Things to Do

Best Phoenix Concerts This Weekend: Macklemore, Aminé, Kaki King

Macklemore is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 11, at the Coors Light Birds Nest in Scottsdale.
Macklemore is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 11, at the Coors Light Birds Nest in Scottsdale. Aaron Thackeray
While Valentine’s Day doesn’t technically occur until early next week, we’re betting most of y’all will be celebrating the occasion this weekend. If that’s the case, and you still haven’t figured out what
to do with your S.O., don’t sweat just yet. Consider taking them to one of the notable concerts happening from Friday, February 11, to Sunday, February 13, around metro Phoenix.

It runs the gamut from shows at midsized venues to full-on arena gigs and encompasses a wide range of genres (including everything from Christian hip-hop of TobyMac to the experimental guitar work of Kaki King). The Coors Light Birds Nest up at the Waste Management Phoenix open will also wrap up its 2022 run with performances by rapper Macklemore and DJ superstar Kygo. Other highlights of this weekend’s concert also include alternative hip-hop artist Aminé, dark cabaret artist Aurelio Voltaire, and pop-punkers The Wonder Years.

Read on for details about each of these gigs or click over to Phoenix New Times' online concert listings for more live music happening this week. Keep in mind, though, COVID-19 and its Omicron variant are still prevalent right now and some local venues will require proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend.
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Stefan Bossems (left) and Claus Terhoeven (right) of Cosmic Gate.
Wasserman Music

Cosmic Gate at Shady Park

When German DJs Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems, better known as Cosmic Gate, worked on their first track together, they had no idea they were forming what would become a 20-year partnership. That initial jam session became “The Drums,” the trance duo’s first single and one of their more memorable tracks, which was revisited on their 2019 album, 20 Years: Forward Ever Backward Never. Coming full circle with an old song was fitting for the album, which celebrated the two-decade mark in Cosmic Gate’s career — one that has produced a number of successful albums and remixes, seen the two spin at major music festivals and clubs, and garnered them a Grammy nomination in 2018 for their remix of Gabriel & Dresden and Sub Teal’s “Only Road.” The duo is scheduled to visit Shady Park, 26 East University Drive, on Saturday, February 12, for a weekend set that’s likely to include “The Drums” being spun, as well as tracks from their 2021 release MOSAIIK: Chapter One. Local DJs LuJan and Joseph Harding open the 9 p.m. gig. Tickets are $27. Suzannah Friscia
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Macklemore will be in the Valley on Friday.
Aaron Thackeray

Macklemore at Coors Light Birds Nest

Rapper Ben Haggerty, known to most as Macklemore (or Professor Mack Lemore, if you’re truly old-school) has been a polarizing figure in hip-hop for most of his career, to say the least. While it’s died down a bit in recent years, the fact remains that he’s had a phenomenally successful run over the past decade. His biggest success to date, of course, was 2012's smash-hit The Heist, a collaboration with Ryan Lewis. Maybe you remember the hit song “Thrift Shop” (poppin’ tags, anyone?) or “Same Love.” Four years later, the duo released the follow-up, This Unruly Mess I've Made. Macklemore’s career without Lewis hasn’t been as prolific, however. As a matter of fact, he hasn’t released anything new since 2017’s Gemini. That won’t matter much to the masses who will turn out for Macklemore’s performance on Friday, February 11, inside the Coors Light Birds Nest at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, 17020 North Hayden Road. Singer-songwriter Quinn XCII and DJ/producer ayokay open the evening starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 to $285. Sara Button
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Aurelio Voltaire is one spooky dude.
13th Floor Entertainment

Aurelio Voltaire at The Rebel Lounge

Aurelio Voltaire's music is described as "dark cabaret." Leaning on strong folk elements and combined with his powerful voice, this self-described Renaissance man (who has gone by the moniker Voltaire in the past) often focuses on the darker aspects of existence. If this Cuban-born artist isn’t singing about death and destruction, he’s alluding to it on songs such as "When You’re Evil." He could be crooning about the monsters under a young child’s bed or even what he would do if he could embody the Grim Reaper himself. His mischievous lyrics are mixed with his larger-than-life appearance (think The Cure's Robert Smith with better hair and darker eyeliner), which is what brings people back for more. But to be clear, he's not a "death metal" artist, but a folk artist who is thrilled by the stranger things in life. He’s due at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road, on Saturday, February 12. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. Barbara Smith

