Things to Do

The 11 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Snoop Dogg is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 15, at Pot of Gold Music Festival 2019.
Snoop Dogg is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 15, at Pot of Gold Music Festival 2019. Jim Louvau
Get ready for one helluva busy weekend in the Valley. St. Patrick’s Day is on Sunday, and there are going to be a voluminous amount of events taking place across town both leading up to the occasion and on the big day itself. Add in the three-day hip-hop hullabaloo of the Pot of Gold Festival and a slew of other outdoor events and you’ve got yourself plenty of things to do.

There will also be a ton of concerts both big and small happening from Friday, March 15, to Sunday, March 17, ranging from Nanami Ozone’s parking lot show at Gracie’s Tax Bar to the Zac Brown Band kicking off Ak-Chin Pavillion’s outdoor concert season. Other highlights of this weekend’s concert calendar include gigs by Watsky, Mom Jeans, River Whyless, Nils Frahm, Lonesome Shack, and Gordon Lightfoot.

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

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Local indie rock band Nanami Ozone in concert earlier this year.
Benjamin Leatherman
Nanami Ozone (Album Release Show)
Friday, March 15
Gracie's Tax Bar

No, this is not taking place inside the actual bar or in the patio where Gracie’s usually hosts DJs. Nanami Ozone’s album release show for their upcoming album, NO, will instead be hosted in the bar’s parking lot. Call it a block party if you want. The Phoenix alternative rockers have been serving up all sorts of guitar fuzz and heartbreaking melodies for the last few years and have become local favorites in the process. This is the first show to ever be hosted at Gracie’s. It remains to be seen what kind of performance setup the bar will provide, but for this scene-favorite hangout to open up its space for the band is a good sign of a special night to come. Julian Hernandez

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The Zac Brown Band will kick off Ak-Chin Pavillion's concert season on Friday.
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
Zac Brown Band
Friday, March 15
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Zac Brown has a story fit for a country ballad. The 11th of 12 children, Brown was singing before he could talk. The "Chicken Fried" singer was raised in a music-loving family, and by age 7, he was plucking a classical guitar. The three-time Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, which combine bluegrass with a hint of reggae soul, are the culmination of a lifetime of practice. Critics say their lyrics sound forced on repeat listens, but fans like the Zac Brown Band’s music all the same, as evidenced by all the times they've topped the Billboard charts. The band are gearing up to release their eighth studio album later this year and have dropped a single, 2018’s “Someone I Used to Know” that’s likely to appear on the yet-to-be-titled effort. They will perform at Ak-Chin Pavillion this weekend. Moon Taxi opens. Nicholas Bostick

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Lil Wayne will perform at Pot of Gold 2019 on Saturday, March 16.
Jim Louvau
Pot of Gold Music Festival 2019
Friday, March 15, to Sunday, March 17
Steele Indian School Park

The three-day event returns to prove once again that there's more to St. Patty's Day weekend than throwing up green beer. This year, the festival, which will take place March 15 to 17, has switched venues from the familiar raver stomping grounds of Rawhide Western Town to the much more lush Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix — makes sense to have more green around, doesn't it?

They've also traded up in terms of the lineup: While last year's headliners included slightly embarrassing artists like Russ and Sturgill Simpson, this year's will be almost exclusively hip-hop. Lil Wayne and Post Malone are listed as headliners on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, respectively, while support acts include Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Young Thug, Lil Pump, Jhené Aiko, Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Baby, Tinashe, and more. (Latin trap/reggaetone artist Ozuna headlines on Friday, March 15.) Arizona has been lacking a pure hip-hop festival until now, and we're excited Pot of Gold has stepped up to provide one. Douglas Markowitz

Saturday, March 16
The Pressroom

Watsky is a San Franciscan poet/rapper, now based in Los Angeles, who first gained recognition as a slam poet. As a performer, he's about as diverse as they come: serious, silly, cocky, and heartfelt — sometimes all at once. His cross-genre appeal is demonstrated by his impressively varied resumé: winner of the Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam in 2006, a poet at Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry in 2007, and a performer at the Just for Laughs comedy festival. Amazingly, considering his lack of any sort of street cred and his uncanny resemblance to the goofy Michael Cera, but in true testament to his rare talent, he is well-respected by rap authorities, having even earned features in XXL. The best thing about Watsky is his honesty; "Seizure Boy," in which he discusses having a seizure in gym class, is a standout in that regard, and the rapper is so confident that he's able to joke about it and put his audience at ease. He's not afraid to be human and vulnerable, which is the mark of a true artist. Noah Hubbell

Club '90s: Backstreet Boys vs. NSYNC
Saturday, March 16
The Van Buren

Where did your late-’90s teen-pop loyalties lie? The battle between Justin and Nick rages on at Backstreet Boys vs. NSYNC, presented by Club ’90s. Get on the floor and dance to the vocal teen pop that played nonstop on your Discman two decades ago. The battle continues inside the photo booths, so be sure to show your allegiance to the group you love the most. Who will win? Is it going to be NSYNC or do you have Backstreet’s back? You want it that way at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at The Van Buren. Tickets to this 21-and-over event are $15. Jason Keil

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German composer Nils Frahm.
Alexander Schneider
Nils Frahm
March 17
The Van Buren

You might consider this an unconventional pick, but Nils Frahm is not a conventional musician, even if he's a classically trained pianist. His record Spaces, compiled from live recordings made in 2012 and '13, is a dynamic, at times thrilling record that uses spacey synths to supplement the German composer's frighteningly fast piano runs. Frahm has slowed things down on recent releases such as Solo and All Melody, but no matter the speed at which he plays, you're sure to find it fascinating. Douglas Markowitz
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers