Concerts in Phoenix March 22-24: Garth Brooks, Vanishing Show, Phyre Festival, Mike Doughty | Phoenix New Times

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The 13 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

With more music festivals than you can shake a churro at.
Mike Doughty is scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 24, at Crescent Ballroom.
Mike Doughty is scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 24, at Crescent Ballroom. Rachel Hurley
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We’ve pretty much hit peak springtime in the Valley. The weather’s awesome, the smell of wildflowers are in the air, and festivals are very much in abundance. This weekend’s concert calendar reflects this, as a ton of music fests and outdoor concerts will be happening from Friday, March 22, to Sunday, March 24.

There are also concerts both enormous (Garth Brooks) and intimate (Mike Doughty), as well as this year’s edition of the Vanishing Show, Pho Cao celebrating a big anniversary, and a dance party parodying the infamous Fyre Festival (we’ll assume you’ve seen the Netflix or Hulu docs by now).

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

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Asking Alexandria
Courtesy of Sumerian Records
Asking Alexandria
Friday, March 22
Club Red in Mesa

Although metalcore was born (and is still very much centered) in the suburbs of America, Asking Alexandria plays it convincingly well for a bunch of Brits. These dudes, who got together in 2008, have spent a good amount of time touring and recording stateside while steadily building a devoted following both nationally and back home.

This weekend, Asking Alexandria will be the featured band during KUPD’s first-ever “Unscripted” at Club Red in Mesa. Described by the local radio station’s website as a “private event where anything goes,” the event will include live podcast hosted by KUPD personality Larry McFeelie and Asking Alexandria and a four-song acoustic set by the band. The event takes place at 1 p.m. and tickets can be obtained by listening to KUPD (more info can be found here). Bree Davies

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Nora en Pure visits Shady Park in Tempe this weekend.
Courtesy of MFM Booking
Phoenix Lights Sightings feat. Nora En Pure
Friday, March 22
Shady Park in Tempe

For a 20-something who waited until after she finished her undergraduate studies before really diving into the dance music scene, the intuitive Daniela Niederer (better known as indie dance producer Nora En Pure) may still be green, but she's quickly carved out her own summery, melodic house niche in the ever-evolving, often overly dark electronic music realm, and it's currently taking her all over the world, from Coachella later this year to club gigs around the world.

Her 2013 breakout hit "Come With Me" introduced the world to her refreshing brand of deep indie-house and spent seven months in the Beatport Top 100. After releasing her 2016 Morning Dew EP, a warm, forward-moving double track textured with piano-driven melodies and airy guitar riffs, Nora has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past couple of years as the EDM craze has shifted gears from big-room bangers to a more toned-down, tropical house sound. Falyn Freyman

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Patrons of a previous Full Moon Festival.
Benjamin Leatherman
Full Moon Festival: Rebirth
Friday, March 22
The Pressroom

One of the most important things about maintaining a solid music scene is actually caring about it. Besides attending the occasional show or buying merchandise from their favorite musician, the average listener of the average music scene doesn’t support beyond that. Without sustained support for the community, it is hard for a scene to truly showcase, and promote, the hidden talent it holds.

Locally, events like the Full Moon Festival, the increasingly popular multigenre festival, are specifically designed to shine a light on some of the amazing artists that are on the rise. Founder and cultivator 31-year-old Jonathan Luther, once a musician himself, understands the importance of movements like these and hopes his efforts will help.

“I want to do whatever it takes to serve the Phoenix artistic community,” Luther says. “Our goal is to make it the number one platform for local Phoenix artists to get their name out there.”

True to form, the latest edition of the festival, which takes place on Friday night at The Pressroom, will feature performances by a slew of local musicians and DJs. The lineup will include sets by such artists and acts as Black Bottom Lighters, The Hourglass Cats, Twin Ponies, T.O.S.O., Weird Radicals, Veloces, Big Stabes, Dylan Heckert, Dark Mark, Sam Groove, Smoakland, Kyotari, Soulspeek, Dustin Zahn, Rolando Hodar, and many others. Doors open at 8:08 p.m. and admission is $20. Jaron Ikner

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EDM superstar Ferry Corsten.
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Ferry Corsten
Friday, March 22
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

Ferry Corsten deserves strong consideration for dance music’s overall best producer. He cranks out a lot of good tunes. As Gouryella, System F, Moonman, Pulp Victim, and Albion, he has more aliases than a crook on the run. His 1998 single "Out of the Blue" is framed on the hallowed walls at Armada Music headquarters in Amsterdam.

