Phoenix’s best weekend concerts: Taylor Swift, Vance Joy

As you’re no doubt aware (given the massive amount of hype), pop superstar Taylor Swift is kicking off her blockbuster Eras tour with concerts Friday and Saturday nights in Glendale, which has been temporarily renamed “Swift City” for the occasion.

The concerts are arguably the biggest concerts of the weekend (if not the entire year), but they aren’t the only notable shows happening in the Phoenix area over the next 72 hours. There are two outdoor festivals this weekend (Boots in the Park and Chandler Ostrich Fest), a benefit for a late member of the local music scene, and a performance by masked EDM duo ATLiens and Australian-born indie pop artist Vance Joy.

Read on for more details on each show and other big concerts in the Valley this weekend. You can also look up Phoenix New Times‘ listings for more live music from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March.


Friday 17 March
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street

Earthlings of the Valley, you’re about to experience a close encounter with a pair of bass rarities. The otherworldly dance music entities known as ATLiens will descend from the skies and invade downtown Phoenix venue The Van Buren this weekend. The masked duo will not be carrying messages of peace and intergalactic unity, but rather auditory assaults of dubstep and bass music that will probe the minds and induce massive amounts of headbanging, fist pumping and other frenetic body movements. Consider familiarizing yourself with their colonization procedures by listening to the various EPs they’ve released over the years (including 2018’s Invasion and the 2019s Ghost Planet) or check out their SoundCloud or Spotify accounts to prepare for their impending arrival. With HOL!, JKL & HYDE, Dark Mark and Nightglider; 9 p.m., $25 via Benjamin Leatherman

Click to enlarge

Will B. (left) and Kev Marcus (right) from Black Violin.

Mark Clennon

Black violin

Friday 17 March
Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street

“Classical boom” is a music genre where artists mix classical and hip-hop. And if you’ve never experienced the musical mix – now’s your chance. On Sunday, Black Violin, one of the originators of classical boom, will fidget and bow to deep bass, fast rap lyrics, R&B, funk and rock-infused harmonies inside the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center. Black Violin is composed by the classically trained duo Wil B. on viola and Kev Marcus on violin. Drummer Nat Stokes and DJ SPS on the turntables provide backup. While the group plays most of their original cuts from various albums – including Classically Trained, Stereotypes, Take the Stairs and Give Thanks – some of their set is based on covers of popular songs. There is also a “jam session”, where they play unique and improvised material completely off the cuff. 8 p.m., $42-$68 via Mike Madriaga

Taylor Swift

Friday 17 March and Saturday 18 March
State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale

Do you know Taylor Swift? That’s right, the artist who currently has a few different songs on Billboard Hot 100. Well, she’s kicking off her Eras Tour in the Valley later this month with a pair of shows at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Paramore and GAYLE are scheduled to be the supporting roles. And what will she perform? Swift has reportedly stated that the tour will be a “journey through all my musical eras,” which Billboard speculates will include hits from her 10 previous studio albums. If you plan to join T-Swizzle on this journey through her career, it’s going to be an expensive journey. Tickets in the nosebleed sections for both concerts are currently between $300 and $500, while floor seats are $1,000 or more. 18:30 Jennifer Goldberg and Benjamin Leatherman

Click to enlarge

Rock-pop hitmakers Train.

Brooke Clark

Chandler Ostrich Festival

Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March
Tumbleweed Park, 745 East Germann Road, Chandler

If you missed the first day of this year’s Chandler Ostrich Festival, don’t feel like a big bird brain. The annual event runs through Sunday, and you can still take part in the various games, rides and attractions, or catch some of the nightly concerts with big name artists. This year’s lineup will include performances by radio-friendly rockers Train at 9.45pm on Friday, the iconic soul/funk band The Commodores at 9.30pm on Saturday, and the ska-punk act Sublime With Rome at 20.45 on Sunday. . Local bands and musicians will also perform every day of the festival (click here for a full schedule). $35-$175 via Benjamin Leatherman

