Phoenix’s Best Weekend Concerts: Key Glock, Crywank, Country Thunder | Phoenix New Times

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Phoenix’s Best Weekend Concerts: Key Glock, Country Thunder, Crywank

Two big festivals, a pair of 420 pre-parties, and a "sadcore" band await.
Key Glock is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 16, at The Van Buren.
Key Glock is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 16, at The Van Buren. Live Nation
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This weekend, Country Thunder Arizona and the Mesa Music Festival will serve up multiple days of live performances while Buds-A-Palooza and Desert Blaze events offer the chance to get an early start to your 420 festivities. Elsewhere, sadcore/anti-folk band Crywank and rapper Key Glock are both set to roll through the Valley this weekend.

Read on for details about each of these gigs or click over to Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar for more live music around town from Friday, April 14, to Sunday, April 16.
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The Expendables will headline this year's Buds-A-Palooza.
Mint Talent Group

Buds-A-Palooza 2023

Friday, April 14
Garfield and Fifth streets, Downtown Phoenix
The largest 4/20 celebration in the Valley can be found at this festival on Friday, April 14, which will encompass a four-block area south of Roosevelt Row. Close to a dozen glass artists will appear, including Josh Porter, Desi B, Erk De Jerk, Brian Jacobson, Shuhbuh, and Reverend Morse. Other highlights include the Arizona Natural Concepts vendor village, a Sneakerhead pop-up, and the Pucks Cannabis Confections munchie mall. Reggae and rock bands like The Expendables, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Ballyhoo!, Bumpin Uglies, and Fayuca will perform throughout the event and you can also catch stand-up sets by comedians like Richard Douglas Jones, August O'Neal, Tara Shakespeare, and Ray Earl. There will also be various bars, screenings of stoner movies, live art sessions, and more. 4:20 p.m., $50 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Martin Maloney (left) and Stephen "Cowboy" Kelly (right) of Ireland's Hardy Bucks.
Courtesy of Martin Maloney

Martin Maloney and Stephen “Cowboy” Kelly

Friday, April 14
Irish Cultural Center, 1106 North Central Avenue
Who doesn't like a good coming to America story? For Martin Maloney, the one-time star of Irish TV's Hardy Bucks, coming to Phoenix is like a dream come true. The Irish actor and musician is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden, but thanks to his friend, Matt Strangwayes (formerly of the excellent valley band, Greenhaven), Maloney will be performing at the Irish Culture Center on Friday with fellow Hardy Bucks alum, Stephen “Cowboy” Kelly. Something of a class clown while growing up, Maloney was always drawn to performances of one kind or another. As a young man, he tried the band thing, doing music in his late teens, but found his first taste of success leading the cast of Hardy Bucks, which ran on RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) in Ireland (as well as YouTube, Tubi, and Amazon Prime now) from 2010 to 2018. According to Maloney, he and Kelly will be doing a fair amount of comedy and music during their performance, and he “guarantees” a good time. 7 p.m., $20-$25 via Tom Reardon
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Everclear will co-headline this year's Mesa Music Festival.
Ashley Osborn

Mesa Music Festival

Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15
Downtown Mesa
Some of the Valley’s biggest music festivals may boast multimillion-dollar budgets, state-of-the-art setups, and blockbuster lineups, but never seem to offer up much of a spotlight to local or up-and-coming musicians. Not so with the Mesa Music Festival. The weekend-long event includes more than 200 performances by burgeoning talents from around Arizona and across the U.S. Sets take place at various businesses, venues, and stages along Main Street in downtown Mesa. MMF’s lineup features artists and acts from a wide variety of genres — including rock, pop, folk, punk, hip-hop, and R&B — ranging from bands who have been performing in the Valley for years to many names you've likely never heard of before. A few nationally known bands headline the Mesa Music Festival each year. At this year’s festival, alt-rock favorites Everclear and glam-metal icons L.A. Guns are scheduled to perform. Best of all, the festival is free to attend. (Click here for the complete schedule.) 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Benjamin Leatherman
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The main stage crowd at last year's Country Thunder Arizona.
Country Thunder

