The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix This June

Phoenix is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 13, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Phoenix is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 13, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Antoine Wagner Studio
It’s June in the Valley, which means any combination of the following will happen over the next few weeks: triple-digit temperatures, people complaining about triple-digit temperatures, and air-conditioning units working like gangbusters.

On the live music front, you can expect a combination of local bands hitting the road while nostalgia acts, old favorites, newly minted tastemakers, and blockbuster concert tours all head our way. There’a also a major festival due in town, specifically the annual Vans Warped Tour.

You can find many of these in our list of the 25 best concerts to catch in June, which includes gigs by Iron Maiden, Carlos Santana, Phoenix, Roger Waters, and other notable names. (As always, check our our online concert calendar for even more shows this month.)

click to enlarge MarchFourth will march into town in early June. - ANDY BATT
MarchFourth will march into town in early June.
Andy Batt
Friday, June 2
Crescent Ballroom

What started in Portland, Oregon, as a Fat Tuesday party back in 2003 has evolved into a must-see national act. MarchFourth’s high-energy and rousing sounds bring to light the deepest grooves of funk, swing, rock, and jazz, and their style pulls from an array of influences, like Sergeant Pepper leading a freaky Cirque du Soleil performance from the bandstand or European Gypsy camps stumbling upon the rhythms of Brazilian jungle tribes. Concertgoers at the Crescent Ballroom on Friday, June 2, may not know what they are getting themselves into, but after attending this weekend’s show, there’s a good chance that MarchFourth will be on your list of live favorites. Maybe it’s the five-piece percussion corps using harnesses made from bicycle parts, the seven-part brass section that includes trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, or the 20 musicians and performers donning mismatched marching band uniforms — including crowd-surfing stiltwalkers, or the fire dancers. Yes, fire dancers. Get thee to this show. Lauren Farrah

click to enlarge Stitched Up Heart - COURTESY OF ANOTHER CENTURY RECORDS
Stitched Up Heart
Courtesy of Another Century Records
Stitched Up Heart
Saturday, June 3
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

With song titles that traffic in such well-worn clichés as “City of Angels” and “Catch Me When I Fall,” Stitched Up Heart might not be the most incisively articulate band, but the local quintet make up for their lyrical shortcomings with a powerful hard-rock sound that mixes metallic crunch with occasional traces of gothlike mystery. On the group’s recent full-length, Never Alone, lead guitarist Merritt Goodwin and rhythm guitarist Nick Bedrosian crank up a thick yet supple dual-guitar attack that shifts easily from sludgy grooves into more throttling tempos. That sonic variety gives frontwoman Alecia “Mixi” Demner space to alternate her scabrous howling with more melodic, anthemic choruses. Hard-rock tunes like “It’s So Easy” (not the Guns N’ Roses song) occasionally give way to more poppy interludes, such as the title track. Falling James

click to enlarge Nina Diaz - JADE HERNANDEZ
Nina Diaz
Jade Hernandez
Nina Diaz
Sunday, June 4
The Rebel Lounge

One of the truly great howlers in any kind of rock 'n' roll, Texas singer-guitarist Nina Diaz brings to her recorded and live sets an almost fearsomely committed passion and a questioning vibe that demands her fans step up to the plate. Currently taking a break from her acclaimed punk-rock trio Girl in a Coma, several of whose albums were issued on the somewhat like-minded Joan Jett’s Blackheart label, Diaz’s recent solo record The Beat Is Dead is a beautifully broadening blast of the charismatic Diaz’s attitude and rare-ish authenticity that extends her band’s Ramones/Bikini Kill/Smiths roots in both viciously feral rockers and a few bravely, sweetly vulnerable performances tinged with the Tex-Mex/Tejano that has longed lurked at the heart of her sound. John Payne

click to enlarge Bush are back with a new record. - NEIL KRUG
Bush are back with a new record.
Neil Krug
Sunday, June 4
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

