If we had to guess when Phoenix’s music and concert scene will return to some sense of normalcy, the late summer into the fall is looking like the answer. An increasing number of big concerts, festivals, and music events for that time period are being announced, as evidenced by the info you’ll find in our latest roundup of recent music news.
Case in point: Snoop Dog and The Flaming Lips are set to come to the Valley for shows in July and August, respectively, both of which should be well-attended affairs.
In other news, the Arizona Hip Hop Festival has announced the dates for its 2021 edition (as well as a side festival happening in Tempe in July), a popular dance event is returning to the nightlife landscape, and ASU is bringing back concerts at Sun Devil Stadium this fall.
The Flaming Lips Coming to Tempe in AugustLast week, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne made headlines after publicly asking Elon Musk to help the legendary group become the first band to play in space (because of course he did). Before they head out into the cosmos to perform this otherworldly gig, though, the flamboyant psych-rock/post-punk band will hit the road for a massive tour, which will include a visit to the Valley.
According to Warner Bros. Records, the band’s label, The Flaming Lips are scheduled to perform at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Monday, August 23. It's the third stop on the tour, which will run through 2022 and take them throughout North America and Europe. Unlike recent Flaming Lips shows during the pandemic, which saw members of both the band and the audience inside giant inflatable plastic bubbles, their Valley stop will be a traditional concert. Tickets will go on sale via the Marquee’s website at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Sun Devil Stadium Concerts Returns This FallIn addition to hosting Arizona State University’s football games, Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium will resume its status as a concert destination this fall. The stadium’s Coca-Cola Sun Deck is set to be the site of a performance by indie rock band Japanese Breakfast on Thursday, November 4. Prior to the pandemic, the venue hosted numerous concerts by local and touring acts, ranging from the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and Injury Reserve to Best Coast, Old 97s, and Amara La Negra. Japanese Breakfast’s gig starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $23 plus fees.
Arizona and Tempe Hip Hop Festivals AnnouncedIf you’ve been wondering if the Arizona Hip Hop Festival will return in 2021, we’ve finally got an answer. According to Justus Samuel of Respect the Underground, the event’s promoter, the annual multiday festival – which features performances by scores of local rappers, hip-hop artists, and DJs – will happen on Saturday, September 11, and Sunday, September 12. A specific location hasn’t been announced yet, but Samuel tells Phoenix New Times it will take place in downtown Phoenix.
Respect the Underground will also stage a Tempe Hip Hop Festival on Saturday, July 31, which will also feature a largely local focus. Samuel says details will be announced in the coming weeks.