Concerts

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Skinny Lister is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 23, at Valley Bar.
Skinny Lister is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 23, at Valley Bar. David Edwards

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click to enlarge DJ Sam Groove - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
DJ Sam Groove
Benjamin Leatherman
Cosmic Music Festival
Saturday, February 24
Downtown Phoenix


There’s something of an otherworldly mystery about this underground event, which is being put on by the folks behind the annual Audio Bend dance party. It’s supposedly taking place somewhere in downtown Phoenix, although organizers are keeping quiet about that particular aspect.

A few things that we do know about the festival is that it will feature an outer space vibe and an array of bands, musicians, and DJs from across several genres (including rock, electronica, and hip-hop) performing throughout the evening. Currently, the lineup includes one-man organic rock/electronic act Barstool Astronaut, desert reggae band Rastafarmers, rapper Blaine Coffee, psychedelic rock band Space Pharaohs, and DJs like Sam Groove and Rolando Hodar.

Organizers are also promising live artists and fire performers, as well as a variety of lasers and special effects (which seem appropriate given the outer space theme). The festival runs from 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. and admission is $10 before 9 p.m., $15 thereafter. Benjamin Leatherman


click to enlarge Britney fans will flock to the Crescent Ballroom this weekend. - RANDEE ST. NICOLAS
Britney fans will flock to the Crescent Ballroom this weekend.
Randee St. Nicolas
Club ’90s: The Britney Ball
Saturday, February 24
Crescent Ballroom


Is there ever a reason not to celebrate Britney Spears? The musical icon, after all, has shared the last 25 years of her life with the public. We’ve watched her major life events with wide eyes. From her childhood stint on the Mickey Mouse Club and romances with Justin Timberlake (aww) to Kevin Federline (ugh) to her successful Piece of Me residency in Las Vegas, people always want to know what’s up with Britney.

The event promoters known as Club ’90s are included in that mix. They love to host throwback parties, and this one is all in honor of the pop diva. Celebrate the singer when DJ Jeffery visits from Los Angeles to spin a slew of Brit-tunes that span her lengthy career, along with some videos, too. He’ll also weave in plenty of pop, alternative, and hip-hop songs from the ’90s and early aughts.

Channel your inner Britney and compete for prizes in the Battle of the Britney lip sync contest, or spruce up your selfie collection at the Britney-themed photobooth. Don’t dawdle. If you’re one of the first 400 fans to arrive, you’ll get a free Britney button. Amy Young

click to enlarge Justin Warfield (left) and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge. - COURTESY OF NEXT BIG THING PR
Justin Warfield (left) and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge.
Courtesy of Next Big Thing PR
She Wants Revenge
Saturday, February 24
BLK Live in Scottsdale

Life often serves up some unexpected twists, some of which wind up being positive. Just ask Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge. In 2016, American Horror Story, which starred noted SWR fan Lady Gaga, used the band's breakout hit "Tear You Apart" in an alluringly disturbing scene involving a vampire orgy.

Fans of both the show and She Wants Revenge went gaga (if you'll pardon the pun) over the scene, and it sparked renewed interest in the post-punk/darkwave band, which had been on a lengthy hiatus for several years following its third full-length album, Valleyheart.

After a one-off reunion show in L.A. a few months later, Warfield and Braven decided to hit the road again and have been filling venues across the country with their gothy and synth-y stylings that still seem fresh after more a decade. This weekend, they’ll be at BLK Live in Scottsdale for an outdoor show that’s likely to include hits like “Tear You Apart,” “These Things,” "Written in Blood," and "Maybe She's Right." Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Benjamin Leatherman
Sound Wave Pool Party feat. Croatia Squad
Sunday, February 25
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale


Believe it or not, pool party season is here already. No, really. We’re still in February, but the folks at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale are getting an early start and kicking off their annual Sound Wave Pool Party series this weekend.

Headlining the event will be European-born DJ/producer Croatia Squad, who will unleash beats while Maya’s patrons frolic about in bikinis and board shorts. Gates open at noon. It’s free to attend with an online RSVP or $10 general admission. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. - CARL LENDER/CC BY 2.0/VIA FLICKR
Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett.
Steve Hackett
Sunday, February 25
The Van Buren


Genesis, in their Peter Gabriel-fronted, "classic" iteration, was possibly the most creative, intellectually stimulating, and inspired band of the entire first wave of British progressive rock. Guitarist Steve Hackett played no small role in developing the sound of those records.

While Gabriel's dramatic voice and performances and Phil Collins' percussive prowess seem to be at the center of most Genesis discussions, Hackett's flare for pioneering unique techniques (two-handed tapping, off-kilter effects) inarguably changed the way the guitar has been approached for decades while fueling the rock side of Genesis' prog.

Since the first lineup of Genesis imploded, Hackett has spent his time releasing a mountain of criminally underrated guitar records (Voyage of the Acolyte is considered a forgotten masterwork by many). He did a brief stint collaborating with Steve Howe of Yes in the '80s with the short-lived GTR. But most recently, the guitarist took the time to rerecord and revisit a slew of early Genesis opuses in a light he deems more fitting for the ideas and concepts found on those hallowed tracks. David Von Bader
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young