25 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix in August

Categories: Show Preview

Black Kids - Wednesday, August 13 - Rhythm Room

Sure, Black Kids frontman Reggie Youngblood sings like an overly earnest Robert Smith impersonator, and sure, the band sounds like a thick patois of nearly every '80s musical dialect ever put on acetate, but that's exactly what makes them fantastic. It's almost as if they've tumbled out of a wormhole that sidestepped the wonder and the terror of the Reagan era, and yet they can still churn out four-minute pop songs mirroring everything that made the decade great.

Cheesy synth lines played to hooky, hokey perfection, oil-slick production values, and canned yet canny beats forcing you to dance with embarrassing style are all there, and it's all glorious. Pile on the band's indefatigable party vibe, carried in no small measure by the drill-team exuberance of Dawn Watley and Ali Youngblood, to fill out a giant, sweaty-faced, fun-flushed smile of a band. Detractors point to the imitations and hype-machine expectations dashed, but everyone else is wearing the gaudiest, brightest clothing and having a fantastic time with five musicians who know how to make that happen. -- Nicholas L. Hall


Rascal Flatts - Friday, August 15 - Ak-Chin Pavilion

If corporate rock of the '70s and '80s has a modern contemporary, it's Rascal Flatts. While, granted, there's far more twang accompanying this Nashville outfit's ballads, the group trades in the kind of earnest, rubber-stamped sentimentality that once propelled bands like Toto and Journey on songs like "Without Your Love" and "Send Her My Love," where every matter of the heart is conveyed via bittersweet melodies and harmonies. Fans, however, love it: When frontman Gary LeVox sings of the voice mail on a cell phone "that he don't dare erase/She ended with 'I love you'/He saves it just in case...it might still be true,' he's singing about their lives, and he's doing so with an air of believability. This isn't matters of the art, but, in fact, matters of the heart. -- Dave Herrera


Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano - Friday, August 15 - Maya

The electronic music DJ pool is so deep that it's easy for certain artists to sink to the bottom. But Dutch production duo Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano are not those DJs. After Swedish House Mafia member Axwell played a gig with them in Ibiza, the EDM superstar said, "If there were a Dutch version of Swedish House Mafia, it would be Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano." That's about the biggest confidence booster a DJ could ask for. -- Victor Gonzalez

Location Info

Map

Maya Day and Nightclub

7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Icehouse Arts and Entertainment

429 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Gila River Arena

9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, AZ

Category: Music

Nile Theater

105 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: Music

Grand Ballroom at Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: General

Pub Rock

8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Rhythm Room

1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Ak-Chin Pavilion

2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Comerica Theatre

400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Underground

105 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: Music

Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Ovations Live! Showroom at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ

Category: General

Last Exit Live

717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center

1 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: General

Mesa Amphitheatre

263 N. Center St., Mesa, AZ

Category: Music


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