25 Must-See Phoenix Concerts in April

Categories: Show Preview

Lana Del Rey - Tuesday, April 15 - Comerica Theatre

Don't hate Lana Del Rey because she's beautiful. The American singer formerly known as Lizzy Grant may seem to have it all -- she has drop-dead good looks, appeared on Saturday Night Live, is a heartthrob for indie boys everywhere, and released a lavishly lush breakthrough major-label album, Born to Die -- but it's as if the fates want to punish her for all of her recent fortune.

The album's title reveals that there's a lot more going on with Del Rey than simple, escapist mainstream pop, and a river of sadness runs inexorably through tragic-romantic tunes like "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans." The Lake Placid, New York, native exudes plenty of natural star power, but haters like Juliette Lewis (of all people) have dissed Del Rey for not commanding the stage with enough authority in her live appearances. We suspect they'll be eating their words, and eating from her hands, long before her career is over. -- Falling James


Foster the People - Tuesday, April 15 - Marquee Theatre

More than just a band whose vinyl is sold en masse at Urban Outfitters, Foster the People should have stayed on the collective radar for having released one of the best pop records of the past 10 years. Torches, the L.A.-based band's 2011 release, did ride high on the commercial success of "Pumped Up Kicks," a song title that still causes people to either whistle that earworm of a hook or cringe in remembrance of its overplaying, but the record rode on so much more than just that single.

Torches, the singles it generated included, proved to be a nuanced work and a massive vehicle for Mark Foster's hooks. His past as a jingle writer shows in spades as virtually every song on the record has a hummable element to it, built around layered pop structures. As a whole, it was critically acclaimed, landing Grammy nominations and legendary endorsements like Elton John. -- KC Libman


Neutral Milk Hotel - Tuesday, April 15 - Crescent Ballroom

Though they existed more than 20 years apart, the Modern Lovers share a similar career trajectory with Neutral Milk Hotel, which visits Crescent for two sold-out shows (a portion of the proceeds will benefit the charity Children of the Blue Sky). NMH's tour set lists contain selections from the band's legendary 1998 album, In an Aeroplane Over the Sea. Much like the Modern Lovers' 1976 self-titled debut album, Aeroplane was met with neither acclaim nor large sales. Neutral Milk Hotel's hectic 1998 touring schedule to promote the album, a lo-fi psychedelic take on the story of Anne Frank, took its toll on the band's leader, Jeff Mangum, and it went on indefinite hiatus.

In the ensuing two decades, Mangum would show up infrequently to play with other musicians, including Elf Power (which is joining NMH on its reunion tour). Aeroplane's popularity (the 2008 reissue was the top-selling vinyl album that year) grew as musicians cited it as an influence. The Decemberists, with their unique cover art and dream-like tales of butchers and crane wives, are an obvious example. Franz Ferdinand's Bob Hardy once said, "When I first started driving, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was the only cassette I had in my Ford Fiesta for two years. It is amazing. Friendships can be gauged on the mutual love of Neutral Milk Hotel." -- Jason Keil

Location Info

Map

Comerica Theatre

400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Rhythm Room

1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Musical Instrument Museum Music Theater

4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Mesa Arts Center

1 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: General

The Pressroom

441 W. Madison St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

The Monarch Theatre

122 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Pub Rock

8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Ovations Live! Showroom at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ

Category: General

Big Surf Waterpark

1500 N. Mcclintock Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
Ryan Gielow
Ryan Gielow

way to start it out with a concert that has already passed...

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

Not Lorde. She is Boring with a capital B.

emmettsfitbods
emmettsfitbods

How could you not list Rodger Hodgson of S

upertramp/April 25th @ Wild Horse Casino.....

Albert J. Filice
Albert J. Filice

How can you forget the PSB, Phoenix New Times? Totally uncool. Most of the bands are shit, and not "must see".

Jon Crowley
Jon Crowley

Clinton has sported the multi-colored hair in ages, you dumb twits.

Morgan Gorby
Morgan Gorby

Please don't remind me. Im super bummed I missed out on tickets to a few of these shows.

Jared Slaff
Jared Slaff

Still wish I could see Pet Shop Boys, they were what really started my love for music in general with West End Girls when it came out.. *sigh*

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