Country Thunder Arizona 2023

Friday, April 14, to Sunday, April 16
Canyon Moon Ranch Grounds, 20585 East Water Way, Florence
The population of Florence, Arizona, is about to double this weekend, albeit temporarily. That’s because upward of 30,000 people will gather on the grounds of Canyon Moon Ranch on the outskirts of the small Arizona town for this year’s Country Thunder Arizona festival. They’ll experience the largest country music festival in the state, as well as three days and nights of performances by more than a dozen big-name recording artists, including Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Bailey Zimmerman, Midland, Jackson Dean, Chase Matthew, Mackenzie Carpenter, and Ashley McBryde. (Click here for our complete guide to this year’s Country Thunder Arizona.) 1 p.m. daily, $175-$600 via Benjamin Leatherman
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B-Real of Cypress Hill will headline the Desert Blaze Taco and Tequila Music Fest on Saturday, April 15.
Eitan Miskevich

Desert Blaze Tacos & Tequila Music Festival

Saturday, April 15
Phoenix Events Complex, 2209 North 99th Avenue
Tacos, tequila, and hip-hop make for a lit party. But when you throw carnival rides, lowriders, and motorcycles into the mix — along with a cannabis festival and music awards — the shindig promises to have all of the elements necessary to be a banger of epic proportions. Enter the Desert Blaze Tacos & Tequila Music Festival, the first of its kind in the Valley. Rapper B-Real from Cypress Hill is headlining the music festival portion along with DJ Quik, MC Eiht, Suga Free, Mr. Capone-E, Kurupt, and Spice 1. Many other DJs and artists will also take the stage, and there will be a Selena live tribute performance and lookalike contest to celebrate the late singer's birthday and legacy. In addition, the event will include a cannabis park and the Arizona Cannabis Awards Music Festival. You must be at least 21 years old to enter the alcohol and cannabis areas, but the music festival is open to all ages. Noon to 11 p.m., $50 via Mike Madriaga


Sunday, April 16
Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue
For a band whose work is often described as “sadcore,” you couldn’t pick a better name than Crywank. Naming yourself after the act of tearful masturbation sets a pretty high bar for misery, but the anti-folk duo of Jay Clayton and Dan Watson clear it with ease. Since forming in 2009 in Manchester, England, the pair have put together a hilariously miserable body of work. The hilarity is intentional: Clayton and Watson are masters of dry humor and sarcasm. Imagine an emo singer-songwriter working on a $20 budget who’s 100 percent in on the joke and you’re already well on your way to getting on Crywank’s level. Clayton and Watson might be very, very sad but they are far from lazy. They’ve self-released eight albums so far and toured around the world, bringing their downer vibes and triumphantly sad sack energy to every continent but Antarctica (the penguins have enough problems to worry about). While the band announced they were going to call it quits after releasing Fist Me 'Til Your Hand Comes Out My Mouth in 2020, they've released another album since then and continue to play gigs in a seemingly never-ending farewell tour. Crywank has yet to reach their climax. With Kylo Gun; 7:30 p.m., $18/$20 via Ashley Naftule

Key Glock

Sunday, April 16
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street
Key Glock is a rapper on the rise. Since getting into the game in 2016, the Memphis-born artist has also proven to be quite prolific, releasing seven different mixtapes, an EP, and four studio albums (including this year's Glockoma 2). A longtime fan of Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, and especially Three 6 Mafia, Key Glock turned his love of hip-hop into a career. He became a protege of the late Young Dolph in 2017, got signed to his mentor’s label Paper Route Empire, and appeared on the hit track "Major.” Since Young Dolph’s murder in 2021, Key Glock has continued to forge his own path to much success, including selling out venues on his current tour, including his show this weekend at The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix. There’s good news for Glock groupies, though, as tickets are readily available through resellers. With TiaCorine, Kenny Muney, and Jay Fizzle; 8 p.m., tickets are available on the secondary market. Benjamin Leatherman
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