Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: iDKHOW, Current Joys, John Moreland

The omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing cases to rise in Arizona, resulting in many choosing to stay home out of an abundance of caution. For those who happen to be vaccinated, boosted, and consider it an acceptable risk to spend an evening in the city at a concert, there are a number of notable artists performing this week.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, indie-pop act iDKHOW, singer-songwriter John Moreland and mopey indie artist Current Joys are all scheduled to appear in the capitals of Phoenix from Monday, January 17th to Thursday, January 20th. Details of each of these shows can be found below.

click to enlarge Bluesy, folk singer-songwriter John Moreland.  - CRACKERFARM

Bluesy, folk singer-songwriter John Moreland.


John Moreland at the Musical Instrument Museum

John Moreland makes his words count. The singer-songwriter’s bluesy folk-rock with country-twang resonates in the listeners’ breasts, partly because of his deep, raw voice, and partly because of his very personal, honest lyrics, born of his time playing hardcore punk i high. school. Another factor in Moreland’s songwriting is his diverse range of musical influences, ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Levon Helm and Randy Newman. His fifth studio album, aptly named LP5, was released in 2020 and received rave reviews from Pitchfork and American Songwriter. He is still touring in support of the album and will perform at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, on Tuesday, January 18th. Singer-songwriter SG Goodman opens at 20.00 the concert. Tickets cost $ 33.50 to $ 38.50. Sage Marshall

iDKHOW at The Van Buren

When formerly Panic! At The Disco, bassist Dallon Weekes and once Falling in Reverse drummer Ryan Seaman created iDKHOW, it was imagined as more than just a band. When the couple launched the indie-pop act in 2016 as I Dont Know How But They Found Me, they made a fictionalized background story that portrayed themselves as a long-gone pop band that fell into obscurity, including footage of retro-style videos for to publish as found footage. They added their aura by playing their infectious poppy songs at dive bars and small venues around LA with their faces veiled, while Weekes and Seaman publicly denied the project’s existence. The two eventually dropped in 2017, releasing a couple of excellent EPs over the last few years and getting plenty of airplay with tracks like “Choke” and “Leave Me Alone.” Their debut LP, Razzmatazz, fell in 2020 and mapped very well. iDKHOW is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, January 18 at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. The doors are at 19.00, and tickets cost $ 27.50 to $ 32. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Jazz great Wynton Marsalis.  - CLAY MCBRIDE

Jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

Clay McBride

Wynton Marsalis at the Mesa Arts Center

In 1981, Wynton Marsalis burst onto the musical scene, where he arrogantly and expertly blew the trumpet and immediately got a high-profile record deal with a major record company. He came from a musical family (his father and three of five brothers are artists) in New Orleans, the ancestors of jazz and its rich Dixieland traditions. Offered a scholarship to Yale University, he went instead to the even rarer halls of the Juilliard Music School, which he left after a year to join the famous Jazz Messengers, led by drummer Art Blakey.

By 1984, these early moves had apparently paid off: Marsalis had his own band and wanted to be the only musician in history to win the Grammy Awards in the jazz and classical categories of the same year. (He even repeated the feat the following year). In the decades since then, Marsalis has released more than 50 albums, won a number of awards (including a Pulitzer Prize for his 1995 oratorio “Blood on the Fields”) and toured extensively. His latest travels take him to the Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Thursday, January 20, where he will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at 19.30. Tickets cost $ 40 to $ 80. Nina Korman

click to enlarge The members of the progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers.  - JOSH GOLEMAN

The members of the progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers.

Josh Goleman

Punch Brothers at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

It is not often that you find bluegrass that is mistaken by scholars. This is basically because it is typically a genre that is so closely linked to the rural, to the people who work with their hands. The Punch Brothers from Brooklyn (natch) do what is perhaps the most Starbucks-ready bluegrass possible. It is tight, delicate and artisanal. The quintet’s convergence of elements from indie rock, bluegrass and classical creates a fine sculpture. They have released seven albums since debuting 16 years ago, including the Grammy-winning one All ashore from 2018. The Punch Brothers are scheduled to visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, for a show on Thursday, Jan. 20, starting at 7 p.m. 19.30. Tickets cost $ 42 to $ 68. H. Drew Blackburn

click to enlarge Nicholas Rattigan, also known as Current Joys.  - BROOKE BARONE

Nicholas Rattigan, also known as Current Joys.

Brooke Barone

Current joys at The Van Buren

At first glance, it seems that Nicholas Rattigan went to the studio every day to record his 2018 album, Another Age, was cloudy. Over slow-tempo guitar streams, Rattigan (who has released music as Current Joys since 2015) gently sings his songs, mostly out of fear and anxiety, until catharsis feels best. On some songs he sings nothing at all, so the two chords on his guitar, a simple drum beat and synth can express everything. Rattigan’s mood extends into his follow-up album, 2021’s Voyager, where it is mixed with melancholic vibes. The result, as the music release Grimy Goods describes, is a series of “slow downbeat downers and upbeat goth-pop bangers” in which Rattigan “croons into tales of existentialism and heartache with a little romantic bravado woven in along the way.” Tracks from both albums will be on his set list when Current Joys arrives at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Thursday, January 20th. The Brooklyn-based indie project Dark Tea will provide support. The doors are at 7pm, and tickets cost $ 24 to $ 26. Julian Hernandez and Benjamin Leatherman


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