The 12 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Kimya Dawson is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 17, at the Trunk Space.
Kimya Dawson is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 17, at the Trunk Space. Jason Saul/CC BY-ND 2.0/via Flickr
Don’t look now, but festival season has begun in Phoenix. From now until May, an array of attention-grabbing outdoor concert and music events will take place across the Valley as local promoters take advantage of the nice weather.

And it kicks off this weekend with two such events, the annual Crush Arizona EDM extravaganza and the first-ever Fenix Beer y Music Fest. Both will feature lineups loaded with artists and acts performing in the great outdoors.

Music festivals aren’t the only concert action happening in Phoenix this weekend. Gigs by Kimya Dawson, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, Bully, Curren$y, and Margo Price will also take place.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts and music events in Phoenix this weekend. And for even more options, check out Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Expect to hear some Kesha tracks at the latest Guilty Pleasures night. - OLIVIA BEE
Expect to hear some Kesha tracks at the latest Guilty Pleasures night.
Olivia Bee
Guilty Pleasures: Lady Gaga vs. Kesha
Friday, February 16
The Van Buren

Lady Gaga and Kesha have revolutionized pop music with their distinctive sounds, fashions, and personas. On Friday, February 16, DJs A Claire Slattery and Becktron (a.k.a. New Times’ arts and music editor Becky Bartkowski) will pay tribute to the artists during a 21-and-older dance party devoted to the two superstars.

During Guilty Pleasures: Lady Gaga vs. Kesha, the DJs will play hits from the two singers and mix in songs from popular artists such as The Weeknd, Gwen Stefani, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink, Lorde, Ellie Goulding, and Liam Payne. Fans of Gaga and Kesha can rep their fave with buttons given out during the dance party. The event starts at 9 p.m. and costs $5 per person. Laura Latzko

Country star Lee Ann Womack. - JOHN SCARPATI
Country star Lee Ann Womack.
John Scarpati
Lee Ann Womack
Friday, February 16
Highlands Church in Scottsdale

It is impossible to think of Lee Ann Womack without immediately recalling her 2000 hit “I Hope You Dance." In the late '90s and early 2000s, Womack dominated the mainstream country charts with a slew of commercially friendly hits like “Ashes By Now” and “A Little Past Little Rock.” Later, she’d score a major pop-crossover success with syrupy, sentimental ballad “I Hope You Dance,” which would come to define her career as a country artist. Or at least that’s what everybody thought.

The Lee Ann Womack of today, and her sound, are decidedly different than they were 20 years ago. Now, the self-described East Texas girl is leaning hard into her classic country roots. In 2014, Womack’s The Way I’m Livin’ earned critical praise and a slew of Grammy nominations, especially for its standout single “Chances Are,” written by Hayes Carll. With that album, Womack transformed from a commercial country hitmaker into a bona fide queen of the new Americana sound.

This weekend, she’ll be in the Valley to perform at Highlands Church in Scottsdale as a part of the ongoing Arizona Musicfest. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $34 to $76. Amy McCarthy

click to enlarge Disco diva Evelyn "Champagne" King. - COURTESY OF MM GROUP
Disco diva Evelyn "Champagne" King.
Courtesy of MM Group
Valentines Super Love Jam
Friday, February 16
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Okay, you kind of screwed up. You totally forgot to pick up a gift or card for your S.O. on V-Day, despite hearts and flowers being available on practically every street corner. And now it’s time for damage control.

Besides working on your apology, consider picking up tickets to Art Laboe’s annual Valentines Super Love Jam, which swings through the Valley this weekend. If your better half is into old-school R&B, funk, and disco, they’ll definitely enjoy the chance to see such legends as Evelyn "Champagne" King, ZAPP, Deniece Williams, The Delfonics, Sly Slick and Wicked, The Moments, The Jets, Blue Magic, and Sunny Ozuna.

And if you’re lucky, you two will have a great time, allowing you the chance to get out of the doghouse. Benjamin Leatherman

Friday, February 16
Club Red in Mesa

Curren$y has spent his career, which spans well over a decade, in the company of hip-hop’s major players like Master P, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa, each of whom took the rapper under his wing at different times. Because of that, the New Orleans native has been signed to and sought after by numerous major labels

Surprisingly, Curren$y’s never achieved much mainstream success. Instead, he’s cemented a longstanding status as an underground legend, selling out massive shows across the country and moving loads of mixtapes and albums via his own Jet Life record imprint, all the while appealing to the smoker’s club. Mikel Galicia

click to enlarge Experience peace, love, and EDM at Crush Arizona. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Experience peace, love, and EDM at Crush Arizona.
Benjamin Leatherman
Crush Arizona 2018
Saturday, February 17
Rawhide Event Center in Chandler

As any local EDM kid will tell you, Crush Arizona is one of the biggest and longest-running dance music festivals in the Valley. The annual Valentine’s-themed event, which has been around since 2008, regularly attracts more than 10,000 eager dance music fans, many of whom come dressed as Cupid or in other love-inspired costumes or attire (read: lingerie, humorous T-shirts, and heart-shaped sunglasses).

And they also come to rage and get rowdy amid giant inflatable hearts decorating a ginormous tent-like structure. Needless to say, Crush is one of the more unique EDM events in the Valley. It’s grown tenfold over the last decade, outgrowing its previous venues, and now takes place at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler, and features a slew of top-shelf DJs and dance music artists.

This year’s edition of Crush Arizona, which happens on Saturday, February 17, will feature gigs by Kaskade, Carnage, Getter, Crankdat, Grandtheft, Volac, and others. Benjamin Leatherman

Cocktail Jam feat. Orgone
Saturday, February 17
The Van Buren

While its members had been playing together long before Orgone was born, the Los Angeles funk band officially formed in 1999. Not long after its inception, the band added vocalist Fanny Franklin to augment its ornate instrumentation — the standard guitar, bass, and drum setup, fleshed out with a beautifully orchestrated horn section, congas, and more.

Though Orgone's origins as an instrumental band can clearly be heard in their funky, intricate noodling, it is Franklin's soulful vocal leading that brings the diverse group closer to its audience in a live setting. For fans of throwbacks like Booker T. & The M.G.'s and early Parliament Funkadelic, Orgone has a danceable spread just for you.

This weekend, Orgone will bring the funk to The Van Buren when they headline the Cocktail Jam, an evening of live music and libations that’s part of the Arizona Cocktail Week festivities. Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and DJ M’Rocka will also perform. Bree Davies
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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