Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Courtesy of Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, May 14, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Up for seeing a show this week? If so, we’ve got a few suggestions to offer – 10 of 'em, in fact, all of which are worthy of your time and money. And there are plenty of big names involved, including Ariana Grande, Santigold, Wild Belle, The Strumbellas, and Skinny Lister.

This week’s concert offerings also include gigs by doom metal act OM, indie pop act The Japanese House, Latin roots ensemble Combo Chimbita, and punk legends The Exploited. Local hip-hop shop Trill will also stage a two-night celebration in honor of its move to a newer, bigger spot.

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

click to enlarge Indie band The Strumbellas. - COURTESY OF SIX SHOOTER RECORDS
Indie band The Strumbellas.
Courtesy of Six Shooter Records

The Strumbellas

Monday, May 13
Crescent Ballroom

The Strumbellas bridge the gap between scrappy folk and catchy pop. Thanks to frontman Simon Ward's soaring vocal delivery that's at times syrupy sweet and other times raspy and raw, the Canadian sextet's brand of catchy pastoral pop delivers emotionally charged singalong songs sure to make audiences toe-tap, air guitar, and table-drum along. The Strumbellas released a fourth studio album, Rattlesnake, in late March. They’ll be at Crescent Ballroom on Monday night. The show starts at 8 p.m. and The Moth and The Flame will open. Tickets are $20 to $40. Diamond Rodrigue

click to enlarge British folk band Skinny Lister. - DAVID EDWARDS
British folk band Skinny Lister.
David Edwards

Skinny Lister

Monday, May 13
The Rebel Lounge

At first glance, the name Skinny Lister may evoke the image of an underweight nerd who's been taunted by his classmates. In reality, though, it's one of those clever band names that leaves a somewhat amorphous impression.

In truth, the Lister family were actually innovators in the field of anesthetics, but according to singer/ukulele player Lorna Thomas, their Skinny Lister was a boy that guitarist Dan Hepinstall went to school with. "We have no idea if he is still skinny, but we will hopefully get a chance to reunite with him one day in the future," Thomas muses. "Hopefully he doesn't mind us nicking his nickname!"

If by some chance he happened to hear Forge and Flagon, the debut album from his namesake combo, he'd probably be flattered. A stirring combination of edge, angst, and insurgent attitude, all instilled with a genuine folk flourish, the album provides an ideal snapshot for the band, as do follow-ups like 2014's Down on Deptford Broadway and 2016's The Devil, The Heart, and the Fight, as well as their recently released effort The Story Is…, which dropped in March. Catch them on Monday night at The Rebel Lounge. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $16 to $18. Lee Zimmerman

click to enlarge Elliot and Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle. - COURTESY OF PARADIGM TALENT AGENCY
Elliot and Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle.
Courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency

Wild Belle

Tuesday, May 14
Valley Bar

Putting "Wild" as the first word in your band's name sounds like a gag from Portlandia, but Wild Belle avoid making themselves a cliche in any other way. Their psychedelic pop settles into funk and almost reggae grooves, staying far away from the straight rhythms of indie rock or the lithium-fueled bouncing of indie pop. Wild Belle's music slides through your inner ear, bending and oscillating around you in unexpected turns. Their Valley Bar performance on Tuesday starts at 8 p.m. Terri Terri will open. Tickets are $15. Matt Wood

click to enlarge Santigold is touring to celebrate her debut LP's 10th birthday. - CRAIG WETHERBY
Santigold is touring to celebrate her debut LP's 10th birthday.
Craig Wetherby


Tuesday, May 14
The Van Buren

Not all album tours are created equal. Some artists choose to tour a particular milestone of career success in their discography. Others tour longtime fan favorites in hopes of creating a new experience in the narrower focus. But this month, as Santi White, better known as Santigold, embarks on the 10 Years Gold Tour, she’s celebrating much more than success or fandom alone. She’s celebrating an indie rock movement that started with her debut LP, Santogold, and hasn’t let up since.

Santigold made her solo debut to the world with “Creator”, a ferocious dance track that sounds infinitely more at home in the present day than it did in early 2008. Here, White threw hip-hop, dub, electronica, and indie pop into a blender and made a track that would inspire years of head-scratching emulation. While her peers leaned comfortably into '80s dance influences, here was an artist going beyond the trend and into entirely new territory.

Beginning to end, Santogold is a stylistic tour de force that somehow feels continuous despite White and her team throwing so much into the pot. There are Pixies and Blondie moments alongside futuristic dance music that felt entirely new, independent of any nod or tribute. “I’ve been lucky all through my entire career to find these people to work with who are just versed as I am to walk from Siouxsie to Bone Thugs,” White says, “any style of music we can jump around to ... to just play off this wide array of sounds so fluidly.” Santigold will be at The Van Buren on Wednesday evening. The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $36 to $40. Gerrit Feenstra

click to enlarge Latin roots ensemble Combo Chimbita. - COURTESY OF ANTI- RECORDS
Latin roots ensemble Combo Chimbita.
Courtesy of ANTI- Records

Combo Chimbita

Tuesday, May 14
The Rebel Lounge

“Frio Severo” is a song you could, and should, lose your head to. It’s a carnival of eclectic sounds and rhythms that exemplifies why people often call music hypnotic. Its power is tripled when Carolina Oliveros starts singing. Part of Combo Chimbita’s magic is their ability to pull you inside the song. As that aforementioned track continues, you go where it leads. It’s a parade you hope won’t end too soon. This New York band’s sound comes from a fusion of African, Latin American, and Caribbean styles. The band refer to their music as “tropical futurism,” and that’s accurate. Diverse rhythms and funky beats are the heartbeat for the sometimes-breezy, other times psychedelic and experimental melodies that sweep through their tunes. Catch them at The Rebel Lounge on Tuesday. Vox Urbana and Djentrification will open. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $11 in advance, $13 at the door. Amy Young