Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Concerts This Weekend

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Hear that? It's the clock counting down the hours until your weekend begins and it's nearing the magic moment known as quitting time. To help the time pass more quickly, you might consider what it is you'll actually be doing during the next couple days and nights of work-free bliss.

Luckily, if you're in the mood to get in a live show or two, there are more than a few options to choose from over the next 72 hours (eyeball our extensive online concert calendar for proof of such). And then there are our choices for the must-see shows this weekend.

We Still Believe - Friday, February 21 - Location TBA

The members of Rebel Disco are being tight-lipped about their newest hangout. After years of slinging beats at such Phoenix nightspots as Bar Smith and Club 24, the tastemaking local DJ collective has a new joint in town, which will make its debut Friday, February 21, during the We Still Believe shindig. Though they haven't dropped dime on its location just yet, however, they've ecstatically announced the party's headliner and inspiration The Black Madonna on Rebel Disco's Facebook. "We are excited about our new venue and even more excited about our special guest," the post stated.

Such anticipation is warranted, given that the Chicago-based artist (also known by such monikers as the "Avenger of Comiskey Park" and "Patron Saint of Abandoned Daughters") is one of the more unique DJ/producers to come from the Windy City in recent memory. A resident at Chi-Town's trendy Smart Bar, The Black Madonna's intoxicatingly synthy and sample-heavy sounds (which trip between the realms of nu-disco, old-fashioned disco, and soulful house) have been released on such influential labels as Home Taping Is Killing Music and Classic Music Company. If you're down to attend the affair, which runs from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. and will also feature the Rebel Disco DJs, RSVP online at www.facebook.com/rebeldisco. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Mosh Pit Army's Anniversary - Friday, February 21 - Joe's Grotto

Being that this event is Mosh Pit Army's sixth anniversary, you can be it will be packed with metal heads and whiskey shots. St. Madness is always a local favorite headliner, obviously since they've been around since about 1993 and have played with The Misfits, Van Halen, King Diamond, Lamb of God and dozens of other popular international heavy metal bands.

St. Madness also received the "Rock Artist of the Year" award in 2010 from The Phoenix/L.A. Music Awards, and in November 2013 the band's 9th album, CARNIMETAL received the "Producers Choice Award for Metal Album Of The Year" by the later organization.

The lineup also includes performances by A Perfect Tool, Weed Out The Weak, I Don't Konform, Twelve Gates, and more. -- Lauren Wise

Cibo Matto - Friday, February 21 - Crescent Ballroom

Admit it: You've always longed for a music video that, in sum, features shots of bananas, pineapples, and other fruit; an explosively gaudy color scheme; several bizarre green-screen backgrounds seen at a rapid-fire pace; a rap interlude; a saxophone solo; lyrics about French bread and oysters; and the phrase "motherfucking nature!" repeatedly being delivered as if it were the most badass slogan ever invented. Well, with the clip for "MFN" -- an infectiously ferocious synth-pop number off the brand-new Hotel Valentine -- Cibo Matto has made those dreams real, all while providing sociocultural commentary.

"The song is about the part of nature that's motherfucking," multi-instrumentalist Yuka Honda says. "Nature's not just only this beautiful thing -- beautiful sunset and blue sky. There's all these parts that come with nature. Also, there's this notion that we like to think humans are not nature or a lot of things we do are not nature, but we seem to be a part of nature. Plastic seems to come from Earth, so we just wanted to talk about this very nasty part of nature."

Truth be told, it's difficult to fathom exactly what Honda is talking about and the crux of the "MFN" video, but understanding the point is not entirely the point of enjoying Cibo Matto. Since forming in 1994, the New York City-based duo of Japan natives Honda and vocalist Miho Hatori have made sure to strictly adhere to the principle of unpredictability and deliver their music with such earnest conviction that the listener will be compelled to go along for the ride even with little clue about what the hell is going on. -- Reyan Ali

Read our complete story on Cibo Matto

The Urinals - Saturday, February 22 - Double Nickels Collective

When one thinks of legendary punk rock venues where great bands got their start, folks usually think of CBGB in New York, or the Masque in Hollywood, or the 100 Club in London. Dykstra Hall, a dormitory on the UCLA campus? Not so much.

But Dykstra Hall does have one claim to fame -- it was the place where one of Southern California's most original and enduring punk rock bands got its start. The Urinals were three Dykstra residents who made their debut at a dorm talent show in 1978 and went on to release a handful of singles that opened ears around the world with their harsh, minimal attack, surreal lyrics, and performances that made a virtue of the group's lack of experience.

The Urinals made a major impact on the Minutemen, who covered their song "Ack Ack Ack Ack," and Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and the Butthole Surfers are just three of the bands that have cited them as a favorite and an influence.

Unlike many of their peers who made a point of learning in public, the Urinals are still at it, an ongoing experiment in rock 'n' roll that original members John Talley-Jones (bass and vocals) and Kevin Barrett (drums and vocals) still find compelling more than 35 years after their first tongue-in-cheek performance. The Urinals have a new album in the works (their first since 2003) and are hitting the road for a handful of shows, including an appearance in Tempe. -- Mark Deming

Read our complete story on The Urinals

Dark Tranquility - Sunday, February 23 - Club Red

Dark Tranquility is a melodic death metal band from Sweden that is one of the longest-running bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene. They're also one of the most integral pioneers of the melodic death metal genre of music. And they're absolutely killer live. Finland-based Omnium Gatherum is all about the death metal, boasting fast melodies and original yet surprisingly catchy choruses and breakdowns.

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

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