Things to Do

Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week: Coachella Bands Coming to Valley

CHVRCHES is scheduled to perform on Monday, April 22, at The Van Buren.
CHVRCHES is scheduled to perform on Monday, April 22, at The Van Buren. Danny Clinch
Now that Coachella is over with and done, the various musicians that played the attention-grabbing annual festival are hitting the road again – and many of 'em are headed our way. Artists and acts like Superorganism, CHVRCHES, Soccer Mommy, and FKJ will make their first post-Coachella stops at concert venues across the Valley this week.

Other bands and performers due to in town over the next few nights include The Hooten Hallers, Smino, Damian McGinty, Los Straitjackets, and Madchild.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this week. And for even more live music happening around town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Sophie Allison of Soccer Mommy. - COURTESY OF FAT POSSUM RECORDS
Sophie Allison of Soccer Mommy.
Courtesy of Fat Possum Records

Soccer Mommy

Monday, April 22
The Rebel Lounge

For Sophie Allison, it all starts with the guitar. The singer-songwriter, who performs with a band as Soccer Mommy, was playing the instrument by kindergarten. Even now, when she begins working on new songs, she picks up the guitar. First comes the riff or chord progression, then melody and finally lyrics. Listeners, however, have been responding fervently to all of it, since Soccer Mommy's “chill but kinda sad” lo-fi recordings landed on critics’ best lists well before her debut studio album, Clean, dropped this past March.

At 21, Allison is able to distill the sound of, well, being 21 — its uncertainty and infatuation, its open wounds and preternatural savvy. “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog,” Allison sings in sweet, blasé tones on “Your Dog,” whose title takes on the Stooges without a backward glance. As a post-millennial, Allison draws inspiration from a not-so-distant past that's just out of reach, since she wasn't conscious for it: the mid- to late-’90s, filtered through Daria memes and Hole with the knowledge that Courtney Love continues to live through this. Katie Moulton

click to enlarge The Hooten Hallers swing through Tempe this week. - COURTESY OF ATOMIC MUSIC GROUP
The Hooten Hallers swing through Tempe this week.
Courtesy of Atomic Music Group

The Hooten Hallers

Monday, April 22
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

In explaining The Hooten Hallers, it's best to begin with what this three-piece band are not. Despite frequent media references to the contrary, they are not a hillbilly band. They are from Missouri, not Appalachia. "You know, I don't know," says drummer Andy Rehm. "We are from a section of rural America, but I don't think any of us really identifies with the term hillbilly all that much. It's not a shameful term, but we were not raised in a traditional rural setting. More specifically, in an Appalachian setting, which is where the term, I think, comes from. The hillbilly word is strangely used." If anything, The Hooten Hallers' sound begins with Delta blues and builds upon that foundation, adding elements of everything from folk, country, and rock to soul, jazz, and marches to create a distinctly flamboyant sound. The music can be dark and lonely, wild and raucous, or just as easily breezy and carefree. "Really, the roots of the music we play come from that rural culture, that African American culture in the South," Rehm says. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge Smino is the real deal. - JACK MCCAIN
Smino is the real deal.
Jack McCain


Monday, April 22
Crescent Ballroom

Smino’s persona is authentic, making him an outlier in a sea of copycat rap. At 27 years old, he’s got an air of self-awareness and maturity that betrays his youth. He makes no attempt to hide his St. Louis drawl and embraces his identity as a black man and a millenial. “I make music for my people.” he told Mass Appeal in Day Zero, a short documentary about his return to his native St. Louis. “I’m just speaking for me and for us, you know what I’m saying?”

It's difficult to describe the music of Smino. He understands chords and how to compose harmonies which is a rare skill in hip-hop. Then, he marries that talent with a fairly impressive lyrical prowess. This makes for music that falls somewhere between hip-hop and R&B, but even the rapper himself doesn’t attempt to categorize his sound. “It's dirty disco, it's futuristic funk, it's revolutionary R&B, feel-me passionate pop, whatever you want to call it.” he told Complex Magazine in a 2017 interview. His sophomore album, blkswn, released that same year, was highly reviewed and is an excellent introduction to the variety Smino has to offer.

The relatively new artist is known for toying with self-harmonization and double entendres in a way that hasn’t been seen in this generation. His single “Anita,” featuring T-Pain, has a bounce to it that makes the hook contagious, but with a twist. Yes, Anita is the name of the femme du jour, but the realization that he’s begging for her affection by drawing out the syllables to make the moniker sound like “I-Need-Her” is the kind of unexpected linguistic trapezing that sets this artist apart. Alma Schofield

click to enlarge Synthpop/indietronica act CHVRCHES. - DANNY CLINCH
Synthpop/indietronica act CHVRCHES.
Danny Clinch


Monday, April 22
The Van Buren

The electronic pop trio CHVRCHES are on tour supporting their 2018 album, Love is Dead, with a stop pencilled in for Phoenix at The Van Buren. With their bright synth melodies, danceable percussion, and vocalist Lauren Mayberry’s incredible range and delivery, it’s a wonder how the group’s catchy hooks have only recently broke into the charts; their latest track with Marshmello, “Here With Me,” went to the top of the U.K. dance chart, their first number one with a single. We hope a solo hit is on the way as well. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge Irish-born vocalist Damian McGinty. - COURTESY OF THE LISTENING ROOM
Irish-born vocalist Damian McGinty.
Courtesy of The Listening Room

Damian McGinty

Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23
The Listening Room

If you tuned into the third season of Glee, you might've witnessed the talents of Irish-born singer Damian McGinty. If not, it's worth seeking out any of the 18 episodes where he played foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan, especially the one where he sang “Bein' Green," the melancholy tune made famous by Kermit the Frog. McGinty impressed Glee fans and critics alike with his vocal range and talents performing the song, which one writer described as a "simple, clear-voiced ode to being an outsider [that] rang true and was hauntingly beautiful.”

The 26-year-old talent has been wowing folks with his talents for more than a decade now, whether it was from winning the Oxygen reality competition program The Glee Project (which earned him the aforementioned role as Flanagan) or during his four-year stint as a teen with touring vocal ensemble Celtic Thunder. His self-titled solo EP from 2012 was also a modest success, ranking on the iTunes top 10 and topping the charts in his homeland. This week, McGinty will perform on back-to-back nights at central Phoenix venue The Listening Room. Tickets are $35 and both gigs get going at 8 p.m. Benjamin Leatherman

Los Straitjackets

Tuesday, April 23
The Rhythm Room

Fans of Los Straitjackets may have first come for the novelty, but they’ve stayed for the sound — a furious instrumental assault of twangy surf, hard rockabilly, and psychedelic garage. Oh, the Nashville, Tennessee, band still sport the Mexican wrestler masks and Chuck Taylors, and they still know a marketing angle. (Can you say “a wipe-out instrumental cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’”?) But despite being packaged with luchador trading cards, the shtick takes on albums like 2009’s The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets and 2017’s What's So Funny About Peace Love And…, which feature a mix of instrumentals both subdued and lively. And believe us, they’re a lively bunch, particularly their ultra-energetic track “Kawanga!” If you can’t dance to Los Straitjackets, get out of the way, or prepare to be surf-punk body-slammed. Roy Kasten
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers