Thanksgiving week offers many perks – and not just the chance to gorge yourself silly. Thanks to the holiday falling on a Thursday and most folks deciding to take Friday off, it’s essentially a three-day workweek.
Here’s another bit of good news, there are plenty of concerts and other music events happening at venues around metro Phoenix this week, particularly on Wednesday night (a.k.a. Thanksgiving Eve). You’ve got a varied selection of gigs to choose from, including shows by bass-wielding funk artist Thundercat, the all-female indie-pop band The Aces, rapper Gucci Mane, punk legends The Casualties, and screamo/post-hardcore band Silverstein.
Read on for more details about each of these gigs or check out Phoenix New Times‘ online concert listings for more music events. Keep in mind, though, COVID-19 is an ever-present danger and multiple local venues require proof of vaccinations or a recent negative test result to attend shows. More info can be found on the ticketing sites for each concert.
The Aces at Crescent Ballroom
The first thing you should know about all-female indie-pop act The Aces is that they tend to defy expectations. All four members hail from Utah and were raised Mormon, but only half of the bandmates still consider themselves to be religious (two are also LGBTQ). And while many girl groups playing pop music favor style over substance, The Aces create quality guitar-driven tunes boasting tight harmonies and polished rock grooves. Getting their start in Utah’s all-ages scene, the band was signed by Red Bull Records in 2016 and have released a trio of EPs on the label, as well as their two LPs. They’re touring behind their 2020 album, Under My Influence, and are scheduled to take the stage at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Monday, November 22. Pop singer-songwriter Madeline the Person is the opener for the 16-and-over show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $70. Benjamin Leatherman
Silverstein at Marquee Theatre
Screamo isn’t as popular as it once was, and most artists have abandoned it in recent years. But while many of their peers were busy reinventing themselves, Silverstein was doubling down on the genre. More than two decades removed from their formation, the Ontario quintet sounds as sharp and biting as ever on their latest release, which is as intensely angsty and infectiously catchy as anything in their catalog. On tour in support of their 20th anniversary as a band and their 10th studio album A Beautiful Place to Drown, Silverstein will bring their post-hardcore musings to Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Tuesday, November 23. The Plot in You and Can’t Swim open the 7:15 p.m. concert. Tickets are $25 to $55. Matthew Keever
Thundercat at The Van Buren
Since he was a teenager, Stephen Lee Bruner (better known as Thundercat) has made considerable musical contributions from playing bass in the thrash-metal band Suicidal Tendencies, to recording with Erykah Badu for some of her seminal work, to creating the soundscapes for the magnum opuses of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Childish Gambino. For his own work, Thundercat fully unleashes a critically acclaimed R&B and jazz voyage that not only puts his masterful bass skills on display but showcases his penchant for the quirky (check out the music video for “Them Changes” for proof of such). His latest Valley gig happens on Tuesday, November 23, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, and is not only an opportunity to see one of the most talented bassists in music perform, but also an opportunity to be a part of the creative aura of one of music’s most celebrated acts. Doors open at 7 p.m. and hip-hop artist Channel Tres opens. Tickets are $30 to $35. Mikel Galicia
The Casualties at The Underground
Punk has had its share of deaths and revivals. After the death of Sid Vicious in 1979, the genre was generally declared dead, which gave rise to a reckless bunch of street punk bands like The Exploited and GBH. When The Casualties formed in 1990, they did so with the explicit purpose of reviving that street punk sound, which they felt had died around 1985. Donning both the look and feel of those bands with their high, dyed spikes and fast-paced, reactionary approach to songwriting, The Casualties rose to prominence in the punk scene over the course of 25 years. They parted ways with their original singer Jorge Herrera in 2017 after he was accused of multiple incidents of rape and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl. David Rodriguez of The Krum Bums replaced Herrera without missing a blast beat, and The Casualties released Written in Blood the following year. Their show on Tuesday, November 23, at The Underground, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, will have opening support from Piñata Protest, Skeleton Army, Ass Wipe Junkies, and TV Tragedy. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. David Fletcher
