Speed Trap

SAT 3/19
Slash and Scott Weiland (formerly of Guns n' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, respectively) might have mellowed a bit -- a tad bit -- since the days of their reckless youth. But the Speed Jam at Phoenix International Raceway, 7602 South 115th Avenue in Avondale, on Saturday, March 19, is not for the faint of heart, much less the burnt-out rocker pig. The sensory overload of motocross, Indy cars and X-Gamers is followed by a concert from Velvet Revolver -- Slash and Weiland's supergroup reincarnate, whose "debut" album, Contraband, is a triple-platinum hit (or a testament to the power of rehab, depending on your perspective). But before the amps are tweaked, Speed Jammers will be amped to hear the roar of Indy cars racing in the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200, and witness the high-flying freak show of motocross demos by Glendale's Nate Adams and fellow freestyle phenoms Niki Danielson, Jeff Tilton, and John Distler. Tickets for racing, demos and the concert are $20 in advance, $29 at the gate. Call 602-252-2227. -- Joe Watson

Paddle Out
Those kids and their dragon racing

By some accounts, dragon boat races evolved from an ancient rite in which rowers chucked stones at each other's heads. Another version connects the races with the political-protest suicide of poet Qu Yuan in 296 B.C. Whatever its genesis, the racing of painted boats with colorful dragon heads and tails has evolved into a serious sport, with an estimated 60 million participants worldwide. See a local slice of the sport at the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival, taking place Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, at Tempe Town Lake, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. Call 480-350-8625. -- Niki D'Andrea

Monster Mash
Even bigger than SUVs

First, we start with the Tonkas, become enamored of Hot Wheels, graduate to Stompers, and, finally, end up with a '78 Chevette in need of a new tranny. But the ultimate goal, of course, is to somehow park a Bigfoot in the driveway, and if any grousing neighbors give us crap, we'll squash their tomato garden into oblivion. Since we're not quite there yet, we'll live vicariously through Bigfoot -- the original monster truck (don't be fooled by imitations) -- at Glendale Arena, 9400 West Maryland, where the "Monsters of Destruction" tour revs its ridiculously oversize engines on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19. Dragon Slayer, Spider-Man, the "all new" No. 29 Kevin Harvick monster truck, and Line-X Obsession compete alongside Bigfoot (currently the points leader) in "Straight Line Drags" and "Chicago Style" racing. Tickets -- not including higher gas prices -- are $15 to $25. Call 480-784-4444. -- Joe Watson

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Joe Watson