If you’re looking for a concert to attend after shaking off your Thanksgiving-grade food coma, here’s a rundown of the best shows and music events happening in the Valley from Friday, November 26, to Sunday, November 28. Highlights include gigs by hometown heroes like Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, underground rap icon (and former Arizona resident) MURS, and DJ/producers JAUZ and Qrion.
The Reverend Horton Heat will also bring his holiday tour to the Rhythm Room, hip-hop artist Larry June will visit The Van Buren, psych-pop/noise rock Tonstarssbandht will perform at Valley Bar.
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.
Jake Shimabukuro at Scottsdale Center for the Arts
Though he had made several albums, become a regular on the coffeehouse circuit in his native Hawaii, and attained the status of a popular concert draw in Japan, ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro was virtually unknown as far as the rest of the world was concerned. Then in 2006, a YouTube video of him covering George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in New York’s Central Park garnered 12 million views, making him an internet sensation overnight. But luck has played a very small role in his success. He’s earned numerous accolades from fellow musicians, audiences, and critics, who have compared him to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis in terms of his musical mastery. Still, he continues to defy stereotypes and has given the ukulele a new kind of prominence, using it to reinvent everything from rock standards to classical works, all with exceptional virtuosity. He’s released more than a dozen albums, including 2020’s Trio, and tours relentlessly. Shimabukuro’s latest visit to the Valley happens on Friday, November 26, when he plays Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are $28 to $58. Lee Zimmerman
Qrion at Shady Park
Dreamy house phenom Qrion has a sound blanketed in the snowy winters of her hometown of Sapporo, Japan, and wrapped in the warmth of her childhood memories. In a sea of dance-floor bangers, she stands out for crafting profoundly personal work that floats as much as it thumps. On her recently released debut album, I Hope It Lasts Forever, the latest in a string of successful releases on Anjunadeep, the producer builds a sonic world full of chilly soul and nostalgia. The album is about her family at a particular moment in time, specifically “the time we spent together when I was 5 to 7 years old. My parents split up after I went to elementary school.” The emotional weight of the pandemic also played heavily into the lush textures of I Hope It Lasts Forever. She’d often spend most of her time on the road and in the studio, but quarantining at home in San Francisco forced her to reckon with the level of intensity she was living her life. Now that things are (more or less) back to normal, she’s touring again and will bring her dreamy, synth-laden deep beats to Shady Park, 26 East University Drive in Tempe, on Friday, November 26. Admission is $22. Alex Dias
MURS at Crescent Ballroom
According to rapper Nick Carter, his longtime moniker MURS either means “Making the Universe Recognize and Submit” or “Making Underground Raw Shit.” One thing is certain, he’s been a fixture in the annals of West Coast underground hip-hop for a few decades. He’s responsible for more than 30 albums and EPs during his career — and that’s just his solo work — the dreadlocked Los Angeles-born rapper is also well known as the founding member of the Living Legends and Def Jux crews. And though he briefly made the major-label leap with 2008’s Murs for President, most of his work has been self-released or dropped on indie hip-hop labels like Strange Music. The onetime Arizona resident (who lived in Tucson for a spell) returns to the Valley on Friday, November 26, when he brings his D.C.R.P. Tour (as in “Declaration Celebration Regulation Party”) to Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, with support from Oswin Benjamin. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $18. Nick Feldman and Benjamin Leatherman
Kottonmouth Kings at Marquee Theatre
For 25 years, the Kottonmouth Kings have been grinding out albums deeply smitten with weed. You don’t need to go parsing the band’s lyrics in “Proud to Be a Stoner,” “Pack Ur Bowls,” and “Roll It Up” to detect the obsession. Hell, you don’t even need those song names when you consider album titles like Rollin’ Stoned, Joint Venture, and 2012’s Mile High. The outfit hit their mainstream peak in the early 2000s when rap-rock dominated the world (their core hip-hop sound is greatly influenced by alt-rock and reggae), but Kottonmouth Kings still boast a loyal fan base and consistently tour and record. The band’s discography is increasingly sprawling – more than two dozen albums, including this year’s 25 to Live, which celebrates the band’s silver anniversary. Much like the Beastie Boys, Kottonmouth Kings’ sound sprouted from hardcore punk roots and fused its stylings, energy, and verve with hip-hop. They’re set to roll into Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, on Saturday, November 27. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $23 to $53. Reyan Ali
Tonstartssbandht at Valley Bar
