Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Russ Harrington

6 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Weekend

Here are our picks for this weekend. Be sure to check our comprehensive concert calendar for more options.

The Maine - Friday, April 3 - Marquee Theatre

One of the Valley's most successful rock bands, The Maine is back with their fifth full-length studio album, American Candy, which came out March 31. The album is a light breeze of radio friendly alternative rock, if there is such a thing anymore, and the Marquee Theatre show should be a triumphant return for the hometown heroes.

Testament, Exodus - Friday, April 3 - Livewire

Testament and Exodus are two metal titans that I never get sick of, no matter how many times I see them live. Remember when Testament's 2012 album Dark Roots of Earth roared to number nine on the worldwide sales chart after its release? Well, this tour pays homage to that accomplishment, aptly titled The Dark Roots of Thrash II Tour. Expect to hear all of Testament's classics, particularly from the first three records. Exodus is celebrating 30 years since the release of their first album, thrash metal's classic blueprint Bonded by Blood. Rounded out with Scattered Sun, this lineup's mosh pit will be interesting to see at the new music venue Livewire, located in the heart of Old Town. LAUREN WISE

Ed Kowalczyk - Saturday, April 4 - Musical Instrument Museum Theater

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Twenty years ago, the York, Pennsylvania, four-piece alternative rock band Live, which formed for a middle school talent show, was one of the biggest bands in the world. The group sold out stadiums and performed the massive Woodstock anniversary concerts in '94 and '99 on the strength of the album Throwing Copper. That release sold more than 8 million copies, topped radio charts, and dominated MTV with staples such as "Lightning Crashes." But one of their biggest hits has turned out to be the most prophetic: "I Alone." While Live has re-formed with a new singer, the band's original voice and lyricist, Ed Kowalczyk, is now embarking on an acoustic tour where he will be both alone and live.

Leon Russell - Saturday, April 4 - Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.

Who the hell is Leon Russell, anyway? Everyone seems to know of the musician, yet despite a career lasting nearly 50 years that includes a 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, it's just not easy to pinpoint why we know him. Perhaps Russell -- musician, songwriter, producer, arranger -- has done so much that we can't help but know him without really knowing him. Let's try and figure it out. Arriving in Los Angeles from Tulsa in the early 1960s, Russell quickly became an in-demand session man, primarily on piano and organ. He worked with Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, fellow Okie J.J. Cale, Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Byrds, Bobby "Boris" Pickett ("Monster Mash"), Badfinger ("Day After Day"), and the list goes on. He performed with George Harrison at the Concert for Bangladesh. His recorded output, spanning more than two dozen albums in multiple genres, spawned several gold albums. Yet, it was 1972's "Tight Rope" that became his one true hit as a performer. Russell penned a number of other monster hits -- for other people -- including "Masquerade" (George Benson), "Superstar" (Carpenters), and "A Song for You" (Temptations). There are more, too. Guess it would be hard not to know him after all. GLENN BURNSILVER

Dick Dale - Friday, April 3 - Musical Instrument Museum

Dick Dale is unstoppable. At 77, despite a few fights with cancer and other health problems, he's still going strong, continuing to put on lively performances and worldwide tours. The term "legend" should never be used lightly, but Dale certainly deserves it, as he not only practically invented surf music, but his upside down, left-handed staccato style strongly influenced heavy metal, Jimi Hendrix, and anyone who has ever happened to use reverb. Inspired by the unique rhythm in the waves, Dale worked closely with Fender Guitar Company to manufacture instruments and amplifiers that could actually handle his enormous wall of sound. With his band the Del-Tones, Dale popularized surf music in the 1950s, often transforming Middle Eastern scales and traditional folk songs (the most well-known being "Misirlou," which featured prominently in Pulp Fiction) into zesty, throbbing hits. It's no exaggeration to say that every guitar-driven band, from The Ventures to Sonic Youth to Best Coast and beyond, owes Dick Dale some kind of debt. TROY FARAH

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Sunday, April 5 - Musical Instrument Museum Theater

Country music queen Mary Chapin Carpenter has been nothing if not prolific over her 28-year career in the business. She's recorded a dozen different studio albums, been all over the country charts across three decades, and collaborated with such fellow singer-songwriting legends as Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, and Dolly Parton. This weekend, Carpenter visits the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix for a two-night set. Aoife O'Donovan will open both performances.

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

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