Iconic rock star and singer Robert Plant, the onetime frontman of Led Zeppelin, will pay a visit the Valley this week for a performance at Symphony Hall with his current project, the Sensational Space Shifters. And, yes, he’s likely to perform a song or two from Zeppelin’s extensive discography.
He’s not the only famous act due in town this week, however, as R&B/pop singer P!nk, superstar trance trio Above & Beyond, and treasured indie-rock duo They Might Be Giants all have concerts scheduled in Phoenix over the next few nights.
There are even more notable shows taking place around the Valley from Monday, February 26, to Thursday, March 1, including a gig by Star Wars-themed metal act Galactic Empire and legendary Irish band The Chieftains.
Details about all of these shows can be found the following list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. And for even more live music options, check out Phoenix New Times’ extensive online music listings.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
Monday, February 26
Robert Plant will turn 70 this August, but he doesn’t have the wherewithal to slow down. Instead, Plant describes this point in his career as “being on the blades of an amazing boomerang.” While many veteran rock stars create staple tours out of their best hits, the iconic Led Zeppelin frontman isn’t one of them.
Long before Rolling Stone readers ranked him as the greatest lead singer of all time in 2011, Plant set out to craft a brand of global old and new musicology, ultimately resulting in a poignant career revival. He’s spent the last three decades pushing his musical boundaries, whether joining former Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page in ’90s project Page and Plant, collaborating with Allison Kraus for the Grammy-winning 2007 album Raising Sand, or dropping Carry Fire, his 11th solo album, in 2017.
Painted in shades of bluegrass and dripping in Americana country, Carry Fire finds Plant as commanding as ever. The record’s laced with intoxicating psychedelic guitar and streaks of classic rock that call to his Zep roots. His once blues-oriented wails have aged into something smokier, crooning. But Zep fans shouldn’t despair.
Tuesday, February 27
The Van Buren
French-Chilean musician Ana Tijoux is best-known as a rapper and Latin pop artist. But her new project, Roja y Negro: Canciones de Amor y Desamor, takes her down an entirely new path. Alongside a couple of her longtime collaborators, Raimundo Santander and Ramiro Duran, the group uses vocals and acoustic guitars to perform Latin classics from their youth.
In these songs, Tijoux’s powerful voice brings new strength and life to these standbys while maintaining their traditional styles. Along with the intricate guitar work, the overall sound is spirited and captivating. It’s an interesting twist for the vocalist, who got interested in hip-hop before hitting her teen years.
By the time she was 18, Tijoux had formed Los Gemelos with another rapper, Zaturno. The pair added more people to the mix and formed Makiza 1997. Then, things really took off. Through 2006, Tijoux used her smooth MC skills to
Above & Beyond
Tuesday, February 27
Rawhide Event Center in Chandler
Trance! It rhymes with "dance," which is what you should do when you hear it, especially when it’s coming from the decks of superstar DJs and Anjunabeats label founders Above & Beyond, who return to the Valley this week.
Too long seen as the enfant terrible of the dance-music world – favored by fist-pumping bros and neither as classy as house nor as brainy as techno – trance, with its jagged synths and big beats, seems to be making a comeback among
The trio began making tracks in 1999 in London, where they hit up clubs and passed dubplates to first-gen trance DJs such as Paul Oakenfold. After cosigns from Paul van Dyk and Pete Tong and remixes for Madonna and J-pop star Ayumi Hamasaki, the three began to DJ, debuting in Tokyo and taking their talents all the way to Ibiza.
Since then, they’ve released some albums, made DJ Magazine’s annual Top 10 DJs list five times, and toured all over the world, including several appearances in the Valley. Their latest happens this week when they’ll headline a night of EDM at Rawhide Event Center in support of their latest album, Common Ground, on Tuesday. DJ Spencer Brown and duo Gabriel & Dresden open. Douglas Markowitz
Tuesday, February 27
Enter Shikari has been in existence for 14 years, 18 if you include its earlier foray into band life with a project called
On this current tour, Enter Shikari will be performing their debut album, Take to the Skies, in its entirety, an ongoing musical trend at present. It’s particularly weird for these guys, though, a band that doesn’t like to look
“The first album was quite raw,” Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds says. “It was fairly rushed, only recorded in two weeks. You can really hear every instrument. The guitar, the electronics — everything is in its own little space, and things haven’t congealed together yet. I’ve listened to the album for the first time in about 10 years. There’s probably stuff I’d change now, but it has its place in our history, and it defines that era for us. I look back on it with warmth and happy nostalgia.”
At the end of the day, Enter Shikari is a fascinating, innovative rock band that you either “get” or you don’t. And you really need to have the inclination, the desire, to want to get it. But the effort is worthwhile. Like an onion, each layer peeled away reveals something new. Each ingredient is vital, and the fact that the same members that started the band remain in its ranks is important. Brett Callwood
They Might Be Giants
Tuesday, February 27
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Even as the world’s tilted off its axis and freakish aberrations have occurred with increasing regularity, there are thankfully still a few natural laws that have held firm; just as water is wet and grass is green, They Might Be Giants are still releasing new music and touring.
Although it might seem like only yesterday that the treasured indie-rock duo was tearing up college radio with “Birdhouse In Your Soul” and being featured on the likes of Tiny Toon Adventures, John Flansburgh and John Linnell’s ongoing project of marrying absurdist lyrics with stupidly catchy riffs has remained vital through the years. They Might Be Giants' newest album, I Like Fun, has even been heralded as the latest in a late-career hot streak.
The band’s remarkable consistency — whether it’s in Dial-a-Song projects, on their traditional studio releases, or in their children’s music albums — has come to be one of its defining characteristics as They Might Be Giants have quietly established themselves as an American institution and cultural phenomenon over the last three-and-a-half decades. Zach Schlein