Aminé at The Van Buren

Aminé has already proved he’s far more than his breakout single, “Caroline.” With his most recent project, ONEPOINTFIVE, the follow-up to his debut effort, Good for You, the Portland-born alternative hip-hop artist showcases his versatility in both rapping and winging, while touching on relevant topics in today’s society. He’s due at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Saturday, February 12, for a performance in support of the album. Cochise opens the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are $32.50 to $42.50. Matthew Keever
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Kygo headlines the final night
George Martinez

Kygo at Coors Light Birds Nest

The last time Kygo worked the visited the Coors Light Birds Nest during the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, 17020 North Hayden Road, back in 2020 (a.k.a. the “Before Times”), the Norwegian house music DJ and producer dropped a high-energy set filled with massive beats and his signature hits that got the sold-out crowd moving. He’s scheduled to do the same this weekend when he headlines the final night of this year’s concert series on Saturday, February 12. Expect a mix of absolute bangers, including tropical house selections and the sort of stellar remixes he’s known for, during his performance. Fellow electronic dance music stars Sam Feldt and Forrester will open. Doors open at 3 p.m. and Kygo is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. Tickets are available through resellers. Benjamin Leatherman
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Toby McKeehan, better known as TobyMac.
True Artist Management

TobyMac at Gila River Arena

TobyMac has essentially cornered the market on Christian hip-hop. Sure, it'd be easy to say that might partially be due to lack of depth in the faith-based subgenre, but he's still managed to win Grammys with his inspirational verses. Sure, some of his albums (like 2015’s This Is Not a Test) might have more of an electronic dance music influence, but even if tobyMac is a bit more, uh, traditional, he's clearly intent on keeping up with music trends and adapting his sound accordingly. Catch him in concert on Saturday, February 12, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale, with support from Crowder, Cochren and Co., CAIN, and Terrain. Tickets are $19.75 to $89.75. Matt Wood

Johnny Mathis at Talking Stick Resort

Johnny Mathis is a vocal virtuoso. His genre mastery spans jazz, Brazilian, R&B, soul, Spanish, Broadway Theatre, and even Tin Pan Alley songs popularized in the ‘20s. He’s sold a staggering 350 million records in his lifetime, making him the third best-selling artist of the 20th century. In 2017, Columbia Records put out The Voice of Romance, a 68-disc box set boasting every single Mathis album on the label. The title is a nod to the love songs that have been the hallmark of his 66-year career, including such notable favorites as “Wonderful! Wonderful!," “A Certain Smile,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” and “Wild Is the Wind.” Many of these same songs will be on Mathis’ setlist when he performs at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 12. Tickets are $40 to $225. Matt Wood
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Multitalented instrumental guitarist Kaki King.
Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina

Kaki King at Musical Instrument Museum

If you have any doubt about the guitar’s ability to mesmerize, take a listen to instrumental guitarist Kaki King. The multitalented musician has been creating intricate and intriguing sounds with a few different variations of the instrument, including acoustic, electric, and lap steel, since releasing her debut record, Everybody Loves You, in 2002. The 10-song album proved her ability to weave involved tales through the guitar without vocals being needed or missed. Songs like “Close Your Eyes & You’ll Burst Into Flames” use careful plucking to deliver the sweet tones that set dreamy moods. As time went on, the percussive nature of her playing became part of her signature style, along with alternate tunings and jazzy elements. She is continuously evolving. Whether playing effects-laden shoegazer rock or creating the thickness and twang that emanates through the lap steel, she maintains a mastery that makes it feel like more of a deep exploration than a passing interest. King’s scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 13, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, in support of her 2020 album Modern Yesterdays. Tickets are $33.50 to $44.50. Amy Young
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Pop-punk band The Wonder Years.
Loneliest Place On Earth

The Wonder Years at The Nile Theater

For the past 17 years, The Wonder Years (not to be confused with the iconic '80s coming-of-age TV show or its recent reboot) have been putting out some of the most earnest, heartfelt pop-punk in the business. Shifting between whispering vocals and shrill cries, frontman Dan "Soupy" Campbell shares the most intimate details of his life with his fans, in the hope that others might find solace in his lyrics. Over the course of six studio albums, the Philadelphia rockers have explored themes of loneliness on the road, feelings of inadequacy, and general unrest about this whole life thing, combining elements of emo, punk, and alt-rock for some pretty anthemic tracks. This weekend, the band brings their emotionally exhaustive tunes to the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, for a gig on Sunday, February 13. Spanish Love Songs, Origami Angel, and Save Face open the 6 p.m. concert. Tickets are $29.50. Matthew Keever
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.