Heads up, punk fans: Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace’s tour with fellow punk rock veterans Anthony Green and Tim Kasher is coming to the Valley, and it’s one of many great shows happening at local music venues this weekend.

Other concerts worth your time and money over the next three nights include performances by soul/funk/R&B group The Suffers, alternative/indie rock act Rainbow Kitten Surprise, thrash group D.R.I., and the always-eclectic MarchFourth Marching Band.

This weekend will also showcase multiple flavors of hip-hop and rap. Legendary local event The Blunt Club will celebrate its 20th anniversary, Big K.R.I.T. will bring his latest tour to Crescent Ballroom, and Mega Ran will co-headline a show at Trunk Space along with geek rappers Rustage and Richie Branson.

Read on for full details about these gigs and others happening in the Valley from Friday, May 20, to Sunday, May 22. Or head over to Phoenix New Times online concert calendar for even more live music.

MarchFourth Marching Band

Friday, May 20
Walter Where?House, 702 North 21st Avenue

What started in Portland, Oregon, as a Fat Tuesday party in 2003 has evolved into the must-see national act. MarchFourth Marching Band’s music brings to light the deepest grooves of funk, swing, rock, and jazz, and their style pulls from an array of influences, like Sergeant Pepper leading a freaky Cirque du Soleil performance from the bandstand or European Gypsy camps stumbling upon the rhythms of Brazilian jungle tribes. Concertgoers may not know what they are getting themselves into when they first see MarchFourth. Maybe it’s percussion corps using harnesses made from bicycle parts, a brass section that includes trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, or dozens of musicians and performers donning mismatched marching band uniforms. Get thee to this show, which starts at 8 p.m. Locals Djentrification and DJ StoneyPie will also perform. Tickets are $23. Lauren Farrah

click to enlarge

Rainbow Kitten Surprise is a name you won’t easily forget.

Matthew Salacuse

Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Friday, May 20
Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street

Rainbow Kitten Surprise is considered by many to be the greatest band name ever conceived. And as it turns out, they’re also a pretty decent band. Formed by five friends who met in a dorm hall at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, RKS caught on like gangbusters and are heading toward the Valley this month for a show at Arizona Federal Theatre. Rooted in a sound that could’ve only come from the wide-open spaces of America’s mountainous East, their music hovers somewhere between the natural mysticism of a band like Fleet Foxes and the druggy buzz of early Modest Mouse. Rainbow Kitten Surprise is a 7-Eleven suicide where each flavor is as distinct and vivid as the next. Borrowing liberally from hip-hop and chillwave with masterfully crafted lyrics, it’s folk music for people in an age when new connections are made every microsecond. If you like music, you’ll probably like this. Their concert on Friday starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $56. Nicholas Bostick

click to enlarge Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace. - CHRIS BAUER

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace.

Chris Bauer

Laura Jane Grace, Anthony Green, and Tim Kasher

Friday, May 20
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is currently sharing a bill with friends and fellow punk rock veterans Anthony Green and Tim Kasher on The Carousel Tour, which is slated for a stop at Crescent Ballroom this weekend. It’s the sort of show fans have missed and musicians like Grace, Green, and Kasher have longed to perform over the pandemic’s slowdown. Presenting music to crowds is important to these acts and they all have new music to share. Grace released two solo projects recently, 2020’s critically hailed Stay Alive and a 2021 EP titled At War With the Silverfish. Kasher, also of Cursive and The Good Life, dropped new music last month, a solo album titled Middling Age. Green, who is the lead singer for Circa Survive, Saosin, and The Sound of Animals Fighting, presented his first collection of children’s music last year. That EP’s got the perfect title and notion for kids’ music. It’s called Let’s Start a Band. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are $25 to $35. Jesse Sendejas Jr.

