It's summertime in the Valley, so it's about to get disrespectfully hot outside. It's as if Mother Nature herself is telling you to move, so with triple digits on the horizon it seems like a great time to find some cool shows in the Arizona high country and beyond.
There are hundreds of shows going on all over the state and into some of our neighboring states, so we thought we'd narrow down some of the choices for you. Here are 10 concerts within driving distance that will help you beat the heat and keep your brain from melting this summer.
Ziggy Marley — Pepsi Amphitheater, Flagstaff — June 5
It’s unfortunate that Bob Marley died so young, but fortunately his kids do a damn good job of paying homage to him, and to be honest, they are no slouches as songwriters themselves. Ziggy Marley is going to be rocking the Pepsi Amphitheater in Flagstaff with his band on June 5, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer's day than driving up to Flag and swaying in the pines to a reggae pioneer’s offspring who is becoming a reggae legend in his own right.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff — June 8
The flag-bearers of modern-day hippie positivity are always worth catching, even though the band no longer counts singer Jade Castrinos as a member. Still, the band has a vast catalog of hits that make even the most jaded music fans smile, and seeing them in an environment likely to be 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix will only make the songs sweeter.
Pro Teens — Firecreek Coffee Company, Flagstaff — June 9
Phoenix's own surf-pop heartthrobs Pro Teens are going on a big summer tour this year, and to kick things off they are making a stop at Flagstaff’s Firecreek Coffee Company on June 9. Joining them will be Flagstaff’s own posi-rockers Dragons, as well as Coffee Pot and the Valley’s Sun Hex. Pro Teens make some cool music; mix that with the cooler climate of Flag, and what you’ve got is a chilled-out evening in the mountains with some amazing up-and-coming Arizona music.
Parker Smith — The Spirit Room, Jerome — June 17
The Spirit Room in Jerome is such a neat place that it’s worth going to just to check out on any random night. But when an authentic folkster like Prescott’s Parker Smith is on the guitar and vocals, it makes for an evening when can make your mind travel back to a time when Jerome was one of the biggest cities in Arizona. The entire town and definitely the venue already have an old-timey quality to them, but add in a musician who walks the walk as well as he talks the talk, and it becomes the sort of evening that is more than worth driving up from the Valley for on June 17.
Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival — Continental Driving Range — June 18
Is there a better way to spend a summer day than out in the open air listening to blues music and sipping on a craft beer? If there is, I don’t want to know about it. The Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival is a time-hallowed summer tradition and probably one of the best excuses in the world to head out of the blazing Valley heat for a day and spend some time among the Flagstaff pines. The Sugaray Rayford Band, Danielle Nicole, Monkeyjunk, The Austin Young Band, and a handful of others will be providing the entertainment, and more than 15 craft breweries are going to provide the libations for what is sure to be a beautiful summer afternoon in Flag on June 18.
Flagstaff Folk Festival — Coconino Center for the Arts — June 18-19
Two days, five stages, lots and lots of folk music. The Flagstaff Folk Festival isn't messing around, and with more music in one weekend than will practically hit Flagstaff all month, there's no better time to head up the mountain. The fact that the historical average high temps that weekend are in the upper 70s doesn't hurt the case, either.
Dutch Holly — The Spirit Room, Jerome — June 25
Dream pop duo Dutch Holly are more than just a band; they are a married couple as well, and all that time they get to spend together is really paying off in their tunes. Like Parker Smith, they are also a product of Prescott, but unlike Smith they aren’t going to bring an old-timey vibe to the Spirit Room in Jerome on June 25. Dutch Holly is a modern group who make modern music, and they will no doubt have the whole room grooving to their electro-infused tunes. Dutch Holly is a lot of fun. They don’t make it out to the Valley too often, so catching them at The Spirit Room should suffice.
Global Dance Festival — Red Rocks, Morrison, Colorado — July 8-10
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado is one of the most beautiful and well-known venues in the country and, really, any excuse to get there is a good one. But on the weekend spanning July 8, 9, and 10, there is a better reason than most to take that trip north. The Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks is going to host 20 of the world's best DJs within its cavernous red walls and put on a party like no other. If there ever was a better reason to ditch the Valley heat and take a trip to greener pastures, I don’t know what it is.
Psychedelic Furs — Pepsi Amphitheater — July 15
Dig the Psychedelic Furs? Well, you're going to have to travel to catch them on tour this summer, as the band that wrote "Heartbreak Beat" won't be making a stop in Phoenix. Instead, you can catch the Furs up at the Pepsi Amphitheater in Flagstaff. We applaud the sensible decision makers planning the Furs' tour, as frankly, who the hell wants to play outside in Phoenix during July if you don't have to?
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The Melvins — The Green Room, Flagstaff — August 4
Since Tyler King took over at The Green Room, it seems like nary a big punk show can roll through Flagstaff without playing there, and the next one up is The Melvins on August 4. The Melvins will be touring in support of the June 4 release of their new record, which features a rotating cast of bass players including former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. Will the former member of Nirvana be there to play with The Melvins in August? Probably not, but you won’t know unless you go, and regardless of his attendance, The Green Room puts on a hell of a show.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this blog misidentified Green Room owner Tyler King. New Times apologizes for the error.