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Best Phoenix Concerts This Weekend: Flogging Molly, JPEGMAFIA, ZZ Top

8October 2021

click to enlarge Flogging Molly is scheduled to perform on Friday, October 8, at Mesa Amphitheatre. - JIM LOUVAU

Flogging Molly is scheduled to perform on Friday, October 8, at Mesa Amphitheatre.

Jim Louvau

Down to see a concert this weekend in metro Phoenix? You’ll have a ton of options to choose from, including a dozen high-profile shows happening from Friday, October 8, to Sunday, October 10. Over the next 72 hours, Flogging Molly and Violent Femmes will bring their co-headlining tour to Mesa, JPEGMAFIA will bring his rap game at Crescent Ballroom, and Judas Priest will bring the fury to Ak-Chin Pavilion.

Other notable acts staging shows this weekend include HorrorPops, Monolink, ZZ Top, and Banda MS. And for those who’d like to whet their appetites for next week’s Country Thunder Arizona festival, artists like Brothers Osborne, Brad Paisley, Asleep At the Wheel, and JD Souther all have shows scheduled.

Details about each show can be found below. For even more live music happening around the Valley, check out Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar.

Keep in mind, though, that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is a growing danger right now and multiple local venues have started requiring proof of vaccinations or a recent negative test result to attend shows. More info can be found on the ticket sites for each gig.

click to enlarge Country music superstar Brad Paisley performed at Ak-Chin Pavilion on May 31. - LEAVITT WELLS

Country music superstar Brad Paisley performed at Ak-Chin Pavilion on May 31.

Leavitt Wells

Brad Paisley at Ak-Chin Pavilion

When Brad Paisley isn’t writing and performing sweet, tender songs that make women melt into a big pile of mush — or even haunting songs about death — he’s writing some hilarious, off-the-wall, kind of stupid songs about the things happening to or around him. That’s the charm of Paisley, though: He’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty. While other country crooners might be singing about a woman’s tight jeans and lipstick (not that Paisley doesn’t sing about that, too), Paisley’s strength is observing his surroundings and singing about them with some, or a lot of, humor sprinkled in. He’s scheduled to perform at Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue, on Friday, October 8, with support from Jimmie Allen and Kameron Marlowe. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $30.25 to $98.75. Paige Skinner

click to enlarge Flogging Molly is co-headlining a fall tour with Violent Femmes. - RICHIE SMYTH

Flogging Molly is co-headlining a fall tour with Violent Femmes.

Richie Smyth

Flogging Molly and Violent Femmes at Mesa Amphitheatre

If you were bummed out about Flogging Molly canceling their St. Patrick’s Day concert in 2020 because of COVID-19, the Celtic punk band is bringing its bagpipes back to Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 North Center Street, on Friday, October 8, this fall, and alt-rock legends Violent Femmes are along for the ride for a co-headlining tour. Gordon Gano and company will be celebrating the 30th-anniversary re-release of 1991’s Why Do Birds Sing? while Flogging Molly will be raising its usual ruckus. Punk acts Thick and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes will provide support. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the concert begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $49.50. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Steffen Linck, better known as Monolink. - HAILLEY HOWARD

Steffen Linck, better known as Monolink.

Hailley Howard

Monolink at Walter Where?House

With a style that often transcends genres, Monolink (a.k.a. Steffen Linck) is the quintessential singer/songwriter/producer extraordinaire. From thumping bass to guitar riffs to hypnotic synths, he always strikes that happy, jammin’ medium. He’s scheduled to perform on Friday, October 8, at the recently reopened Walter Where?House, 702 North 21st Avenue. For a preshow playlist, don’t neglect the morsels from his latest LP, Under Darkening Skies, which dropped in June. Fellow electronic dance music artist Ramona Wouters opens the 9 p.m. gig. Admission is $23 to $26. Jesse Scott

click to enlarge See Judas Priest downtown this fall. - JIM LOUVAU

See Judas Priest downtown this fall.

Jim Louvau

Judas Priest at Arizona Federal Theatre

Judas Priest has been hitting it hard for more than 50 years. The band of leather-wearing British metal gods helped define the genre in the ’80s with albums like Screaming For Vengeance and British Steel. Though he left the band for a few years back in the ’90s, frontman (and Phoenix resident) Rob Halford’s high-pitched, operatic screams have been a staple of their signature sound since the beginning. Today, they continue to keep the genre alive by continuing to release new albums (their most recent is 2018’s Firepower) and providing killer, headbanging performances. Judas Priest is a force to be reckoned with that cannot be stopped. Their concert on Saturday, October 9, at Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, gets going at 7:30 p.m. and Sabaton shares the bill. Tickets are $48.50 to $78.50. Jacob Vaughn

Asleep at the Wheel at Talking Stick Resort

Freewheeling and eclectic, Asleep at the Wheel have been one of the most important forces of Western swing since the 1970s. More or less picking up the torch left behind by the king himself, Bob Wills, they have played a huge role in keeping the genre alive. They have not only kept these sounds from disappearing in country music, but also updated the art form. Asleep at the Wheel’s live performances have received much critical acclaim, and you can expect to see around eight musicians on stage, a mere snapshot of a collective that has featured more than 80 members over the years. The group will swing through Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way, on Saturday, October 9, for an 8 p.m show. Tickets are $25 to $70. Jeremy Hallock