Throw Rag

Friday, May 20
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe

Hailing from the shores of the California desert’s Salton Sea, a leviathan fed by agricultural runoff and ringed by crumbling ghost resorts, Throw Rag embodies a potent combination of punk and podunk. The four-man band’s punk ‘n’ roll, desert rock, and boogie-core, salted with carnivalesque psychedelia, rips harder than most other bands who originated in the early ‘90s and are still performing today. Longtime frontman Sean Wheeler (a.k.a. Captain Sean Doe) may seem like the kind of born extrovert who’d find his way into your face regardless of where he’s from, but his desperate brand of showmanship could only be born of a place where the wind whispers, “Entertain yourself or perish.” They’re due at Tempe’s Yucca Tap Room on Friday night along with L.A. punk supergroup The Vulturas, which features guitarist Rob Milucky of Devil’s Bridgade and Rancid bassist Matt Freeman. Local rock band Morgan’s Bluff opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Andrew Marcus and Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Local rapper and geek icon Raheem Jarbo, also known as Mega Ran. - MEGA RAN'S FACEBOOK

Local rapper and geek icon Raheem Jarbo, also known as Mega Ran.

Mega Ran, Richie Branson, and Rustage

Friday, May 20
The Trunk Space, 1124 North Third Street

The Generation of Miracles Tour has a decidedly geeky bent, owing to the nerdy leanings of rappers Mega Ran, Richie Branson, and Rustage. So it seems fitting the trio is playing downtown Phoenix DIY art space and venue Trunk Space, which is a well-known local nerd haven. Mega Ran tells New Times the show will offer “tons of new music and surprises,” including the debut of his track “Say Hello,” which pays tribute to recently deceased wrestling legend Scott Hall. Rustage, a U.K.-born anime/nerdcore rapper, will also be performing in Arizona for the first time. The show is at 8 p.m. and Treasure MammaL opens. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

The Suffers

Friday, May 20
Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue

The Suffers are well-known for being a literal big band. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the band’s eight members (including frontwoman Kam Franklin) were unable to physically share space for the better part of two years. Fortunately for local fans of the Houston-based soul/funk/R&B ensemble, they’re back on the road and are performing on Friday evening at Last Exit Live in downtown Phoenix. Nigerian-American rapper (and fellow Houston resident) Fat Tony will open. Doors are at 8 p.m. and admission is $18 at the door. David Fletcher and Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Cannabis Awards Music Festival

Friday, May 20
Legends Event Center, 4240 West Camelback Road

On Friday night, more than 50 musicians from around the U.S. will perform at the Phoenix Cannabis Awards Music Festival inside Legends Event Center. The ceremony will honor a who’s who of the metro Phoenix cannabis industry in more than 50 categories, including the best cannabis event and entertainment. Headlining the event is rapper Michael Allen Jones. While the “Back Then” rapper, might pull a best cannabis musician worldwide nomination because he lyricized about “smokin’ Top Flight,” rap duo Luniz (who released “I Got 5 On It” back in 1995) might have a better chance of winning the award. The event will have three stages, where over 50 music acts — from the hip-hop, reggae, alternative, roots, rock, and EDM genres — will perform. Also on the stacked bill: Lil Xan, Kurupt, SmokeDeville, Spice 1, DGAF, Cashis, Born Divine, OG Rome and the Row Doggs, Johnny Richter, Irie Nationz, E.N Young, Jourdan Jade, and live DJ sets. Tickets range from $20 to $250, and the festival and award ceremony will be held from 4 p.m. until midnight. Mike Madriaga

click to enlarge Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney. - STUNT COMPANY

Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney.

Stunt Company

Mat Kearney

Saturday, May 21
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street

Nashville-based, Oregon-born singer-songwriter Mat Kearney comes to downtown Phoenix on Saturday night in support of his latest album, 2021’s January Flower, a collection of honest, stripped-down songs that’s got one foot planted in contemporary Christian music and the other in folk. Joining him is folk-pop four The National Parks, whose most recent album, Wildflower, came out in 2020. Their show at the Van Buren is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 to $99. Westword


Saturday, May 21
Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa

Crossover thrash legends Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, or D.R.I., came crashing out of Texas in 1982. The band’s mixture of hardcore punk with thrash metal would set the model for bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity, and the Cro-Mags. Though the band released its last official full-length album in 1995 and has sporadically released EPs in 2001 and 2016, D.R.I. has continued to tour the world extensively despite a hiatus from 2006 to 2010 in which guitarist Spike Cassidy was diagnosed, treated, and recovered from colon cancer. While rumors of another full-length album have been floating around for the last couple of years, no new material has actually surfaced. Regardless, D.R.I. built a reputation for its live shows, making studio recordings far less important. D.R.I.’s openers at their Nile Theater gig on Saturday include locals Paralysis, Scattered Guts, Corky’s Leather Jacket, and Skud Puppies. Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. David Fletcher

click to enlarge Anjunabeats DJ David Hohme during a previous performance in the Valley. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

Anjunabeats DJ David Hohme during a previous performance in the Valley.