Gemini Syndrome at Pub Rock Live
The five musicians of L.A.-based band Gemini Syndrome create such an electric reaction among themselves, it might be construed as too many primal forces colliding. However, it just happens to work out beautifully in their music. As their live set kicks off, the first thing you notice is the brilliant string work of guitarists Miguel “Meegs” Rascón Nicholas Paul Arnold. That’s followed up by the thumping rhythms of Italian bassist Alessandro “A.P.” Paveri. And the finishing touch is when animated dramatic beats come in, compliments of drummer Brian Steele Medina and the resonating, melodic vocals of singer Aaron Nordstrom (formerly of OTEP) that can power through any crowd, whether it’s 50 people or 50,000. Gemini Syndrome is currently touring in support of their recently released LP, 3rd Degree – The Raising, and will perform at Pub Rock Live, 8005 East Roosevelt Street in Scottsdale, on Tuesday, November 23. Oh the horror, Pushing Veronica, and Sinshrift open the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 at the door. Lauren Wise
Dead Hot Workshop at Crescent Ballroom
Dead Hot Workshop’s personal appearances could rival the groundhog for infrequency. Like that reclusive rodent, the local legends have one guaranteed day when they emerge from hibernation to cast their long shadow on the local music scene. In a town that bulldozes anything before it can become a tradition, Dead Hot Workshop have managed to host an annual Thanksgiving Eve show for more than two decades. It’s a custom that, according to the band’s drummer Curtis Grippe, “just sorta happened.” The event returns on Wednesday, November 24, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Street, and will also feature sets by local bands Bella Donnas, Banana Gun, and Ghetto Cowgirl. The concert is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15. Serene Dominic
Gucci Mane at Celebrity Theatre
With his craggy, sickly infectious flow and peerless swagger, Gucci Mane helped pioneer the hard, cold, snare-heavy trap style that simultaneously dominates mainstream and underground hip-hop today. In the span of over 70 mixtapes and albums — yes, you read that right — Mr. Mane has documented arguably the most singular journey in rap history, a gambit that runs from murderous Atlanta rivalries to prison and eventually release and redemption, including newfound moral perspectives and the shedding of addictions and some 50-odd pounds. There are no falsehoods in the rapper’s music, only tragic philosophies, hilarious brags and an endless sea of gold and diamonds. He’s scheduled to perform on Wednesday, November 24, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Richie Evans and General Zoe open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $225. Jonathan Patrick
DJ Tennis at Chantico
A native of Italy, DJ Tennis (born Manfredi Romano) can easily put you into a dancing frenzy via slap-your-face bass lines or embrace you in a daze of atmospheric melodies, but he’s most rewarding when flipping through sound waves. Romano’s label, Life and Death, which turned 11 this year, has hosted numerous parties in Miami. Some say he’s techno, others say house; some might even suggest disco. In reality, though, DJ Tennis plays in the spirit of a wild stallion too odd to be tamed — and his genre-blending sets prove it. A good DJ makes us happy, but a great DJ keeps us guessing. He’ll pay a visit to the Valley on Wednesday, November 24, for a Thanksgiving Eve gig at Chantico, 1051 East Camelback Road. Locals Cassian and Elwer will warm up crowd at the party, which gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. Miami New Times
Superstition Jazz Orchestra at The Nash
Already annoyed by all the Christmas music playing in your midst? Try spending a little time at The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street, where the offerings on Wednesday, November 24, include a mix of big band sounds by composers from Thad Jones to Carol King. The Superstition Jazz Orchestra is presenting a concert that day at 7:30 p.m., giving it a title with a twist on a classic phrase you typically hear at weddings. Instead of something blue, you’ll hear the blues. The orchestra expects to play original compositions as well as classics. Tickets are $21, and you don’t have to be a jazz aficionado to feel the beat. Lynn Trimble