March is typically one of the busiest months for concerts in metro Phoenix, a fact underscored by the huge slate of big music events this weekend. There are two enormous music festivals (M3F and Body Language) happening, as well as an arena show by superstar Bad Bunny, a homecoming by Tempe-born hip-hop act Injury Reserve, and a performance by phenomenally popular Latin singer Ana Gabriel.
Other notable concerts happening from Friday, March 4, to Sunday, March 6, include gigs by L.A. rock band Dirty Honey, SoCal punk legends D.I., actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth, stoner metal act The Sword. Plus, conductor Steve Hackman will lead the Phoenix Symphony as it fuses Radiohead’s OK Computer with Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 1.
Read on for more details or check out Phoenix New Times’ online listings for more live music this weekend. Be aware that despite COVID-19 case numbers dropping significantly in recent weeks, many venues are still mandating proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend concerts.
D.I. at Pub Rock Live
Although lead shouter Casey Royer is the lone original member of D.I., the infamous SoCal punk band’s sound hasn't changed all that much from the froth and snarl approach first introduced on Ancient Artifacts, the band's 1985 debut. D.I.'s sophomore effort, Horse Bites Dog Cries, is considered by many to be the band's best effort as it contains such classic punk fare as "Johnny's Got a Problem," "Hang Ten in East Berlin" and "Youth in Asia." Although Royer got his start playing drums in legendary Orange Country bands Social Distortion and the Adolescents, his rambunctious vocalizing for D.I. is certainly what continues to be one of the band's chief appeals. They’re due at Pub Rock Live, 8005 East Roosevelt Street in Scottsdale, on Friday, March 4. Local punk acts 80*D, Corky's Leather Jacket, and No Gimmick will open the 7:30 p.m. gig. Admission is $20 at the door. Darryl Smyers
Singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth at Mesa Arts Center.
Gian Andrea di Stefano
Kristin Chenoweth at Mesa Arts Center
Kristin Chenoweth is as perky and hilarious as she is gifted as a singer and actress. Having starred in various stage productions and television shows, ranging from Wicked to The Muppets Show on ABC, Chenoweth will play the role of headliner when she brings her musical revue-style show For the Girls to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Friday, March 4. Based on her 2019 studio album of the same name, it pays tribute to such legendary female singers as Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, Doris Day, and Judy Garland. Chenoweth will take the stage at 8 p.m. and tickets are $50 to $95. Laurie Charles
No Lungs at The Underground
No Lungs is the brainchild of Chandler-based musician Austin Cooper. Opting to play every instrument himself (including the shaker and tambourine), Cooper crafts a potent blend of lo-fi, emo, and indie rock on his 2020 album, What You Didn't Want to Happen Is Happening Right Now. For a true showcase of this one-man musical machine, you need only hear "Where's Your North Star Now?" Anthemic and quirky, jangly and distorted, it's a slice of '90s alt-rock goodness filtered through the weirdness and wit of our kooky modern age. So, what's actually happening right now? Why No Lungs, of course. Cooper is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 4, at The Underground, 105 West Main Street in Mesa. Local bands Bethany Home, Continent Named Coma, and Science Fair open the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $10. Chris Coplan
Dirty Honey members (from left) John Notto, Marc LaBelle, Corey Coverstone, and Justin Smolian.
Dirty Honey and Mammoth WVH at Marquee Theatre
According to Dirty Honey vocalist Marc Labelle, the L.A.-born rock band wants to aid a Millennial demographic he’s said is “starved of truly great rock music.” So far, so good. Dirty Honey came together in 2017 when Labelle (vocals) and John Notto (guitar) formed a fast friendship musically and personally, adding Justin Smolian (bass) and finally Corey Coverstone (drums). They quickly recorded the debut single “When I’m Gone” and it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart — without the band even being signed to a label. Now with their debut, a 2021 self-titled studio album, under their belts, and a few more singles (including “California Dreamin'” and “Another Last Time”) getting constant airplay, the band is headlining tours and packing venues across the U.S. Their latest jaunt is alongside Wolfgang Van Halen’s rock band Mammoth WVH and comes to Tempe’s Marquee Theatre on Friday, March 4. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $26.50 for general admission and $50 for the balcony. Bob Ruggiero
Ana Gabriel at Gila River Arena
Ana Gabriel is a living legend in Latin music, having repeatedly conquered pop, rock, and regional charts in her native Mexico, the U.S., and Latin America over the span of her illustrious 48-year career — a career that has borne 44 albums to date. The singer-songwriter, born María Guadalupe Araújo Yong to a family of mixed Spanish, Chinese and Japanese origin, forayed into music at age 6, when she took the stage to perform the ranchera "Regalo A Dios" by renowned Mexican composer Jose Alfredo Jimenez. But it wasn't until she was 19 that she recorded her first song, "Compréndeme". Known for the power of her unforgettable raspy voice, she has prided herself on demonstrating startling versatility. Gabriel will bring her incredible talents to the Valley for a concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale, where she'll undoubtedly regale the audience with such recognizable hits as "Luna,” “No Te Hago Falta,” “Ay Amor,” and “Simplemente Amigos.” Tickets start at $59. Christopher Lopez
Local fans of Injury Reserve will finally get to see the long-awaited (and twice-postponed) hometown performance by the Tempe-born hip-hop act, as the duo of rapper Ritchie With a T and producer Parker Corey will take the stage at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Friday, March 4. Fittingly, the show and Injury Reserve’s latest tour are in support of their new album, By the Time I Get to Phoenix. It’s the first music they’ve released since founding member Stepa J. Groggs died in June 2020. The album was reportedly recorded before the rapper’s passing and will feature his contributions. The show starts at 8 p.m. and local psychedelic cumbia group Los Esplifs opens. Tickets are $22 to $25. Benjamin Leatherman
Techno DJ/producer Adam Beyer will co-headline the inaugural Body Language Music Festival.
Body Language Music Festival in Downtown Tempe
The area of Fifth Street and Maple Avenue in downtown Tempe will become an outdoor wonderland of techno, house, and underground sounds during this three-day electronic dance music event put on by local promoter Relentless Beats from Friday, March 4, to Sunday, March 6. More than 30 different DJs and EDM artists are scheduled to drop beats throughout the weekend, including headliners Claptone, Carl Cox, Boris Brejcha, Adam Beyer, and Kaskade (who will perform one of his throwback “Redux” sets). The rest of the lineup will include such names as Wax Motif, VNSSA, Malaa, Dombresky, Noizu, Gene Farris, Walker & Royce, Kasablanca, and Lee Foss. Gates open at 2 p.m. each day. General admission is $99 to $259 and VIP tickets start at $379. Benjamin Leatherman
Springtime music festival M3F is back after a two-year absence and the weekend-long event’s 2022 lineup is as loaded as ever. It promises two days of good tunes blasting from booming sound systems, drum circles, food trucks, and plenty of vendors over the first weekend of March at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1200 North First Street. This year’s roster of performers is topped by electronic dance music DJ/producers ZHU, Kaytranada, and Jungle, as well as soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges, electro-pop band A R I Z O N A, hip-hop artist Bryce Vine, and local jam band Spafford. The rest of the lineup leans heavily on EDM-oriented artists like Elderbrook, Whethan, Surf Mesa, and Blu DeTiger, but also includes indie performer Goth Babe, R&B/hip-hop singer Cautious Clay, and pop artist Bea Miller. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4, and 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. General admission is $85 to $145 and "VIP+" tickets are $275 to $410. Amy Young and Benjamin Leatherman
Steve Hackman's Brahms v. Radiohead at ASU Gammage
Critics have often hailed Radiohead’s OK Computer as one of the greatest pieces of popular music of the twentieth century. But how does it stand up next to nineteenth-century classical music? We’ll find out on Saturday, March 5, when composer, conductor, and producer Steve Hackman delivers a mash-up of the ‘90s rock album with Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 1 at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe, with the help of the Phoenix Symphony. Linking together two pieces of music that on the surface seem to have little in common, the result transcends their gaps of history and technology when interwoven with each other, revealing a universal love of melody and expression that, as Hackman has stated, would lead Brahms to have a deep appreciation for Thom Yorke's expressive complexity. Okay, composer. The performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $33 to $93. Josiah Hesse
Members of stoner rock/heavy metal band The Sword.
The Sword at Crescent Ballroom
Formed in Austin nearly a decade ago, The Sword is one of the heaviest bands to emerge from that scene. Full of monstrous guitar riffs and typically bombastic sci-fi themes, the four Sword albums are intense, thought-provoking, and filled with good humor. They're scheduled to perform at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, on Sunday, March 6. Prog-rock duo Zombi opens the 9 p.m. gig. Admission is $25.50. Darryl Smyers
Bad Bunny at Footprint Center
So few Spanish-speaking artists have captured the nation's attention like Bad Bunny. In just two years' time, the Puerto Rican singer has gone from "Who was that guy performing with J.Lo at the Super Bowl?" to selling out arenas across the country, including his upcoming concert at Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, March 6. (Don't worry, there are still verified resale tickets available if you haven't gotten yours, but it'll cost you at least a couple hundred to get in.) Bad Bunny was not an overnight success, however. The Latin trap artist had been doing features with rappers like Drake and Cardi B in the years leading up to his Super Bowl appearance. Even before that Bad Bunny made 15 appearances as a featured artist on Billboard's Hot Latin Song charts in 2017 alone working with the likes of reggaeton superstars J. Balvin, Karol G, Ozuna, and many more. Bad Bunny is touring in support of his 2020 album, El Último Tour del Mundo, which was the first entirely Spanish-language album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. David Fletcher
Formerly a member of the YBN collective, Cordae Dunston, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, has been pitched as a missing link between the dusty old school of rap and its colorful, youthful present. He’s had a quick rise since he began pursuing music in earnest in 2018, freestyling over songs like Eminem’s “My Name Is” and Kendrick Lamar’s “DUCKWORTH.,” responding to J. Cole’s “1985” on “Old N*ggaz,” touring with Juice Wrld, and performing as part of YBN in Europe and at Rolling Loud in Miami. Since the collective disbanded in 2020, he’s released an EP (Just Until) and put out his second studio album, From a Birds Eye View, earlier this year, which Cordae has stated is “really taking everything to a whole 'nother level.” He’s returning to the Valley this month for a gig on Sunday, March 6, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. R&B/hip-hop artist Justine Skye shares the bill. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $27.50 to $30. Douglas Markowitz and Benjamin Leatherman