Say it slowly, how it looks, and one syllable at a time: Tahn-starts-bandit. What does it mean? Well, if you mean the word, Tonstartssbandht as a single unit of signifyin’ and communicatin’, well, then it means horseshit. As in nothing. But if you were to see the aforementioned crypticism on a flyer, poster, or social media, then we’d recommend you get your ass to the posted address pronto. Because when billed on a marquee, Tonstarssbandht is the name under which brothers Andy and Edwin White compose anthemic psych-pop/noise rock songs that conjure a transcendentally harmonic barbershop quartet by way of maxi-chill Beach Boys. The duo has put out 17 live and studio albums (including this year’s Petunia) and are famous for their dynamic live gigs. See for yourself when they come to Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, on Saturday, November 27. Vid Nelson and Sean Nicholas Savage open the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $15. Matt Preira
JAUZ at Sunbar
The genre-bending blend of trap, bass house and dubstep created by DJ and producer Sam Vogel, better known as JAUZ, has launched him into the EDM stratosphere. He’s been recording since 2013 (back when the likes of Diplo, Skrillex and Borgore found his early dubstep tracks online) and inititally signed to Mad Decent in 2014. Vogel founded his own label-slash-collective, Bite This, in November 2017, releasing singles from rising British bass line producers Holy Goof and ATRIP, future house duo Loge21, and “digital renegade” duo Pixel Terror. He releases his own music on Bite This Too, including his 2018 debut studio album The Wise and the Wicked, and has played innumerable festivals and club gigs around the world. He’s scheduled to take over the sound system at Sunbar, 24 West Fifth Street in Tempe, on Saturday, November 27. The beats begin at 9 p.m. and Austin Feldman, Housekneckt, and Fatal Error will open. Admission is $38. Elle Carroll
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at The Van Buren
Say what you will about Roger Clyne’s talents (which are substantial), when it comes to instigating a party, the native Arizonan is skilled. The stories surrounding the raucous Refreshments shows he was a part of back during the Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy days have been trumped by the kind of off-the-hook wingdings he hosts as frontman for the Peacemakers. (The tequila-soaked “Circus Mexicus” beach blast held in Puerto Peñasco draws thousands of Peaceheads every year, for instance.) Suffice it to say, RCPM’s Thanksgiving weekend celebration at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Saturday, November 27, is likely to be just as action-packed. After Texas-based country/roots-rock band Dalton Domino and the Sensitive Bangers warm up the crowd, Clyne and company will launch into their typically high-energy set featuring “Mekong,” “Nada,” and (of course) “Banditos.” Heck, you might even hear the always-popular theme song for King of the Hill, which Clyne wrote and performed back in the ‘90s. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $45. Benjamin Leatherman
Horton’s Holiday Hayride at The Rhythm Room
The Cramps are usually credited as the founders of psychobilly, but The Reverend Horton Heat (born Jim Heath) is renowned as the genre’s godfather. Since 1986, The Reverend has been combining rock and roll with elements of punk, swing, surf and country, all while celebrating the hedonistic pleasures of sex, drugs, booze and cars with his tongue-in-cheek lyricism. Known for frantic, energetic concerts, the Reverend is bringing his Horton’s Holiday Hayride tour to the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road, on Sunday, November 28. Western swing/country boogie act Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys and Chicano ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls will open what’s bound to be a lively evening. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $40. Matthew Keever
Larry June at The Van Buren
In the world of hip-hop and rap, it has become difficult for artists to find ways to separate themselves from the pack when it pertains to their style and sound. But Larry June, a Bay Area rapper and producer, is rapidly rising to the top of the underground hip-hop scene because of his organic sound and casual style. You can find lyrics about cars and women in almost every rap song, but Larry’s verses regularly sit on top of soulful R&B samples from the ’80s and just hit the ears differently. He is a must-see act for anybody looking to break free from the expected rap music that seems to follow us year after year. Larry released his first project, #GoodJobLarry under Warner Bros. in 2015, and was featured on Post Malone’s August 26th, which was released the following year. Since his record with Posty, he has gladly played the underground scene and continues to build an organic and faithful following similar to the blueprint set by Jet Life founder Curren$y. In 2019, he released Out The Trunk, his best collection of music thus far, and you can expect him to perform quite a bit of it at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren, during his show on Sunday, November 28. Tickets are $30 for the 8 p.m. concert. Malen Blackmon