The post-Cobain era of alternative rock was very kind to Gavin Rossdale and his band, Bush. The rock act’s multiplatinum debut record, Sixteen Stone, thrust them into the mainstream and made Rossdale the crush of 16-year-old girls around the world. And why not, considering he played the role of handsome-but-sensitive rock star very well? But let's face it, Bush happened to be in the right place at the right time, and how can you blame them? While they never achieved the commercial success of Sixteen Stone, they formed more of their own musical identity on 1999's The Science of Things before calling it quits after 2001's Golden State. After an eight-year break, Rossdale re-formed the band and was forced to replace original guitarist Nigel Pulsford and bassist Dave Parsons, who declined his invitation for a reunion. These days, the former grunge heartthrob is a family man who isn't looking to recapture the '90s and has no problem playing for 40-year-old women or the dudes who used to rock out to “Everything Zen” when it played on alt-rock radio hourly during Bush’s heyday. Jim Louvau

Sunday, June 4
Livewire in Scottsdale

True story: Florida-born rap star XXXTentacion was released from jail only a few months ago. He’s more than ready to put that behind him, however, as he’s been touring constantly and performing at festivals like Miami’s Rolling Loud. That’s not to say he’s not down for stirring up trouble now and again. During his first post-jail interview on a Miami radio station, the “Look at Me!” rapper made headlines when he called out Drake for jocking his flow on "KMT." XXX might use his gigs to further his beef with the More Life rapper to a head, especially if he disses Drake during his sets. XXXTentacion might also debut music from one of several projects he’s got going this year, including such studio albums as Bad Vibes and 17, as well as his mixtape I Need Jesus. Tony Centeno

click to enlarge Swedish guitar monster Yngwie Malmsteen. - MALMSTEEN MANAGEMENT
Swedish guitar monster Yngwie Malmsteen.
Malmsteen Management
Yngwie Malmsteen
Monday, June 5
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Eddie Van Halen may have put the art of shredding on the map with 1978’s “Eruption,” but Yngwie Malmsteen spent the entire 1980s taking the blueprint, adding influences from 18th- and 19th-century classical music, and blowing the concept up into a grandiose display of guitar histrionics. The Swedish-born musician initially broke through as a teenage prodigy with early-’80s L.A. metal band Alcatrazz. Malmsteen’s guitar-hero status emerged with his Rising Force project in the years that followed. His neoclassical shred-guitar compositions took center stage and influenced a wave of musicians welding metallic loudness with over-the-top technicality, which continues to this day with modern acts such as L.A.’s own Exmortus. Malmsteen has at times become shorthand in metal circles for guitar excess, but when it’s as shamelessly bombastic as this, it’s all good. Jason Roche

click to enlarge Jackie Greene - GREG VOROBIOV
Jackie Greene
Greg Vorobiov
Jackie Greene
Monday, June 5, and Tuesday, June 6
Musical Instrument Museum

Developing the rootsy edge that inhabits Jackie Greene’s latest album (and first in five years), Back to Birth, has been a long time coming. Though Greene was once hailed as the “new Dylan” for his acoustic guitar/harmonica soirées during the coffeehouse period that informed much of his teenage years, his initial albums displayed a wider stylistic range, from 1970s pop to classic rock to soul and blues. The seeds were there, but it was only after being drafted to play with The Band’s Levon Helm, and later the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir (in separate projects) and his time in the final iteration of the Black Crowes, that Greene has hit upon his most fully realized and deeply centered project to date. A laid-back, earthy California vibe full of lush harmonies and strum-along chords bolsters Greene’s work. Add the richness of honest, homespun tales and Greene’s music unconsciously shades toward The Band, Jackson Browne, Black Crowes, and even one clearly B.B. King-inspired number. At the core is a simplicity that recalls the purity of songwriting, the kind that doesn’t require anything more than a back porch to reproduce — though Greene’s stage performance only strengthens the music’s resolve. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge Renowned blues musician Keb' Mo'. - ANDREA LUCERO
Renowned blues musician Keb' Mo'.
Andrea Lucero
Wednesday, June 7
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Earlier this year, blues music legends Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ announced a very special, full-band tour in support of their first album as a duo, TajMo. And as any blues guru can testify, Taj Mahal has been a purveyor of both blues and world music beats for over 50 years, in which time he's written for and toured with a who's-who of musical giants, from The Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton to Ali Farka Toure. Keb' Mo', no rookie himself, has been around since the early '80s as one of the leading voices in the Americana scene. He's also a guitar gunslinger whose interplay with Taj Mahal's multi-instrumental chops should make for quite a sight during their concert inside the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on June 7. Jeff Strowe

click to enlarge Alynda Segarra of Hurray For the Riff Raff. - SARRAH DANZIGER
Alynda Segarra of Hurray For the Riff Raff.
Sarrah Danziger
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Wednesday, June 7
Crescent Ballroom

