Pop megastar Taylor Swift will kick off her Reputation world tour at
If you want to be one of 'em, we’ve included all the details about T-Swizzle’s show in the following list of the biggest and best concerts happening in Phoenix this week.
If TayTay’s not your thing, however, there are plenty of other options, including gigs by “Weird Al” Yankovic, The Afghan Whigs, Sunny Sweeney, Hot Snakes, and Meshell Ndegeocello.
Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more music events happening around town this week, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
Tuesday, May 8
It's a good bet you've heard the catchy tunes of The Weepies before, even if you weren't aware of it. In the past 17
The mass exposure that The Weepies have enjoyed makes total sense: both Steve Tannen and Deb Talan, the married couple behind the act, offer easily digestible vocals that are understated yet emotive. Straightforward chord structures characterize tunes like "World Spins Madly On" and "Be My Thrill," and the pair has shown a consistent knack for producing condensed and accessible modern folk ballads.
Currently, Tannen and Talan are touring in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Hideaway, their 2008 album that charted fairly high on the
Escape the Fate
Tuesday, May 8
Club Red in Mesa
The funny thing about the music of Escape the Fate is that it's basically pure pop that's been gussied up with hard rock and emo trappings. Songs like "Issues" and "Gorgeous Nightmare" could easily be hits for Lady Gaga — or even Britney Spears, for that matter. Although loud and punctuated with screams and various other metal
That being said, Escape the Fate should be lauded for not succumbing to the standard emo agenda. These are just four fairly normal young men who write catchy songs and then decide to play them as loudly as possible. For the most part, it works wonderfully, as Craig Mabbitt leads the band
"Weird Al” Yankovic
Tuesday, May 8
Mesa Arts Center
Anyone who has seen “Weird Al” Yankovic (and yes, the quotation marks are part of the official billing) in concert knows what to expect: A string of his insanely catchy parody songs (i.e. “Eat It” “Like a Surgeon” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Amish Paradise,” “Gump,” “Tacky”), a huge video screen, crazy light show, and costume changes. Lots of costume changes.
But for his current tour, the accordion-wielding pride of Lynwood, California, is trying something completely different: a stripped-down, no-frills production in smaller venues with a show that is made up almost entirely of his original comedy or “in the style of” non-parody songs and deep cuts.
Not surprisingly, those tunes tended to get overlooked, and he’s amassed a quantity of them over his career. Songs like “Velvet Elvis,” “Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White,” “Dare to Be Stupid,” “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota,” “My Baby’s in Love with Eddie Vedder,” and “Don’t Download This Song.”
“If they’re coming just to see the hits … they should stay home!” Yankovic says. “I’ve made no secret of what this tour is. It’s still a comedy show and it’s still enjoyable. It’s not the regular show. But there will still be that one person who yells out ‘Eat It!’” Bob Ruggiero
The Afghan Whigs
Tuesday, May 8
The Van Buren
Thom Yorke sang about feeling like a creep, but Greg Dulli has made a career out of singing about being a creep. The frontman for alt-rock veterans The Afghan Whigs, Dulli has carved out a place for himself as American rock’s resident scoundrel. He’s the closest thing the U.S. has to a Jarvis Cocker: Both singers pride themselves on being self-aware, louche playboys.
On albums like Gentlemen and Black Love, the Motown-loving Dulli steeped his “rock and corrupted soul” songs in toxic masculinity like bags of tea. He was hoisting toasts to the douchebags long before Kanye got around to it. Dulli’s voice has only gotten stronger and more resonant with age — the cockiness of youth replaced by the salty leer of an old timer who’s seen it all.
While 2014’s Do to the Beast and this year’s In Spades pale in comparison to classic Whigs joints like Gentlemen, they still stand on their own as worthy additions to the Whigs catalog. And besides, it’s a bit of unfair comparison: a lot of bands’ best work can’t measure up to Gentlemen, so who would expect the band that made the record to top it? Ashley Naftule
Tuesday, May 8
Eliza Rickman has the sort of quirky verve that’s perfect for a spot like the Trunk Space. She plays such nontraditional instruments — ranging from a toy piano and noisemakers to handbells and a glockenspiel — and wears flowing vintage gowns while performing. She also has the sort of voice that can make even a love song sound melancholy. Rickman puts on an effortless show, the kind of performance that comes from years of playing night after night to new crowds in unfamiliar cities.
She isn't an easy artist to describe. The imagery that the term "singer-songwriter" conjures isn't her. "I'm not the dude with the acoustic guitar," she says. Live, there's a brooding quality to her music that recalls the great alternative artists of the ’80s and ’90s, but that's not her either. She's not a new Kate Bush or a new Tori Amos.
Rickman says that a friend once referred to her music as "post-Prince Charming," and she's cool with that assessment. "It's like the Disney princess who has maybe been screwed over more than once or twice," she says. She looks like Snow White or at least a 1940s actress playing her in a silver-screen fairy tale. She sounds a bit like the fairy-tale character, too, as her songs are filled with tales of quirk and whimsy. Liz Ohanesian