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Phoenix’s Best Weekend Concerts: Carrie Underwood, Vance Joy, Planet Mammoth

Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 11, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale.
Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 11, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale. Randee St Nicholas
This weekend, you can celebrate skateboard and punk culture, attend a three-day metal festival, or catch performances by country queen Carrie Underwood and Australian-born indie folkster Vance Joy. For even more live music options from Friday, March 10, to Sunday, March 12, hit up Phoenix New Timesonline concert calendar.

Escape the Fate

Friday, March 10
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
One of the best recurring jokes in 1984’s This is Spinal Tap is the band’s cursed history with drummers— replacing each after they suffer one calamity after another. Escape the Fate’s band history suffers from a similar curse, but one that afflicts every member except frontman Craig Mabbit. The hard rock band has experienced a series of high-profile and messy bandmate departures over the years, perhaps none more infamous than lead singer Ronnie Radke (and future Saraya boyfriend, wrestling fans) getting kicked out for his toxic and violent criminal behavior. What’s surprising about Escape the Fate is that you can’t hear the turmoil in the music. They sound remarkably consistent over their seven studio albums, as Mabbit and company refine their style of metalcore music. They sound like a hard rock radio station’s entire playlist distilled into one band: screamo vocals, chunky brick guitars straight out of the rap-rock era, and dry and hard drums. It’s a very meat-and-potatoes headbanging sound that’s sure to scratch your itch if you still listen to The Used, Dragonforce, and Greeley Estates. With Not Nearly, Inept Hero, and Jane ‘n’ the Jungle; 8 p.m., tickets are available on the secondary market. Ashley Naftule
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The entrance to Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale.
Benjamin Leatherman

Planet Mammoth Music & Arts Festival

Thursday, March 9, to Saturday, March 11
Pub Rock Live, 8005 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale
Mammoth by name, mammoth by nature. The lineup for this three-day metal extravaganza is quite enormous, featuring almost two-dozen bands in the stoner/doom/sludge/deathrock vein from around Arizona and throughout the Southwest. And they all plan to get loud, filling the interior of Pub Rock’s main room with relentless riffs, and fearsome grinds throughout the weekend. Midwestern stoner metal band Bongzilla and L.A.’s Deathchant top the list of participating bands, which also includes Kvasir, Overstand, Sorxe, Sorrower, Great Electric Quest, Greenbeard, and others. Start times vary per day. $15-$80 via Benjamin Leatherman
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Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 11, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale.
Randee St Nicholas

Carrie Underwood

Saturday, March 11
Desert Diamond Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, Glendale
It's easy to write off an act that becomes famous because of its success on American Idol. That is to say that most Idol contestants' careers have proved short and boring. Carrie Underwood, then, is one of the exceptions to the rule. The 39-year-old country superstar not only sold the most albums of any woman in country music, she's also headlined numerous hit tours. Her latest swings through the Valley in late March in support of Denim & Rhinestones, her ninth studio album. Fellow country music star Jimmie Allen opens. 7:30 p.m., $39-$352 via Phoenix New Times

Vance Joy

Saturday, March 11
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street
James Gabriel Keogh didn’t always have his heart set on musical success. Before taking on the mantle of Vance Joy and making a splash in Australia’s music scene, Keogh was devoted to all things “footy.” A football player, he competed with several Australian rules teams before deciding to kick toward a new kind of goal. Back in 2013, his track “Riptide,” off his debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing, blew up worldwide. Its mellow vibe, insistent acoustic riff, and folksy melodies made it stand out in an era where bands across the world were adopting a stomp-and-clap-on-the-porch, “Mumfordcore” sound. A central part of Joy's appeal is the warmth of his vocals. He sings with an open-hearted sincerity, his voice plaintive and yearning without sliding into mawkishness. With three albums under his belt so far, Joy's developed a relaxed yet passionate sound. He sings with the intimacy of a close friend sharing their innermost thoughts, crooning over a bed of twanging strings, sparse pianos, and drums that kick as hard as Joy’s old teammates. 8 p.m., $49.50-$173.50 via Ashley Naftule
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Isaiah Radke, Solomon Radke, and Dee Radke.
Windish Agency

SkaterCon 8

Saturday, March 11
Paradise Valley Skate Park, 17642 North 40th Street
Skateboard culture and punk rock have been BFFs for decades, dating back to the early ‘80s when both were in their infancy. This weekend’s SkaterCon 8 will celebrate both pursuits. Skaters and punks alike will take over the Paradise Valley Skate Park for a day of sick grinds and three-chord thunder from local bands. DFL, The Earlygrabs, Since We Were Kids, and Corky’s Leather Jacket are all scheduled to perform while skaters pull some sick moves out of their tricktionaries during various competitions. Missouri punk act Radkey will headline and there will also be skate clinics, art displays, vendors, food trucks, and panels on the history of skateboarding. 10 a.m., $20 via Benjamin Leatherman
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The current lineup of Tank and the Bangas.
Jeremy Tauriac

Tank and the Bangas

Sunday, March 12
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
First, they were Liberated Soul Collective. Then, they were BlackStar Bangas. They finally settled on their current name: Tank and the Bangas. With vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Bell at the forefront, the New Orleans-based ensemble merge elements of funk, soul, and hip-hop to tell stories with passion and ferocity that contain both power and wit. The Bangas are many in number and diverse in style. This small army of skillful musicians and background singers create a fusion of soulful sounds that weave through Bell’s vocals. There’s a whole cast of characters living in her vocal cords. She can break your heart with a rich soulful bellow, or make you laugh when she delivers some lyrics with a childish sass. It’s like Aretha Franklin’s ghost and Nicki Minaj had a fight and then became besties. With McKinley Dixon, 8 p.m., $25-$38 via Amy Young
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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