Things to Do

The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Courtesy of Big Picture Media
Art Alexakis is scheduled to perform on Sunday, May 12, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Going to FORM this weekend? You’re not the only one, as the annual music and art festival up at Arcosanti will have hundreds of locals in attendance. If you weren’t able to swing a ticket, however, there will be plenty of other worthwhile shows happening across the Valley from Friday, May 10, to Sunday, May 12.

Everclear’s Art Alexakis will bring his Songs and Stories Tour to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Sunday night for what’s certain to be a memorable show. Elsewhere, indie folk band Lord Huron will be at The Van Buren and rock legend Uli John Roth will invade Club Red in Mesa.

Other highlights of this weekend’s concert calendar include gigs by Foxing, Colbie Caillat, Marcia Ball, Slow Poisoner, and decker., as well as The Bash music and craft beer festival.

Details about each of these shows and events can be found in the following list. And for even more live music happening around town this weekend, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

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Foxing visits the Crescent on Friday night.
Courtesy of Coda Agency

Foxing and Now Now

Friday, May 10
Crescent Ballroom

Having survived everything from high-speed collisions and grand theft to members quitting and going to grad school, Foxing are perhaps one of the most resilient indie rock bands still standing. Lumped in with the early-2010s emo revival, their latest record, Nearer My God, is their most ambitious yet, with synth triggers and nine-minute songs aplenty. Co-headliners Now Now, meanwhile, also ditched their emo background, embracing pop on songs like “SGL.” The parody Twitter account-turned-band Daddy Issues opens for both. Douglas Markowitz

The Music of Led Zeppelin

Friday, May 10
Phoenix Symphony Hall

Led Zeppelin rode the line between bombastic rock and symphonic music; guitarist Jimmy Page would play his guitar with a violin bow onstage. If you have ever wanted to see a mirror ball spinning at Symphony Hall, here's your chance. Vocalist Randy Jackson (not the American Idol judge, dawg, but the singer from the band Zebra) will take the stage in front of a full band and the entire Phoenix Symphony for the tribute show The Music of Led Zeppelin. All your favorite tracks like “Black Dog” and “Whole Lotta Love” will be given the classical treatment. Dancing days are here again at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Tickets are $35 to $225. Jason Keil

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The Slow Poisoner is coming to The Trunk Space.
E. Francis Kohler

Slow Poisoner

Friday, May 10
The Trunk Space

Imagine P.T. Barnum, Edward Gorey, and The Cramps getting into a car accident. With their bodies mangled beyond recognition, a mad surgeon would work around the clock, sewing different body parts together until one whole being was born from that wreckage. The Slow Poisoner is that Frankenstein's monster. The one-man band based out of San Francisco is the fevered brainchild of Andrew Goldfarb, who performs all his material live with a guitar and drum.

The Slow Poisoner's songs hark back to the swampy black magic of rock 'n' roll's early years. You can hear the ghoulish delivery of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and the campy sensibilities of Universal horror classics in Goldfarb's songs, which can range topically from tuberculosis and werewolves to worms that drive hot-rod cars. He also works as a visual artist, and often sells his spooky paintings and comic books at his live shows. And true to his name, The Slow Poisoner sells tinctures and vials of other strange potions at his merch table during gigs, including his show at the Trunk Space on Friday night. Dinosaur Love, The Vooduo, and Hi My Name is Ryan will also perform. Start time is 8 p.m. and admission is $7. Ashley Naftule

Marcia Ball

Friday, May 10
Musical Instrument Museum

The Valley is about to get a little taste of the swamplands. Veteran blues crooner and musician Marcia Ball is bringing her rollicking, New Orleans-style piano jams to the MIM. Since her first solo LP, Circuit Queen, in 1978, Ball has released about 16 albums and has performed at many festivals. Her latest album, 2018’s Shine Bright, has her on the road again. It features Ball's traditional swamp rock and zydeco-flavored, very danceable songs, and is peppered with sweet, slow blues tunes in between. This weekend, she’s scheduled to perform at the MIM’s music theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. Tickets are $38.50 to $48.50. Olivia Feldman

decker. (Album Recording Show)

Friday, May 10
Last Exit Live

There’s no place on Earth quite like Arizona for Brandon Decker, which might be why he’s recording a live album here. The songwriter, who records and tours as decker., says his move to the San Francisco Bay Area last year was difficult after living in Sedona for a decade. The psychedelic folk rocker has come back to visit every once in a while for a show, but this upcoming performance on Friday, May 10, at Last Exit Live feels like a triumphant return home.

Decker feels like this is the perfect time in his career to record a live album. For one, it will be an extension of Born to Wake Up, the ambitious and deeply emotional full-length record that came out last September. Local punk-grass band The Haymarket Squares will open the evening and will also record for a future live album. The music starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Jason Keil

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Are you ready to return to Arcosanti?
Jacob Tyler Dunn

FORM Arcosanti 2019

Friday, May 10, to Sunday, May 12
Arcosanti in Cordes Junction

Festival fanatics, rejoice. FORM Arcosanti is happening from Friday, May 10, to Sunday, May 12, at the experimental desert town of Arcosanti, and it’s shaping up to be just as eclectic and impressive as ever. The biggest “get” for FORM 2019 is headliner Florence + The Machine, whose appearance at FORM will be the first date of a U.S. tour. Joining them are a mix of other big indie bands and FORM regulars, including Anderson .Paak, Kaytranada, DJ Koze, Peggy Gou, Khruangbin, and of course Skrillex.

