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Top 5 Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite are scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 30, at McDowell Mountain Music Festival.
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite are scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 30, at McDowell Mountain Music Festival.
Courtesy Photo

Curious about what's going on around town this weekend? Need some suggestions as to how to rock, dance, or krump in the Valley of the Sun? Don't fret. We've got the hook up on what shows you might be interested in attending over the next couple nights and days.

This weekend in particular will be a busy one, as big festivals like the International Pop Overthrow takes place in Tempe and the three-day McDowell Mountain Music Festival starts this afternoon at Margaret T. Hance Park. The Trunk Space will also kickoff its ambitious 10-night Indie 500 concert series this weekend and one of the biggest (and brightest) raves takes place on Saturday night.

And if those options don't suit your tastes, hit up our extensive online concert calendar for more choices. In the meantime, here are our picks for the top concerts in Metro Phoenix to see this weekend.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival - Friday, March 28, to Sunday, March 30 - Margaret T. Hance Park

One of the hallmarks of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival over its decade or so of existence has been the utter diversity of sounds its offered. Such is the case with the 2014 edition, which kicks off on Friday afternoon and features a buffet of sounds that cuts across a multitude of genres.

To wit: The lineup for this year's MMMF features the electro soul of Gramatik, the jazzy funk of Lettuce, and indie rock aplenty from Decker, as well as the bluesy Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, alt-country artists Delta Fifths, and folk rock aplenty from Avery. And that's just on Friday, the first day of the three-day outdoor festival.

The rest of MMMF's offerings include soulful R&B singer Allen Stone, the always funky G. Love and Special Sauce, livetronica jam band Disco Biscuits, psychedelic reggae rockers Slightly Stoopid, country maverick Dwight Yoakam, the all-out blues-rock of West Water Outlaws, and the ultra-influential Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. As always, the festival will also star a grip of locals, such as Black Bottom Lighters, Travis James and The Wretched Ones, and the Black Bottom Lighters.

Check out more coverage of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival  

Tritonal - Friday, March 28 - Maya Day & Nightclub

Tritonal's the bomb! No really, it's the term for an explosive mix of 80 percent Trinitrotoluene and 20 percent aluminum powder, which is almost 20 times more powerful than TNT alone. So brace yourselves for the DJ duo of the same name that consists of mixmasters Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed. Their gig at Maya this weekend is likely to be a blast and half. -- Laurie Charles  

DJs From Mars
DJs From Mars
Show Art Agency

Bubble Bobble 6 - Saturday, March 29 - Arizona Event Center

What is it with European DJ/producers and masks? Though the phenomenon of donning bizarre facial disguises while performing isn't securely limited to beat-jugglers from said continent (Deadmau5 and Bl3nd being prime exceptions), there's been an inordinate amount of masked mixmasters from across the pond over the past decade. Like the helmet robots of Daft Punk, for instance, as well as Norway's Savant, Italian twosome Bloody Beetroots, Belgium's Dr. Lectroluv, and U.K.-based EDM artist SBTRKT. And then there's the DJs From Mars, who don't hail from the red planet (as their moniker suggests), but rather from Turin, Italy.

Whenever the duo of Max Aqualuce and Luca Ventafunk play out, they typically wear box-like headgear resembling emoticons while behind the mixer. Though such adornments might seem strange in everyday life, both the DJs From Mars and their masks will fit in nicely within the madcap milieu of ultra-colorful dance event Bubble Bobble 6 on Saturday, March 29, at Arizona Event Center, 1300 South Country Club Drive in Mesa. The EDM massive and foam party, which will feature waves of the titular bubbles filling two rooms, also includes performances from DJs like Lady Faith, Dave Keset, Ian K., Rize, Skull Kids, and more. The event runs from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. General admission is $25, VIP access is $35. -- Benjamin Leatherman  

Schoolboy Q - Sunday, March 30 - Celebrity Theatre

Though frequently compared with labelmate Kendrick Lamar, Los Angeles' Schoolboy Q has made some big noise of his own. His 2012 album, Habits and Contradictions, is grittier and more rough around the edges than those of his counterparts in the Black Hippy collective (Lamar, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock). Pulling from his gang-affiliated past, Q crafts songs about drug-slinging and street violence, but it's his unpredictable charisma that sets him apart from traditional West Coast gangsta rap. His flow cuts sharply between smooth styling to unhinged mania at any given moment. He can zoom in to deal with the intensely personal or zoom out to reveal the bigger picture. -- Jack Spencer  

Top 5 Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend
Benjamin Leatherman

Indie 500 Kickoff - Sunday, March 30 - Trunk Space

If y'all were one of the 180 generous folks that helped The Trunk Space kick their recent Indiegogo fundraiser's ass -- including über-cute Brooklyn indie rock duo Matt and Kim, who chipped in a cool grand at the 11th hour -- be sure to pat yourself on the back in pride.

Not only did all y'all enable the small Grand Avenue art space and music venue to score a brand spankin' new air conditioner (which won't be installed until sometime this summer), you funded the Indie 500, an ambitious 10-day festival that starts on Sunday. Five different bands and musicians will perform 10 songs apiece every night until April 6. (Do the math, it works out to a total of 500 songs. Get it?)

The series off the with Asian Man Records founder (and onetime Skankin Pickler frontman) Mike Park, who be backed up by former rudie and current folkster Dan Potthast, as well as local ska kings Liam and the Ladies, French Girls, Jaime J, and and comedy punk band JJCnV. Admission is $8 each night or $25 for the entire run. -- Troy Farah

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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