Concerts

The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in June 2016

You're not going to let a little hot weather stop you from going out, are you? Yeah, we know it's hot, but you can't stay cooped up for the next five months. Cabin fever's going to set in at some point, plus there happen to be a lot of great shows happening this month you don't want to ignore. That any includes any of the following "can't-miss" concerts in June.


Tokimonsta – Thursday, June 2 – Crescent Ballroom


Since the mid-aughts, Tokimonsta has been challenging EDM fans to think outside the confines of traditional electronic dance music. She's made a name for herself by melding rap and hip-hop beats into her music and crafting complex, unique tracks that have enabled her to reach a slew of listeners from different musical genres. Her appeal is widespread — both hip-hop heads and EDM devotees can find something to like in her music — and, more often than not, her beats are unlike anyone else's at the festivals she plays. Calling her style a mix of hip-hop and electronic is about as specific as the 20-something artist will get. "I don't like to label my music," she says. "I'm just a product of everything I listen to — a culmination of all these influences." JESSIE SCHIEWE


Broncho – Thursday, June 2 – Valley Bar

The garage-rock renaissance may have had its day, but Broncho is still riding the wave. The Oklahoma band has proven to be more than just a jangly throwback, though, adding the dissonance of post-punk into its noisy mix. Singer and guitarist Ryan Lindsey's nasally growl tops off the band’s unique sound. The group has been around since 2010, and has released two records, gaining some traction after the song "It's On" appeared at the end of an episode of HBO’s Girls in 2014. As for the name? Broncho is the moniker of a fictional character in one of the band's songs — a piece of a musical puzzle that is still being put together as the Western punk outfit's star rises. With Moving Units and Winter. BREE DAVIES



Guttermouth – Friday, June 3 – Yucca Tap Room

For more than two and a half decades, Guttermouth has been putting out a consistent brand of relentlessly taunting and taut SoCal pop punk. From a band with a name like Guttermouth, you get exactly what you expect: a tenable testament to truth in advertising in the form of lowbrow tunes, a seemingly exhaustive and endless catalog of songs with titles like "Pee In the Shower" and "Surfs Up Asshole," taken from nearly a dozen albums, including three live albums, issued on at least three prominent punk imprints (Nitro, Epitaph, and Volcom). Oh, and lest you worry, age hasn't made these dudes any less cantankerous.


Black Tiger Sex Machine – Saturday, June 4 – Monarch Theatre

It's going to be an absolute rager at Monarch Theatre when Canadian electronic dance music trio Black Tiger Sex Machine (aka BTSM) hits the Valley of the Sun. Their ridiculously aggressive style of dark EDM is accented wonderfully by the band's one-of-a-kind LED lighting rig and their custom-built light-up tiger masks. While the ornate technological tiger masks are an obvious nod to their electronic forefathers Daft Punk, BTSM are not trendy hangers-on copping another group's style. Their bellicose dance tunes are about 10 notches more abrasive than anything the famed French duo have ever produced, and the tiger masks add just the right amount of mystique to the mix.

But it isn't just some fancy stage props that have earned the group consisting of Marc Chagnon, Julien Maranda, and Patrick Barry spots at some of the country's premier music festivals. Their live shows come with a raw energy that is so transcendent it can even be felt through a computer screen watching their live videos online. Though the group has been putting out original tunes since their debut EP, Drama, in 2011, their newest record, Welcome to Our Church, released on February 2 of this year on the group's own label Kannibalen Records, is the group's first full-length effort. With the group still touring on the juice from their debut release, it will definitely be a raucous night of dancing when BTSM comes through the Copper State. JEFF MOSES


Dwight Yoakam – Sunday, June 5 – Celebrity Theatre

Second Hand Heart, Dwight Yoakam's 14th studio release, stays fiercely true to the honky-tonk, hillbilly aesthetic and sound that made him famous in the late 1980s. You could throw this record into any of the four decades that Yoakam has been making music and it would make perfect sense and still top the charts. But with this record, Yoakam manages to somehow maintain his classic sound while recording one of the most stylistically diverse records of his entire career.

He'd been relatively quiet since the release of 3 Pears, a woefully underrated record that was somehow great even though Kid Rock was involved, in 2012. Yoakam's songs haven't been country radio material since the 1990s, so he's been functionally tossed over into the Americana bin, which mainstream music happily ignores until it's ready to let folksy bands blow up the charts for a while. (See: Mumford and Sons.) Yoakam's relevance, though, has really never waned. On Second Hand Heart, he furiously makes the case that he still very much belongs in a country music world where authenticity is an endangered species. AMY MCCARTHY


Junior Brown – Monday, June 6 – Musical Instrument Museum

Teetering between corny and classic, Junior Brown bangs out a set of Americana-tinged fare that features his acclaimed double-necked plucking and baritone crooning. Bottling the essence of Tex-Mex, Western swing, and even surf music (an instrumental jog through the Johnny Rivers classic "Secret Agent Man"), Junior swerves through a varied repertoire, including ditties of red-blooded despair and road-weary humor. On tunes such as "Broke Down South of Dallas," "Party Lights," "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" and "I Hung it Up," he regales us with the perils of drinkin' all night and stayin' out late with another gal, then catching hell from your frying-pan-wielding old lady or seeing the "party lights" flashing behind you on the early-morning drive back to San Antone. If old-school twang with a hint of borderland carnival sounds like your bottle of cerveza, then you'll appreciate the old-school mishmash of Junior Brown. NICK HUTCHINSON


The Garden – Tuesday, June 7 – Valley Bar

Twin brothers Fletcher and Wyatt Shears, who comprise the two-piece Orange County based-band The Garden, deliver a delicately balanced attack while properly embracing the constraint set by being just bass, drums, and vocals, and they do it with an aplomb that belies their tender age. Shears and Shears are definitely skilled on their instruments (Wyatt plays bass and sings and Fletcher plays drums and makes faces) and truly play some of the best genre-bending music out there right now. If you had to define The Garden, you might call them post-post punk or New Post-Punk, but even then, it's not really accurate.

