Metro Phoenix’s music and nightlife scenes are continuing to come back to life as popular bars reopen for business, new concerts are announced, and music festivals are being planned. For proof, look no further than our latest roundup of recent news from around the Valley, including details about The Grid making its long-awaited return, synthwave duo The Midnight announcing a Phoenix date, and two new festivals in the works.
The Grid in Mesa Reopens This Weekend
More than a year after shutting down because of the pandemic, Mesa game bar and music venue The Grid is hitting the reset switch this weekend. Proprietors of the 4,100-square-foot nightspot along Gilbert Road just south of Broadway Road will reopen on Friday, April 30, with a “Press Restart” party. Local DJ Noah’s Arcade will be in the mix all evening, and masks will be required. The event starts at 8 p.m. and there's a $10 cover.
Like most other local bars, The Grid closed in March 2020 during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona. The Grid’s staff tell Phoenix New Times they’ve finally reached a point where they feel things are safe enough to be open to the public once again. Live music, including synthwave shows, and regular weekly events may return to the game bar within the next few weeks, depending on customer response and other factors.
The Midnight Is Coming to The Van Buren
Speaking of synthwave, the duo of Tim Daniel McEwan Jamison and Tyler Lyle (better known as The Midnight) have announced a fall tour that includes a stop at The Van Buren. The Atlanta-based act – which released its third album, Monsters, last summer – is scheduled to perform at the downtown Phoenix on Wednesday, November 24. No opening act has been announced yet for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are on sale now via The Van Buren’s website and are $25 in advance, $28 on the day of the concert.
Bon Jovi Virtual Concert Coming to Valley Drive-Ins
An upcoming performance by rock legends Bon Jovi will be broadcast at more than 300 drive-in theaters across the U.S. on Saturday, May 22, and a few in the metro Phoenix area will be participating. Encore Nights, the Texas-based company that put on similar “virtual concerts” by Metallica and Blake Shelton at drive-ins last year is behind the event. Much like these other drive-in shows, the Bon Jovi version will feature a never-before-seen concert by the band.
According to the Encore Nights website, seven Arizona drive-ins will participate, including the West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In. Tickets go on sale on April 29 and will start at $68 for each vehicle, which can seat up to six people. More details can be found here.
Boots in the Park and Back to the Beach Festivals Announced
The Valley’s concert calendar won’t be wanting for music festivals over the next couple of months, as two more outdoor concert events have recently been announced. To wit: Boots in the Park, a one-day country music shindig headlined Capitol Nashville artist Jon Pardi, will take place on Saturday, September 18, at Tempe Beach Park. L.A.-based promoter Activated Events – the folks behind the Valley's annual Wet Electric festival – is putting on the event. Jameson Rodgers, Lainey Wilson, and Elvie Shane will also perform. Tickets are $59 to $149.
And next month, Big Surf Water Park in Tempe will host the newly announced Back to the Beach festival on Sunday, May 30, which will include sets by such punk, ska, and rock acts as Fishbone, Ozomatli, and 2Tone Lizard Kings. It will take place the day after the similarly themed Punk in the Park festival at Big Surf. (Both events will reportedly feature a large stage set up in the water park's empty wave pool.) Gates will open at 2 p.m. and tickets are $45 to $100. More details are available here.