The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Courtesy of Photo Finish Records
MisterWives is scheduled to perform on Friday, September 29, at The Van Buren.
Got any big plans for the weekend? We hope so, considering there’s plenty going on.

That includes a variety of fantastic concerts and live music events happening at venues of both big and small throughout the Valley.

Highlights of this weekend include performances by notable indie acts like !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and MisterWives, a gig by up-and-coming blues-rock star Benjamin Booker, and local punk act JJCnV celebrating the release of their latest album.

Plus, partymeister extraordinaire Andrew W.K. is coming to town for what we expect will be a memorable show.

Details about each all of these events can be found in the following rundown of the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. (And for even more shows, be sure to check our extensive online music listings.)

click to enlarge EDM artist Claptone. - COURTESY OF JACKMODE MANAGEMENT
EDM artist Claptone.
Courtesy of Jackmode Management
Friday, September 29
Shady Park in Tempe

Claptone isn’t a person – he’s an idea. Like many influential electronic dance music acts before him (most obviously, Daft Punk), Claptone wears a mask. His has a long golden beak, and his persona is meant to give a surreal sense of medieval wanderings. Claptone is the creature. His music is anything but a roar, though.

Dreamy and unobtainable, his melodies float in and out of existence, changing and evolving throughout individual tracks. He’s got ambient sound down to a science, and he laces it with pointed grooves you’d never expect.

This weekend, Claptone visits Shady Park in Tempe and will likely light up the night at the indoor/outdoor venue with his sounds. Sarah Purkrabek

click to enlarge Chk Chk Chk, or !!!, if you must. - EREZ AVISSAR
Chk Chk Chk, or !!!, if you must.
Erez Avissar
!!! (Chk Chk Chk)
Friday, September 29
Crescent Ballroom

“Dancing Is the Best Revenge,” proclaim !!! (usually pronounced Chk Chk Chk) on the band’s latest album, Shake the Shudder. If anyone would know that for certain, it’s this New York-based outfit.

In 2003, the band made a splash with the single “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story),” a dance-rock jam that also served as a slam against NYC’s cabaret laws. When their full-length Louden Up Now hit a year later, they included “Pardon My Freedom,” a protest of Bush-era conservatism made for the dance floor.

With Shake the Shudder, released in May, they keep up the beat as much as the commentary, particular on the incredibly funky “Five Companies” (“Five companies, running everything I see around me”). No doubt, we need !!! as much now as we did in the early years of the 21st century. Liz Ohanesian

Melina Duterte, better known as Jay Som. - CARA ROBINS
Melina Duterte, better known as Jay Som.
Cara Robins
Jay Som
Friday, September 29
Valley Bar

When a musician says she recorded an album in her bedroom, you probably imagine plaintive acoustic songs or hushed lo-fi efforts. The kind of music that breathes softly in your ear.

Jay Som’s Melina Duterte records all her work alone in her bedroom. But her albums aren’t whispy and balladeering. They’re a dizzying swirl of genres. Duterte can switch effortlessly from warped guitar sounds and feedback-laced shoegaze in songs like “1 Billion Dogs” and “(BedHead).” But she also has sweet, slinking funk at her disposal, as evidenced on “One More Time, Please” and “Baybee” (whose wonderful music video features Duterte having a dance party inside a ski gondola). This is bedroom pop as heavily influenced by ethereal 4AD records as it is by grand orchestral pop music.

What ties all these sounds together is Duterte’s compelling voice. She sounds fragile and introverted, which makes a compelling contrast with the grandeur of her music. Her lyrics dig deep into the compromises that keep relationships alive, and they explore the self-sacrifice and patience needed to keep a good thing going. It’s music made by someone who sounds wise beyond their 20-something years. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge MisterWives - COURTESY OF PHOTO FINISH RECORDS
Courtesy of Photo Finish Records
Friday, September 29
The Van Buren

In a music culture where the single most respected musician on the planet might well be Beyoncé, pop sensibilities are valuable currency. These are exciting times to be a fan of a well-crafted hook and an indelible melody, even if the majority of bands trying to create those things can’t manage anything truly worthwhile.

That’s because we occasionally wind up with a band like New York’s MisterWives: a trio equally capable of bombast and precision, one that earns its clap-along choruses with inventive, soul-inflected grooves and unexpected rhythms.

The act released their EP Reflections in early 2014 to hype from many a media outlet, and have followed up with performances around the country. Their latest album, Connect the Dots, dropped in May to plenty of fanfare. Kiernan Maletsky

click to enlarge Blues-rock guitarist Benjamin Booker. - JAMIE LEWIS
Blues-rock guitarist Benjamin Booker.
Jamie Lewis
Benjamin Booker
Saturday, September 30
Crescent Ballroom

Presumably born out of a velvety haze of smoke, grit and Southern charm comes 20-something Benjamin Booker. The NOLA-based blues-rocker has been charming the socks off of everyone from Alabama Shakes producer Andrija Tokic to Jack White; he even opened for White on the Lazaretto tour a few years ago.

Booker's music is the type of hip-shaking rock 'n' roll that mother's used to warn their children about. His voice is timeless, too, much like local soul phenom Leon Bridges and at 25 it just seems to be getting better with age. With all the hype surrounding this emerging artist, Booker’s show at the Crescent Ballroom this weekend is you definitely don't want to miss. She Keeps Bees opens. Molly Mollotova