Top Five Must-See Shows in Phoenix This Weekend

This weekend is Prince Eve. We understand that.

But if you're unable or unwilling to part with the kind of money it takes to see Prince in something smaller than an arena, you can divert yourself with any of these coming attractions:

Saturday, April 27 - Wet Electric @ Big Surf Waterpark, Tempe

Electrical currents and water don't mix -- just ask '70s-era singer Claude François, sometimes lauded as the French answer to the Beatles, who died trying to fix a defective light bulb while in the bathtub.

But don't let that mishap spoil your fun this weekend if you're planning on getting simultaneously charged up and soaked at Wet Electric. The nine-hour rave spectacular is once again lapping at your doorstep, this time at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe. Given Wet Electric's eye-popping history of artists (including, but not limited to, The Crystal Method, Paul Oakenfold, EC Twins, Dada Life, and Darude), this year should be another pool party you'll never forget.

This year's lineup features Eric Prydz, Swanky Tunes, Sharam, Eddie Halliwell, Chris Garcia, Tony Arzadon, Dean Mason, and plenty more to whet your electric appetite. -- Troy Farah (Read more.)

Sunday, April 28 - Alkaline Trio @ Marquee Theatre, Tempe

Alkaline Trio has appealed to the pop-punk-loving masses for nearly two decades now by finding the midpoint between the macabre themes of The Damned or The Misfits and the hopeless-romanticism of bands like Saves the Day and New Found Glory.

Tales of love and woe are what attract many female fans to Alkaline Trio in the first place -- just ask any girl with an AT heart-and-skull tattoo about singer Matt Skiba and her voice will probably raise an octave. Skiba and bassist Dan Andriano are this band's vocal Jekyll and Hyde, but neither singer works exclusively good or evil.

Read More: Matt Skiba on his new album: "I'm fucking forcing it on everybody."

On the band's latest effort, My Shame Is True, Skiba builds on some darker sentiments, inspired by his recent breakup. He's still on good terms with his ex -- she's the girl on the cover -- but the album is full of heartache; Skiba described the songwriting process as cathartic. "I just miss you / I want to kiss you to death tonight," Skiba sings in "Kiss You to Death," which harks back to the band's classic love-scorned Good Mourning sound. -- Melissa Fossum

Saturday, April 27 - Metz @ Crescent Ballroom

The best way to encapsulate the sound of the early-'80s punk squalor collected on legendary Chicago indie label Touch and Go is with a lot of Home Depot imagery: buzzsaw guitars, hammering drums, sandpaper shrieks. Toronto post-hardcore contractors Metz would have been right at home there.

Metz's self-titled full-length channels the relentlessly overdriven guitar wall of The Jesus Lizard and Repeater-era Fugazi, propelled by drummer Hayden Menzies' seismic wallops. Singer Alex Edkins even shares both a likeness and a throat-shredding vocal style with Steve Albini, whose corrosive acts like Big Black and Shallac were T&G staples.

Another '80s punk hub, longtime indie juggernaut Sub Pop, has always held open spots in its corral for acquired tastes like Wolf Eyes and Comets on Fire, even as the label rode the meteoric success of high-brow pop like The Shins and Beach House. So it wasn't too surprising, then, when Sub Pop snatched up this trio. With the steady eye of a craftsman, Metz pinpoints a cathartically furious corner of American punk. -- Chase Kamp

Saturday, April 27 - Beautiful Noise @ Hollywood Alley, Mesa

In February, after nearly 22 years of delays, My Bloody Valentine released a follow-up to their genre-defining 1991 LP, Loveless. In light of that, it's tempting to declare 2013 the Year of the Shoegaze Revival.

There are signs all over: Coachella's lineup boasted fresh-faced dream-pop acts like DIIV, Wild Nothing, and White Arrows; a number of Pitchfork's "Best New Albums" feature gauzy, phased guitars straight out the Ride playbook; bands like M83, Beach House, and Deerhunter, daisy-chained guitar pedals in tow, are filling clubs all over the world.

"It's a great comeback story, isn't it?" says Brandon Capps, the man behind the Southwest's best (if only) underground shoegaze festival, Beautiful Noise. "Considering the stigma that used to be associated with being called 'shoegaze,' I'm amazed at how the term is embraced today. I count myself as one of those rabid fans that was obsessed with reading the reviews in NME and Melody Maker back in 1990."

Read More: Our full Beautiful Noise interview with Brandon Capps

From 1993 to 1995, Southwestern bands united for shows at Beautiful Noise. This year the festival returns, celebrating its 20th anniversary. Though it hasn't been an annual event, the festival's history acts as a through line connecting two decades of blissful, spiraling pop.

Friday, April 26 - Nerf Herder @ Pub Rock, Scottsdale

If you were a Weezer fan in 1998 -- back when there just were not enough Weezer albums, and it looked like there never would be -- there was a reasonable chance you also owned Nerf Herder, the self-titled debut album from Parry Gripp and company. Filled with mid-tempo guitar songs with thick guitars, deceptively pretty melodies, geeky subject matter, and tributes (explicit and implicit) to Van Halen, it made for an excellent methadone.

After some time off in the middle-aughts to write some very weird jingles Nerf Herder has returned to bring their somewhat geek-rockier brand of pop out on tour. If you're still a fan of Weezer -- or at least Weezer in 1998 -- you'll enjoy it, regardless of whether you approved of Raditude. -- Dan Moore

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