Looking for a great local concert to check out this week? Look no further. We’ve got the lowdown on biggest and best shows happening at music venues throughout the Valley over the next several nights. And all of 'em are worthy of both your time and money.
For instance, if you've never seen Black Sabbath perform live, this week offers the last chance for you to do so (in Phoenix, at any rate) as the iconic metal band’s final tour in the history of ever comes through the Valley on Wednesday. Meanwhile, fellow British-born rock bands Squeeze and Bloc Party will also be in town that, performing at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, respectively.
The rest of the week is filled with similarly important shows, including gigs by Def Leppard, Dinosaur Jr., Twin Peaks, and Leon Bridges.
But if these options don’t suit your particular tastes, be sure to check out our extensive online concert listings for more live music options this week.
Dinosaur Jr. – Monday, September 19 – Crescent Ballroom
Emmett “Murph” Murphy III, Dinosaur Jr.’s original drummer, understands the heat Phoenicians deal with on a daily basis during the summer, but he’s glad to be getting back to Phoenix to play as the band tours for their new record, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. We assured Murphy that the air conditioning at the Crescent will be sufficient to keep the band comfortable as they return to town for the first time in a couple of years. The band, which has featured the reunited original lineup of Lou Barlow on bass/vocals, J. Mascis on guitar/lead vocals, and Murphy for the past 11 years now, has been very active on the road, but Murphy states they don’t go out for nearly as long as they used to in their youth.
For Murphy, more so than bandmates Barlow and Mascis, it is important to tour, as it is the main source of income for musicians like himself who have seen enough success in the music industry to not need a day job, but still like to eat and enjoy some semblance of creature comfort when at home. Mascis has always been the primary songwriter for Dinosaur Jr., so any publishing revenue goes mostly to him. It’s also important to tour on a record as good as Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. The new album is truly a return to the power and glory of early albums like 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me and 1988’s Bug, which are two of the standout records from Dinosaur Jr’s prolific recording history. TOM REARDON
Leon Bridges – Tuesday, September 20 – Mesa Arts Center
If Texas soul singer Leon Bridges was a character in a piece of fiction, you’d be forgiven for thinking the author ought to tone it down a bit. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Bridges worked hard to support his mother by washing dishes while he steadily honed his musical craft at open mic nights around the city. He's an impossibly humble guy with an uncanny sense — both music-wise and fashion-wise — for the golden ages of the 1940s, '50s and '60s, which he developed by haunting thrift shops. He hustled for years before it all paid off in the space of about a year, when he was catapulted to fame on the wings of a couple of songs before finally making good on his promise by putting out an excellent debut album in the form of Coming Home. Heck, he’s already even made it big in Japan, as he performed in the mountains of Yuzawa, Niigata earlier this year. Fortunately, he’s back in the States on his current tour, which swings through the Mesa Arts Center this month. It seems unbelievable, but it’s true. Bridges is the real deal: a humble artist who has earned his fame. ELLIOT WRIGHT
Def Leppard – Tuesday, September 20 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
It's time to pull out any ripped or torn attire — and perhaps contemplate either a mullet or some serious man-permed hair — because not only is the quintessential '80s hair-metal band paying Phoenix a visit, they're bringing REO Speedwagon and Tesla along. Considering that Def Lep brought us time-tested hits such as "Foolin',” “Love Bites," and "Pour Some Sugar on Me," they could have just made this little concert jaunt solo, but they went and threw on the bands responsible for “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Keep on Loving You,” and “Time for Me to Fly,” making it almost too much '80s nostalgia to handle. And for that, we're thankful. ANGELICA LEICHT
Bloc Party – Wednesday, September 21 – Marquee Theatre in Tempe
From four members, to three, then two — Bloc Party is showing the world that strength isn’t necessarily in numbers with their new album, Hymns, and a world tour. Since the release of their previous album, Four, in 2012, two of the four founding members have called it quits, turning the band into more of a house party. The final two, Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack, were left to figure out what the fuck they were going to do in the midst of working on Hymns. Their solution? Rebranding, and a bit of the “fuck it” formula: They added Justin Harris and Louise Bartle, and plowed forward. If the only thing you can think of when someone asks you “have you heard of Bloc Party” is an indie-ish, feelings-y guitar and drum ballads accompanied by whiny vocals, you would be sort of right. In 2016, Bloc Party swapped the emo guitar solos for a synthesizer and more dance melodies. Let’s call it NuParty. AMANDA SAVAGE
Black Sabbath – Wednesday, September 21 – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Black Sabbath is coming to Phoenix this week for one of its finals shows ever. They’re calling this tour “Black Sabbath: The End” — as in, “This is it, guys.” So if you’ve ever wanted to see the Birmingham, U.K., heavy-metal pioneers, this is your last chance, as in ever — although you never know with Ozzy. Sure, original drummer Bill Ward isn’t involved because of a protracted contract dispute, but after this tour, the chances are slim of seeing Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Toni Iommi on stage playing classic tunes like “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “Sweet Leaf,” and “Paranoid” ever again. Metal music as we know it wouldn’t exist without Sabbath, so get out there and pay your respects. BRETT CALLWOOD
Squeeze – Wednesday, September 21 – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
There have always been a few bands that have just kept soldiering on, whose breakups and hiatuses have been quiet or nonexistent. And legendary power-pop/post-punk act Squeeze certainly qualifies as one of ‘em. If the name gives you pause, just think about it for a second. "Tempted?" "Pulling Mussels from The Shell?" "Black Coffee In Bed?" All stone-cold classics. The U.K band. – lead by songwriter Glenn Tilbrook and lyricist Chris Difford – harnessed the energy of punk and pub rock and paired with with melodic sophistication, wry wit, taut R&B rhythms, and New Wave sheen. The band is still going, too. In 2010, they released Spot the Difference, which featured their greatest hits re-recorded. A strange choice, sure, but a smart one (for licensing) and it allowed the band a chance to not only get back to the head-space of their early years but also play Coachella, appear on such shows as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and keep touring, and thus, introduce themselves to a new generation of music lovers. JASON P. WOODBURY
Twin Peaks – Thursday, September 22 – Crescent Ballroom
Delta Rae – Thursday, September 22 – Musical Instrument Museum
Warner Bros. vice president Seymour Stein is something of a legend for having been farsighted enough to sign The Ramones, Madonna, and Talking Heads. His latest discovery, the North Carolina band Delta Rae, are no less full of commercial potential, even as they sound nothing like his previous protégés. Instead, the coed folk-country-roots band has a pleasingly rustic, easygoing vibe that has won them comparisons to Fleetwood Mac. Unusually, Delta Rae features four different, charismatic singers, and each can raise a chill with eerie, gospel-infused laments such as Brittany Hölljes' fiery "Bottom of the River." Even better is the fact that they have enough confidence in their own songwriting that they can defy the frequent Mac analogies by inviting Lindsey Buckingham himself to guest on their 2014 EP, Chasing Twisters. FALLING JAMES
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