Music News

The Flaming Lips Are Coming to Tempe, Plus More Phoenix Music News

Warner Bros. Records
Wayne Coyne (center) and company are headed back to the Valley.

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 August

Last 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 Fall

In 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.

click to enlarge The main stage at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival in 2019. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The main stage at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival in 2019.
Benjamin Leatherman

Arizona and Tempe Hip Hop Festivals Announced

If 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.

Mega Ran 9 Record Store Day LP Selling on eBay

We've got good news and bad news for those who missed out on picking up a special LP version of Mega Ran’s 2008 album Mega Ran 9 during the latest Record Store Day this past weekend: The album is selling like hotcakes on eBay, but you might have to pay a pretty penny to get it. As you may have heard, only 500 copies of the album were available for purchase at record stores across the country. As of Monday afternoon, multiple copies are currently available for purchase through the auction site with asking prices as high as $199.

click to enlarge The Doggfather is set to perform at the Celebrity Theatre in July. - JIM LOUVAU
The Doggfather is set to perform at the Celebrity Theatre in July.
Jim Louvau

Snoop Dogg Announces Phoenix Concert

Concert promoter Danny Zelisko Presents has announced a unique show by Snoop Dogg will be happening at the Celebrity Theatre next month. The rap legend will bring his “Snoop Dogg vs. DJ Snoopadelic” show, which will we're guessing will involve the Doggfather rapping on the mic and getting behind the record decks, to the historic venue on Saturday, July 17. No openers have been announced, but tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $45 to $250 via the DZP website.

Party With Steve Aoki on Fourth of July Weekend

Dim Mak founder Steve Aoki will spend part of his Fourth of July weekend flinging sheet cake and dropping high-energy beats in the Valley. The famed DJ/producer is scheduled to perform at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler on Friday, July 2, for an event called Summersesh 2021. Fellow electronic dance music stars Jauz, 4B, SayMyName, Lost Kings, and Nostalgix will also have sets at the event, which kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through Relentless Beats.