There are two words sum up the greatest concert going on this weekend in Phoenix.
They are "Billy" and "Joel."
But if you can't score a ticket or just can't afford one, there are still plenty of other options this weekend, from noise-punk (Perfect Pussy) to stoner rock (Fu Manchu) to weird-ass nerd metal (NERDZERKER). And if all those just seem terrible to you, check out our comprehensive concert listings for more options.
Though nowadays they sport hairdos much shorter and significantly less teased than when they rose to fame in their respective bands back in the '80s, the members of this rock 'n' roll supergroup obviously remain committed to delivering big, guitar-driven, drum solo-y arena rock tunes that pay as much tribute to Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger as they do to Led Zeppelin. Lead singer/guitarist Richie Kotzen is definitely channeling Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell when he belts out tunes like "Elevate" on the band's self-titled release from 2013. Kotzen spent a couple of years in glam-rock act Poison, until he reportedly borrowed drummer Rikki Rockett's fiancée without asking. He went on to spend some time with the still-active Mr. Big, though he no longer is in that band, either. Winery Dogs bassist Billy Sheehan has been rocking with Mr. Big since its inception in 1988 after leaving his spot in David Lee Roth's backing band. And Dogs drummer Mike Portnoy co-founded prog-metal act Dream Theater. This current union seems to be a good fit, Kotzen recently told Houston Press: "What has made it work so well is that we had a very relaxed attitude when we met." Expect anything but a relaxed live show, though. This should be a head-banging affair. --Amy Young
Rodney Carrington takes blue collar comedy and adds a cowboy hat and a thick Southern drawl to create his uniquely "hick-and-proud" comedy and country music routine. For those who aren't familiar with the boyish-faced standup star (and failed to catch Rodney, his sitcom that ran for two years), he's equal parts country music singer and headlining comedian. Past comedy albums like Morning Wood (featuring the weirdly successful "A Letter to me Penis") and Nut Sack nabbed spots on Country charts--but don't let the blue-humor juvenile titles put you off. Rodney Carrington cracks jokes about his upbringing, his cancelled sitcom, and his family life with an amiable humility. Sure, there's a dick joke or two, but not enough to avoid selling out the Grove tonight. Get your tickets while they last. --Erin DeWitt Masters of Funk - Saturday, May 31 - Celebrity Theatre
There is enough funk in this lineup to turn George Bush into George Clinton. Featuring Bar-Kays, Con FUNK shun, Dazz Band, Ohio Players, Mary Jane Girls, and Taste of Honey, there's little hyperbole in the "Masters of Funk" title of this tour. Each of these has a song you'd recognize and start dancing to -- be it "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by Taste of Honey, "Fire" by the Ohio Players, or "Got To Be Enough" by Con FUNK shun. If you like dancing to dirty funk beats, this show is right up your alley. --David Accomazzo Chet Faker - Saturday, May 31 - Crescent Ballroom
The lounge is strong with this one. Chet Faker makes music cooler than the other side of the pillow, more relaxing than a 10-minute break at the mattress factory. If his music doesn't inspire you to make intellectual small-talk while sipping dirty gin martinis in a sleek sports jacket or cocktail dress, you're doing it wrong. --David Accomazzo Billy Joel - Sunday, June 1 - US Airways Center
What else can you say about the Piano Man? Billy Joel has earned more than a few awards during his lengthy career, including six Grammys, a slew of honorary doctorates, and inclusion in both the Songwriters and Rock and Roll halls of fame. And later this year, the piano-playing superstar can add another prize to his overflowing trophy case: the honor of being the first-ever US Airways Center Entertainment Legend. Lucky him. And lucky us, because we get to be serenaded by one of the greatest songwriters still alive today. --Phoenix New Times
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