Things to Do

The 25 Best Concerts in Phoenix in February 2019

KISS is scheduled to perform its final Valley show on Wednesday, February 13, at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
KISS is scheduled to perform its final Valley show on Wednesday, February 13, at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Courtesy of Ticketmaster
Things are going to heat up in the Valley this month — and we aren’t just referring to just the weather. The concert season in metro Phoenix will really get going over the next few weeks as the spring music festival season kicks off, prominent artists and bands perform, and big budget tours roll through town.

You’ll find all of these events in our rundown of the biggest and best concerts happening in February. It includes names like Neko Case, Meek Mill, Bob Seger, Pedro the Lion, The Interrupters, John 5, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Jesse McCartney.

Elsewhere in this month’s concert calendar, KISS will stage their final performance in the Valley, KONGOS will return to Phoenix for a hometown show, and the annual Crush Arizona music festival will fill Rawhide in Chandler with massive amounts of beats and bass.

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best shows happening in the Valley in February. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge
One-time Beach Boy member Al Jardine.
Randy Straka
Al Jardine
Tuesday, February 5
Musical Instrument Museum

Al Jardine played stand-up bass on the very first Beach Boys single, "Surfin'," and since then he's been an integral part of the band's sonic makeup, playing guitar and navigating complexities not often associated with The Beach Boys: environmental concerns ("Don't Go Near the Water," written with Mike Love), transcendence ("All This Is That"), and spoken-word prose (Jardine read Robinson Jeffers's poem "The Breaks of Eagles" as part of the band's stunning "California Saga" from Holland).

Though he left the touring version of the 'Boys in the '90s, Jardine settled a lawsuit with Mike Love and contributed to the 2012 album That's Why God Made the Radio with all surviving original members. He’s also toured and performed with various incarnations of The Beach Boys over the last several years. This month, he’ll make a stop at the Musical Instrument Museum on his “A Postcard from California” tour, which shares its name with his 2010 solo album. Jason P. Woodbury

click to enlarge
Joan Osborne pays tribute to Bob Dylan on her current tour.
Jeff Fasano
Joan Osborne
Tuesday, February 5
Mesa Arts Center

When Joan Osborne comes to the Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater this month, she may or may not perform her most famous track, “One of Us.” That’s because the singer-songwriter is currently performing sets filled with Bob Dylan songs as part of a tour based on her recent album paying tribute to the folk legend, a collection capped by her residencies singing the Bard's songs at New York's famed Cafe Carlyle. “There are literally hundreds of great songs,” Osborne stated of Dylan’s music in a recent interview. “You can take any of his songs, and another artist would have been satisfied to just write that in their entire career, and he had hundreds of these songs.” And Osborne’s performances on her current tour aren’t just straight-up covers. “We wanted to give listeners a new way into these songs, a way to discover something different, some angle on the song that hadn’t been exploited before,” she stated. Jeff Strowe

click to enlarge
Andrés Aparicio: Some indie rock heroes wear capes.
Wednesday, February 6,
FiftyOne West in Tempe

Imagine if the vocalist behind your favorite Disney movie songs joined a pop-punk band. Andrés Aparicio is hard to tack down when it comes to the music he makes and the influences he draws from. Formerly playing as Terra Alice, Aparicio at one moment cranks out pop-punk melodies like Fall Out Boy and raps over math rock and emo compositions the next. On Heroes, Villains, and All That Jazz, Aparicio’s most audible evolution is the soulful confidence he projects with his voice. He still raps and he’s still a pop-punk singer, but he’s stretching his range to add drama to his delivery. Julian Hernandez

click to enlarge
Pop musician Jesse McCartney.
Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency
Jesse McCartney
Thursday, February 7
The Van Buren

Jesse McCartney. Remember him? Listen to “Beautiful Soul” and it might ring a bell. Chances are someone you know had a poster of him, a CD of his or at the very least, a crush on him. McCartney was the king of Radio Disney in the early 2000s, singing his way into the hearts of girls around the world. Maybe you even remember his appearances on Disney Channel shows like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody or Hannah Montana. Ashley Tisdale and Brenda Song's characters swooned when he came to the Tipton, and even Hannah Montana herself had fantasy dreams of McCartney.

It’s been 10 years since McCartney’s peak on the Billboard charts with the release of “Leavin’” toward the end of his sweeping teeny-bopper fame. The same girls who cranked up his hits on their iPods and who ogled his pretty blond hair in high school are now well into their 20s. Attend one of his shows, including his gig in early February at The Van Buren, and you’ll witness how McCartney’s fan base has stayed loyal. As a matter of fact, McCartney’s concerts are a sentimental reunion party for millennials reliving their childhoods and the screams are just as strong as when he was Disney’s biggest heartthrob. Now 31 years old and about to drop his sixth studio album, the first in years, McCartney is still killing it — and audiences are delighted that, at heart, he’s still the same teenage singer they grew up with. Isabel Arcellana

click to enlarge
Collie Buddz is scheduled to perform on Sunday, February 10, at Arizona Roots Festival.
Courtesy of Ineffable Music
Arizona Roots Festival
Saturday, February 9, and Sunday, February 10
Rawhide Western Town in Chandler

Love reggae, rock, dub, rocksteady or any combination of these genres? You’ll likely dig this two-day music festival on Rawhide’s Riverwalk with performances from more than 20 local and touring bands and artists of the reggae-rock/roots reggae variety, as well as a few prominent rappers.

