Local bands and musicians of a Celtic bent have plenty of reasons for their Irish eyes to be smiling right now, as this weekend is pretty much the biggest of the entire calendar year. St. Pat's lands on a Sunday this year, which means three straight days of partying and performing for rowdy, drunken crowds at countless local pubs and watering holes, which is certain to nab them plenty of green.
Celtic croonings aren't the only sort of musical stylings afoot, as everyone from rappers to rockers have gigs scheduled from Friday, March 15, until the big day on Sunday, March 17. Here's spitball list of eight of the must-see concerts and gigs worthy of your time and money. Hell, a few are even free, which should leave plenty of scrilla for Smithwick's.
If getting in some green on St. Patrick's Day involves substances more of the leafy and skunky variety, then by all means head for this West Valley smokers lounge on the evening of Saturday, March 16. The annual Smoke Phatties Day concert and block party will be kicking off at 8 p.m. Rock and rap will be on tap via performances from such acts as Property Six, local hip-hoppers as Lucky D., Kan9ne, and S.P.A.D.E. The lounge itself also has video game consoles available for play and a slew of snacks for sale, so those who might happen to be enjoying some can satisfy all their jonesings at once. Tickets are $13 and are available via econcertlive.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Speaking of things connected with lighting up some chiba, the punks of BroLoaf will be raffling off a "bitchin" water pipe during their St. Patty's Pre-Game party starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, as well as a test pressing of their most recent seven-inch and tickets to the next day's Flogging Molly concert. Besides a headlining set by the band, locals The Plainfield Butchers and Scorpion vs. Tarantula will also go hard, and DJ Johnny Volume will spin between sets. As always with a Yucca gig, there's no cover.-- Benjamin Leatherman
Currently celebrating more than a quarter-century as one of the world's premier traditional Celtic folk bands, Altan's roots go back to the dynamic and delightful duo of Belfast flutist Frankie Kennedy and Donegal fiddler and singer Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh. Joining distinct traditions and adding new material, coalescing around Ní Mhaonaigh's marvelous, ethereal voice, Altan gradually grew into a band, then survived the devastation of Kennedy's death from cancer in 1994. The Irish ensemble has played venues across the globe, helping forge their sterling reputation, and will spend this year's St. Patrick's holiday on Sunday, March 17, filling the MIM's theater with their dulcet traditional sounds during a pair of back-to-back shows at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.50-$42.50. -- Rick Mason
If the daylong adventure of chugging brews and checking out the Flogging Molly show at Tempe Beach Park doesn't completely quench your thirst for St. Patrick's Day revelry, stumble down Mill Avenue to the WoB after Dave King and company finish up their concert and check out the drinkery's after-party. Authority Zero frontman Jason DeVore will be performing a solo acoustic set starting at 10 p.m. all the way to last call. In the interim, sample any of the more than 600 kinds of suds available. Admission is free, unless the door man thinks you're too soused to get in. -- Benjamin LeathermanKeltic Cowboys at Rosie McCaffrey's Irish Pub
While it's true that you can catch these long-running Irish rock faves, who have been working around the Valley for the better part of two decades now, during weekend gigs at most metro Phoenix pubs, the fivesome led by vocalist/banjo player Frank Mackey seems to really kick things up a few dozen notches during the annual St. Pat's appearance at Rosie's. You'll have plenty of opportunities to catch the Cowboys performing their signature song "Kiss My Irish Ass," this weekend, as they're doing back-to-back-to-back performances at 9 p.m. on both Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16 (both are free) followed by a headlining appearance at the pub's main event of the year on Sunday, March 17. A $10 cover is required for the latter gig. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Hard rocker James Durbin and '90s alternative radio hitmakers Lit will headline this year's edition of Craftsman Court's annual outdoor St. Patrick's extravaganza on Saturday, March 16. Local DJs and Valley bands like The Black Moods, Good With Grenades, The Wednesday Machine, Black Bottom Lighters, and Grain of Truth will provide support on two different stages. Patrons will also have access to three bars (Dos Gringos, Rockbar, and Blitz), various food and beer vendors, and plenty of St. Pat's swag. Gates open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. See scottsdalesultimateblockparty.com. -- Benjamin LeathermanWig Mafia at Martini Ranch
If you've never witnessed a gig by the party-hearty hip-hop duo of Petey Pe$o and Brock "MegaWatts" Roulier -- both of whom sport matching Adidas track suits, Stunna shades, fake Jheri curl 'fros (hence their name), and huge gold chains -- we most definitely recommend attending Wig Mafia's performance starting at 9:30 p.m. during Martini Ranch's St. Patty's Day Extravaganza on Sunday, March 17. Particularly if you dig going wild Old Town Scottsdale style, a la the major rager depicted in the above YouTube clip. The equally over-the-top Metalhead follows at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Flogging Molly at Tempe Beach Park After nearly a decade, Celtic folk punkers Flogging Molly have become a St. Paddy's Day staple in Tempe. The band's anthems -- "What's Left of the Flag," "Devil's Dance Floor," and "Salty Dog" -- pull double duty each year at Tempe Beach Park, serving both the energetic moshers and the waves of bros looking to pound rounds of Guinness and shout at each other.
"It's the best place to be doing that day in the country," says multi-instrumentalist Bob Schmidt on why Flogging Molly keeps coming back to Tempe (this year marks the band's ninth stop). "Just about everywhere else you go, it's freezing cold and nobody's going to congregate outside for more than five minutes." -- Melissa Fossum
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