6 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix this Weekend

Categories: This Weekend

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Jesika von Rabit

Instead of bitching about the weather, like we usually do here, let's instead think of reasons why 113-degree temperatures are actually good. After all, if you live in Phoenix during the summer, the world is your sauna, am I right? And to think some folks like to be indoors when they need to have a good sweat. Suckers. And why use your stupid oven to bake cookies when you can just put a baking sheet on your dashboard? And where would the window tinting and black-out curtain industries be without Phoenix summers, I ask you? Nowhere, that's where.

So be thankful for the heat, as it is the source of luxury, food, and commerce.

Most of these concerts take place in venues with air conditioning and cold beer. So check these out, browse our comprehensive concert listings if you would like to see more options, and stay hydrated, Phoenix.

Boris - Friday, July 24 - Crescent Ballroom

Japanese metal occupies a unique place on the musical landscape. Typically loud and abrasive -- and often unrestrained -- the genre has a cult-ish following in the United States. Yet, if any band stands to reach out to a wider audience, it's Boris.

This three-piece, if anything, is more experimental and prog-oriented, burying catchy rhythms beneath a seething froth of noisy guitars, propulsive drums, and heart-beat-skipping bass lines. In many places, Boris' music, to the untrained American ear, sounds as though it could be any number of metal-like genres. The band members, however, simply consider their brand of music "heavy."

"Being 'heavy' makes what we are, I think," says drummer Atsuo in an e-mail. "But we are 'heavy' in a different way from heavy metal."

"We never called ourselves a metal band," bassist Takeshi adds. "I find it interesting we are often called metal in Europe and the States. Metal music in the West is much broader in reach and more avant-garde than in Japan."

Perhaps the band's constant intensity -- even in the quietest moments -- imparts that heavy feeling. Sure, the band offers plenty of metal-like moments, from scorching guitar leads to thundering rhythmic romps and screamo vocals. But heavy only touches the surface of Boris' varied sound, which also includes gentle, spaced-out interludes and power pop anthems. If anything, the band has more in common with Iron Butterfly than Iron Maiden. --Glenn BurnSilver

Tori Amos - Friday, July 25 - Mesa Arts Center

There's that saying "the more things change the more things stay the same." In the 22 years since Tori Amos released her debut album, Little Earthquakes, the world has changed dramatically, but the singer has stayed remarkably true to herself. Of the topical and occasionally confrontational nature of her music, she says, "I think at different times, the songs have chosen to grab issues that are out there. It isn't always like that."

In what many consider her commercial peak in the 1990s, she was known for her activism, wildly visual music videos, and theatric singles, which dealt with themes regarding feminism, sexuality, and religion. Her first single, "Me and a Gun," dramatically recounted her getting sexually assaulted after a show in Los Angeles when she was 21 years old. "Cornflake Girl" was inspired by a novel about an African woman undergoing genital mutilation. Amos defiantly asks the Heavenly Father if he needs "a woman to look after" Him in the chorus of "God," from her second album, Under the Pink, which turns 20 this year. Parents of '90s teenagers were so focused on their sons being influenced by grunge and gangsta rap that they ignored the fact their daughters were being swayed by a ginger who could tickle more than the ivories with songs like "Icicle," which talks about masturbation. --Jason Keil

Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center

1 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: General

Ak-Chin Pavilion

2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Trunk Space

1506 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Pub Rock

8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music


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