The first FORM festival was put together in 2014 by the band Hundred Waters. While so many music festivals across the country have trended toward scaling up in audience attendance and attracting marquee names, FORM has stood out by staying small (audiences at FORM are capped at around 2,000 attendees) and putting together relatively diverse musical bills. You’ll be hard-pressed find to acts as wide-ranging as Aja Monet, Khruangbin, serpentwithfeet, Snail Mail, George Watsky, and Mary Lattimore at other Arizona festivals. Ashley Naftule

The Bash

Saturday, May 11
Margaret T. Hance Park

A new punk rock paradise is sprouting up in the desert this month and bringing more than 100 beers along with it. The Bash, a brand-new music and craft beer touring festival, is coming to Phoenix on May 11 at Margaret T. Hance Park. Headliner band Rancid will share the stage with other punk rock bands including Suicidal Tendencies, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, L7, and H2O. The Bash will also feature a mixture of local and national breweries that will offer tastings in the afternoon. Megan Marples

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Singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat.
Courtesy of Jensen Artist Management

Colbie Caillat

Saturday, May 11
Crescent Ballroom

Colbie Caillat will be the first person to tell you how lucky she is. Just a few years back, the beach bum from California enjoyed writing songs and recording them in studio as a hobby. But she never dreamed they would grow an online fan base so large that a record label would call her up. And yet that's what happened.

At the age of 21, Caillat released her first record, Coco, and subsequently went on tour with The Goo Goo Dolls. It was her first tour ever, taking her from city to city and playing for crowds of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 attendees. Before that, she'd only played about five acoustic shows in her hometown of Malibu, California, so it was quite a change of pace. Several albums — including her most recent release, 2016’s The Malibu Sessions — and a Grammy on the shelf later, she’s out on tour again and will visit Crescent Ballroom on May 11. Tiney Ricciardi

Avicii Tribute Night

Saturday, May 11
The Van Buren

It’s been a little over a year since the tragic suicide of Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, last spring — and the electronic dance music world is still grieving the loss of the Swedish-born superstar DJ/producer. And they’re paying tribute to the man and his music. During the anniversary of Bergling’s passing last month, SiriusXM and Tomorrowland Radio broadcasted on-air tributes. More recently, the Swedish Army’s high guard and music corps performed a medley of Avicii songs, including “Without You” and “Wake Me Up.”

Local DJs Brett Ortiz and Grey the Mute will offer tribute to Bergling on Saturday, May 11, during the Avicii Tribute Night at The Van Buren. The two will try to re-create the same vibe as one of his shows with sets inspired by Avicii’s mixes. Ortiz, who got a chance to open for Bergling during a Tucson show in 2012, says the superstar was a major influence. “He was a very reserved and quiet guy but [also] very humble and always had a good time,” Ortiz says. “He created tracks that really touched on your emotions. He personally impacted my career right at the peak of the EDM bubble, and [I] thought it’d be cool to remember him and try to re-create the same feeling his sets gave me.”

According to Ortiz, the night will have another goal. “I hope [we’re] able to give that to his fans and those who never saw him live,” he says. The music starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $8 in advance, and $12 at the door, and $2 from every ticket will be donated to the Crisis Text Line. Benjamin Leatherman

Songs & Stories Tour feat. Art Alexakis

Sunday, May 12
Marquee Theatre

Everclear frontman Art Alexakis seemed to be taking his cues from classic songwriters like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Jackson Browne. If 1993’s World of Noise debut album was a hint of things to come, 1995’s brilliant Sparkle & Fade was the full realization of a melodic alt-rock idea. Alexakis has the gift of taking whatever is going on in his life, no matter how dark, and turning it into a gloriously descriptive yet infectiously catchy pop-rock song. Because he injects hope and melody, Alexakis’ most difficult experiences can be hummed and foot-tapped, and that’s all by design.

He’s also a gifted storyteller in his own right, as evidenced by his participation in his current Songs and Stories Tour. Alexakis and fellow musicians like Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne, Max Collins of Eve 6, and John Wozniak of Marcy Playground perform stripped-down versions of their respective bands' biggest hits, as well as deep tracks and new songs, and share the stories behind each one. The tour rolls into Tempe’s Marquee Theatre on Sunday for an 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $31.50 to $61.50. Brett Callwood

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Lord Huron
Ian Holliday

Lord Huron

Sunday, May 12
The Van Buren

Lord Huron have always evoked change, and on their latest release, Vide Noir, they change things up in the most interesting way. The Los Angeles-based band that mixes folk with indie pop lead by Ben Schneider got their start far away from what they are now.

"I was in Michigan for a wedding and I started recording songs, originally just doing things as bedroom recordings, though we're a six-piece now. Getting to play every night with your best friends is cool, so it's nice to have my best buds with me out there," Schneider says.

The band, around since 2010, released their debut album, Lonesome Dreams, in 2012 to much success in terms of sales and chart reach. "It's impossible to predict what will work and what won't," Schneider says. "We just tour the hell outta what we make and try to make it interesting. We got lucky, and we just tried to make it as interesting as we could so people can and will pay for it. It's easy to get worried about the unknown. Today, with sales where they're at for everyone, we just tour nonstop." David Garrick

Uli Jon Roth

Sunday, May 12
Club Red in Mesa

Uli Jon Roth made a career out of combining two personal obsessions: Jimi Hendrix and western classical music. His approach has always pivoted on these two pillars, on imbuing the wide-screen compositional force of classical with the spiritual aesthetics of Hendrix. It’s on this unlikely and frankly odd ground that the guitarist carved new avenues in metal and Americana rock, first with his initial band Dawn Road, and then later with much larger acts Scorpions and Electric Sun. In addition to dozens of blues, metal, and prog rock records, Roth has written large-scale works for orchestra and in the ‘80s invented a new sort of guitar — the so-called “sky guitar” has extra strings and frets, and is capable of reaching the elevated frequencies of a violin. The guy’s done a lot. Jonathan Patrick