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It feels good to greet the new year with a list of January concert picks.
We couldn't do that last year, what with all the venues being closed in response to a global pandemic.
The pandemic is still raging, but live music has returned with big arena shows this month by JoJo Siwa, System of a Down and Tool.
There's also a big outdoor festival, The Maine's 8123 Fest playing Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, and a wide variety of smaller shows, from Baroness blowing the rafters off the Rebel Lounge to Lomelda making Valley Bar feel like an even more intimate setting.
Here's a look at those and other highlights of the month in Valley concerts.
Most venues will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test to enter. Check the venue website for the latest protocols.
This is the third Valley concert for Maynard James Keenan and company since "Fear Inoculum," their first release in 13 years, topped Billboard's album chart. The first of those three shows, a sold-out concert at Gila River Arena in October 2019, was hailed by the Arizona Republic as "a visually breathtaking night of dystopian art-rock spectacle... that served as a testament to their enduring cult appeal." This time, they're joined by Blonde Redhead.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Footprint Center (formerly Phoenix Suns Arena), 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. Sold out; verified resale ticket prices vary. 602-379-7800, ticketmaster.com.
Philadelphia DJ/producer Jesse Kardon brings the Fractal Tour to Rawhide with Borgore and Boogie T B2B Dirtmonkey. Kardon is known for his mixtape series "Now That's What I Call Riddim" and went Top 10 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 2019 with "Griztronics", a collaboration with Michigan EDM star GRiZ.
Details: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Rawhide Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Gila River Reservation. $40-$95 (VIP). 480-502-5600, relentlessbeats.com.
It's been 21 years since this Dirty South rapper broke through with the dirty-as-advertised debut single titled "What's Your Fantasy?" offering to "l-l-l-lick you from your head to your toes." Subsequent hits include "Act a Fool," "Stand Up," "The Potion," "Money Maker," "How Low" and "My Chick Bad." He's also a successful actor, best known for his work in the "Fast and Furious" franchise.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Gila River Reservation. $45 and up. 800-946-4452, playatgila.com.
8123 Fest with The Maine
Delayed a year by the pandemic, The Maine's third 8123 Fest will celebrate the Tempe rockers' 15th anniversary with six days of events, from Jan. 19-24, including several side shows and a themed afterparty. The main event is a multi-band blowout at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. The Maine will obviously headline, joined by State Champs, 3OH!3, Tessa Violet, the reunited Summer Set, Derek Sanders (of Mayday Parade), Beach Weather and The Maine's John O'Callaghan doing a solo set as John the Ghost. They'll also have a local stage with This Wild Life, Breakup Shoes, Weathers, Doll Skin, the Color 8 and Sundressed.
Complete guide: Everything you need to know before you go to 8123 Fest
Details: 12 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Margaret T. Hance Park, 1218 N. 2nd St., Phoenix. $55 and up. 81-23.com.
The Nickelodeon YouTuber recently won her third Kids’ Choice Award for “Favorite Social Music Star.” Her previous Choice Awards include “Favorite Viral Music Artist” in 2017 and “Favorite Musical YouTube Creator” in 2018. She's a singer, a dancer, an entrepreneur, a social media influencer and a New York Times bestselling author with more than 10.4 million subscribers and 2.6 billion views on YouTube.
Details: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. $44.50 and up. 623-772-3800, ticketmaster.com.
All Them Witches
These Nashville rockers arrive in continued support of last year's brilliant "Nothing as the Ideal," their most fully realized throwback to the golden age of stoner rock. They packed an album's worth of ever-changing riffs into the nearly seven-minute "Saturnine & Iron Jaw" to usher in an album that plays to all their strengths before they're through, from the hypnotic grind of those chugging guitars of "Enemy of My Enemy" to the album-closing "Rats in Ruin." A haunted, acoustic-guitar-driven waltz, it trails off in a haze of atmospheric feedback before surging back in to bring the album to a close with an epic guitar that works its way through mere transcendence to something altogether more triumphant.
Details: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $18. 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com.
The sludge-metal veterans return in continued support of "Gold & Grey," their first release with new guitarist Gina Gleason. Kerrang! responded to the awe-inspiring 60-minute show of force with a 5K rave that concluded, "By trying to annihilate what's gone before and truly raise themselves higher, they've created a special record, with a depth that will still have you under its spell a decade from now."
Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26. Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $60. 602-296-7013, therebellounge.com.
It would be wrong if not impossible to talk about the greatest disco music ever made without at least considering "I Will Survive," a life-affirming celebration of kicking an ex to the curb and moving on that spent three weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1979. If this song doesn't move you on some level, you, my friend, can not be moved. But there are other songs you're bound to hear when Gaynor comes to town, including a disco-fied cover of the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye" that topped the dance charts in 1974. Go on now. Go.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $44-$74. 602-267-1600, celebritytheatre.com.
The Kid LAROI
The Australian rapper is launching the End of the World Tour, his first headlining global trek, in downtown Phoenix. In a press release, he said, "It's always been a dream of mine to headline a global tour. I cannot wait to see my fans all around the world and give them something that they won't ever forget." The multi-platinum rapper's U.S. hits include "Without You," which features Miley Cyrus on the remix, and "Stay" with Justin Bieber.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Verified resale ticket prices vary. 800-745-300, ticketmaster.com.
Lee Fields & the Expressions
The old-school Southern soul vibe of his latest album, "It Rains Love," is a natural fit for Fields, who launched his recording career with a single called "Bewildered" as a teen in 1969. And he's had 50 years of experience to draw on since that first recording session. American Songwriter praised him for keeping that "classic-soul flame burning," going on to point out that "while other younger acts like Eli 'Paperboy' Reed and Durand Jones & the Indications are working a similar vibe, there is nothing like hearing this music from someone who lived and breathed it in its heyday."
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $18. 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com.
A lifetime down the road from briefly conquering the mainstream as the guys who covered Ritchie Valens on the soundtrack to "La Bamba," those who took the time to get to know Los Lobos know them as one of America's most ambitious rock 'n' roll bands. But they're still great at doing other people's music justice, as their latest album, "Native Sons," reminds us. It's a collection of songs associated with Los Angeles, from "The War is a Ghetto" by War to "Sail on Sailor" by the Beach Boys and two songs by Buffalo Springfield.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. $40-$65. 480-499-8587, scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
98KUPD Presents Shinedown
The multi-platinum rockers have topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts 16 times since "Save Me," the theme song to WWE's No Mercy pay-per-view, did the trick in 2005, Their hits include "Devour," "Second Chance," "Sound of Madness," "The Crow & the Butterfly," "Diamond Eyes (Boom-lay, Boom-lay, Boom)," "Bully," "Cut the Cord," "State of My Head," "Devil" and "Monsters."
Details: 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30. Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $36.50 and up. 800-745-300, ticketmaster.com.
The guitar hero launched his career at the age of 18 as Frank Zappa's official transcriptionist, going on to join the band as Zappa's "stunt" guitarist. He's also played on classic — that's right, I said classic — recordings by David Lee Roth and Public Image Ltd. The guitarist arrives in support of "Inviolate," a 10th album whose musical essence he summed up in a press release with “It’s very ‘Vai,’ whatever that means.”
Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $40-$1,580 (VIP). 602-267-1600, celebritytheatre.com.
These post-hardcore veterans, led by Anthony Green of Saosin, are out with Tigers Jaw and Soul Glo in continued support of 2017's "Amulet." Sputnikmusic said it was "certainly one of the most well-composed alt-rock/post-hardcore albums of the year, and it seems to bring a newfound sense of maturity to both the songwriting and production aspects of the group’s sound."
Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30. Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe. $25-$45. 480-829-0607, luckymanonline.com.
System of a Down
When System of a Down played Phoenix in 2018, we hadn't seen the willfully eccentric, politically righteous alternative-metal sensations since OzzFest 12 years earlier. And they were treated to a proper hero's welcome, nearly every song inspiring a massive singalong, especially on hits as huge as "Aerials" and "Hypnotize." They've released their first new music since 2006 to raise funds and awareness for Armenia, the double-sided single, "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz." Lead singer Serj Tankian's grandfather survived the 1915 Armenian genocide.
Details: 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31. Footprint Center (formerly Phoenix Suns Arena), 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $94.50 and up. 602-379-7800, ticketmaster.com.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Top Phoenix concerts in January: Tool, Ludacris, JoJo Siwa, Kid LAROI