The smoky smell and haze in the night sky from a fireworks show is a typical way to end a Fourth of July celebration.
However, what leads to the fireworks at the end of the night is the fun part. Many choose to grill and have parties to celebrate or attend some of the events around the Valley. If you're looking to celebrate with live music, here are some options. All events are on July 4 unless otherwise noted.
Salt River Fields Music Festival - Thursday, July 3: Although not on the Fourth of July, the event is one that can be enjoyed by the whole family. American Idol winner Phillip Phillips headlines the concert, with local acts Sara Robinson and The Midnight Special, The Senators, and Matt Kahler. A fireworks show will follow, just before 10 p.m. (7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale)
Tempe Town Lake Festival: The event at Tempe Town Lake has a lot for the whole family to enjoy. There will be a rock climbing wall and an assortment of rides and other events. Kids will also have their own entertainment for the night. At the main stage will be the local bands, such as Don't Tell Mom Band and Levi Waskom. Tickets are available at Fry's grocery stores, and kids 12 and under are free. (620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe)
First Friday: Voltron at The Nash The musical entertainment at this event may not be a large festival with fireworks like the rest, but a normal First Friday night on Independence Day could be just as fun. The Nash is hosting a free show on July 4 with Voltron as its guest. Not the popular '80s cartoon robot, but rather a five-piece jazz band. The night begins The Nash's Catch a Rising Star Concert Series, a series that will feature up-and-coming talent. Be sure to bring your own beer or wine if you're thirsty, and be prepared to pay a small fee for your trouble. (110 E. Roosevelt St.)
4th of July with Mat Zo, Brass Knuckles, and Special Guests If you're looking for electronic dance music on our nation's birthday, this may be for you, as long as you're over 21. Maya Day and Night Club will kick off July 4 at noon and have artists Mat Zo, Grandtheft, Brass Knuckles, and Jack Novak performing. Fireworks are set to begin at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, VIP is $35. (7333 East Indian Plaza, Scottsdale)
The Police Experience at Casino Arizona in Scottsdale - July 4, July 5: The Police Experience will perform covers of original band's classics. This tribute band is said to be one of the best when it comes to covering the popular artist's songs. Tickets are just $12, which doesn't include money you'll lose at table games or slots. (524 N. 92nd St., Scottsdale)
Fabulous Phoenix Fourth Finally, if you aren't looking to pay admission to an event this year, the city of Phoenix has you covered. The Fourth of July celebration has free admission, complete with activities for kids and performances by The Big Zephyr and more. Food and drinks can be purchased at the event, but the festival will be alcohol-free, should that be a priority. (Third Street and Indian School Road)
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra What better way to honor the birth of our country than by celebrating the melting pot of cultures here? Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra (PAO) is itself a melting pot of sorts -- its members are all in many other local bands, coming together as PAO to play the occasional show around town. Chicha Dust, La Saga, and DJ Smite also are on the bill for this show at the Crescent Ballroom.
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