Things to Do

Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: Babytron, The 502s, Bush

Babytron is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 2, at The Rebel Lounge.
Belton Media
Babytron is scheduled to perform on Thursday, February 2, at The Rebel Lounge.
Got some extra cash available? You’ll definitely need it to get into two of metro Phoenix’s hottest shows this week. Rappers BabyTron and GloRilla both have sold-out gigs at local music venues on Thursday evening, and tickets are only available through resellers for a hefty price. If you’d prefer to see a concert over the next few nights without hitting the secondary market, alt-rock legends Bush, pop-punkers New Found Glory, and indie-folk act The 502s are also scheduled to perform this week.

More details about each of these shows are available below. Check out Phoenix New Times' concert listings for more live music happening around town from Monday, January 30, to Thursday, February 2.

The 502s

Tuesday, January 31
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
Full of bright horn licks, energetic banjo strumming, and Ed Isola’s earnest vocals, “Justa Little While” epitomizes the vibe of The 502s. This is upbeat indie-folk — Americana for a day at the beach or a walk in the park with your sweetie. Since 2016, The 502s have been refining this folk-pop sound, placing themselves on a continuum with acts like Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They’ve got the booming stomps and gang vocals you come to expect from modern folk rock, but with a sugary melodicism that sets them apart. Isola got his start writing songs in college with a borrowed banjo before recruiting his cousins back home to start a band. The newly formed 502s quickly made a name for themselves by winning music contests, playing folk music festivals, and getting their song “Olivia” on NPR. Their sound’s grown over time, incorporating more horns and pianos. It might feel old-timey, but their laidback attitude and good-times mentality makes them spiritual cousins of bands like Sublime. They’re a group that folk aficionados, jam-band lovers, and college stoners can all agree on. With Oliver Hazard; 8 p.m., $20-$69 via Ashley Naftule
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Local band Spicy Mayo.
Jennifer Goldberg

My Lizard-Alien Dad Premiere Event

Wednesday, February 1
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road
If a cartoon about a lizard alien who feeds off human suffering being forced to foster a spunky human orphan sounds like a concept you can get behind, be sure to clear your calendar on Wednesday night. A teaser trailer for My Lizard-Alien Dad, the locally produced animated TV show created by Phoenix-based writer Jeff Kronenfeld, will premiere at The Rebel Lounge on Wednesday with some support from members of the Valley’s music scene. Local bands Hieroglyph, Spicy Mayo, Dos Besos, and A Casual Divorce will perform during the event, which will also include a variety of skits and in-person interviews with Kronenfeld and others involved with the creation of the show. 7 p.m., $12/$15 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Radio-friendly alt-rockers Bush are due in town this week.
Thomas Rabsch


Wednesday, February 1
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street
The post-Cobain era of alternative rock was very kind to Gavin Rossdale and his band, Bush. The rock act’s multiplatinum debut record, Sixteen Stone, thrust them into the mainstream and made Rossdale the crush of 16-year-old girls everywhere. And why not, considering he played the role of handsome-but-sensitive rock star very well? But let's face it, Bush happened to be in the right place at the right time. While they never equaled the commercial success of Sixteen Stone, they formed more of their own musical identity on 1999's The Science of Things before calling it quits after 2001's Golden State. After an eight-year hiatus, Rossdale reformed the band and was forced to replace original guitarist Nigel Pulsford and bassist Dave Parsons, as both declined his invitation for a reunion. These days, the band are riding the success of their recently released ninth album, The Art of Survival, which features the hit single “More Than Machines,” and are due in downtown Phoenix this week. With Starcrawler; 8 p.m., $49.50 via Jim Louvau


Thursday, February 2
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road
You don’t have to be a Zoomer to truly enjoy BabyTron, but it definitely helps. The Michigan-born rapper’s lyrical flows offer a stream of deep-cut riffs on basketball, wrestling, Minecraft, memes, and SpongeBob mixed in with references to scam culture. “You gotta do your research to listen to BabyTron,” he told Genius last year. Unsurprisingly, his tracks have gone over big on Reddit and even bigger on Spotify. Babytron’s tracks have earned praise from both music critics (Rolling Stone and Pitchfork have both dug his music) and rappers alike (his latest album, Bin Reaper 3: New Testament, boasts features from Lil Yachty, Babyface Ray, and Rico Nasty). Over the last few years, he’s gone from occupying the fringes of Detroit’s hip-hop scene as a member of his trio ShittyBoyz to breaking through to rap stardom. Mark our words: The next time BabyTron rolls through town, he’ll be playing venues much larger than The Rebel Lounge. 7 p.m., tickets are available on the secondary market. Benjamin Leatherman
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New Found Glory have dialed things back a bit with their latest album.
Steve Lowenstein

New Found Glory

Thursday, February 2
Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street
New Found Glory are survivors. While many of their pop-punk contemporaries from the late ‘90s have gone on hiatus or gone defunct, the South Florida foursome have endured lineup changes and the fickle whims of the music industry, releasing a dozen full-length albums filled with catchy tunes since their debut in 1997. After going all out for more than 25 years, NFG has dialed things back a bit due to guitarist and songwriter Chad Gilbert’s recent battle with a rare form of cancer. Their latest record, the recently released Make The Most of It, reflects this change. The acoustic album allowed the band to take an introspective look at their career as a band, as it features seven new songs and an equal number of classic tracks from their catalog (including "Hit or Miss," "My Friends Over You," and "All Downhill from Here”). New Found Glory returns to the Valley this week for an intimate performance at Celebrity Theatre in support of the release. With Leanna Firestone; 8:30 p.m., $36.50 via Benjamin Leatherman


Thursday, February 2
The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa
GloRilla’s career is headed into the rap stratosphere. Since debuting in 2016, the Memphis-born artist has been on the rise with her mix of crunk and trap. After releasing her mixtape Most Likely Up Next in 2019 and the P Status EP the following year, GloRilla’s breakthrough came with last year’s hit single, “F.N.F. (Let’s Go).” It’s scored 25 million listens on Spotify, led to a viral dance challenge on TikTok, and nabbed her a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance. (LL Cool J even dubbed it the song of last summer.) Her followup track, “Tomorrow 2,” a collaboration with Cardi B, hit No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and her debut EP, Anyways, Life's Great …, dropped in November. This week, she’s set to play [checks notes] Mesa’s Nile Theater, a venue more known for hosting heshers than red-hot hip-hop artists. 8 p.m., tickets are available on the secondary market. Benjamin Leatherman