Music News

The Copper Penny Has Closed, Goldrush Has Added New DJs, and More Phoenix Music News

Attendees of Goldrush Music Festival.
Attendees of Goldrush Music Festival. Tony Cottrell Photography/Relentless Beats

The lineup for next month’s Goldrush Music Festival at Rawhide in Chandler has gotten even bigger as more DJs have been announced for the three-day event. It’s one of several headlines included in the following roundup of recent news from music and concert scenes.

There are also details about actor Billy Bob Thornton bringing his band The Boxmasters to town, the closure of a local bar The Copper Penny Saloon, and Watsky canceling his upcoming tour in order to lessen the spread of the Delta variant.

Goldrush Festival Announces Second Wave of DJs

Local concert promoter Relentless Beats has added more than a dozen electronic dance music DJs, producers, and artists have been added to the lineup of next month’s Goldrush Music Festival. Names include trance duo Cosmic Gate, house music artists EDX and Seth Troxler, dubstep wizard Virtual Riot, techno producer Technasia, and drum ‘n’ bass queen Sleeper Cell.

They join a roster that already features Diplo, Illenium, Above & Beyond, and more than three dozen other DJs who were previously announced for the three-night event happening from Friday, September 24, to Sunday, September 26, at Rawhide Western Town in Chandler. It's set to be the largest outdoor concert to be staged locally since the pandemic. Tickets for the 18-and-over event are $99 to $349 for daily admission and $229 to $999 for the weekend.


The Copper Penny Saloon Shuts Down

Sun City spot The Copper Penny has closed for business “until further notice,” according to a post to its Facebook account on August 8. The bar and music venue located at 10765 West Peoria Avenue has hosted various local rock bands and country musicians during regular weekend gigs, including acts like Faded Jeans, The Jokerz, and Mojo Rats. Reasons behind the closure were not cited and Phoenix New Times was unable to reach anyone at the bar for comment.

click to enlarge J.D. Andrew (left) and Billy Bob Thornton (right) of the Boxmasters. - ACTION ENTERTAINMENT COLLABORATIVE
J.D. Andrew (left) and Billy Bob Thornton (right) of the Boxmasters.
Action Entertainment Collaborative

Billy Bob Thornton’s Band The Boxmasters Coming to Phoenix

If you ever wanted to meet Billy Bob Thornton or see him perform, the Oscar-winning actor, filmmaker, and musician is set to bring his band The Boxmasters to The Rhythm Room next month for a gig. The long-running rock/Americana act, which features Thornton on vocals and J.D. Andrew on guitar, is touring behind its 10th studio album (2020's Light Rays) and is scheduled to perform on Thursday, September 16. Local rockabilly band Pat Roberts and the Heymakers share the bill. Tickets are $50.

Night of Neuralgia Seeks Volunteers

The folks behind local noise and experimental music series Night of Neuralgia are in search of people to help its relaunch later this year. The ongoing event, which has previously taken place at DIY venues like The Trunk Space and now-defunct spot The Lunchbox, showcases “local musicians pushing boundaries with experimental and avant-garde elements to their performances.”

In a recent Facebook post, NoN organizer Scott Mitting put out a call seeking local artists to perform and contribute, as well as those who’d like to participate or suggest ideas for the event. Anyone interested is asked to reply to the post.

click to enlarge Alternative hip-hop artist Watsky. - MIKE SQUIRES
Alternative hip-hop artist Watsky.
Mike Squires

Watsky Cancels Tour

A twice-rescheduled Valley performance by Watsky won’t happen after all as he’s canceled his entire upcoming tour because of COVID-19. The alternative hip-hop artist and poet, who was scheduled to perform on November 11 at Crescent Ballroom, announced the news via social media on August 13, citing concerns that his concerts would allow further spread of the Delta variant of the virus.

The 29-city tour was originally scheduled for 2020 and has been rescheduled twice due to the pandemic. In his statement, Watsky says he ultimately decided to pull the plug. “I'm sick of holding onto your money. I'm sick of waiting for the touring world to go back to the way it was. It's been over two years since we booked these original tour dates – rescheduling is not a simple thing, and I need to move forward,” he wrote.

Full refunds will be available to ticketholders through their point of purchase. Watsky also offered to help reimburse fans for any non-refundable travel expenses they may have incurred in order to get to the gigs (they’re asked to e-mail [email protected] for more info).

El Alfa and La Oreja de Van Gogh Announce Phoenix Dates

Dominican-born reggaeton/Dembow artist El Alfa and Spanish pop band La Oreja de Van Gogh have both announced upcoming concerts at The Van Buren. El Alfa is scheduled to perform at the downtown Phoenix music venue at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 13. Advance tickets are $49.50. La Oreja de Van Gogh’s concert will follow on Sunday, December 5. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $45.

The Rhythm Room is Hiring

Renowned central Phoenix music venue The Rhythm Room will reopen later this month and is currently hiring part-time security and servers. Those wishing to apply for the positions are asked to e-mail their resumes to [email protected].
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.