Alynda Segarra started her career as a runaway 17-year-old, busking her way down city streets before forming Hurray for the Riff Raff in 2007. Not to be confused with rapper RiFF RAFF, Segarra’s band is a lighter take on the folk genre. Her nigh-hypnotic vocals melt over an eclectic range of instrumentation. Country crescendos, popping bongos and the occasional salsa beat underline Segarra’s poetry, shifting genres almost from track to track. The group's latest album, The Navigator, takes the concept to the next level, with Segarra using her Dylan-esque brand of storytelling to delve into the triumphs and travails of her own story, one of a Puerto Rican girl growing up in America. Tracks like “14th Floor” juxtapose Segarra’s experience of living in a New York high-rise with that of her father’s propeller plane ride to New York from his native Puerto Rico. Hurray for the Riff Raff is folk music with a beating heart. Unafraid to strip down the traditional nostalgia of folk music in order to express deeper truths, Hurray for the Riff Raff is a true melting pot of traditional American music and Segarra’s modern American experience. Nicholas Bostick

click to enlarge The members of Whores. - COURTESY OF BRUTAL PANDA RECORDS
The members of Whores.
Courtesy of Brutal Panda Records
Wednesday, June 7
The Rebel Lounge

A band’s name sets an expectation. Call your band Fluffy Bunnies and, without factoring in the possibility of irony, listeners will guess some lilting sounds will abound. Calling your band Whores, on the other hand, fosters an image of something a little edgier. The Atlanta band who bear that name? They eat edgy for breakfast. Together, the band’s members — Christian Lembach (vocals and guitar), Donnie Adkinson (drums), and Casey Maxwell (bass) — sound like a musical army hitting you with heavy-rock assault. Their sound embraces punk, metal, and noise for a thick, driving output that defies predictability. It’s as much for fans of stoner rock or classic metal as it is for fans of old-school noise rock acts like NYC’s Unsane. After playing for nearly six years and releasing some EPs and a split single with the band Rabbits, Whores released their first full-length, Gold, in late 2016. It was a fast favorite, charting as Rolling Stone’s 10th best metal album of the year. From front to back, the 10 songs on this record use the total runtime of 35 minutes wisely. For this band, melodic sludge and thick rock don’t always need more than three minutes to make a point. They’re out to destroy. Like their 2013 song “Baby Bird” says, “I’m going out tonight and I hope that it hurts.” That should set the expectation for what their live show offers. Amy Young

click to enlarge Christian Berishaj, better known as JMSN. - SEBASTIAN MALDONADO
Christian Berishaj, better known as JMSN.
Sebastian Maldonado
Thursday, June 8
Valley Bar

JMSN’s constant is his smooth, endearing falsetto, but everything else around him is always changing. Nonetheless, his loyal, underground cult following has stuck with him through the twists and turns of his career, during which he’s been part of an electro-pop act on a Motown label, had a turn at producing spaced-out R&B tracks strikingly similar to The Weeknd’s early recordings and developed into a charming soul artist in the vein of D’Angelo. The boundless artist may change his scenery every few years, but each metamorphosis brings new acclaim, such as Usher calling JMSN his favorite new act in 2012 after he released Priscilla. That’s when he earned collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, The Game, Ab-Soul, Kaytranada and more. It’s unclear what his latest album, Whatever Makes U Happy, has garnered him, considering it was released last month, but it may not matter because the message it delivers is to find personal freedom and do what makes you happy. Mikel Galicia

click to enlarge The members of Autograf. - KYLE BUCKLAND
The members of Autograf.
Kyle Buckland
Saturday, June 10
Shady Park in Tempe

When attending a live show, an artist’s visual component can prove to be just as important as the sounds coming from the speakers. Brightly colored lights, lasers and graphic visuals projected on a screen are commonly seen, but how often are the artists actually building their own stage aesthetic with their own hands? Chicago-based Autograf began as an art project, then morphed into a musical group playing live electronica. For each show, members Jake Carpenter, Louis Kha and Mikul Wing conceptualize and create visuals to complete their unique ambience. Autograf incorporates its art projects during live performances and around the city of Chicago. For one of its first projects, the group built an eight-foot tall Andy Warhol-inspired sculpture of a soup can for the stage. More recently the group created a series of street-art pieces around Chicago that revolved around their latest single, “Don’t Worry." The artists incorporated inspirational as well as whimsical sayings like "Don’t worry, live life" or "Don’t worry, eat ice cream" into their creations that went up last month. They have even added lights to their instruments to better engage the audience and create a more interactive experience. Riley Cowing

