Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, May 14, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, May 14, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Courtesy of Ariana Grande

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Ariana Grande

Tuesday, May 14
Talking Stick Resort Arena

In the last two years, Ariana Grande has seen more shit hit the fan than any pop star of her generation. In September 2018, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died of an overdose, causing angry fans to blame their breakup for his death. Another relationship, this one with comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, ended last year. The two announced their engagement just days after their relationship became public knowledge, and the slightly odd habits they picked up, including getting ill-conceived tattoos and dressing up like Harry Potter characters, consumed the public interest.

And lest we forget that on May 22, 2017, a concert Grande gave in Manchester, England, ended with a bomb exploding in the arena, killing 23 people and wounding 139. It was a traumatizing experience, perhaps most of all for the singer, who immediately suspended the rest of her tour.

Nevertheless, Grande continues to put in work. She recorded the song "No Tears Left to Cry" in response to the bombing and released her latest album, Sweetener, last year. The record went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and now, Grande will tour behind it. The Sweetener World Tour comes to Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday night. The show, which starts at 8 p.m., is currently sold out, but tickets can be purchased on the secondary market. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Stoner rock/doom metal act OM. - LYNDXE ZAKOPAL
Stoner rock/doom metal act OM.
Lyndxe Zakopal


Wednesday, May 15
Nile Theater in Mesa

Metal band OM first formed when Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius got together a handful of years after their old band Sleep parted ways in the late '90s. The idea was to create a project that used rhythms to convey meaning in a fashion akin to Tibetan devotional music or Gregorian chants. From 2003 until the departure of Hakius in the beginning of 2008, the duo created an impressive body of contemplative, even meditative, heavy music that some have referred to as "transcendental metal."

Grails drummer and primary Holy Sons songwriter, Emil Amos, was tapped to play drums in the new lineup that also includes Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe of Lichens (and formerly of experimental rock band 90 Day Men). As a trio, OM have  released a pair of albums, 2009's God Is Good and the group's most recent effort, 2012's Advaitic Songs. On Wednesday night, they’ll invade Nile Theater in Mesa. The show starts at 7 p.m. and Wovenhand will open. Tickets are $20. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge Amber Bain of The Japanese House. - COURTESY OF ODYSSEY BOOKING
Amber Bain of The Japanese House.
Courtesy of Odyssey Booking

The Japanese House

Wednesday, May 15
Crescent Ballroom

You had to go up to Arcosanti last weekend if you wanted to see Japanese Breakfast, but luckily there’s another female-fronted indie project with “Japanese” in the title performing right here in the Valley this week. 21-year-old Englishwoman Amber Bain chose the name The Japanese House after staying in a cottage in Cornwall furnished to look like a Tokyo tea house. There, she posed as a boy named “Danny” and developed a crush on the girl next door, a childhood experience that heavily colors her dreamy music. Art School Girlfriend will open the show on Wednesday, May 15. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $20. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge DJ Akshen will be in the mix during Trill's grand opening of its new home. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
DJ Akshen will be in the mix during Trill's grand opening of its new home.
Benjamin Leatherman

Trill’s Grand Opening

Wednesday, May 15, and Thursday, May 16
Trill and Rips Bar

In case you haven’t heard the news, local hip-hop shop Trill has found some fresh digs. Earlier this month, owners of the two-year-old emporium (which features anything and everything associated with hip-hop culture) packed up their shirts, snapbacks, and spray paints and moved several blocks west to Trill’s new home at 1817 East Indian School Road. And they’ll be celebrating the occasion with a two-night grand opening affair boasting a mix of DJs, turntablists, and street artists.

Things get going on Wednesday night at the shop, when the legendary DJ Shortkut of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz and The Beat Junkies will be in the mix along with Cwitch of Battlestar Massive. Local turntablists Akshen and LES735 from the Fader Manners DJ collective, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary at the event, will also perform. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Later that night, an after-party will take place at Rips, 3045 North 16th Street, and will include sets from Shortkut and Cwitch, as well as locals like DJ M2, DJ Fact135, and Tricky T. The party goes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and there’s no cover.

The second night of Trill’s grand opening happens on Thursday, May 16, and will feature an appearance by renowned illustrator and street artist Justin Bua (whose work has been featured on MTV, a few EA Sports video games, and the music video for the Slum Village/Dwele track “Tainted”). Meanwhile, locals like Fact135, Akshen, and Felix Fresh will be cutting and scratching on the wheels of steel. The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. and admission is also free. Benjamin Leatherman

The Exploited

Thursday, May 16
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Believe it or not, The Exploited are celebrating 40 years of cutting a crusty swath of anarchist destruction across the globe. Rest easy, though – with such ditties as "Fuck the System," "Fuck the U.S.A." and "You're a Fucking Bastard" to their credit, one can pretty safely assume the corrosive Scottish punks aren't gonna get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anytime soon (still ain't as bad as the G.G. Allin "Suck My Ass It Smells" approach, but whatever).

Now 61 years old, unapologetically obnoxious singer Wattie Buchan is the sole member of the original lineup still fighting the good fight (drummer Dru Stix got sent up the river in 1982 for armed robbery, while founding axman "Big John" Duncan bailed in 1983, resurfacing briefly in 1993 as Nirvana's second guitarist on the In Utero Tour). Yeah, The Exploited have enjoyed plenty of personnel changes over the last four decades, but as long as Buchan's around to get in your face and spit his fervent anti-establishment venom (mall-core it ain't), it doesn't really matter who's backing his two-minute rant-anthems with an unrelenting, three-chord crunch.

Their Marquee Theatre show on Thursday kicks off at 5:15 p.m. Total Chaos, Dead 77, Krovak, The Venomous Pinks, Corkys Leather Jacket, and Rontgen will open. Tickets are $22 to $32. Michael Alan Goldberg
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers