Waxahatchee is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 1, at Crescent Ballroom.EXPAND
Waxahatchee is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, August 1, at Crescent Ballroom.
Courtesy of Ground Control Touring

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Got a free evening this week and some money burning a hole in your pocket? If so, consider getting out of the house for an evening, weathering a possible monsoon thunderstorm, and seeing a show.

After all, there are certainly a bunch of cool concerts happening over the next several nights.

This week's lineup of live music includes gigs by punk icons The Queers, blues artist Anthony Gomez, rappers Meek Mill and You Gotti, and even John Mayer (if you're into that sort of thing).

And there are all the shows contained within our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week, like the legendary J.D. Souther’s two-night stint at the Musical Instrument Museum, the return of rock act Rooney, and a performance by indie folk project Waxahatchee.

Read on for details about each of these events or check out our online concert calendar for more.

The punks of Unsane.
The punks of Unsane.
Dan Joeright

Unsane
Monday, July 31
The Rebel Lounge

Once upon a time, MTV played music videos, and a whole generation was introduced to Unsane through "Scrape," the trio's film tribute to brutal skateboard take-downs. Forming in 1988 and taking a short break in the early aughts before reforming in 2003, the aggressive New York band was part of an influential scene – which also included Helmet and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – that brought noise to the forefront as a viable element of rock and roll. Over the last 20 years, Unsane has released 10 studio and live albums on a handful of labels like Matadoor and Ipecac, putting out its last effort, Wreck, on Alternative Tentacles in 2012. Fashion Week, Heavy Breather, and Sympathizer provide support. Bree Davies

Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia.EXPAND
Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia.
Courtesy of the MIM

Amadou & Mariam
Monday, July 31
Musical Instrument Museum

The love story between Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia is so epic that it might inspire you to update your go-to reference of idyllic romance. It’s spanned decades and resulted in seven albums of passion-filled world beat music. The duo from West Africa met at the Mali Institute for the Young Blind. Both were born with the ability to see, but each lost vision at different ages. Music was a common bond for the pair, and three years after their marriage in 1980, the duo began collaborating. Prior to that, Bagayoko played guitar in an ensemble for about six years. Soulful, poppy, and loaded with his bluesy guitar and thrilling rhythms coming from multiple instruments, the pair’s music is only made richer by the singing. The vocals blend lushness and power, and are delivered in their national language of Bambara, often mixed with other African languages, Spanish, English, and French. Both intense and smooth, the duo’s sound is lively and guaranteed to inspire motion. It’s certainly inspired a lot of praise. Over the years, Amadou and Mariam have won and been nominated for numerous awards, and have collaborated with musicians from Damon Albarn to Fat Boy Slim. Amy Young

The members of Chevelle.EXPAND
The members of Chevelle.
Christian Lantry

Chevelle
Tuesday, August 1
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Illinois-based rockers Chevelle have a clear-cut formula when it comes to making music: They keep it honest and real. They've never strayed far from their controlled chaos and somehow gentle rampage or their mix of dark magnetism and gothic pop (think early Tool meets The Cure if you haven't heard radio-dominating hits like "The Red"). Their three most recent albums – 2011's Hats Off to The Bull, 2014’s La Gárgola, and last year’s The North Corridor – sticks to the game plan. Never too flashy, the three musicians remain humble and dedicated to their sound, and it's resonated with audiences. Catch them at Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Tuesday, August 1, along with Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Lauren Wise

Crown the Empire
Crown the Empire
Danny Suede

Crown the Empire
Tuesday, August 1
Nile Theater in Mesa

Andy Leo sums his band up like this: "We're the Backstreet Boys of the metal world." It's a sort of half-joke, but the five handsome members of Crown the Empire do look a bit like what would happen if you gave a boy band some strong whiskey and a fistful of tattoo coupons. And though the band was formed in a Dallas high school, the group now finds itself doing some serious growing up. "We've learned during our live show to let the music speak for itself," Leo says. "I figured out it was silly to be a hype man screaming, 'Everybody fucking kill each other!'" Crown the Empire's third album, Retrograde, was released this year, and Leo thinks it's a prime example of 20-somethings grasping for identity. "When we started, we were 16 and our perceptions of music were narrow," he says. "We started to realize that metalcore had a bad connotation — that everyone is making the same music. We wanted to be more genuine. Fans will always be apprehensive about bands changing their sound, but so far they have been loving it." David Rolland

Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.
Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.
Courtesy of Ground Control Touring

Waxahatchee
Tuesday, August 1
Crescent Ballroom

Katie Crutchfield has the kind of voice that people notice right away. Now recording and performing as Waxahatchee – named after a creek about an hour southeast of her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama – Crutchfield's songs can be giddy, eerie, or confrontational: whatever mood suits her disarmingly frank lyrics, really. A prolific musician since her late teens, the 20-something singer-songwriter (who now lives in NYC via Philadelphia) first appeared on the indie cognoscenti's radar with Waxahatchee's second album, Cerulean Salt, which earned her a best-of-2013 nod by the mighty Pitchfork. It also made Crutchfield labelmates with the likes of Arcade Fire via Merge Records, the North Carolina indie label that earlier this year released the equally unpredictable and enjoyable Out in the Storm. Chris Gray

Read on for more cool concerts happening in Phoenix this week, including performances by J.D. Souther, T.S.O.L., and Rooney.

JD Souther.
JD Souther.
Jeremy Cowart

JD Souther
Tuesday, August 1, and Wednesday, Aug. 2
Musical Instrument Museum

The fact that many folks probably only learned about the great songwriter J.D. Souther due to his stint on the ABC prime-time drama Nashville is as unfortunate as his character's name, Watty White. His role as a revered Music Row insider on the hit show is only his second most interesting television appearance of late: In Showtime's documentary The History of The Eagles, Souther's artful contributions are well-detailed, as he's responsible for many of the wildly popular but polarizing California country-rock band's best-known hits. His work includes the driving "How Long" — the only listenable song on the Eagles' last album, The Road Out of Eden. In the early 1970s, Souther was a part of the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Along with his bandmates at the time, Chris Hillman (The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield), Souther helped define what is now known as alt-country by mixing sweet harmonies and arrangements that could waltz along or rock about. Indeed, Souther's music is what makes him worth knowing about — not the fact that he's on a show with the cheerleader from Heroes. Kelly Dearmore

Matchbox Twenty is due in town this week.EXPAND
Matchbox Twenty is due in town this week.
Cliff Watts

Matchbox Twenty & Counting Crows
Wednesday, August 2
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Matchbox Twenty will be in town on Wednesday, which means that this week is a time for you to reflect on whether, why, and how much you love America's most indestructible post-grunge band. For me those answers are yes, because they're so overproduced and they don't care, and more than I used to be willing to admit. No mid-'90s success put the "post" in "post-grunge" quite like Matchbox Twenty; two years after Kurt Cobain's death, they combined alt-rock volume and angst with '80s-rock polish, and four albums later, every song sounds like grunge recorded by Phil Ramone inside an airlock. I'm supposed to dislike that, I think, but I don't – I want to bounce a quarter off that guitar tone in "If You're Gone," and I will, and I will. Fellow radio-friendly alt-rock band Counting Crows, their current tour mates for the summer, will also perform. Dan Moore

Punk stalwarts T.S.O.L.EXPAND
Punk stalwarts T.S.O.L.
John Gilhooley

T.S.O.L.
Wednesday, August 2
Club Red in Mesa

Starting in 1980, TSOL pushed aside the art-school cadres that shaped new music in Southern California, injecting big doses of SoCal hormones into punk rock. Like Agent Orange and Social Distortion, though, they didn't succumb to the choleric "fast and lean" rules of homogenized hardcore. After imploding after just a handful of years, Grisham steered bands such as Cathedral of Tears, Tender Fury, and the Joykiller, but the reformed TSOL, who have seized the last two decades with a hard grip, have remained invigorating and promising, delivering worthy music just as punks from their own generation, like Keith Morris and Mike Watt, chiseled and honed their own late-period ruckus. Since TSOL's beginnings, Grisham could deftly balance anti-political countercultural harangues ("Abolish Government/Silent Majority") with narrative structures more reminiscent of 19th-century masters like Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker on songs like "Silent Scream." Like a poet of the macabre, he was a man of letters in a nest of shaven-haired punk vipers. Grisham aimed for the murky, allegorical, and dense, weaving the lore of literature into his own memory as a wicked outsider in the land of sun and fun. David Ensminger

Danny Kiranos (a.k.a. Amigo the Devil)
Danny Kiranos (a.k.a. Amigo the Devil)
Courtesy of The Oracle Management

Amigo the Devil
Wednesday, August 2
The Underground in Mesa

If you never met him, you might mistake Amigo the Devil for a monster. The 29-year-old murderfolk maudit's most popular song is called "Perfect Wife." With gallows humor to make Marshall Mathers wince, it details gruesome spousal abuse that escalates until the wife rifle-blasts her husband. Two other beloved anthems are "Dahmer Does Hollywood" and "The Recluse," which was originally titled "Ed Gein." The latter opens his 2013 self-released Diggers EP by loosely sketching the necrophiliac Wisconsin serial killer who once made a belt out of human nipples. Think Johnny Cash at his blackest, mixed with Father John Misty, if he exhumed graves at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. "Everyone has morbid thoughts, but there's a very large gap between having insanely sick thoughts and actually doing them," says the Miami-raised Devil, born Danny Kiranos. "But these people exist, and I'm fascinated by them. I'm sure as hell never gonna know what it feels like." We certainly hope not. Jeff Weiss

Robert Schwartzman of Rooney.
Robert Schwartzman of Rooney.
Zoey Grossman

Rooney
Wednesday, August 2
The Rebel Lounge

L.A. band Rooney is touring for the first time in six years. That hiatus was long enough to excite dedicated fans ready for some live action, and to collect some new fans who love pop-tinged rock ’n’ roll. Robert Schwartzman (vocals and guitar) founded the band in 1999, calling it Ed Rooney. Name sound familiar? It’s that pesky principal who gave mischievous Ferris Bueller a hard time in the hit ’80s teen comedy. The “Ed” part was dropped soon after. But the band progressed, doing what they could around Schwartzman’s college schedule.

In 2003, Rooney’s self-titled, first full-length was released, and catchy indie-pop meets edgy alt-rock songs like “I’m Shakin’” got under people’s skin. Rooney tunes were on commercials, and the band even made an appearance on the beachy melodrama The O.C. They spent a lot of time touring with pals like The Strokes and Weezer. These days, Schwartzman is the sole original member. And now he’s got Boaz Roberts (lead guitar), Sean Sobash (bass), Maxwell Flanders (drums), and Matthew Jordan (keys) to help him deliver their swirly brand of power pop — lightly anthemic and full of vocals sweet sounding enough to almost disguise some of the sadder lyrical content. Almost. Amy Young

Doom metal dispensers Eyehategod.EXPAND
Doom metal dispensers Eyehategod.
Dean Karr

Eyehategod
Thursday, August 3
Club Red in Mesa

Christians pray for the men of Eyehategod. Which is good, considering the Louisiana sludge giants' 26 years of hardship, disaster, and even death. They may have sold their souls on the bayou. But how else would they spawn heavy, full-bellied blues and give a pulse to stiff darkness? "We're definitely influenced by John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt, and all those blues legends," says Mike "IX" Williams. "That and industrial noise stuff that our late drummer, Joey LaCaze, and I were really into. That's where the feedback comes from." Drum and feedback-laden foreplay is a hallmark of Eyehategod's live shows. And this weekend, before any chord is struck, their amps will start buzzing, sounding an alarm heard from New Orleans' Ninth Ward all the way to Club Red in Mesa, where you can catch them tearing shit up with Capitalist Casualties, Phobia, Sorrower, and PlagueSpreader. And if you listen closely, you can almost hear Robert Johnson's hellhounds barking in the fuzz. It's safe to say Eyehategod keeps spirits alive in their doomy dissonance. Mariel Zayas-Bazan

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