Tempe Music Festival, Country Thunder, Bruce Springsteen and (Way) More Over the Weekend

Wait! Before you check out all the content from our weekend coverage, grab a big cup of coffee and relax. It was a big weekend and as such, there's a lot here. Take it in and enjoy it. 

Tempe Music Fest 2009 This weekend Tempe Music Fest 2009 united us once again from scattered Valley citizenry to one cohesive force bent on rocking the hell out. This year Fergie and My Chemical Romance got traded in for straight ahead rock-'n'-rollers Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down with a couple of All-American Rejects and Shiny Toy Guns thrown in for good measure...full story

Also: All-American Rejects Were the Highlight of Saturday's Tempe Music Fest

See: Tempe Music Festival In Photos

Bruce Springsteen at Arena Maybe it was the bouncing beach balls that reminded me of my first concert experiences, (seeing the Kokomo-era Beach Boys) or maybe it was the inclusion of a relatively obscure song by glam-punks D Generation (the band who headlined my first-ever club concert) in the before-set house music, but something about Bruce Springsteen's show at Arena last night got me feeling nostalgic before the first note had been struck...full story

See: Bruce Springsteen In Photos

Calexico Classy at Heritage Square Concert There's one word that describes the Calexico concert at Heritage Square last night: Classy. From the tastefully-appointed stage, to the home-made tamales and high-end beer (Tecate and Four Peaks products only; no Bud) to the gorgeous textures of the band's unique blend of Western and Tejano music and indie rock, it was a show that felt more like the best wedding reception you've ever been to than a typical Phoenix rock concert...full story

See: Calexico In Photos

Alan Jackson Keeps It Old School at Country Thunder The annual Country Thunder festival at the dusty Canyon Moon Ranch just outside of Florence is country music's version of a cattle drive, where over four days some of the bigger names in country music are herded on stage to bleat their biggest hits, then lassoed off to make way for the next artist. Country fans get a lot of bang for their buck, beer flows like the Colorado River, and despite their reputation as a boozin' and brawlin' fanbase, country fans are all about the "let's get drunk and hug" vibes, and in four years of covering the festival I've seen nary a punch thrown...full story

See: Country Thunder In Photos: Beers, Babes and Bros.

Also: Country Thunder 2009: Where My 'Necks At?

Martha + Mary's Street Party Exhibition Martha + Mary, a group formed by artist/real estate developer Sloane McFarland that's dedicated to resuscitating old Phoenix buildings in über-slick ways, went proactive in these economically sucky times and threw a fund-raising street party to underwrite ASUAM's proposed "Open for Business" exhibit on Saturday, complete with live music and family-friendly activities...full story

See: Martha + Mary In Photos

All-American Rejects Jam During Super Secret Practice in Tempe The jam session was so intimate that only a mere 20-or-so people were on hand for this ultra-exclusive event. Up on the Sun contributor Stephen Chilton gave us the heads up on this, stating that the band posted a message on the Web site Absolute Punk with word of the event along with an address, which we later found out didn't exist. Steve and I met up at The Clubhouse Music Venue where we thought the show would be held only to later go chasing the band in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King where Steve thought the location might be...full story

Fall Out Boy Cover the Hits and More at Mesa Ampitheatre Concert Fall Out Boy kicked off the first date of their Believers Never Die Tour Friday at Mesa Amiptheatre with a nearly 90-minute set that covered all the hits as well as highlights from their latest disc Folie A Deux...full story

Bonnie Prince Billy Awes at Modified Arts I've never seen Modified Arts as packed as it was last night during Will Oldham's performance as Bonnie Prince Billy. And it's no surprise why. More than 60 people jammed into the downtown Phoenix music venue to watch the iconic and enigmatic indie folk hero's long, powerful concert that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning...full story

AZ Derby Dames' April 4 Bout Glamour clashed with guts as the Derby Dames did their destructive dance at the Madhouse on McDowell on April 4, 2009...see the photos

Also: Did anyone catch the totally sweet Pillow Fight Flash Mob that went down at Tempe Marketplace? If not, check out the coverage on Improv AZ. Some of our sister papers got in on the action in their cities. A national pillow fight? I would have gladly sacrificed mine to join in the fray.

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Jonathan McNamara