Music News

A Drive-In EDM Event Is Coming to Celebrity Theatre, Plus More Phoenix Music News

Dirty Audio performs at a drive-in EDM event last fall.
Dirty Audio performs at a drive-in EDM event last fall. Dirty Audio's Facebook
Drive-in concerts are making a return to the Valley this spring, as a few local venues are planning shows in the weeks and months ahead where patrons watch from the comfort of their vehicles. Here’s a rundown of recent news from the metro Phoenix music scene, including details about these car-friendly gigs and various upcoming concerts that have been postponed, canceled, or rescheduled.

Drive-In EDM Event Coming to Celebrity Theatre

Local electronic dance music fans can rage away behind the wheel of their rides during a two-night event called “Bass Race” at the Celebrity Theatre later this month. As its name portends, the drive-in concert, which will take place on Saturday, February 27, and Sunday, February 28, will focus on DJs and EDM artists of the bass-heavy variety. San Diego-based promoter Deadweight Productions is putting on the event, which will be include sets by Dirty Audio, Dodge & Fuski, Dack Janiels, HAMI, Soundwreck, GAWM, DJ Moss, YAKZ, and Sweettooth. Both shows start at 3 p.m. and it's $59 to $89 for a car pass and $39 for each passenger. Details and the full lineup can be found here.

Silverstein and André Rieu Reschedule Valley Concerts

The Valley’s concert calendar continues to be upended by the pandemic as gigs are rescheduled for new dates in late 2021 and into 2022. Two of the latest are shows with Silverstein and André Rieu. The Canadian post-hardcore band, which was originally set to hold its 20th-anniversary tour last year, has pushed a performance at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre from February 24 to November 23. Meanwhile, the Dutch violinist and conductor has moved his performance at the Phoenix Suns Arena (formerly known as Talking Stick Resort Arena) to March 16, 2022. It's the second time that both Silverstein and Rieu have rescheduled their respective shows.

click to enlarge The members of Varkan. - ARIANNA GRAINEY
The members of Varkan.
Arianna Grainey

Phoenix Band Signed to L.A. Record Label

Local power metal act Varkan recently inked a deal with Metal Assault Records, the Los Angeles-based indie label behind such bands as Deadwolff, Old Blood, and Sea Sleeper. Varkan, which is fronted by female guitarist/vocalist Alec Damiano and has been performing since 2014, will release its upcoming album, Butcher, through the label in May. Its title track is set to drop on March 5 via Varkan’s Bandcamp.

Casting Crowns Drive-In Show Announced

Christian rock act Casting Crowns will be coming to the Valley on Thursday, March 18, for a drive-in concert called A Night Under the Stars. Taking place in the Yellow Lot outside of Gila River Arena in Glendale, the socially distanced show will feature a lengthy set by the band with no opening acts. It's scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and admission is $120 to $270 via Ticketmaster.

click to enlarge Artwork featured on shirts benefiting 16 Arizona music venues. - SAGE AUNE
Artwork featured on shirts benefiting 16 Arizona music venues.
Sage Aune

Arizona Music Venues Team Up to Sell Fundraising Apparel

More than a dozen independently owned music venues from Phoenix and Tucson are releasing apparel and other items in order to raise funds during the pandemic. In late January, a total of 16 Arizona venues – including Tucson’s Club Congress, Flagstaff’s Orpheum Theatre, and Valley spots like Last Exit Live and the Trunk Space – announced they were collaborating on a series of “I (heart) AZ's Independent Music Venues” merchandise, including shirts, hoodies, and beer koozies. They’re currently available for purchase at and proceeds will directly benefit each business.

Halsey and Jo Dee Messina Cancel Shows

In other concert news, pop singer-songwriter Halsey and country music queen Jo Dee Messina have both nixed their upcoming metro Phoenix performances. Halsey, who released her third album, Manic, last year, was set to play Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 12 with CHVRCHES and Omar Apollo, while Messina was scheduled to headline the KMLE Country Nights show at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler on June 6. Refunds for both events are available through the original point of purchase.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.