If Black Sabbath isn't quite terrifying anymore, they've done a remarkably good job recovering from their lead singer appearing in a goofy MTV reality-sitcom for three years. You'll be able to see just how well they've recovered Friday at US Airways Center.
If that's not your speed, we've got four other options for you. (View our complete concert calendar here.)
Genre - Rogue Bar, Scottsdale - Friday, August 30The Moog synthesizer is responsible for revamping '70s music and inspiring the decade of electronic music that followed. A similar music revolution is currently underway--the laptop. Bands are getting smaller as musicians use programs such as GarageBand and Ableton to fill in the gaps. Local rock band Genre took the same approach, replacing its drummer and synth player with a beat-up Macbook. "[Our sound is] more focused. The parts are in place. It's not just rocking out; now they sound more rounded out," says keyboardist/vocalist Corey Gomez on Genre's new sound.
The band regularly played shows around the Valley until taking a two-year break to focus on new songwriting approaches. Inspired by local indie popsters Bogan Via, Genre is set to play its first show since the hiatus as a duo with a laptop. "I have this fantasy in my head that when we're on stage in our personas, we're time travelers from 2013 and we've gone back to the '80s to play their music, but with the technology of now," says singer/guitarist Zac Markey on Genre's musical focus, and the band's gender-bending persona, which harkens back to the Ziggy Stardust era. -- Melissa Fossum
Black Sabbath - US Airways Center - Friday, August 30After a lengthy absence--33 years--Black Sabbath have returned with 13. And unbelievably, this is your grandmother's Black Sabbath.
Eschewing a turbulent history that left the band frequently in musical flux and misdirection --particularly those middle years--today's Sabbath, complete again with the exception of drummer Bill Ward, comes to us straight from its storied, early past. And it wasn't an accident.
"Yes, it was [a conscious effort], because we wanted to go back to the basic sound we had," guitarist Tony Iommi says by phone from New York. "[Producer] Rick [Rubin] wanted us to go back to the basics of everything, the way we worked--everything. And we wanted to do that too."
13 is not a half-hearted attempt to profit from nostalgia for that original sound, like many "reformed" bands make these days. Tracks such as "God is Dead?" and "End of the Beginning" reveal a deeper passion to make something as powerfully important as when their trailblazing music redefined rock and roll's edges in the early '70s.
"When we first started we were playing jazzy blues stuff. Once we started getting down to really writing our own stuff, that's when the sound came about, really. I wanted to create the same vibe as a horror film. It's got tension and these evilly things going on," he explains, laughing. "I wanted to do that with music and I came up with these notes that were evil." -- Glenn BurnSilver
Blackjack - The Pressroom, Phoenix - Friday, August 30Sam Groove isn't much of a gambler. However, the local DJ and nightlife promoter knows a thing to two about playing the odds, raising the stakes, and cleaning up big. For proof, just look at the success that Groove and the other EDM aficionados behind Hades Entertainment have had with Blackjack, their annual casino-themed dance party.
Since debuting as a Scottsdale club night in 2010, the event's size, crowds, and DJ lineups have grown each year. Hence the fact it's gone down at bigger and better venues as a result. And according to Groove, they're planning to up the ante once again with the 2013 edition of Blackjack, which takes place on Friday, August 30, at the gigantic event space The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. "It's definitely gonna be a much larger party than before," he says.
That means three separate stages, each boasting its own look, and an exhaustive roster of close to three-dozen DJs performing during the eight-hour affair. But while Blackjack's size and location have changed, it's still focused on showcasing local talents, ranging from more-established artists like Matt Dunn, Bryce "Decade" Holt, and Nasty Nos on the Mirage and Jackpot stages to such up-and-comers as Body Tricks, Lagswitch, and Dippin Skinny in the Goldstrike lounge.
"We've often given opportunities to DJs you might not have heard before," Groove says. "Now that it's a larger-scale event this year, we can dedicate an entire stage to undiscovered DJs." Besides peeping all the selectors, attendees can also play blackjack games around the Pressroom. Although no actual money is involved, there's a chance to win big prizes like tickets to upcoming EDM events and festivals. The party runs from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. Tickets are $15. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Danzig - Marquee Theatre, Tempe - Saturday, August 31Singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig has managed to endure in heavy metal for decades by doing it his own way. He left the horror-punk outfit Misfits to start Danzig, which released its debut album in 1988. Long known for graphic imagery and dark themes, Danzig's sound was influenced by early Black Sabbath, gaining notoriety for their bluesy, heavy metal style that attracted fans spanning several genres. Now, 25 years, nine albums, and countless controversies later, Danzig is embarking on its 25th anniversary tour.
Some people may see Danzig as one of those musicians that pairs pure metal with prima donna attitude, yet there's no arguing that he has made some incredible music. Sure, he's had more than his fair share of issues--like attacking Bonnaroo photographers, or that infamous fistfight with a local musician back in 2004. But it's his attitude that has kept him afloat all these years.
Take Danzig's hit "Mother," for example. It was nearly three decades ago that Tipper Gore founded the Parents Music Resource Center campaign; you know, those pesky "Parental Advisory" stickers placed on CDs? The effort to purge the world of offensive music infuriated Danzig, prompting him to pen his breakout song. Danzig has said that he's working on new material after this tour, so the band might not be back for awhile. -- Lauren Wise
Boob-a-Palooza - Rhythm Room - Sunday, September 1Fact: everyone loves boobs. They're fun to have and they're fun to play with. For some of us more well-endowed gals, they can also function as impromptu pillows or drink-holders. Boobs serve many purposes, both cosmetic and practical, which is one of the many reasons why breast cancer is devastating.
Fortunately, Mona Watkins, general manager of the Rhythm Room, is determined to help raise money for a cure with the third annual Boob-a-Palooza concert. The titillating, swing-dance-themed event features Pat Roberts & The Heymakers, Jamie Waldron Trio, Whiskey Kiss, and performances by the AZ Lindy Hop Society to raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk. Boob-a-Palooza also features extensive raffles, including merch, beach cruisers, and if you're lucky, a guitar.
Watkins initially started her fundraising efforts to aid her sister, but she continues to be inspired by customers. "I've met a lot of really neat people and have heard a lot of stories. It's not just my sister, but my family members, my friends' family members, and customers that I meet at the rhythm room, they'll tell me stories about their loved ones and their struggles and fights with breast cancer, so I walk for them, too." -- Melissa Fossum
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