In 1999, Corsten made "Gouryella," which sounds like a flight through clouds on the back of Falkor the Luckdragon. “Tenshi,” “Beautiful,” “Exhale,” “Festival Crash,” and a list of hits longer than a CVS receipt followed. He’s not slowing down. This year with Paul Oakenfold, he released another trance anthem, “A Slice of Heaven.”

“I’ve gone on a few times, and it’s amazing to see all the music I’ve made. Honestly, I don’t remember them all,” he says. Elvis Anderson

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The Sugar Thieves
Chadwick Fowler
Pho Cao’s Seventh Anniversary
Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23
Pho Cao in Scottsdale

The Pho Cao Seventh Anniversary Celebration will commemorate the Scottsdale restaurant’s lucky number of years in business, but also feature a great lineup of local bands the establishment has featured over the years. Over a two-night period, performers ranging from the bizarre (in a good way) Bear Ghost to the bluesy jams of Banana Gun will take the stage. Also appearing will be Ali A and the Agency, Jake Dean Band, The Sugar Thieves, The Woodworks, The Whitherward, Southwest By Midnight, Break the Robot, and Ben Anderson. The bands take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at Pho Cao. Tickets are $8 to $12, which includes complimentary food. Jason Keil

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Garth Brooks in 2015.
Jim Louvau
Garth Brooks
Saturday, March 23
State Farm Stadium in Glendale

Garth Brooks is unequivocally the most successful and noteworthy artist in country music history. Because of that, tickets for his massive concert later this month at State Farm Stadium in Glendale sold out long ago, although some are available on the secondhand market.

Now, how did Garth Brooks become not only the king of country music, but one of the most successful acts in music history? Simple, by creating catchy tunes that fit right into country radio, one of the few terrestrial radio formats that still thrives today. Those tunes, in turn, led to millions upon millions of albums sold and No. 1 hits aplenty.

Some of Brooks’ best tunes certainly thrived on country and pop radio. “The Dance” is one of the best country songs of all time. Same for hits like “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls,” and “Rodeo.” The list goes on. You’re likely to hear these same hits echoing throughout State Farm Stadium during his upcoming concerts, if you can nab some tickets, that is. Clint Hale
Vanishing Show V
Saturday, March 23
Location TBA

Playboy Manbaby, Sunn Trio, MRCH, and Dent will play this mini-showcase of the Tempe music scene, all for free. The catch? The starting venue will be announced the day of the show on the event’s Facebook page, and the whole shebang will move after every set. Make sure you get there right on time to learn the next location. And, uh, maybe don’t tell the cops, as the event’s Facebook page cautions. Douglas Markowitz

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Take your picture with Marty and the visionaries behind Fyre Fest.
Courtesy of Stateside Presents
Phyre Festival
Saturday, March 23
The Van Buren

You won’t have to fight everyone around you for a blow-up mattress or a disaster relief tent at this event. We can also assure you the food vendors will be serving real grilled cheese sandwiches. Or can we? The Van Buren is hosting a night of dancing, social media photo ops, and music to raise money for the victims of the failed 2017 Fyre Festival (the real ones, not the rich dicks that got scammed). Two dollars of every ticket sold will be donated to the Exuma Foundation, an organization that helps fund community projects and small business owners in the Bahamas. It’s a commercialized schadenfreude for charity. Julian Hernandez

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Boy Harsher come to Phoenix with their new LP, Careful.
Nedda Afsari
Boy Harsher & BOAN
Saturday, March 23
The Rebel Lounge

The first thing you feel when you listen to Boy Harsher is motion. Before audible drums and dark basslines give their songs shape and definition, motion defines them in a throbbing, formless mass. This motion, once feeling far away in the distance, now hurdles forward towards an endless blood-red sky. This is Careful. “Escape is the heavy theme in Careful,” says lead singer Jae Matthews. “The road, the runaway, desire — all these ideas play into an abstract narrative regarding fantasy and mystery. Which, I think, is a nice way to describe Careful, if it was a film.”

The Massachusetts duo’s new LP is as fiery a film as you can make without smelling the nitrate. Spoken-word interludes and ambient waves link their murky dance moods together. In the spirit of David Lynch road movies like Wild at Heart and Lost Highway, it rockets down ominous yellow lines in search of something new — a new beginning or a dream deferred.

Boy Harsher hit the road in support of Careful with BOAN, another deadly electronic duo with an eye for high contrast darkwave. “José [Cota] (as SSLEEPERHOLD) played our first ever L.A. show,” Matthews says. “He played this amazing set and I was so intimidated. But he was just super-kind and grounded — it really stuck with me. I appreciate him a lot and have loved BOAN for so long. It’s such a wild thing to get to tour with them.” Together, Boy Harsher and BOAN mark an unmissable night of dancing in the dark, so long as we all watch the road. Gerrit Feenstra

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Flashmob is one of the headliners of the first ever Technical festival.
Courtesy of Critical Mass
Technical: Techno & House Music Festival
Saturday, March 23
Scarizona Scaregrounds in Mesa

Electronic dance music events have a habit of popping up in some unusual or out-of-the-way locations like warehouses or far-flung desert locations. This weekend, Technical: Techno & House Music Festival continues this practice when it takes place at Scarizona Scaregrounds in Mesa. The local Halloween attraction, which is in the midst of its off-season, will transform from a spooky spectacle into an outdoor EDM wonderland on Saturday, March 23, and offer 10 hours of techno, house, and similar genres spun by DJs and producers from around the Valley and throughout the world.

The festival’s lineup will be headlined by such globetrotting cats as Italy’s Flashmob, Brazilian-born Dirtybird Records artist Volkoder, L.A. house music legend Doc Martin, and tech-house duo Audiofly. Southern California DJs like Justin Campbell of Desert Hearts fame, Contessa, and K4SH are also scheduled to perform, as are locals like Bellamor, Francisco J. Fontes, Elwer, Fourin, Steve Shifty, L9V, Lucci, and Victor Castles. The festival — which will also feature vendors, flow artists, and fire-dancers — runs from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $35. Benjamin Leatherman

Method Man & Redman
Saturday, March 23
The Pressroom

In the days before they jumped the shark with Speed Stick commercials and their godawful acting skills, Red and Meth were rappers. Real rhyme-slingers too, who flipped metaphors and dropped one-liners, told stories, got high and freestyled.

Meth's 2004 album Tical 0: The Prequel was lackluster at best. Meth and Missy Elliott collaborating? Come on. Sure, he rebounded a bit with 4:21: The Day After in 2006 and got back to the grittiness he was known for—but few folks short of his devotees took notice because it earned him next to no airplay. And his longtime partner in crime? Same story. Redman achieved the platinum record sales that had eluded him for years with 1998's Doc's da Name 2000, but he hasn't seen those kinds of numbers since. Not even on his last release, 2015’s Mudface. (He’s got a new album, Muddy Waters, Too, that’s due out sometime this year.)

Still, it’s been years since the two came through Phoenix for a gig, so this weekend’s show at The Pressroom is long overdue. Here's hoping they give us what we've been waiting. Quia Querisma

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Anamieke Quinn of Treasurefruit.
Jim Louvau
The Humdinger Festival No. 2
Saturday, March 23
Mesa Amphitheatre

If you missed out on the first-ever Humdinger Festival last month, the good news is that you’ve got three more opportunities to partake in the locals-only outdoor concert series at Mesa Amphitheatre. The latest edition happens on Saturday afternoon and will feature Valley bands from a mix of different genres, ranging from Americana and roots music to pop and punk. The lineup will include sets by The Sugar Thieves, Paper Foxes, Callie Young, The Woodworks, Pretty Years, Treasurefruit, The Sink or Swim, Whiskey's Quicker, The Breakup Society, and Soft Deadlines. Start time is 1 p.m. and admission is $12. Benjamin Leatherman

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Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing.
Ben Staley
Mike Doughty
Sunday, March 24
Crescent Ballroom

Singer-songwriter Mike Doughty is out on tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ruby Vroom, the landmark debut album of his former band Soul Coughing. Expect to hear every one of the album's tracks in their entirety (including such favorites as "Sugar Free Jazz," "Screenwriter's Blues," "Bus to Beelzebub," and "Down to This"), as well as a few others Soul Coughing songs. Doughty may even drop a few tunes from his storied solo career to boot. Jeff Strowe
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