HorrorPops at Marquee Theatre

Horrorpops is an extremely high-energy New Wave/punk/goth/metal/rockabilly/any other genre you care to fit here band with a flair for a dramatic stage show. We’re not talking huge pyrotechnic dragons breathing fire (but don’t rule it out absolutely …) it’s more a group of musicians tearing up their instruments on stage and showing a real passion for what they do. Formed by Nekromantix founder Kim “Nekroman” Gaarde and fronted by singer Patricia Day, the band hasn’t released a new album since 2008’s Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, but still specialize in rip-roaring tunes that will get folks dancing or headbanging (or both) inside Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, during their show on Saturday, October 9, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Franks & Deans and Belfry Bats will open. Admission is $30. Brett Gillin

Banda MS at Ak-Chin Pavilion

Banda music is lively and loud, normally featuring a brilliant horn section, large bass drum, and a few clarinets. The music is both simple in its composition and complex in its delivery – imagine the amount of practice it takes a normal-sized band to sync up and play as a team. It takes time and patience, for sure. Now imagine if your band has 16 members. That’s what we get with La Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga, or simply Banda MS. The group was formed in 2003 in the Pacific state of Sinaloa, specifically in the city of Mazatlán. Their style of music is called Duranguense, which runs at a faster tempo than traditional banda music, yet still shares roots with Norteño. The blaring of the horns, the vocal fortitude of the lyrics, and the bang-bang-banging of the drums instantly elevate heart rates and cause boots to shuffle. And shuffle they will when Banda MS performs at Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue, on Saturday, October 9, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 to $299.50. Marco Torres

click to enlarge Legendary singer-songwriter JD Souther. - JEREMY COWART

Legendary singer-songwriter JD Souther.

Jeremy Cowart

JD Souther at Musical Instrument Museum

In Showtime’s 2013 documentary The History of The Eagles, JD 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. Catch him in concert at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9. Tickets are $49.50 to $64.60. Kelly Dearmore

click to enlarge Noise rapper JPEGMAFIA. - LEVI MANCHAK/CC BY 2.0/FLICKR

Noise rapper JPEGMAFIA.

Levi Manchak/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

JPEGMAFIA at Crescent Ballroom

Baltimore-based rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA plugs current affairs into his music in hilarious and provocative ways: dissing everyone from Morrissey to Kellyanne Conway, referencing weird internet phenomena, and even releasing a song called “I Might Vote for Donald Trump.” Onstage, he’s less a ball of energy than a rolling boulder, screaming lyrics and diving into the crowd. Whether his music will age well or not — and we’re betting it will, thanks to his forward-thinking, kinetic production style in full effect on 2018’s Veteran and 2019’s All My Heroes Are Cornballs — JPEGMAFIA is without a doubt one of the most entertaining voices in contemporary hip-hop. His gig at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Sunday, October 10, starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in 2015. - RALPH ARVESEN/CC BY 2.0/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in 2015.

Ralph Arvesen/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

ZZ Top at Talking Stick Resort

As you likely know by now, ZZ Top’s bassist and singer Dusty Hill died over the summer at age 72, but guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard are continuing to tour (per Gibbons’ wishes) with the band’s longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis sitting in on bass. Shows have featured a microphone stand set up with Hill’s hat perched on top in tribute to the musician. Such will be the case during ZZ Top’s outdoor concert at 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, beside the pool at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way in Scottsdale. Tickets are $35 to $250. Westword Staff

click to enlarge John Osborne (left) and T.J. Osborne (right). - Q PRIME

John Osborne (left) and T.J. Osborne (right).

Q Prime

Brothers Osborne at Arizona Federal Theatre

The tunes crafted by brothers John and T.J. Osborne are good old-fashioned country (perhaps more alt-country, but that’s a nit-picky distinction) with incredible appeal for the mainstream. The Maryland natives follow in Chris Stapleton’s boot steps to bring eminently listenable tunes to a country radio landscape that has been in desperate need of real change. Walking that fine line between commercial viability and credibility has clearly been a struggle for many country artists, some of whom have eschewed the label altogether in order to keep their cred intact. The way that the Brothers Osborne are able to two-step across that line is as bizarre as it is remarkable. These are lyrically and sonically sound songs that finally present some kind of chance for radio success. They’re touring behind their most recent album, 2020’s Skeletons, and visit Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Sunday, October 10. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and Travis Denning and Tenille Townes will also perform. Tickets are $39.50 to $69.50. Amy McCarthy

click to enlarge The members of rock band Seether. - SHORE FIRE MEDIA

The members of rock band Seether.

Shore Fire Media

Seether at Marquee Theatre

Seether carved a path to success through an era of music littered with pitfalls. When the South African post-grunge band formed in 1999, Limp Bizkit looked like the future. But more than two decades later, Seether is still around and making relevant music and staying true to its hard rock roots while Fred Durst is dressing up like your eccentric uncle at music festivals. Seether’s most recent release is last year’s Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, a 13-track effort that got positive reviews from mainstream and metal publications. They’ll perform songs from the album during their tour stop at Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, on Sunday, October 10. Doors open at 7 p.m. and Nonpoint opens. Tickets are $42. Nicholas Bostick

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