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.
Pixies - Monday, February 24 - Comerica Theatre
Don't you dare reduce the most important prototype for Seattle grunge to "Where Is My Mind" and inspiring Kurt Cobain to include a few dramatic volume changes -- dynamic shifts weren't invented in the '90s, and "Monkey Gone to Heaven" has aged as well as anything else in their catalog. What's more, they're now on to a completely new incarnation: Founding bassist Kim Deal left the band last summer after years of simmering tensions with frontman Frank Black, and their recent EPs (fittingly named EP1 and EP2) are their first new material in 20 years. -- Vijith Assar
2 Chainz - Monday, February 24 - Celebrity Theatre
Chances are, if you've picked up a major hip-hop album released in the past few years -- Drake, Kanye West, Pusha T -- you're familiar with 2 Chainz's hazy, hooky, anthemic brand of Southern rap. And chances are pretty good that you've picked up B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, his 2013 Def Jam release, a follow-up to (and improvement upon) 2012's earworm-y Based on a T.R.U. Story. With all those guest spots under his belt -- and with his own LPs being so guest-heavy -- it's fair to wonder what a 2 Chainz-centric show is going to be like.
By all reports, 2 Chainz is an admirably magnetic frontman, spitting rabble-rousing party tracks and turn-your-brain-off-and-just-move tunes like "Birthday Song." His languid delivery and sharp flow should translate nicely to the big stage, and his range -- "Feds Watching" is sufficiently jagged, a nice counterbalance to his party tracks -- will surprise listeners who haven't dug deep into his discography. -- Derek Askey
Madball - Tuesday, February 25 - Pub Rock
Hardcore punk is one of those easily dismissed, oft-overlooked genres. Too frequently, people regard it as solely for teens -- or irrelevant after the late '80s. The reality is that good hardcore music does have a place in the music world, and bands like Madball are at the forefront of that discussion.
The band was started in 1988 by 12-year-old Freddy Cricien, the younger brother of Roger Miret, lead singer of famed New York hardcore band Agnostic Front. In those days, Madball comprised mostly Agnostic Front members, with Cricien taking lead vocals.
Having been exposed to the hardcore music scene at a young age because of his brother's affiliations, Cricien started playing at only 7 years old and had the opportunity to experience a growing, changing scene at its height, while most others his age wound up viewing only in retrospect.
Bands like Madball and Agnostic Front are unique for incorporating elements of thrash metal and Oi! into their sound -- something that wasn't done in hardcore's early days. In the '80s, metal and punk crowds rarely connected socially, or in public. But as it turns out, plenty of members of one subculture enjoyed the music of the other. This crossover was cemented with these bands, as well as Circle Jerks, Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault, Suicidal Tendencies, and others. -- Sarah Ventre
Circuit of Doom - Wednesday, February 26 - Last Exit Live
When was the last time you heard of a local band (let alone two of 'em) willfully embracing the label of prog rock? It's not that prog hasn't enjoyed periods of mainstream popularity and an eternal cult following. It's just that prog hasn't been cool since Emerson, Lake, & Palmer started thinking they were matinee idols around about 1978. Since then, it's been all "experimental metal" or "mathcore" or whatever. But two long-haired Tempe acts are carrying the torch for proggers and their love for instrumental gymnastics: Sasquanaut and The Rolling Blackouts.
The former hews slightly closer to prog form, mostly because it eschews those distracting vocals for six- and seven-minute guitar workouts, courtesy of Daniel Martinez. Meanwhile, the Rolling Blackouts apply more traditional songcraft to their funk-flavored (and eminently danceable) interpretation of prog, but not without high-flying six-string theatrics lifted straight out of the hair metal days.
Make no mistake, you're more likely to see the guys in these two bands outside kicking hacky-sacks than inside tinkering with vintage analog synths. In other words, what both bands further have in common -- besides impressive chops at each position -- is a knack for seasoning their prog stew with that unmistakable Tempe jam vibe. The show, part of a semi-regular "Circuit of Doom" showcase with The Woodworks and Deadfoxx, is free. -- Jay Bennett
Miley Cyrus - Thursday, February 27 - US Airways Center
At times, it's hard to tell where Miley Cyrus' public persona ends and where the real human being begins, but the singer takes some significant steps away from her cutesy Disney Channel image on her latest album, Bangerz. New strains of hip-hop are woven within anthemic pop structures, and guest appearances by Nelly, Ludacris and Big Sean, along with production by Pharrell Williams and will.i.am, increase her overall credibility.
As with so many pop stars, most of her songs were factory-assembled and co-written by a horde of the usual suspects, but Cyrus' personality nonetheless shines through on relatively personal and vulnerable ballads such as "Wrecking Ball." Despite the tempest in a teapot she stirred with her infamous plushie-twerking collisions at last year's MTV Video Music Awards, Cyrus is relatively down-to-earth, coming off as the only celebrity with an ounce of sincerity and genuine warmth at Ryan Seacrest's recent New Year's Eve horror show in Times Square. -- Falling James
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