The springtime festival season is about to get rolling in metro Phoenix. The next few months will see big concerts and multi-day music events taking place across the Valley as local promoters take advantage of the nice weather.
Things get going this weekend with the return of Innings Festival at Tempe Beach Park, which will offer two days of rock (including sets by Foo Fighters, Dashboard Confessional and more than a dozen other bands), appearances by retired baseball greats, and all the usual trappings of an outdoor concert event.
There will also be plenty of memorable concerts and music events happening indoors from Friday, February 25, to Sunday, February 27, including performances by R&B singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, country superstar Jake Owen, pop-punkers Knuckle Puck, jazz keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco and electronic dance music legend Stacey Pullen.
Read on for details and more information or click over to Phoenix New Times’ online music listings for more events happening this weekend. It also goes without saying that COVID-19 and its ultra-contagious Omicron variant are still prevalent and some local venues will require proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend.
Country may be the only form of modern music left with a consistent sense of humor, and Jake Owen has definitely tapped into that during his career. The Nashville-by-way-of-Florida singer-guitarist slips a twangy “yee-haw” in when he can (check out his 2006 song of the same name), but he also uses his accentuated southern voice to sing about heartbreak and distrust. Made for the spotlight, Owen's perfect smile and chiseled jaw put him up there with the Kenny Chesneys and Brad Paisleys of the genre — both of whom he's toured with. Owen hasn’t put out any new albums since 2019’s Greetings from ... Jake, but has released a steady stream of hit singles in recent years, including "Made for You" in 2020 and last year's "Best Thing Since Backroads.” Both are likely to be in his repertoire when he performs a poolside show on Friday, February 25, at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35 to $100. Bree Davies
Pan-Pot at Sunbar
Fans of experimental techno know that Pan-Pot is not a reference to something that comes out of a kitchen; rather, it's a German techno duo that's named for a panoramic potentiometer — a switch that splits audio signals into left and right channels — and has been taking the production and dance-floor realms by storm during the past decade or so. Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix met in 2003 at Berlin's prestigious SAE Institute, where they discovered they were both interested in electronica and began creating tunes together. Now the two produce music that spans the spectrum of techno's capabilities, dropping in elements from other genres (and sometimes creating entire tracks in other electronic subgenres). In person, the two switch off at the decks, using a combination of prerecorded and live sounds to spin the floor into a frenzy with their unmistakable murky, twisted signature sound. This weekend, it will be booming from the sound system at Sunbar, 24 W. 5th St. in Tempe, during their set on Friday, February 25. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Amber Taufen
St. Vincent will take the stage at Innings Festival on Saturday.
Innings Festival 2022 at Tempe Beach Park
The annual Innings Festival caters to a decidedly different crowd: the horde of baseball fans that invade every year for spring training. Even with the Cactus League on hold for the moment (thanks to the ongoing Major League Baseball lockout), this year’s festival — which takes place on Saturday, February 26, and Sunday, February 27, at Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Drive, is likely to attract a mass of music lovers. As with its previous editions, the festival features a lineup mixing indie rock (St. Vincent, Billy Strings, Black Pumas and Caamp) with a few choices that are decidedly, uh, safe (Foo Fighters, Tame Impala and My Morning Jacket). Other artists scheduled for this year include Dashboard Confessional, White Reaper, Del Water Gap, girlhouse, Fitz and the Tantrums, Matt and Kim, Nothing But Thieves and Jade Bird. Several retired MLB legends will make appearances as well. Gates open at noon both days and general admission tickets start at $105 per day. Douglas Markowitz
Most people only know R&B singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan because her two radio-friendly tracks, "Bust Your Windows" and "Need U Bad," popped big in 2008, including making the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. What gets ignored, though, is that the rest of Fearless, the hit album from which those singles emerged, was even more impressive. Sullivan earned seven Grammy nominations from the release, which was certified gold and appeared on multiple year-end “best of” lists, with music writers lauding her vocal talents. Sullivan has been wowing listeners since she impressed Steve Harvey at age 11 while performing on an episode of Showtime at the Apollo. She has released three albums since Fearless, the most recent being last year’s Heaux Tales EP, which won “album of the year” honors from NPR and Pitchfork. Sullivan’s latest tour will visit The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren St., on Saturday, February 26. Alternative R&B artist Tiana Major9 opens the evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. Jonathan Cunningham and Benjamin Leatherman
Stacey Pullen is not merely another DJ from Detroit. His association with techno pioneers Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson in the Motor City, widely renowned as a hotspot for the genre way back when, brought Pullen into the international electronic dance music scene early in his career. He remained there into the '90s and beyond after consistently putting out some of the dirtiest, funkiest techno/tech-house you've ever experienced on a dance floor. Over the past few decades, Pullen was known for spinning both original tracks on vinyl and tracks he edited and remixed himself. Pullen's sets are famous for a reason: He tailors each journey to the crowd like few other musicians can, pounding your feet into the floor until you're numb (and ecstatic) with exhaustion. Catch Pullen at local art space and venue Walter Where?House, 702 N. 21st Ave., on Saturday, February 26. Tech-house artist NOOD opens the evening at 9 p.m. Admission is $17 to $21. Amber Taufen
The party people behind electronic dance music event company Down Low Productions are upping their game for their latest shindig. After putting on events a local warehouses, various bars and out in the desert in recent years, they’re heading to the Masonic Auditorium, 345 W. Monroe St., on Saturday, February 26, for their latest party, Sinners & Saints. The 10-hour costumed affair will feature more than two dozen local DJs and EDM artists performing across three stages, including BadKitti, Deathbeat, Slick Floyd, Level 7, Fatal Error, Average Joe, Melfice, Zero Fvcks, Harmonik, NVS, Vibrations, Sean C. and others. The festivities will also include art installations, sideshow performers, fire artistry, live painting sessions and more. The party starts at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $40. More details are available here. Benjamin Leatherman
Chicago pop-punkers Knuckle Puck are working hard at keeping emo alive. They almost seem like direct descendants of New Found Glory, and their debut full-length, 2015’s Copacetic, was one of the best punk albums of that year. Blending classic punk with more modern influences, they’ve dropped two more studio albums since then (including 2020’s aptly titled 20/20) and put out a well-received EP, Disposable Life, earlier this month. Touring in support of the release, Knuckle Puck visit The Nile Theater, 105 W. Main St., on Saturday, February 26, with support from Hot Mulligan, Meet Me at the Altar and Anxious. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $23 in advance, $27 at the door. Mitchell Hillman and Benjamin Leatherman
Jazz organists are a unique breed, able to switch from serious to funky quite literally at the push of a button. Joey DeFrancesco has been performing since he was a child, following in the footsteps of his jazz-playing father and grandfather. A seasoned musician by his teens, having already shared the stage with saxophonist Hank Mobley and drummer "Philly Joe" Jones, DeFrancesco was truly honored when, at 17, Miles Davis asked him to join his touring band. He later recorded with Davis on Amandla. Record label obligations cut short his time with Davis, something he now regrets. But DeFrancesco — who learned to play trumpet following his stint with Davis — has forged a solid career in which he has played and recorded with genre heavyweights. DeFrancesco is scheduled to tote his organ into jazz venue The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., for two shows on Sunday, February 27. Expect to hear songs from More Music, his 2021 album, and throughout his career. Performances are at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $42 to $60. Glenn BurnSilver
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