The lineup on Saturday, February 9, will include sets from Rebelution, Atmosphere, J Boog, Trevor Hall, Mike Love, Katchafire, Clint Stevens, Tha 'Yoties, and Rilen' Out. On Sunday, February 10, there will be performances by Stick Figure, Dispatch, Collie Buddz, The Movement, Iya Terra, Xiuhtezcatl, Synrgy, Black Bottom Lighters, Kill Babylon Coalition, and Mellow Psychadelic Culture. Gates open at noon both days. General admission is $50 to $100 and VIP tickets are $140 to $750. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge
Folk singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov.
Rebecca Caridad
Gregory Alan Isakov
Tuesday, February 12
The Van Buren

On first listen, with the banjo fills and fiddle and rare, low-mixed gasps of drums, it would be easy to dismiss Gregory Alan Isakov's music as folk songs played through a Valencia Instagram filter. But Isakov's is the sort of mournful, pensive music suited for rainy days and worthy of repeated listening. Born in South Africa, Isakov moved to Pennsylvania and ended up in Colorado, where he established himself as a first-rate singer-songwriter. Part of his success comes from his tremendous stage presence. Quiet, often hunched slightly, Isakov approaches the microphone with his guitar and begins singing in his smoky baritone, somehow commanding the undivided attention of every person in the audience. Few singer-songwriters can own a crowd like Isakov does, and it's part of his allure, alongside his strong songwriting, with its dense, tightly woven lyrics. David Accomazzo

click to enlarge
Pedro the Lion return with Phoenix, an ode to our fair city.
Ryan Russell
Pedro the Lion
Wednesday, February 13
Crescent Ballroom

Did you know that Pedro the Lion lead singer David Bazan is a Phoenix native? The indie rocker lived in the Valley for the first 13 years of his life, and as he elucidates in a recent interview with Phoenix New Times, he's got a lot of conflicted feelings about the place. He's put some of that into the latest Pedro record, Phoenix, the first in a series of five albums that marks the end of a lengthy hiatus for the project. Pedro will stage a homecoming show at Crescent Ballroom in February, bringing Tomberlin along for the ride. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge
It's your last chance to see KISS in concert in Phoenix.
Jim Louvau
Wednesday, February 13
Gila River Arena in Glendale

Legendary rock band KISS have been around the world many times, but their current trip will be their last. They've announced their "final tour ever," which includes a date in Phoenix at Gila River Arena on February 13.

Famed for their extreme staging, pyrotechnics, heavy metal costuming, and the distinctive black and white face paint worn by each member, the quartet of Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley were one of the most infamous of a generation of American glam rock acts that included Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick. Their flamboyant looks and catchy songs like "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "Strutter" earned them massive popularity and influenced the hair metal bands that came after.

The current lineup of KISS features Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer replacing Frehley and Criss, who left the band years ago. Douglas Markowitz

click to enlarge
The legendary Neko Case.
Courtesy of ANTI- Records
Neko Case
Thursday, February 14
The Van Buren

Neko Case knows how to twist and turn a phrase to make her lyrics sparkle and crackle, conjuring tender, fading memories and gossamer dreams in listeners’ minds. A sonic storyteller for more than 20 years as a member of Canadian indie rockers The New Pornographers, Case’s work with the Pornographers, with her band (Her Boyfriends) and as a solo artist has firmly established her as indie rock royalty. Released in June, Case’s self-produced Hell-On is her eighth studio album and seventh solo LP. In 2016, she teamed up with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs for case/lang/veirs, which received rave reviews. Hell-On has been described by reviewers as one of her best and appeared on a handful of year-end 2018 best-album lists. Daniel Rodriguez

click to enlarge
If you love that old time rock 'n' roll, you'll want to see Bob Seger this month.
Jim Louvau
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Friday, February 15
Talking Stick Resort Arena

When Bob Seger’s "Night Moves" broke through on classic-rock radio in 1976, some observers described it as an overnight success. But the Michigan native was a force in the vibrant Detroit music scene as far back as the early ’60s, and his national audience eventually caught up to the singer’s rawer, earthier regional hits, such as “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”

It’s never clear what this self-proclaimed “simple-minded guy” actually believes in. He has dissed draft dodgers (“The Ballad of the Yellow Beret”) and written anti-war songs (“2 + 2 = ?”), and the longtime shill for Chevy trucks now wants to save the environment on his latest album, Ride Out. With Seger, it’s always been more about his craggy mountain of a voice than his lyrical vision. Falling James

click to enlarge
Black Tiger Sex Machine is scheduled to perform at Decadence Arizona 2017.
John Londono
Crush Arizona 2019
Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16
Rawhide Event Center

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 thousands of 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 or other enormous decorations. 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.

Crush will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with a two-night event over Valentine’s Day weekend. DJs and EDM artists scheduled to perform include Seven Lions, Slander, Joyride, Spag Heddy, Wuki, Kaivon, and Bardz on Friday, February 15; and Alesso, 3LAU, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Anna Lunoe, Wooli, and Blossom on Saturday, February 16. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge
Blues artist Jonny Lang.
Daniella Hovsepian
Jonny Lang
Saturday, February 16
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale

Being a prodigy can sometimes suck. Take Jonny Lang, for example. When he burst onto the scene as an astonishingly gifted 14-year-old guitar wünderkind, it must have seemed like the coolest thing in the world. Of course, as gifted as Lang is, his success was intimately linked to his youthfulness — a sort of novelty factor. Pretty quickly, that novelty began to take on a different air, with critics frequently applying his age as a qualifier, asking, essentially, if his limited years had an inverse relationship with his audience's perception. Lang, however, chose to do something at which prodigies often fail — he grew as an artist. Over the course of two decades and eight albums, Lang has moved away from the strictures of structured blues, embracing a host of styles ranging from Southern-fried rock to Memphis-style soul to gospel, finding room in his music to embrace the spirit of the blues that got him started in the first place. Nicholas L. Hall
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Phoenix New Times Music Writers