Benjamin Leatherman

David Hohme and Tâches

Saturday, May 21
Walter Where?House, 702 North 21st Avenue

David Hohme, a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist turned DJ/producer, will spend Saturday night bringing his beats to the masses at Walter Where?House, 702 North 21st Avenue. The melodic house and techno artist has made waves since performing at All Day I Dream parties in Brooklyn and now helms his own record label, Where The Heart Is, in addition to releasing tracks on Anjunabeats and touring some of the world’s best clubs and parties. UK-born house and techno guru (and fellow Anjunabeats artist) Tâches will co-headline the dance music affair, which kicks off at 9 p.m. with an opening set by Samwell. Tickets are $18 in advance and $22 on the day of the event. Olivia McAuley

The Blunt Club’s 20-Year Anniversary

Saturday, May 21
The Pemberton, 1121 North Second Street

The latest edition of legendary Valley hip-hop night The Blunt Club on Saturday night will not only mark its 20th anniversary but will also raise a toast to its co-founder, local artist and promoter Adam “Dumperfoo” Dumper. “For me, this 20th-anniversary party is all about Dumper and giving him his respect,” says Pickster One, longtime Blunt Club DJ. “It’s only lasted this long because of him.” The anniversary will also showcase many folks who have been associated with The Blunt Club over the past two decades, including previous hosts Emerg McVay, Very G, Aran “Catalyst” Kelley, Mouse Powell, and Reuben “Reubot” Martinez. A massive lineup of DJs will also be on the decks, including Pickster, M2, Fact135, Mr. Hyder, JabaOne, Element, DashEye, Melo, and Just Chris. Dumper, RVSO, and Joey Deadhouse will also perform live art sessions. The celebration starts at 6 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Country music legend Travis Tritt. - ED RODE

Country music legend Travis Tritt.

Ed Rode

Travis Tritt

Sunday, May 22
Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, Mesa

There must be some rice cooking in the microwave, because Sunday is a great day to be alive; that’s when Travis Tritt takes the stage inside the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center. Tritt started his career in 1989 and released albums consistently throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. Tritt is touring behind his latest release Set in Stone — his first album of new material in over a decade since The Storm and The Calm After… Like the name of the album suggests, Tritt’s style of country music hasn’t wavered since the ’90s, and that’s really not a bad thing. His performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $44.75 to $75.25. David Fletcher

Big K.R.I.T.

Sunday, May 22
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue

Hip-hop artist Justin Scott’s first two studio albums as Big K.R.I.T. (short for “King Remembered in Time”) both debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard charts upon their release in the early 2010s. Since then he’s dropped three more albums, including this year’s Digital Roses Don’t Die, and has collaborated and released music with the likes Ludacris, Bunny B., Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Yella Beezy, and J. Cole. See him live on Sunday night taking the stage at Crescent Ballroom. The show starts at 8 p.m. and Elhae and Price open. Tickets start at $27.50. Isabel Arcellana and Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Country singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker. - REK ROOM MEDIA

Country singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker.

REK Room Media

Joshua Ray Walker

Sunday, May 22
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road

Country music singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker is on tour in support of his latest album, 2021’s See You Next Time, the final installment of a trilogy that began with the release 2019’s Wish You Were Here. In the trilogy, the characters Walker has concocted from his experiences in dive bars meet at a local honky-tonk that is on its last legs. On See You Next Time, they are meeting on the bar’s last night in existence. The album is filled with emotional songs about loss and tragedy, but it also features the fun and danceable party track “Sexy After Dark,” which finds the singer crooning over a horn section. Walker will be playing an intimate show on Sunday night at The Rebel Lounge with opening sets by Ben Chapman and Brea Burns. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $16 in advance and $20 on the day of the show. David Fletcher

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