Things to Do

Sabrina Carpenter, VV and the Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Sabrina Carpenter is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 23, at Mesa Amphitheatre.
Sabrina Carpenter is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 23, at Mesa Amphitheatre. Universal Music Group
Got plans this weekend? You do now if you’re up for seeing one of the notable bands or artists set to roll through the Valley from Friday, April 21, to Sunday, April 23.

The list includes actress and pop singer Sabrina Carpenter, Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré, Latin pop/country duo Ha*Ash, and the legendary Melissa Etheridge. Local metalheads also have a few big names to check out, including Ville Valo of HIM fame and the one-two punch of Mastodon and Gojira.

Read on for more details about each of these shows or head over to Phoenix New Timesconcert calendar for even more live music this weekend.
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Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré.

Vieux Farka Touré

Friday, April 21
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré plays the six-string with skill and intuition. The son of Grammy-winning musician Ali Farka Touré, Vieux has become renowned in his own right, performing fluid guitar riffs in intricate, genre-crossing compositions that also have hints of dub, reggae, funk, and psychedelic rock. (There are even bits of African desert blues, one of his father’s specialties.) The younger Touré’s has been compared to the works of Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers over the years and he’s toured the world and played a number of festivals, including Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, and Arizona’s FORM Arcosanti. 8 p.m., $34-$44 via Benjamin Leatherman

Mastodon and Gojira

Saturday, April 22
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
Mastodon is old-school American heavy metal at its finest. The band is known for a distinctly sludgy sound, mixing stripped and distortion-heavy instrumentals, intricate grooves, and vocal harmonies that alternate between clean melodies and harsh screams. They have eight full-length albums under their belts, with their last two releases (2017's Emperor of Sand and 2021's Hushed and Grim) considered to be among their best. Mastodon is currently co-headlining the Mega-Monsters tour alongside French heavy metal band Gojira, who are famous for their blend of progressive and technical death metal, as well as their spiritual and philosophical lyrics. This one-two punch of metal madness is set to invade downtown Phoenix this weekend with support from New Jersey deathcore band Lorna Shore. Better bring some earplugs if you plan to attend the show. 7 p.m., $39.50-$66 via Lauren Wise
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Basic Elements. L to R William Preston Bowling, Dan Konopka from OK Go, John Denis, and Jonathan Goldman.
Ben Staley

KWSS Spring Fundraiser

Saturday, April 22
Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue
Saturday will be a spring fling of the rock 'n' roll variety when then-local ‘80s New Wave band Basic Elements returns to Phoenix for their first show since 1989. The event inspiring this homecoming gig is the KWSS Spring Fundraiser — the independent radio station found at 93.9 and 99.5 FM that has been spinning tunes and supporting the local music scene since 2005. Jonathan Goldman, the synth player for Basic Elements, has lived in Los Angeles for 25 years but couldn’t be more excited to head back to the place the band formed to support the station and play music for metro Phoenix friends and fans, new and old. Goldman also helped pick local acts for the benefit — Paper Foxes and Jenna’s Arrival — who will share the stage with Basic Elements, whose members will be Goldman on synth, William Preston Bowling on bass, John Denis on vocals, and Dan Kanopka, who is also in the band OK Go, on drums. In addition to a night of stellar music, the event has some lucrative raffles, including one for a turntable, a gift card from Zia Records, and $100 toward a new tattoo at Ink Mafia in Mesa. 8:30 p.m., $12/$15 via Amy Young


Sunday, April 23
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
Ha*Ash are an honest-to-god sister act. A Latin pop/country duo hailing from Louisiana, the Perez sisters (Ashley Grace and Hanna Nicole) have released a string of studio albums. These siblings deal in a unique amalgamation of musical genres: they’re as indebted to their Latin roots as they are to the glossy, big radio crossover country-pop music they grew up on. Shania Twain and The Chicks loom large in their personal constellation of influences alongside old greats like Patsy Cline and Nat King Cole. While Ha*Ash have perfected their brand of Spanish-language country-pop fusion over the years, they’ve pushed themselves into new stylistic horizons in their most recent work. 2017's 30 de Febrero and 2022’s Haashtag find them exploring more throwback, electronic textures in their music. Traces of new wave and synth rock have crept into their work: a little bit of Soft Cell alongside their Loretta Lynn. But what hasn’t changed is the Perez sisters’ vocal chemistry: their voices twine together as gracefully as snakes on a caduceus. 8 p.m., $39.50-$179.50 via Ashley Naftule

Melissa Etheridge

Sunday, April 23
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue
Even after all Melissa Etheridge has accomplished as a legendary rock singer-songwriter, there still are music critics who claim her trademark raspy vocals can go from passionate to histrionic when she really gets going. Truth is that when you have that much passion and belief in who you are, what you want, what you will sacrifice to get there as an artist, it simply doesn’t much matter what others think. Etheridge has crafted her musical success out of her unquenchable thirst for confessional and anthemic rock songs. She has persevered through much and still is as relevant today as when she began 38 years ago. From her groundbreaking early releases, the eponymous debut effort in 1988 (featuring her first single, “Bring Me Some Water”), Brave and Crazy in 1989, Never Enough in 1992, and the six-time platinum Yes I Am to the various awards she’s won over the decades (including an Oscar and two Grammys), Etheridge’s legacy as a star is secure. 7 p.m., $72-$112 via Mark C. Horn


Sunday, April 23
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street
With the passing of Type O Negative's Peter Steele in 2010, someone had to take up the dark, smoldering mantle of goth rock heartthrob, and who better than Ville Valo. The Finnish singer-songwriter has graced the wall of many a lovesick Hot Topic employee, his dark hair framing his face like a vampire’s high collar. The mastermind behind HIM (a.k.a. His Infernal Majesty), Valo has released a string of moody dark albums, crooning with a deep baritone voice that drives all the ghoulies wild. After 30-plus years of working with HIM, Valo is finally releasing a solo album under his own name. This year’s Neon Noir is a one-man show: written, produced, performed, and engineered by the HIM hunk. Truth be told, it doesn’t sound much different than his work with HIM- which isn’t a bad thing. Like Tom Petty without the Heartbreakers, Valo without HIM is still basically the same thing. But if intensely romantic, morbid rock is what you’re into there’s plenty of that on Neon Noir to satisfy your dark cravings. With Kaelan Mikla; 8 p.m., $42.50 via Ashley Naftule

Sabrina Carpenter

Sunday, April 23
Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 North Center Street
Sabrina Carpenter is still best known for her starring role as the doe-eyed rebel Maya Hart on Disney Channel's Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, but to her legion of fanatic preteen followers, she's a powerhouse vocalist and pop's next big thing. In the span of only a few years, Carpenter has made the jump from folk-tinged acoustic pop music to radio-ready songs such as her latest single, "Why," which deals with the decidedly teenage subject matter but gives Carpenter's music a contemporary and mature upgrade. She’s currently behind her most recent album, 2022’s Emails I Can't Send, with support from fellow singer-songwriter Blu DeTiger. 7 p.m., $36-$51 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Mark C. Horn
Contact: Mark C. Horn
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Ashley Naftule
Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young

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