Get ready to genuflect. We’re about to be graced by rock ‘n’ roll royalty.
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
Resale Concert Tickets
Choral Union, Chamber Singers & Barrett Choir: David Schildkret - Musica Sacra
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 / 7:30pm @ Gammage Auditorium 1200 South Forest Avenue Tempe AZ 852811200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe AZ 85281
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
Tuesday, February 27
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
It has often been said that music is an international language. Regardless of political and physical boundaries, status, race, and creed, the melodies and harmonies that are conceived from inspiration, nurtured into notes, and finally released into the air to be shared with the world can transcend all these barriers.
And, if there is one musical group that has most embodied this ability, and proven to be masters of it, over the past half-century-plus, it is the legendary Irish band The Chieftains, and they are not slowing down.
In their 56th year as a group, the band is still spreading its gospel of Irish folk music as it did when the band formed in 1962, the same year The Rolling Stones began.
Six-time Grammy Award-winners, The Chieftains have never rested on their laurels as the most prolific Irish group in history. Yet, it would be easy to fall into that persona considering the band was, among other things, the first Western band to play on the Great Wall of China (1983), the first group to play in the U.S. Capitol, and even played in front of an intimate gathering of 1 million people for a concert for Pope John Paul II in 1979 at Phoenix Park in Dublin.
The journey they've taken over the last 56 years has been a long and adventurous one. It is has led them to embark on their current U.S. tour that provides them a return visit to the Valley this week when they’ll stop by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Mark C. Horn
Wednesday, February 28
The Rebel Lounge
John Williams’ iconic Star Wars scores are the stuff of halcyon childhood memories and cinematic legend. They also can be quite metal, come to think of it. Grandiose orchestral pieces such as “The Imperial March.” which served as the soundtrack to George Lucas’ space opera, pack just as much bombast, energy, and gravitas as many a heavy metal anthem, as well as complex instrumentation and virtuoso performances.
So it feels downright fitting when the costumed musicians of Star Wars-themed band Galactic Empire shred through metal versions of “Duel of the Fates,” “Battle of the Heroes,” “The Force Theme,” and the aforementioned “Imperial March.” Musicians have been covering the Star Wars score for as long as there’s been a saga. (In 1977, for instance, Meco put out a chart-topping disco album Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk mere weeks after A New Hope debuted.)
Galactic Empire take things into the metal realm, translating Williams’ tunes into hard rock epics filled with sweeping guitar solos, riffs hotter than Mustafar, and some Jedi-like djent flourishes. And they do so while embracing the dark side, as Galactic Empire’s members (which include Bass Commander, Boba Sett, and Shadow Ranger) dress as armored Imperial characters from the films, like a stormtrooper, TIE fighter pilot, and even Darth Vader himself. The Force is definitely with them, even if happens to be the Dark Side. Benjamin Leatherman
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Wednesday, February 28
Musical Instrument Museum
When the Squirrel Nut Zippers put out their major-label debut, Hot, in 1996, the band’s fresh take on swing was already swarming the underground. Their phenomenally popular single “Hell,” however, pushed the group into the mainstream and all over alt-rock radio.
The Zippers’ musical tapestry, which incorporates klezmer and calypso, has always been a little weirder than the work of other successful swing revival acts, like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. When the swing revival collapsed at the turn of the century, the group went on an extended hiatus, interrupted by infrequent live gigs.
In 2016, following a 20-anniversary reissue of Hot, the Zippers began touring again, including hitting the Valley. They’ll be back in town this week to open for the equally quirky jazz/blues act Davina and the Vagabonds at the MIM on Wednesday. Tom Murphy
Thursday, March 1
Talking Stick Resort Arena
P!nk is nothing if not badass. In January, the superstar pop/R&B singer provided a showstopping performance of her song “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” in support of the Time’s Up movement during this year’s Grammys. A few days later, she penned a piercing letter in response to Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s loathsome claim that women in the music industry needed to “step up.”
Then, for a follow-up, P!nk served up a stirring rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl LII that earned her plenty of praise, all while she battled the flu.
You can expect to see the same sort of fierce attitude and phenomenal singing prowess this week in Phoenix when P!nk performs her first Valley concert in almost five years. She’s touring in support of Beautiful Trauma, the 13-track studio album that debuted in October and has been critically lauded for its sociopolitical themes, including on its lead single, “What About Us.” Benjamin Leatherman
Thursday, March 1
The Van Buren
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Troy Beetles, popularly known as Datsik, feels like a fortunate young man. Since the release of his first tracks in 2009, he’s gradually seen his prominence increase within the dubstep scene and, later, the wider and more lucrative world of EDM. His 2012 debut album, Vitamin D, cemented his standing as “one to watch,” but 2016’s Sensei EP clearly displays just how far he has come.
And while dubstep, very specifically, was the platform that helped land him in the spotlight, Beetles is pretty much open to any and all new ideas and influences.
“I could be playing my set, playing a bunch of dubstep, and then I could go into trap, and then I could go into drum and bass, and then into a little bit of bass-house or whatever,” he says. “I think all the kids are totally okay with that. If anything, they like it because it adds a little bit of variety. Most of these tracks have similar sounds; they’re just different tempos.”
The biggest changes in Datsik’s sound have in fact been less about crossing genres and more about Beetles's own natural improvement and evolution as a DJ and producer. Brett Callwood