George Strait, Beatles Covers, and Social Distotion This Weekend

George Strait at US Airways Center

Wow, I truly underestimated the amount of country fans in Arizona.

Rising to their feet for the only and only "King of Country," George Strait walked onto the stage and the crowd went crazy. They whistled so loud that my ears continue to ring and women of all ages screamed out, "I love you, George!"

Now I understand why my mom is so jealous of me. Strait is every cowgirl's heartthrob. With a catalog as loaded with great songs, how can Strait possibly decide what to play each night? The crowd didn't seem picky; whatever tune he played the crowd loved it. Even new tune got the audience dancing. Too bad there wasn't enough room for couples to country two-step.

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Social Distortion at Marquee Theatre

Phoenix loves Social Distortion, and the band loves Phoenix, including not one but two stops on their most recent tour. Last night was business as usual: The band played a packed venue to a sea of drunk burly guys and tiny girls trying to make their way to the front as if their lives depended on it. Lost in the sea of circle pits and crowd surfers are a few young children whose parents were brave, or foolish, enough to bring them along.

That's how it's always been since the band formed in the late '70s. Okay, I wasn't alive then, so I can't justify that claim, but I can say that every Social D show I've been to in the past decade or so has panned out a little something like that.

See the full Social Distortion slideshow here.

The Foleys, Field Tripp and Roll Acosta do The Beatles at Rogue Bar

When you first think about modern, professional Beatles cover bands, you'll likely think of a few things. Primarily, middle-aged men will use any excuse to wear a Sgt. Pepper's jacket. They'll also take any opportunity to speak in a Liverpool accent, which to them just means that they end every sentence with a quizzical attitude.

Plus, under the Pepper-clad crust is a wannabe rock star that never gave up on his dream. It's a little sad.

But luckily last night, patrons at the Rogue didn't have to deal with that. The air of the place was notably less desperate than you'd find at a typical Beatles cover concert. Perhaps mainly because The Foleys, Field Tripp and Roll Acosta brought the boys from Liverpool to Scottsdale with their own, sometimes unrecognizable twists.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.