Read on for even more concerts in June, including Roger Waters, Future, Migos, and Iron Maiden.
The Regrettes - JEN ROSENSTEIN
The Regrettes
Jen Rosenstein
The Regrettes
Sunday, June 11
Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale

L.A. rock quartet The Regrettes — consisting of Lydia Night (lead vocals/guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Chavis (bass), and Maxx Morando (drums) — started last January when they were still barely a band. The songs on debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! are smart, occasionally sarcastic, and oftentimes quite endearing. On "A Living Human Girl," Night tackles the pressure of trying to fit into the perfect-girl mold and turns it into an anthem of empowerment. "I fall in love with people once a day," she croons. "Oh, but if you ask me out, I'm still allowed to say no way." The Regrettes are young, ranging in age from 16 to 19, but that's not terribly unusual in the history of rock. Also, they aren't novices. Their very much a product of 2016, offering the sound of young, socially aware people sharing their frustration and elation with heavy energy and a no-fucks-given attitude. They are also the band you want to hear if you're intent on keeping that spirit alive in 2017. Liz Ohanesian

click to enlarge Phoenix is coming back to Phoenix. - COURTESY OF PRESS HERE TALENT
Phoenix is coming back to Phoenix.
Courtesy of Press Here Talent
Tuesday, June 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

The last time the French alt-rockers of Phoenix rolled into the Valley, they were at the tipping point between indie darlings and household-name status. Their 2009 album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, with hits like "1901" and "Lizstomania," was getting play everywhere from college radio to Super Bowl ads. No wonder, then, that their 2010 appearance at the Marquee in Tempe was packed with fans. This month, Phoenix returns to, um … Phoenix. In the seven years since the Valley last saw the band, it has followed a career trajectory unsurprisingly quirky for a retro-tinged, synth-heavy French quartet. The 2013 album Bankrupt! kept fans dancing while dishing some "post-success commentary" while band members processed their surprisingly meteoric rise to fame; the record was mixed on an eBay-purchased retro console, the same model used to produce Michael Jackson's Thriller. They headlined major festivals like Coachella and Austin City Limits. In more recent years, they've headlined European music festivals but also appeared in Bill Murray's surreal, meta Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas. Their latest album, Ti Amo, drops on June 9, the day before their show at the Marquee. Ciara LaVelle

click to enlarge Puddles Pity Party: Everyone loves a clown, especially one with a great singing voice. - COURTESY OF RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
Puddles Pity Party: Everyone loves a clown, especially one with a great singing voice.
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Puddles Pity Party
Tuesday, June 13
Mesa Arts Center

Not all clowns are scary. Puddles Pity Party is a singer and self-described "sad clown with the golden voice" (real name Mike Geier, frontman of the Atlanta band Kingsized), who dresses like a Pierrot-style clown complete with white face paint, ruffled collar, and furry balls. He's 6-foot-8, carries a lantern and suitcase onstage and hardly speaks, except when he's crooning his baritone, cabaret-style covers of ballads, pop and rock songs. His Live at Joe's Pub album features versions of Lorde's "Royals," Sia's "Chandelier," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and The Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke." He also sings mashups of Celine Dion with Metallica and The Who with Johnny Cash. And he's performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Tenacious D-curated Festival Supreme, as well as a few concerts here in the Valley in recent years. Puddles' shows are often interactive, so don't run away. This clown is more cuddly than creepy. Siran Babayan

Roger Waters
Wednesday, June 14
Gila River Arena in Glendale

More American than blue jeans, Pink Floyd’s contribution to the great American songbook takes up volumes. Books could be written about the mercurial genius of Pink Floyd’s original front man, the late Syd Barrett, and so they have been, but Roger Waters was always the rock upon which that institution was built. His songs seed the playlists of most classic-rock stations, though, long ago, he set off into the wilderness alone, touring the hits and speaking his mind. And what better time for a visit from the architect of the third greatest wall-builder (after Hadrian and that nameless Chinese architect) than the present, with our boundless public enthusiasm for walls and double-fisted authority. Tex Kerschen

click to enlarge The Dustbowl Revival - BRANDON WILLIAMS
The Dustbowl Revival
Brandon Williams