The Garden has distinct qualities of punk, New Wave, no wave, (a dash of) glam, and fair amount of teen angst, even though the Shears boys aren’t teenagers anymore and refer to their sound as "Vada." Raised in a musically forward-thinking home (Dad Steve Shears drums for So-Cal punk heroes Shattered Faith and roadies for X), the twins seem to be extremely comfortable following any musical whim, although their talent and keen eye for fashion, irony, and sarcasm have shaped their musical output in a way that even the most jaded music reviewer would be reluctant to call their music "whimsical." Call it "Vada," we suppose, whatever the hell that means. TOM REARDON


Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Tuesday, June 7 – Musical Instrument Museum

There's a decrepit old building on St. Peter Street in New Orleans, located in the heart of the French Quarter, with little in the way of amenities; drinks aren't even served there. Regardless, tourists line up hours before showtime because they know that Preservation Hall is one of the few pillars of old-school New Orleans-style jazz left in the city, if not the world. The style is bouncy and upbeat, borrowing from Caribbean rhythms, and the jazz band usually includes traditional Mardi Gras songs and old standards in its sets. The rotating cast of players ranges in age from 29 to 88, and the current lineup includes Ben Jaffe, son of tuba player Allan Jaffe, who opened the hall in 1961 and played until his death in 1987. The touring-band roster is equally amorphous, but with decades of experience and a huge pool of talent and tradition to draw from — even in post-Katrina New Orleans — the group is not likely to disappoint. KURT BRIGHTON


Los Van Van – Wednesday, June 8 – Livewire

It's not that often that a group credited with creating an entire musical genre comes to town, but Cuba's Los Van Van holds that distinction. Formed in the late '60s, Juan Formell and his troupe of conservatory-educated musicians injected the sounds of rock, funk, soul and disco they heard on U.S. radio waves into traditional Cuban son and salsa, much the same way their Caribbean neighbors in Jamaica created ska and reggae. In the process, Los Van Van named not only themselves — the name translates as "the go-go," after the fast-paced funk subspecies — but also songo, now one of the most prevalent and influential styles in the entire Latin-music diaspora. Instantly popular on their native island and in Latin America and Europe, Los Van Van began making waves stateside in the '90s and won the 1999 Best Salsa Performance Grammy for their album Llega Van Van. Touring behind this year's aptly named Estrellas de Cuba ("Stars of Cuba"), Formell and his "Rolling Stones of Salsa" are still going strong. CHRIS GRAY


Simian Mobile Disco – Wednesday, June 8 – Crescent Ballroom

Simian Mobile Disco have been at the cutting edge of dance music since they rose to prominence as part of the proto-EDM wave of electro that hit American shores in 2007. The Justice vs. Simian track "We Are Your Friends" is one of the most definitive tracks of that whole era.

Since then, members James Ford and Jas Shaw have carved a niche for themselves by moving against trends in dance music. The duo utilize analog equipment when performing their tech-house beats live. That is to say, they're actually playing instruments. That's why they're an act that so readily appeals across the spectrum to hipsters, ravers, and music nerds alike. JEMAYEL KHAWAJA


I Love the ‘90s Tour – Friday, June 10 – Talking Stick Resort

The I Love the '90s tour is here to meet all your nostalgia needs with a hip-hop package tour that already looks like a hell of a lot more fun than that Full House reboot. Along for the ride are Salt N' Pepa; their longtime DJ, Spinderella; Vanilla Ice; Tone Loc ("Funky Cold Medina"); Coolio ("Fantastic Voyage"); Young MC ("Principal's Office"); and Kid N Play (the House Party movies). Arguably, Young MC ("Bust a Move"); Kid N Play ("Rollin' With Kid & Play"); and Salt N' Pepa themselves ("Push It") did their most significant work in the '80s, but let’s not split hairs. It's just nice to see Salt N' Pepa in something besides a GEICO commercial. CHRIS GRAY


Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo – Friday, June 10 – Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

From a quick glance at Pat Benatar's and Neil "Spyder" Giraldo's social media, it is clear that the two, who started working together in 1979, have as strong a following as ever. They're celebrating this fact with an extensive 35th-anniversary tour, accompanied by a PBS special and 14-track CD/DVD live album. For those of you going "Huh?": Pat Benatar was the first female voice on MTV, back when the "M" stood for music. Her powerhouse vocals and singular style, combined with Giraldo’s stellar musicianship, made Benatar a timeless icon. The hits-filled live album proves Benatar and Giraldo defy time, featuring enduring classics such as "Shadows of the Night," "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Love Is a Battlefield," all of which are continually revitalized with remixes and covers. LILY MOAYERI
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