Things to Do

The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in June 2019

Jim Louvau
Paul McCartney is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, June 26, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Despite the fact that summer is upon us, the Valley’s concert scene is anything but dead. Big shows will be happening throughout the month of June at music venues across the metro Phoenix area.

The biggest, of course, is Paul McCartney’s much-anticipated gig at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. While the show is sold out, anyone with an excess of disposable income can find tickets through the secondary market. McCartney doesn’t visit the Valley all that often, so shelling out some major cash to see the Beatle will definitely be worth it.

Other worthwhile shows happening around the Valley in June include gigs by J-Lo, Santana, Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Offspring, Khalid, Luke Bryan, Coheed and Cambria, Todd Rundgren, and Snow Tha Product.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the Valley’s best concerts in June 2019. For even more live music happening around town, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.


click to enlarge Adrienne Davies (left) and Dylan Carlson (right) of Earth. - HOLLY CARLSON
Adrienne Davies (left) and Dylan Carlson (right) of Earth.
Holly Carlson

Earth

Saturday, June 1
The Rebel Lounge


There’s something about drone metal that gives it an odd appeal outside the usual genre fandom. There’s just something relaxing and meditative about being pummeled by walls of distortion, and Olympia, Washington, band Earth — one-time members of the Sub Pop roster — are the perfect practitioners of the unique discipline. Regarded as one of the genre’s pioneers, their album Earth 2 set the stage for bands like Sunn O))) and Jesu to push the form further. They’ll play The Rebel Lounge on June 1 with Helms Alee. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge File Xiu Xiu somewhere in between Wolf Eyes and Tracy Chapman. - JOAN CHEN
File Xiu Xiu somewhere in between Wolf Eyes and Tracy Chapman.
Joan Chen

Xiu Xiu

Sunday, June 2
Valley Bar


There are some artists whose style is predictable and comfortable enough that you can predict what they're going to do next. Jamie Stewart isn't one of those artists.

The creative force behind Xiu Xiu, Stewart has been confounding and exceeding audiences' expectations since dropping Knife Play in 2002. He's one of modern music's most distinctive vocalists, switching effortlessly from tremulous croons to blood-chilling shrieks. His voice is both a sob and an open wound; few singers can sound as vulnerable and threatening as Stewart can.

The music he makes reflects those Jekyll-and-Hyde vocals. Xiu Xiu albums can be hauntingly beautiful or eardrum-puncturing. And sometimes they're both at the same time. A decoder ring to understanding Xiu Xiu's sound can be found in the band's 2016 cover album of Twin Peaks songs. No band is better suited to reinterpreting Angelo Badalamenti's compositions, because like Twin Peaks creator David Lynch, Xiu Xiu understands how to create transcendent work by mixing beauty and horror. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Japanese instrumental/post-rock band Mono. - CHIGI KANBE
Japanese instrumental/post-rock band Mono.
Chigi Kanbe

Mono

Sunday, June 2
The Rebel Lounge


Over the last two decades, Japanese band Mono have straddled a fine line between the beautiful noise-filled shoegaze of bands like Mogwai and the gloriously heavy dirge more commonly associated with a band like the Melvins, while not outright subscribing to either. Mono's ability to turn on a dime from introspective melodrama to waves of menacing noise guitars takes what in lesser hands could be a clash of indie clichés, and instead creates music that is as inspired as it is unique. Mono return to the Valley in support of their 16th long player, Nowhere Now Here, an album that does not break their formula but finds the band refining their sound through peaks and valleys of loud guitars and occasional subtle string arrangements. Wanz Dover

click to enlarge After three decades, The Specials return with a brand-new album. - JOSH CHEUSE
After three decades, The Specials return with a brand-new album.
Josh Cheuse

The Specials

Monday, June 3
The Van Buren


Any old band can do a reunion tour. But when Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, and Horace Panter — three original members of legendary U.K. second-wave ska band The Specials — decided to get back together, they wanted more. Heading back into the studio in 2018, they decided to take a stand against playing the greatest hits.

Although the trio hadn’t released an album together since 1980, they still have much to say about the state of England, race, their personal lives, and more, and they wanted to say it with flair and originality. And it seems that people wanted to hear what they had to say: The resulting album, Encore, went straight to No. 1 on the U.K. album charts, something the band had never accomplished before.

Thirty-five years after their original bow, this new, yet old version of The Specials is surfing on a new wave of recognition. They may not have all their former members with them, but they’ve sold out 40 out of 72 shows on their current tour, which comes to The Van Buren on June 3 — and they’re not just playing the hits. Mark C. Horn

click to enlarge Snow Tha Product - MIGUEL MADRID
Snow Tha Product
Miguel Madrid

Snow Tha Product

Friday, June 7
The Pressroom


Despite the success of artists like Cardi B, female rappers are still rare in the current hip-hop landscape, and LGBT ones even rarer. But times are changing, which we hope means talents like Snow Tha Product will finally see more success. Born Claudia Feliciano, Snow was a social work student before she began to pursue music in the late 2000s. She’s known for her rapid-fire rapping style and for performing in both English and Spanish. Recent projects include the mixtape Vibe Higher, a role on the USA Network show Queen of the South, and a spot on The Hamilton Mixtape. Smeared Lipstick Crew will join her at The Pressroom. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Rap artist Rich the Kid. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Rap artist Rich the Kid.
Benjamin Leatherman

Rich the Kid

Saturday, June 8
The Van Buren


The man is rich, yet still a kid at heart. From challenging other rappers and local skaters to a game of S.K.A.T.E. to being the CEO of his Rich Forever Music label, Rich the Kid does it all. Being in control of business is something the Queens-born rapper takes to heart, hence the title of last year’s The World Is Yours and this year’s follow-up The World Is Yours 2. After a having a big year in 2018, including the major successes of singles “New Freezer” and “Plug Walk," his 2019 is off to a great start with the release of tracks like “4 Phones” and “Tic Toc.” He’ll be at The Van Buren on June 8 with support from NLE Choppa, Yung Bino, and 83 Babies. Julio Lugo

Black Sabbitch in concert. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
Black Sabbitch in concert.
Timothy Norris

Black Sabbitch

Sunday, June 9
Last Exit Live


The members of Black Sabbitch play the songs of Black Sabbath and play ‘em with aplomb. They shred ‘em, in fact, and are not only talented — nailing every note of the legendary group's familiar repertoire — but are captivating to an almost distracting level. They emanated the effortless cool of rock ‘n’ roll, but with about 10 extra ounces of sexy confidence that may even cause the female metalheads in attendance at Black Sabbitch’s gig at Last Exit Life on June 9 to pick up a bass and start their own heavy metal tribute band with their girlfriends. For fans of Sabbath — and women who rock hard — this is not one to miss. Artemis Thomas-Hansard

click to enlarge Lou Barlow of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. - RACHEL ENNEKING
Lou Barlow of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr.
Rachel Enneking

Sebadoh

Sunday, June 9
Valley Bar


Sebadoh started as a kind of solo recording project of Lou Barlow toward the end of his tenure with Dinosaur Jr. in the late '80s. Upon his departure from Dino in 1989, Barlow focused on his songwriting with Sebadoh, and his recording aesthetic became synonymous with "lo-fi" of the 1990s, alongside artists like Pavement.

A prolific songwriter, Barlow and his bandmates wrote some of the most emotionally poignant rock music of the '90s, and the sonic quality of his recordings influenced a new generation of musicians striving for recordings that contain the intimacy, immediacy and imperfection of being in the same room with music as its being performed. Sebadoh's later recordings (including 2013’s Defend Yourself, its most recent LP) became more sonically vivid but the raw quality of the songwriting remained undiminished. Tom Murphy

click to enlarge Dexter Holland of The Offspring. - MELISSA FOSSUM
Dexter Holland of The Offspring.
Melissa Fossum

The Offspring

Monday, June 10
Marquee Theatre in Tempe


When The Offspring's Dexter Holland sang “Why don’t you get a job” back in 1998, he probably didn't realize that a 9-to-5 wouldn't be part of his future. But 20 years later, it's clear that the band helped revive mainstream interest in punk rock alongside acts like Rancid, Green Day, and NOFX. The Offspring went on to sell more than 40 million albums, ultimately becoming one of the most commercially viable punk rock bands of all time.

Much beloved for their 1994 album Smash, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the band finally attracted major-label interest that same year, as did Green Day's Dookie. The Offspring went on to reach multiplatinum and gold success from 1997 to 2003 with their next four studio albums.

Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman, and drummer Pete Parada, they've inspired a number of musicians, from heavy metal act Trivium to British synthpop group Cuban Boys. And while their music has resonated with listeners for decades on a comedic, cultural, and nostalgic level, the band aren't about to stop creating. Lauren Wise


My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

Tuesday, June 11
Club Red in Mesa


When Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy started My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (or TKK for short) back in the late '80s, it was hard to imagine them still going strong all these years later. Their disorienting industrial sleaze rock was hardly in vogue with the nouveau pop or hair metal sounds that then dominated the airwaves. Furthermore, their sporadic shock-value antics involving satirical riffs, quasi-satanic rituals and lots of sexual innuendo hardly screamed staying power. However, here they are as sprightly bound and charismatic as ever in 2019. Out touring on both an extended 30-year anniversary run and in support of their latest album, House of Strange Affairs, the band will bring their thunderous rock and raucous antics to the stage of Club Red in Mesa on June 11. Expect a room full of die-hard fans to offer their allegiance and pay homage to a veteran band of misfits who have more than earned the adulation. Jeff Strowe

click to enlarge Aly Michalka (left) and AJ Michalka (right). - STEPHEN RINGER
Aly Michalka (left) and AJ Michalka (right).
Stephen Ringer

Aly and AJ

Tuesday, June 11
The Van Buren


Sisters Aly and AJ Michalka have been making magic for more than a decade. Most know the siblings from their Disney Channel debut in 2006. Their original movie, Cow Belles, allowed viewers to fall in love with AJ as Courtney Callum and Aly as Taylor Callum. From there, AJ appeared on Six Feet Under, General Hospital, and The Guardian, while Aly had roles in Easy A, The Roommate, and Hellcats. Though their acting careers have fluctuated, one thing has remained constant: their music.

The two pop stars grew up loving music. Born in Torrance, California, they were raised by Christian parents. Their mother, Carrie, is a musician and performed with the Christian rock group JC Band. The sisters have been playing guitar and piano since childhood. Their music duo, Aly & AJ, was formed in 2004. “Do You Believe in Magic” quickly became a single stuck in every little sister’s head thanks to the constant video airtime on the Disney Channel. The 2005 song skyrocketed to No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Singles, while its album, Into the Rush, sold more than 800,000 copies in the States and 1 million worldwide.

The magic has stuck with them throughout their music career. From their holiday album, Acoustic Hearts of Winter, to their third album, Insomniac, the duo continued to push the pop agenda. “Potential Breakup Song,” their second smash, charted on Billboard's Top 20 Hit Singles, giving young girls everywhere another chance to sing off-key. Although Aly & AJ left their label, Hollywood Records, and briefly changed their group name to 78violet, they continued doing what they loved most: music. Cristina Jerome


Johnnyswim

Thursday, June 13
The Van Buren


This Nashville duo have created a sound that's part soul, part blues, and part folk. Johnnyswim's ability to sync up is no coincidence — the duo have been married since 2009, but that hasn't put a single bump in their pursuit of harmonized, soulful music. Shared vocal duties and a strong sense of driving rhythm and melody make their songs infectious and catchy. Matt Wood

click to enlarge Justin Warfield (left) and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge. - NEXT BIG THING PR
Justin Warfield (left) and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge.
Next Big Thing PR

She Wants Revenge

Thursday, June 13
Crescent Ballroom


Life often serves up some unexpected twists, some of which wind up being positive. Just ask Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge. In 2016, American Horror Story, which starred noted SWR fan Lady Gaga, used the band's breakout hit "Tear You Apart" in an alluringly disturbing scene involving a vampire orgy.

Fans of both the show and She Wants Revenge went gaga (if you'll pardon the pun) over the scene, and it sparked renewed interest in the post-punk/darkwave band, which had been on a lengthy hiatus for several years following their third full-length album, Valleyheart.

After a one-off reunion show in L.A. a few months later, Warfield and Braven decided to hit the road again and have been filling venues across the country with their gothy and synth-y stylings that still seem fresh after more than a decade. Later this month, they’ll come to Crescent Ballroom for a performance, which is likely to include hits like “Tear You Apart,” “These Things,” "Written in Blood," and "Maybe She's Right." Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Country star Luke Bryan. - AARON THACKERAY
Country star Luke Bryan.
Aaron Thackeray

Luke Bryan

Thursday, June 13
Ak-Chin Pavilion


Luke Bryan is considered the King of Bro Country, a title he seems to embrace while also hoping to be treated as a serious artist. Count all the lyrical references to alcohol, trucks, gurrls (not just girls), rural settings, and catfish you like. Thing is, the thousands of people who will come to Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 13 want to have a good time, pure and simple.

This three-act blockbuster show is what country music sold to a mass audience looks like these days, but it gets some real credibility from openers like Cole Swindell and Jon Langston. Most mainstream country music is for people who grew up on Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Tim McGraw, and Def Leppard, and weren’t afraid of hip-hop, either. Plus, it’s family entertainment. As easily mocked as the bro country genre is, it sure isn’t losing any steam by snark from those who don’t get it. Eric Grubbs