Lists

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Dua Lipa is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 9, at The Van Buren.
Dua Lipa is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 9, at The Van Buren. Markus Pritzi
Despite what the calendar says, it’s essentially springtime in the Valley. You know it, we know it, and Mother Nature definitely knows it.

In other words, it’s nice out right now, especially after dark. As such, you really should get out of the house and enjoy things while they last, since you-know-what is on the horizon.

If you need more of an impetus to get out, there are great shows happening in the Valley this weekend. That includes performances by Dua Lipa, YACHT, Blitzen Trapper, Fetty Wap, and even Keith Sweat.

Details about each gig can be found below in our rundown of the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend. And for even more shows happening, be sure to hit up the Phoenix New Times’ online concert calendar.

click to enlarge DJ superstar Cedric Gervais. - COURTESY OF RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
DJ superstar Cedric Gervais.
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Cedric Gervais
Friday, February 9
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale


There’s very little that Cedric Gervais hasn’t done as a superstar DJ/producer. There are all the usual accolades, such as lighting up the Billboard charts with his tracks, moved millions of units, and performing at high-profile venues and festivals across the globe. The French-born artist has also produced a slew of attention-grabbing songs and remixes, ranging from 2012’s controversial “Molly” to his megahit remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness,” which blew up big time on Top 40 radio and even earned him a Grammy.

The 38-year-old hasn’t been resting on his laurels by any means. “My gigs are going crazy,” Gervais told our sister publication Miami New Times. “But I’m not satisfied yet. I’m still working towards it. It’s like, ‘Great, I got a Grammy. What’s next?’” Continuing to tour the world, by the looks of his upcoming schedule. That includes a gig at Maya in Scottsdale on Friday, February 9. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge "Trap Queen" rapper Fetty Wap performs in Phoenix in 2016. - MELINA DELLAMARGGIO
"Trap Queen" rapper Fetty Wap performs in Phoenix in 2016.
Melina Dellamarggio
Fetty Wap
Friday, February 9
Marquee Theatre in Tempe


“Overnight success” has been the constant narrative of New Jersey rapper Fetty Wap’s rise to fame. But more than three years after his megahit “Trap Queen” bounced from SoundCloud to the Billboard charts, the glitter-voiced singer-rapper is no longer new to the game.

He’s already shared the stage with Kanye, collaborated with Drake, and toured with Chris Brown — but it’s his own Remy Boyz with whom he’s most proud to share the spotlight. The “1738” crew is currently out on the road with the star helping to create the vibe of camaraderie and hometown street cred expressed in his music.

Off-kilter yet melodious and catchy, Fetty’s unique style of warbling has turned the notion of a club banger on its head while ruling the charts with four singles simultaneously — hardly a career move reserved for newcomers. Bree Davies

click to enlarge British-born dream pop singer Dua Lipa. - MARKUS PRITZI
British-born dream pop singer Dua Lipa.
Markus Pritzi
Dua Lipa
Friday, February 9
The Van Buren


Dua Lipa’s rise to stardom seemed to come overnight. But her slow climb up the charts proves how hard it is for a fresh-faced, female pop act to break through in a musical climate dominated by rap. On January 27, her single “New Rules” finally broke into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart after months of listens driven by the song’s fabulous, playful music video.

On Friday, February 9, the British pop star will be performing at The Van Buren, a venue that can hold nearly four times more people than Crescent Ballroom, where she played the last time she was in Phoenix in March 2017. The venue upgrade makes sense, as Dua’s fame continues to grow.

Her latest single, “IDGAF,” is poised to make a splash similar to that of its predecessor, separating Dua from the toxic label of “one-hit wonder.” Dua’s notoriety and pop star credit don’t stop at the singles. On February 3, she’s set to make her Saturday Night Live debut, confirming her astronomical rise. And her Van Buren performance comes at a time where the only thing better than being a Dua Lipa fan is being Dua Lipa herself. Tanner Stechnij

click to enlarge YACHT docks at Crescent Ballroom this weekend. - JACLYN CAMPANARO
YACHT docks at Crescent Ballroom this weekend.
Jaclyn Campanaro
YACHT
Saturday, February 10
Crescent Ballroom

“The only way to change a mind is to vocalize,” YACHT’s Claire Evans sings on “Look Alive.” It’s one of the synth-drenched standouts on the band’s latest EP, 2017’s Strawberry Moon. Throughout YACHT’s career, they’ve played with synthetic funk sounds. On Strawberry Moon, the band embrace their inner dance machines, crafting a record that fuses their art-pop experimentations with a loose-limbed, funky sensibility that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Prince album.

Evans and Jona Bechtolt have been working together as YACHT for a decade. They’re restless polymaths. Both musicians are also writers and heavily involved with visual arts. They’ve conducted live scores to movies like Alien, participated in architecture-centered performance art, and even helped develop an app called 5 Every Day that lets people know about things happening in L.A.

The duo’s willingness to mix media and experiment with sound and image can occasionally backfire (like when the band faked a sex tape leak in 2016 to premiere a new music video). But that’s what makes YACHT such a vital group. It isn’t just that they reliably craft brainy, party-starting albums. It’s that the minds they’re most eager to change are their own. Ashley Naftule

click to enlarge Keith Sweat brings his slow jams to the Celebrity Theatre this weekend. - COURTESY OF KEITH SWEAT
Keith Sweat brings his slow jams to the Celebrity Theatre this weekend.
Courtesy of Keith Sweat
Keith Sweat
Saturday, February 10
Celebrity Theatre

Bubbling up to the pop surface after the hits of '70s and '80s love walruses such as Barry White had all but dried up, Keith Sweat is a living, breathing link from those disco-era pioneers to the rappers of today. Sweat is one of the last kings of the slow jam who’s songs contain more than hooks — they're invitations to love.

Sweat helped bring the slow jam from its roller-rink roots to its penthouse present, all while displaying his rather uncanny sense of timing and vocal delivery. If T-Pain and Lil Wayne need a vocal processor to sound nasally and ready for love, Sweat did it naturally, with a sense of class, and with a touch of hip-hop's flair. It was called new jack swing.

Sweat's popularity reached an apex in 1996 with the release of his self-titled album. It garnered two top five singles ("Twisted" and "Nobody") and went platinum four times. The album's cover featured Sweat sitting on a throne, and it was appropriate. For a shining moment, Sweat was new jack king. Although Sweat isn't the soundtrack to everyone's more intimate moments today, the appeal of his music is still strong. Jason Bugg
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.