The Dustbowl Revival
Thursday, June 15
Musical Instrument Museum

Folks who dismiss The Dustbowl Revival as another retro-swing band are missing out on everything the Venice collective can do. The group aren’t just reviving swing music; they can also draw upon rich strains of folk, blues, soul, Americana, and jazz. By the time they’ve blended it all together, they’ve come up with something that’s smart and sassy and hardly as quaint as their name. Liz Beebe sings many of the lead vocals, but she’s well-matched by bandleader Z. Lupetin, who chimes in on guitar, harmonica, kazoo, and vocals. On their new single, “Busted”/“Only One,” The Dustbowl Revival are super-tight and musically dexterous instead of staid and bound by tradition. On the A-side, Beebe wails with a fiery immediacy, whereas she and Lupetin harmonize achingly on the stripped-down B-side. Falling James

click to enlarge Girlpool - ANTI RECORDS
ANTI Records
Tuesday, June 20
The Rebel Lounge

“I said I faked global warming just to get close to you,” Harmony Tividad discloses on “It Gets More Blue,” from Girlpool’s second album, Powerplant. She and her musical partner, Cleo Tucker, don’t turn the lyric into a joke. Instead, their intimate voices braid together in a gloriously breezy harmony just as the guitars get louder and surround them. The duo, who recently relocated back to L.A. after a spell in Philadelphia, are now joined by Miles Wintner, a drummer who adds more power to Girlpool’s folk-based songs. Several of the new tunes, such as “Static Somewhere” and “123,” start out with spare beginnings with the emphasis on Tucker’s and Tividad’s soft, confidential vocals before the tracks blossom into heavy and hard-driving pop-punk anthems. Falling James

Vans Warped Tour 2017
Thursday, June 22
Fear Farm

Turn away, jaded music fan. It's that time of year again, when kids not old enough to drink head to a local outdoor venue for a day of bands you've probably never heard of but have more Facebook likes than you can fathom. You were those kids once, but you've grown old, you probably have a day job, so you really don't need another afternoon out in the sweltering summertime heat. Save your cynicism for something that truly deserves it. This year the Warped Tour turns 23, which is crazy if you ever went to one back in the late '90s or early '00s. How has it survived this long? Because the formula works. Keep the prices low, pack in a ton of bands that are popular but not quite stars and give the fans the chance to meet their heroes and the crowds will show up, no matter how hot it gets in Arizona in the midst of summer. Still, maybe you're not entirely sure how to fill your day at Warped. With 70-plus bands on the bill, you can't be expected to know everyone. And that's okay. This year’s lineup includes Futuristic, Hawthorne Heights, Goldfinger, Adolescents, GWAR, Acacia Strain, Memphis May Fire, Attila, CKY, Dance Gavin Dance, Strung Out, Save Ferris, Valient Thorr, William Control, and dozens more. Cory Garcia

Mr. Big
Thursday, June 22
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Mr. Big was formed by former David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan. After parting ways with Roth in the late '80s, Sheehan cherry-picked talented musicians from other successful bands to form his own Los Angeles all-stars. Signed to Atlantic Records, they didn’t have much success stateside until their sophomore album Lean Into It and its second single, “To Be With You.” While the album was recorded in 1990 and '91, and released before Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit radio and wiped out L.A. hair metal with genocidal fury, “To Be With You” happened to eke out its success at the very end of the year, making its presence something of a holdover while the sound from Seattle was redefining the charts. Every listener has guilty pleasure songs, those recordings that we just find irresistible, despite several red flags to our better judgment. And Mr Big’s “To Be With You” should qualify as the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, but we feel no shame rocking out to it, either in the car or at the band’s June 22 show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Chaz Kangas

