Best Phoenix Concerts This Weekend: Tori Amos, Puscifer, Joe Jackson

This weekend you can catch performances by the ultra-talented Tori Amos, 1980s hitmaker Joe Jackson or Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis at venues around metro Phoenix. Or you can cheat on the enigmatic Maynard James Keenan as he performs as Agent Dick Merkin along with the other members of art rock band Puscifer.

We leave the choice to you.

Read on for details on each of these shows or click through to Phoenix New Times‘ online concert calendar for even more live music in the Valley from Friday 10 June to Sunday 12 June.

click to enlarge Strangelove does Depeche Mode and does it well.  - ANABEL DFLUX

Strangelove does Depeche Mode and does it well.

Anabel DFlux

Strangelove: The Depeche Mode Experience

Saturday 11 June
Marquee Theater, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe

From leather jackets to vintage synths, Strangelove’s tribute to Depeche Mode’s OG lineup is heavy on the details and made for hardcore Modes. Vocalist Leo “Ultra Dave” Luganskiy imitates Dave Gahan’s croon, while Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin” (aka Martin Gore of DM) handles the keyboards, vocals, guitar, melodica, sequencing and percussion. Rounding out the lineup is Julian Shah-Tayler as “Oscar Wilder” (who’s wooing Andy Wilder) and James Evans as “InTheFletch” (aka Andy Fletcher). Strangelove’s resemblance, both visually and sonically, to Depeche Mode is astonishing. This weekend they will wow a nostalgic crowd at Tempe’s Marquee Theater. Doors are at 6:30 PM and the show starts at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $27 to $42. Liz Ohanesian

click to enlarge UK-born artist Joe Jackson.  - DZP

UK-born artist Joe Jackson.


Joe Jackson

Saturday 11 June
Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street

The English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson has never been limited to one music genre. Jackson spent his early years in music with the proto-punk band Arms and Legs before taking bassist Graham Maby to form his solo project. Jackson’s first three albums as a solo artist showed the singer staying close to his roots and flirting with new wave, punk rock and ska while crafting catchy pop songs. It was on his fourth album, Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive, that Jackson showed his love for jazz music and his desire to avoid being lumped into a single genre. Jackson continued to explore jazz, classical and experimental music between his rock albums, until he abandoned rock altogether in 1991, never returning to the genre that made him until 2003. Part 4† Jackson released his 20th studio album, Crazy, in 2019, showing that he can still rock with the best of them. This month, he’s bringing his “Sing, You Sinners” tour to Celebrity Theater for a show featuring new songs and older material from his long career. The show is at 7:30 PM and tickets cost $30 to $45. David Fletcher

click to enlarge Puscifer is performing in the Valley this weekend.  - TRAVIS SHINN

Puscifer is performing in the Valley this weekend.

Travis Shinno


Saturday 11 June
Arizona Federal Theater, 400 West Washington Street

After five years without live performances, Puscifer is finally back on the road. The Existential Reckoning Tour (named after the rock band’s 2020 album) kicked off in Las Vegas earlier this week. It stops at the Arizona Federal Theater on Saturdays. Puscifer features Tool’s Maynard James Keenan as frontman Dick Merkin (a disturbing character with bad newscaster helmet hair – black striped with white – dark glasses and bold red lipstick) and Carina Round on vocals, guitar and percussion. Fans who watched Puscifer’s “Existential Reckoning: Live at Arcosanti” livestream performance in October 2020 will see many similarities in the shows on the tour, although the band will be playing more than just the songs from their latest album. The visuals in the livestream were the brainchild of Puscifer guitarist Mat Mitchell, Keenan says, so for the tour, “much of the stage design is Matt and working with Sarah Landau, our [lighting designer]invent all kinds of things.” The concert starts at 8 p.m. and Moodie Black opens. Tickets are $25 to $75. Jennifer Goldberg

click to enlarge Playboy Manbaby is bringing their only headliner show of 2022 this weekend. - MAR MAREK

Playboy Manbaby is bringing their only headliner show of 2022 this weekend.

Mar Marek

Playboy Manbaby

Saturday 11 June
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue

Playboy Manbaby is one of the most popular bands in Phoenix for a reason. On stage, frontman Robbie Pfeffer transforms into a screaming, waving madman, screaming songs about selling out and giving your boss the middle finger. His persona onstage channels rock stars and Pentecostal preachers in equal measure, and not many bands get rooms full of people engaged in punk rock call-and-response like PBMB. The result is often the most entertaining show in town. This weekend, Playboy Manbaby will perform its only headliner show of 2022 at Crescent Ballroom. Boss Frog and Diva Bleach open the performance at 6:30 PM. Admission is $18 in presale and $20 at the door. Phoenix New Times

Dean Lewis

Sunday 12 June
Marquee Theater, 730 North Mill Avenue, Tempe

Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis crafts ethereal yet dramatic pop songs, with blunt, distant pianos and synth lines finally merging into a thumping 1-2 drum beat. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a sad montage scene in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy† His music also did well in the US, as ‘Be Alright’, his 2018 breakthrough single, was awarded Billboard‘s Emerging Artist Chart. He’s scheduled to take his Sad Boi Winter Summer Tour to the Marquee this weekend with Canadian-born pop singer Forest Blakk. Doors are at 6:30 PM and tickets are $27.50 to $58. John Beer

Tori Amos at a concert earlier this year.  - PATRICK ALCALA

Tori Amos at a concert earlier this year.

Patrick Alcalá

Tori Amos

Sunday 12 June
Orpheum Theater, 203 West Adams Street

Tori Amos remains one of the most significant and persistent female voices to emerge from the 90s female singer-songwriter movement. Her 1992 debut (solo) album, Small earthquakes was a critical darling where Amos bridged the gap between Sarah McLachlan’s mood and the more confrontational approach of Courtney Love or Kat Bjelland. Call it a lucky coincidence that her latest tour (supporting last year’s) Ocean to Ocean) began 30 years after the release of LE† It’s also a reminder that she never really went away and still tours regularly, releasing albums that consistently top the charts. Expect to hear Amos standards like “God,” “Cornflake Girl,” and “Juárez” (as well as Ocean to Ocean cuts like “Devil’s Bane” and “Addition of Light Divided”) when she comes to the Orpheum on June 12. The show starts at 7:30 PM and tickets cost $59.50 to $99.50. Pete Vonder Hair

click to enlarge DJ/producer Sage Armstrong.  - RETARDLESS BEATS

DJ/producer Sage Armstrong.

Relentless Beats

Sage Armstrong

Sunday 12 June
Darkstar, 526 South Mill Avenue, #201, Tempe

LA-based house producer and DJ Sage Armstrong has always incorporated elements of hip-hop into his music, from rapping in a muffled robotic voice to mixing in the occasional bass-heavy instrumental break. If he headlines the weekly Treehouse Sundays session at Tempe venue Darkstar this weekend, Armstrong’s set will likely focus largely on bass house music, including tracks and mixes he’s recently released on Thrive Music. Seppi and L9V will perform opening sets. The music starts at 4pm and admission is $23. Howard Hardee and Benjamin Leatherman