Top 5 Concerts in Metro Phoenix This Week

Want to get in a show this week? There are plenty of concerts over the next five days around Metro Phoenix to choose from, as you can see for yourself by viewing our extensive online concert listings.

And we're fairly certain that there's something for everyone, regardless of your particular tastes.

The Decibel Magazine Tour - Monday, March 24 - The Pressroom

It's hard not to love a band that combines British extreme metal with an instantly gag-worthy name such as Carcass, no matter how on-again, off-again the band may be. The act, known for gruesome album art and morbid lyrics, is regarded as a pioneer of grindcore and -- in the case of 1993's Heartwork -- melodic death metal. (And did we mention that Carcass even was asked to remix a Björk's 1996 song called "Isobel"?) In the 11 years after forming in Liverpool in 1985, the band released five uneven albums, concluding with 1996's Swansong.

The group never toured upon its release and Carcass unceremoniously called it quits until reconvening in 2007 for three years of touring. And in late 2013, Carcass, now with only Jeff Walker (bass/vocals) and Bill Steer (guitar/vocals) as remaining original members, released Surgical Steel, an energetic return to form. Besides Carcass being a group of brilliant badasses, the band's Phoenix engagement is notable for being one of the first shows at downtown's highly anticipated venue The Pressroom, which, among other things, has an awesome setup for moshing. -- Lauren Wise

Robin Thicke - Wednesday, March 26 - Phoenix Convention Center

Before playing Jackie to Timberlake's Marilyn -- or Dante to Jon B's Virgil -- and before being the grist to Miley's millstone, he was just Thicke, an ambitious song-peddler earnestly hawking Jamiroquai-esque long-haired, blue-eyed soul over Beethoven beats and doing gratuitous Sprite ads at Andre Harrell's behest.

A decade later, Robin Thicke has mastered the art of making slick, sophisticated r&b pop more than anyone since Hall & Oates, freeing him from the promotional whims of label execs. He's his own man now, even though like most contemporary R&B artists, he's never really freed himself from the innovations of his musical inspirations. But that's no huge bother for us, because whether Marvin Gaye is rolling in his grave or dancing in it, songs like "Blurred Lines" keep our bodies moving during these turbulent times. -- Winston Groman

Miniature Tigers - Thursday, March 27 - Rhythm Room

The wait for summer can be cruel -- it's March and we're in shorts; the air's warm enough for swimming, but the water's not. Listening to "Swimming Pool Blues," the new single by former Phoenix band Miniature Tigers doesn't make the wait any easier. The band's sunny indie pop evokes a summer afternoon lazing in a backyard cement pond. "Blues" -- off the band's forthcoming record, Cruel Runnings, its fourth full-length -- indicates a similar sound heard on 2012's Mia Pharoah, which saw Mini T's heading in a poppier direction, away from the guitar-driven tracks on their debut album, Tell It to the Volcano.

It's the combination of the pop and the rock that makes a Miniature Tigers show so fun: "Mansion of Misery" is bound to spark a sing-along while songs like "Gold Skull" could be played in a dance club. Sometimes, bands that perform too many unreleased songs commit a concert faux pas, leaving fans without the familiar. But if Mini T's unveil much of Cruel Runnings onstage, and it's all as good as "Swimming Pool Blues," then there won't be any problem at all. -- Melissa Fossum

Tool - Thursday, March 27 - US Airways Center

Downtown Phoenix, prepare to be invaded. The Tool Army is planning to descend upon the US Airways Center en masse later this week and they're likely to be in need of a fix. After all, it's been awhile since Maynard James Keenan (our erstwhile columnist) and company played out in Phoenix. Yes, the enigmatic musician/winemaker/actor/philanthropist has performed around town with his side projects Puscifer and A Perfect Circle in recent years, but its been going on half a decade since Tool graced a Phoenix stage.

Expect a concert unlike any other, not to mention a brain-bending evening of hard rock sounds (likely including such signature Tool songs as "Stinkfist," "Forty-Six & 2," "Ænema," "Schism," and -- of course -- "Sober"), mental overstimulation, and visual overload not unlike the Ludovico Technique scene from A Clockwork Orange with twisted-yet-trippy imagery and Keenan singing from the shadows. Mind-altering substances are optional. -- Benjamin Leatherman

See Also: Nobody's Tool: Maynard James Keenan Would Rather Talk About His Other Bands

Maynard James Keenan's columns for Up On the Sun

McDowell Mountain Music Festival - Friday, March 28, to Sunday, March 30 - Margaret T. Hance Park

One of the hallmarks of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival over its decade or so of existence has been the utter diversity of sounds its offered. Such is the case with the 2014 edition, which kicks off on Friday afternoon and features a buffet of sounds that cuts across a multitude of genres.

To wit: The lineup for this year's MMMF features the electro soul of Gramatik, the jazzy funk of Lettuce, and indie rock aplenty from Decker, as well as the bluesy Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, alt-country artists Delta Fifths, and folk rock aplenty from Avery. And that's just on Friday, the first day of the three-day outdoor festival.

The rest of MMMF's offerings include soulful R&B singer Allen Stone, the always funky G. Love and Special Sauce, livetronica jam band Disco Biscuits, psychedelic reggae rockers Slightly Stoopid, country maverick Dwight Yoakam, the all-out blues-rock of West Water Outlaws, and the ultra-influential Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. As always, the festival will also star a grip of locals, such as Black Bottom Lighters, Travis James and The Wretched Ones, and the Black Bottom Lighters.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.