click to enlarge Brian May, left, with Adam Lambert, and they're coming to Glendale. - BY @DIANAKAT1 DIANAKAT (SMUGMUG)/CC BY-SA 3.0, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Brian May, left, with Adam Lambert, and they're coming to Glendale.
By @DianaKat1 DianaKat (Smugmug)/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Queen + Adam Lambert
Friday, June 23
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Freddie Mercury might have been the best rock frontman of all time. On stage, he attracted every eyeball in the house to not just witness his inimitable sense of showmanship, but to watch him use his acrobatic, powerful pipes sing some of the best rock songs ever written. Mercury was so irreplaceable that for more than a decade after his death, Queen didn't even try to find a substitute. Paul Rodgers stepped in for a few concert dates between 2006 and 2009, but it wasn't until 2012 that Queen finally found a voice that could do justice to Mercury's towering vocals. And now, Queen + Adam Lambert are coming to Phoenix. If you have any doubts as to Lambert's ability to do Mercury's vocals justice, just check out some live videos of the collaboration. It's easy to see why Brian May and Rodger Taylor continue to tap him for arena tours. David Accomazzo

click to enlarge Legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. - COURTESY OF DANNY ZELISKO PRESENTS
Legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.
Courtesy of Danny Zelisko Presents
Gordon Lightfoot
Saturday, June 24
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

There are two kinds of people in this world: Gordon Lightfoot evangelists and people who've never actually bothered to listen to him. His champions include Bob Dylan, Vincent Gallo, and the entire nation of Canada. Even his most recognizable hits, "Sundown" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" run rife with darkness. "10 Degrees and Getting Colder" is a tale about what are perhaps the last minutes of a hitchhiking failed country singer. Quit the ironic snickering and head down to your local record store to raid the dollar bin ($10 will grab you most of his catalog) or head to Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale to check out Lightfoot’s gig on Saturday, June 24, in the Showroom. You can thank us later. Nicholas Pell

Migos at Coachella 2017. - MATHEW TUCCIARONE
Migos at Coachella 2017.
Mathew Tucciarone
Future and Migos
Wednesday, June 28
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Future is both the Lou Reed and the Nikki Sixx of rap; perhaps the most hedonistic nihilist on the charts, with lyrical obsessions to match. His meditations on trap house living boil down to short lists of pharmaceuticals, molly, percocet, and the like, repeated like mantras. His laconic, speaking into his collar, vocal delivery is as memorable as his mysterious image, ever obscured by shades and a wide-brimmed, El Topo hat. Both have launched hordes of imitators from coast to coast, who’ve attempted to mine his dark vibes for gold dust. Migos, the flamboyant, fashion-forward trio, open this rowdy night of Atlanta futurism and haute couture at Ak-Chin Pavilion. Tex Kerschen

click to enlarge Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. - BRANDON MARSHALL
Steve Harris of Iron Maiden.
Brandon Marshall
Iron Maiden
Wednesday, June 28
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Definitely the most dashing debutantes of the New Wave of British heavy metal, Iron Maiden also have a claim to the most famous logo, the giant undead Eddie, courtesy of artist Derek Riggs. Like Eddie, Maiden has a time-worn, instantly recognizable identity. Now, as then, they offer the promise of total escape through their fast tempos, killer riffs, dueling lead guitars, and the historical fantasy fascinations, operatic vocals, and onstage high jinks of their longest-lasting singer, the charismatic Bruce Dickinson, who is also a fencing master and a trained commercial pilot. As a matter of fact, they’ve even got their own Iron Maiden-branded 747, dubbed "Ed Force One." No joke. Tex Kerschen

Friday, June 30
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Carlos Santana is a man at peace with his place in the musical universe. The guitarist and band leader has been performing for nearly 50 years — since the mid-1960s — including a legendary breakout performance at Woodstock. During this time, Santana, has crossed musical idioms from jazz to blues, Latin rock to Indian ragas, soul to funk. Tracks such as "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va," and "Black Magic Woman" have become classic rock radio hits, while later-period songs "Smooth" featuring Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas on vocals and "Maria, Maria" (both from 1999's Supernatural) serve to cement Santana's long-standing appeal and legacy. Having performed with a who's who of musical masters, including Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Tito Puente, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana admits nervousness sharing the stage with others. "Actually, I'm always scared to death," he says with a laugh. Still, Santana acknowledges feeling confident enough to hold his own and offer something unique in any situation. "It's frightening, but I tell myself, I have something they don't have and therefore I am significant and meaningful and they need that," he says. Glenn BurnSilver
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