Vance Joy

Saturday 18 March
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington

James Gabriel Keogh was not always concerned with musical success. Before donning the Vance Joy mantle and hitting the music scene in Australia, Keogh was devoted to all things “football”. As a footballer, he competed with several Australian rules teams before deciding to kick a new type of goal. Back in 2013, his track “Riptide”, off his debut EP God loves you when you dance, exploded worldwide. Its mellow vibe, insistent acoustic riffs and folksy melodies made it stand out at a time when bands all over the world were adopting a stomp-and-clap-on-the-porch, “Mumfordcore” sound. A key part of Joy’s appeal is the warmth of his vocals. He sings with a frank sincerity, his voice plaintive and yearning without slipping into mawkishness. With three albums under their belt so far, Joy’s has developed a relaxed yet passionate sound. He sings with the intimacy of a close friend sharing his innermost thoughts, buzzing over a bed of snaking strings, sparse pianos and drums that kick as hard as Joy’s old teammates. 8 p.m., $49.50-$173.50 via Ashley Naftule

Remembering David Denogean

Saturday 18 March
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road

On November 25, David Denogean, a track coach and teacher at Camelback High School as well as a longtime security guard at the Rebel Lounge, was shot and killed. Denogean, 30, was walking his dog, Evie, near the parking lot of Feeney’s Restaurant & Bar near 12th Street and Maryland Avenue when he was murdered by the still-unknown assailant. As his family seeks justice, others who knew Denogean, particularly his cohorts in the local music scene, are trying to honor his memory with a tribute show Saturday night featuring Sundressed, Troubled Minds, Collide and Bee Jennings. (Read more about the performance here.) 5pm, $10-$100 via Chris Coplan

Click to enlarge

Country music star Chris Young.

John Shearer

Boots in the park

Saturday 18 March
Gilbert Regional Park, 3005 East Queen Creek Road

We’re in the middle of a stretch of great festival weather right now, and Boots in the Park organizers are planning to take advantage of the situation. This weekend, they’re hosting the second edition of the one-day country music event, which will feature sets from major recording artists from the genre. This year’s lineup will be headlined by Chris Young (the Tennessee-born singer-songwriter and season four winner of Nashville Star), Trace Adkins (the hitmaker behind such chart-topping singles as “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” and “Ladies Love Country Boys.”) Other artists scheduled to perform include Dylan Scott, Frank Ray, Ella Langley and Joe Peters. Dinner, $99-$179 via Benjamin Leatherman

See also  I-10, I-17 closures lead to weekend freeway restrictions in the Valley

Together Pangea

Saturday 18 March
Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue

“I’ve been living next to you, baby now, for a long time,” sings Together Pangea’s William Keegan on “One Way or Another” from the band’s 2021 album Color. “Pulling weeds in the tall tall grass and trying to make this place mine.” The desire for community is over Color, as Keegan sings about love and alienation — whether it’s about superstition tearing people apart on “Rapture” or reflecting on the connections you can make on the road in “Alabama.” All of this is delivered with garage rock crunch and power pop hooks. Together, Pangea emerged in the same Burger Records scene in California that produced other garage rock stalwarts such as The Black Lips, Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin and Wavves. They share the same knack for writing catchy bubblegum melodies as many of the other Burger bands, but eschew the harsher production you’d hear on something like Segall’s Melted for a poppier, sweeter sound. Together, Pangea will knock your socks off, but won’t make your ears bleed. Featuring Ultra Q and Diva Bleach; 8:30 p.m., $18/$22 via Ashley Naftule

Click to enlarge

Noel Paul Stookey, left, and Peter Yarrow.

Live Nation

Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey

Saturday 18 March
Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street

About six decades ago, music charts were mostly filled with soft ballads and smooth soul arrangements from acts like Shelley Fabares and Ray Charles. This was the driving force behind the anti-war musical movement that started with songwriters taking pen to paper and ended up with protest songs topping the charts on national radio. The civil rights movement happening in America also inspired songs by progressive musical artists. None would be as prolific as Peter, Paul and Mary, a folk trio who, if they couldn’t stop the conflict, certainly tried to heal the people who went through it. Formed in 1961, the group consisted of Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. Travers died in 2009, but Yarrow and Stookey still tour the country together under their individual names. The singers will appear at the Mesa Arts Center on Saturday night. (Read more about the performance here.) 7 p.m., $50-$70 via Timothy Rawles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *