Lorde is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 16, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
Lorde is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 16, at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Courtesy of Chuffmedia
Hope y’all have been saving up your disposable income lately. You’re really going to need it in March, especially if you want to catch all the great concerts happening.

From arena-sized shows to small, intimate gigs, Phoenix’s concert scene will be busy during March. Plenty of big names are headed our way including Lorde, Demi Lovato, A$AP Ferg, Brockhampton, Burt Bacharach, and Dweezil Zappa.

Plus, there’s a festival every single weekend, including annual events like M3F, Pot of Gold, and Blues Blast.

We’ve got the goods on all the big concerts happening in March, which you can find in the list below. (And for even more live music events happening around town, check out Phoenix New Times’ online concert calendar.)

click to enlarge Pink has a new album and a new tour. - KURT ISWARIENKO
Pink has a new album and a new tour.
Kurt Iswarienko
P!nk
Thursday, March 1
Talking Stick Resort Arena

P!nk is nothing if not badass. In January, the superstar pop/R&B singer provided a showstopping performance of her song “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” in support of the Time’s Up movement during this year’s Grammys. A few days later, she penned a piercing letter in response to Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s loathsome claim that women in the music industry needed to “step up.”


Then, for a follow-up, P!nk served up a stirring rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl LII that earned her plenty of praise, all while she battled the flu.

You can expect to see the same sort of fierce attitude and phenomenal singing prowess this week in Phoenix when P!nk performs her first Valley concert in almost five years. She’s touring in support of Beautiful Trauma, the 13-track studio album that debuted in October and has been critically lauded for its sociopolitical themes, including on its lead single, “What About Us.” Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge The Psychedelic Furs back in the day. - COURTESY OF DANNY ZELISKO PRESENTS
The Psychedelic Furs back in the day.
Courtesy of Danny Zelisko Presents
The Psychedelic Furs
Friday, March 2
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale


Few bands can evoke an entire era in just a few notes, but listen to a snippet of any Psychedelic Furs song and you’ll find yourself smack-dab back in the ’80s. Whether it’s the triumphant guitars of “Pretty In Pink” or the xylophone-esque melodies of “Love My Way,” something about the music feels as anchored to that time period as Ms. Pac-Man machines. It’s no wonder Stranger Things, this decade’s most reliable time machine, used the Furs’ “The Ghost In You” as part of its soundtrack.


While the Furs used keyboards and synths as ably as their ’80s contemporaries, Richard Butler’s vocals set them apart. Raspy and worn, his burnt-out croon would sound more at home fronting a Tom Waits-ian bar band than a New Wave outfit. It’s what gives the Furs’ music a timeless quality, While the melodies and instruments will forever date them, Butler’s nicotine-stained vocals makes them sound like they could have existed in any era. That kind of rumpled, weary grace never goes out of style. Ashley Naftule

Get ready for this year's M3F. - COURTESY OF M3F
Get ready for this year's M3F.
Courtesy of M3F
M3F 2018
Friday, March 2, to Sunday, March 4
Margaret T. Hance Park


Previously known as the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, this event turns 15 this year. Since it started, bands like the Avett Brothers, Dwight Yoakam, and Chromeo have commanded the stage. The 2018 lineup features Father John Misty, Dr. Dog, and Wyves, as well as local acts Treasurefruit, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and The Lonesome Wilderness.

The festival always has a chill vibe and includes an array of vendors and food and beverage trucks and stands. All the proceeds of this nonprofit festival go to charity. Tickets start at $50 and single-day, three-day, and VIP tickets are available and are on sale now. Amy Young

click to enlarge Little Dragon - COURTESY OF SONIC PR
Little Dragon
Courtesy of Sonic PR
Little Dragon
Sunday, March 4
Crescent Ballroom


Gothenburg-based electronic group Little Dragon has left Sweden for a U.S. tour, and they’ll soon take the stage at Crescent Ballroom. Fans who have seen the Grammy-nominated band play live know that their concerts usually morph into groovy dance parties. Frontwoman Yukimi Nagano is known for her fluorescent outfits, high energy, and eccentric moves. (Fun fact: The band’s name originated from a nickname given to Nagano because of her hot temper during their early recording sessions.) Nagano’s style and theatrics are often compared to Bjork, although her vocals and Little Dragon’s sound are influenced by hip-hop and pop artists like De La Soul, Janet Jackson, and A Tribe Called Quest.

If that sounds like a good time, put on some comfortable shoes and maybe do some light stretching. Little Dragon’s most recent album, Season High, released in April 2017, is full of luxurious, midtempo smooth jams. The opener, “Celebrate,” is reminiscent of Prince with its sultry melodies and spastic guitar solo, and standout track “Sweet” lights up with arcade sounds and a catchy beat. Expect to hear hits from previous records like their 2011 breakout Ritual Union and 2014 follow-up Nabuma Rubberband. Meagan Mastriani

Demi Lovato & DJ Khaled
Sunday, March 4
Talking Stick Resort Arena


Demi Lovato returns to the Valley in March, and this time it’s with DJ Khaled for a show at Talking Stick Resort Arena. As you’d expect, Lovato’s performance will focus on her newest album, Tell Me You Love Me, which was released last September. It’s gotten good reviews from critics and has been described as running the gamut from “churchy soul to seductive slow-burners to showstopping ballads designed to showcase every single one of Lovato's diva moves.” And you’re pretty much guaranteed to see those moves in concert during her upcoming Valley show.

DJ Khaled will likely show off a few moves of his own while opening for Lovato, be it on the mic while rapping, acting as his own hype man, or working the mixers. Don’t let his now-infamous performance at last year’s EDC (where he was booed offstage after technical problems and other snafus caused his set to become a clusterfuck), the dude’s got major skills as a performer. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Jake Shimabukuro brings his ukulele to town in March. - COURTESY OF SHORE FIRE MEDIA
Jake Shimabukuro brings his ukulele to town in March.
Courtesy of Shore Fire Media
Jake Shimabukuro
Tuesday, March 6
Mesa Arts Center


Jake Shimabukuro's fingers run up and down a ukulele's tiny, two-octave fretboard as nimbly as any rock guitarist's. But he stays true to the song. Indeed, much of Shimabukuro's success over the years has been tied to his spot-on renditions of famous rock and pop tunes. (He shot to fame more than a decade ago thanks to his cover of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," one of the first viral videos on YouTube.) And some songs have been extremely tricky to translate to ukulele. He struggled, for example, to arrange Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Shimabukuro's last album, Nashville Sessions, was his first collection of all-original songs. His forthcoming album, The Greatest Day, is about half originals and half covers, and the track list includes Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9," the Beatles' “Eleanor Rigby,” the Zombies’ “Time of the Season," and an island-reggae version of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You."

The Hawaii-based Shimabukuro is in the midst of an extensive national tour to promote The Greatest Day. At this point in his career, he's very familiar with the touring grind. On average, he plays between 110 and 130 shows a year, which inevitably results in some wear-and-tear on his hands.

"When we have a lot of back-to-back shows, sometimes my fingertips get a little raw," he says. "You really want to dig in and give it your all, so there are times when the fingers get tender, but when you start playing, the adrenaline kicks in and you feel no pain." Howard Hardee

How spacey will Celebrating David Bowie at Mesa Arts Center get, you think? - JIMMY KING
How spacey will Celebrating David Bowie at Mesa Arts Center get, you think?
Jimmy King
Celebrating David Bowie
Wednesday. March 7
Mesa Arts Center


It still feels strange to talk about David Bowie in the past tense. His music is woven into the fabric of our culture, soundtracking everything from car commercials to rocket launches. In the two years since his death, many have tried to keep his creative spirit alive. Those efforts have run the gamut from second-rate vocalists singing Bowie’s songs with local orchestras to his closest friends and collaborators performing his albums live.

Thankfully, Celebrating David Bowie falls into the latter category, but with a cool twist. The Starman’s longtime keyboardist Mike Garson is joined by guitarists Earl Slick and Gerry Leonard, vocalist Bernard Fowler, and bassist Carmine Rojas to play hits like “Rebel Rebel” and “Ziggy Stardust,” along with some less-known gems from his eclectic catalog. Many artists whom Bowie influenced will drop in throughout the tour. Currently slated to make an appearance at Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater is the British producer Mr. Hudson (Duran Duran, Kanye West) and Sting’s son Joe Sumner. Jason Keil

Here comes Brockhampton. - ASHLAN GREY
Here comes Brockhampton.
Ashlan Grey
Brockhampton
Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 8
The Van Buren


People have had a hard time finding the appropriate label for Brockhampton. Is it a rap crew? A music collective? A hip-hop group? A boy band? Brockhampton's members say, yes, a little bit of each – but absolutely a boy band.

And that’s what's so special about them: They are reinventing a musical genre. They are transcending the predetermined rules of popular culture yet breaking through the corporate noise; after all, Brockhampton, which surprisingly formed on KanyeToThe, a Kanye West fan forum, has been running its own project independently.

Brockhampton lands outside of traditional genres while playing with them at the same time. These musicians don't have an either/or, but rather a both/and kind of project. And the group isn't subtle, either. It's 14 members strong, they’re multiracial, and they know exactly how to open a show.

Hitting the floor with the high-energy dance track "BOOGIE," they encourage audience members to mosh and stoke the crowd to a frenzy, feeding off each other’s energy, which tends to get the audience's hands in the air, belting out the lyrics and dancing their hardest. Don’t be surprised if a similar situation unfolds inside The Van Buren during Brockhampton’s two Valley shows in early March. Eneri Rodriguez

click to enlarge Zsuzsanna Ward, better known as singer ZZ Ward. - GUS BLACK
Zsuzsanna Ward, better known as singer ZZ Ward.
Gus Black
ZZ Ward
Friday, March 9
Crescent Ballroom


ZZ Ward's intonations are instantly recognizable from her foot-stomping saloon song "Put the Gun Down," which has accompanied plenty of movie soundtracks already. Zsuzsanna Ward (whose name is worth about 99 points in Scrabble), with her bluesy, note-bending voice, appeals to modern pop sensibilities while adding just enough flair to make her stand out from the crowd. Even if you can't put a face to a name, you can recognize Ward just by hearing "whoo-hoo-hoo" from a mile away. Matt Wood

click to enlarge Be ready to put your phones away at Lane 8's show. - ANDY COTTERILL
Be ready to put your phones away at Lane 8's show.
Andy Cotterill
Lane 8
Friday, March 9
The Van Buren


Daniel Goldstein, better known to listeners as Lane 8, has gained a following in recent years for his lush sound, a potent blend of the more propulsive elements of electronica and the hypnotic quality of deep house.

More recently, Goldstein’s generated headlines for his “This Never Happened” series of shows, which ask concertgoers to leave their phones in their pockets — no 10-second snaps, no selfies, nothing to distract from the ambiance Goldstein is working to cultivate behind the decks.

Beyond dispatching with the annoyance of distracting flashes of light, Goldstein says the best part about “This Never Happened” has been the stories he’s heard after stepping away from the turntables.

“[I have] people telling me after shows or a few days later that they made a bunch of friends at one of my shows,” Goldstein effuses. “That clubbing ideal that you go out and make a bunch of new friends on the dance floor — that’s what made me fall in love with going out and hearing music in the first place! So to hear that people are doing that now at my shows — that’s the absolute dream.”

As of late, Goldstein has been living out plenty of dreams. In addition to the ongoing success of “This Never Happened," 2018 has seen him release his sophomore Lane 8 album, Little by Little, to great acclaim, as well as found a record label named after “This Never Happened.” Zach Schlein

click to enlarge Renowned blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. - MARK SELIGER
Renowned blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Mark Seliger
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
Friday, March 9
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale


This far into his 20-year career, Kenny Wayne Shepherd has proven time and again his relevance in blues and country — and he's only in his 30s. Yeah. This guy's career technically started when he was 13 years old when blues guitarist Bryan Lee invited Shepherd on stage to play alongside him.

And similar to members of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Shepherd hasn't let his inability to read music get in the way either, making it abundantly clear that some folks are just inherently talented. He pays homage to some of the great blues artists who inspired him in his latest album, Goin' Home, released in 2014, as a collection of covers. Diamond Victoria

Flying Burrito Music & Food Festival
Saturday, March 10
Crescent Ballroom


A new music and food festival is coming to the Valley this spring, courtesy of Phoenix concert promoter Charlie Levy. It's called the Flying Burrito Festival and will include performances from 25 bands on four stages set up along Second Avenue and at Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix. (Full disclosure: Phoenix New Times is a sponsor of the event.)

"We're taking over all of Second Avenue all the way from Van Buren close to Fillmore," Levy says of the event's setup. Albert Hammond Jr., No Age, and Courtney Marie Andrews are scheduled to perform at the fest, whose name is a reference to the classic country-rock band The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Those bros aren't slated to make an appearance, though Levy jokes that Andrews might toss in a cover for good measure. But the event will deliver on booze, bands, and actual burritos. The lineup also includes sets by The Frights, Vox Urbana, Anarbor, Son Led, Porches, The Buttertones, U.S. Girls, Haunted Summer, Dræmings, Current Joys, and many more. Becky Bartkowski

Amber Giles, better known as Mija. - RYAN FARBER
Amber Giles, better known as Mija.
Ryan Farber
Mija
Saturday, March 10
Monarch Theatre

Amber Giles is a big proponent of living outside your comfort zone, especially if you happen to be an artist. It’s a distressing and vexing experience, sure, but also one that could potentially expand horizons, fuel creativity, and lead to bigger and better things. And Giles’ ever-evolving career in electronic dance music is proof.

Over the past several years, she’s gone from being a teenage raver, raging away to happy hardcore and drum ’n’ bass at local underground parties, to promoting events herself, becoming a popular DJ dropping house and techno at downtown Phoenix nightspots like Bar Smith. Now, she’s become one of EDM’s fastest-rising talents.

Her biggest change came in late 2014 when Giles, who performs under the stage name Mija, left Phoenix for L.A. The move came a few months after some attention-grabbing performances at high-profile music festivals (including a spontaneous back-to-back sunrise set with Skrillex at that year’s Bonnaroo that hit big online) and was an eye-opening experience that broadened her horizons and musical palette considerably.

Mija returns to the Valley in March at the Monarch Theatre as a part of her current tour. Expect to hear her latest sounds when she performs in the venue’s Scarlet Lounge upstairs. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge The Andy T. Band will headline this year's Blues Blast. - COURTESY OF THE ANDY T. BAND
The Andy T. Band will headline this year's Blues Blast.
Courtesy of the Andy T. Band
Blues Blast 2018
Saturday, March 10
Margaret T. Hance Park


If you're a fan of blues music, particularly the kind proffered by local bands and artists, plan to spend part of this weekend soaking up some 12-bar down-home sounds in the great outdoors along with plenty of sun. The latest Blues Blast, the Valley's annual festival celebrating the genre, takes place on Saturday, March 10, at Margaret T. Hance Park and features both local and touring artists alike performing throughout the day.

This year's festival is headlined by Nashville, Tennessee-based combo the Andy T. Band, who will be joined by Alabama Mike and Little Charlie for their performance. Locals on the lineup for this year's Blues Blast include the legendary Big Pete Pearson, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns, Smokestack Lightning, Nina Curri, and Dan Rutland. Stan Bindell

click to enlarge Thrash metal gods Iced Earth. - COURTESY OF CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Thrash metal gods Iced Earth.
Courtesy of Century Media Records
Iced Earth
Sunday, March 11
The Pressroom


Iced Earth came out of the rich heavy metal scene in Tampa Bay, Florida, in the late '80s. At a time when melodic heavy metal, especially the glam variety, was on the wane, Iced Earth came in with the wave of metal that produced a melodic speed metal as well as the sort that became known as death metal from the mid '80s to around the turn of the decade with peers like Deicide, Death, and Morbid Angel, who helped to establish further a newer, more brutal aesthetic than fully existed before.

But Iced Earth's musical roots were more grounded in speed metal as pioneered by bands out of the new wave of British heavy metal and its thrash descendants. You can hear evidence of such on any of the dozen or so albums that Iced Earth has released over the last 28 years, including 2017’s Incorruptible, or during their upcoming Valley show at The Pressroom on March 11. Tom Murphy
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver
Ashley Harris is a longtime professional fangirl. You can usually find her out at concerts, movies, and live theatre, or glued to the latest Netflix revival.
Contact: Ashley Harris
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Ashley Naftule
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