The Valley of the Fun
Best Concerts Coming to Phoenix in February 2020
We've compiled a list of the best musical acts coming through the Valley this month, so you didn't have to! There are so many more awesome performance slated to hit our stages, but we just wanted to call out some of our favorites!
Wednesday, February 5
The Van Buren
Set to kick off October 31 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the BIG, BIG PLANS TOUR will find Lane blitzing 29 cities from coast-to-coast with supporting acts GABBY BARRETT, BLANCO BROWN and ERNEST (on select dates). It’s just the latest BIG, BIG news from a star who continues to outpace expectations.A case in point, his red-hot current single “I Don’t Know About You” has just cracked Country radio’s TOP 10, a can’t-get-enough romantic jam which is already certified GOLD with more than 222 MILLION streams to its credit. It’s Lane’s fourth-straight GOLD or PLATINUM single, and another driving force behind his career total of over 1.1 BILLION streams.“After a top-notch summer touring with Brad Paisley, I couldn’t be more excited for my Big, Big Plans tour to kick off! Having artists like Gabby, Blanco, and Ernest out with me will make it a fun show from start to finish,” says Lane. “I’ll be bringing the energy and may even have some surprises in store. We’ve amped up the production to a new level and I can’t wait for people to see it!”
Armin Van Buuren
Thursday, February 6
The Van Buren
This is a man driven by an unbridled and relentless passion for music. Armin van Buuren is a born perfectionist, striving to stay on top of the scene he’s helped build. As the flag-bearer of the trance movement, he’s one of the most influential figures in EDM worldwide. Even though he lives an extraordinary life as one of the world’s most popular DJs, he has always remained a down-to-earth guy. Armin van Buuren is constantly on the move, whether creating music in his studio or en route to his next high-end club or festival show around the globe.
Marc E. Bassy
Friday, February 7
Marc E. Bassy has stepped into his own power as an artist. Revisit earlier projects like 2016’s Groovy People EP and 2017’s Gossip Columns album, and the San Francisco-born singer-songwriter has mastered orchestrating heartbreak records for the masses (see: “Morning” and the platinum single “You & Me” featuring rapper and fellow Bay Area native, G-Eazy). These days, though, he’s pumping out more empowering notes in his music and has become the founder of his own independent label, New Gold Medal Records. Inspired by the recent artist that have taken the more entrepreneurial route with their businesses, Bassy wanted to flip the script on his own trajectory after swerving in and out of label deals since he was 20 years old. “It's the best possible scenario for any musician to own their own music, to be in control of their own marketing and just be distributed by [another company],” says Bassy, who recently left Republic Records. “‘New gold medal’ is just the idea that the standard has changed now for what success means in this industry. It's not just about having a song on the radio. It's about having an impact on the culture and taking care of your people, and that comes from ownership and independence.”His current outlook on life also offers the ideal springboard for the theme of his sophomore record: exploring the causes of depression and anxiety in modern culture while still delivering a mix of big pop songs and hip-hop-leaning gems about love and sex. “We live in a world where everyone is more connected than ever, but feels more lonely than ever, and that's just the interesting thing to explore.” When it comes to categorizing his music, though, Bassy prefers to be flexible, just as he’s done throughout his career. “I don't think there's anyone that goes all the way from the hood to straight Top 40 radio like I do,” he says. “And that's a hard thing to put in a box.”
Saturday, February 8
Arizona Federal Theatre
Life and death. Joy and pain. Love and loss. Dermot Kennedy has always been fascinated by extremes. On his brilliant debut EP, 'Doves & Ravens,' the young Dubliner draws inspiration from all the moments of brightness and darkness this world has to offer, crafting music that's at once soaring and intimate, stripped-back and explosive. Stuttery hip-hop and R&B-influenced percussion underpins his weathered vocals as he combines organic and electronic elements into an arresting, emotional blend that calls to mind the adventurous arrangements of Bon Iver, James Blake, and James Vincent McMorrow.Rich beyond just its production, the EP showcases Kennedy as a writer in possession of a sophistication well beyond his 25 years. He pens lyrics with a poet's eye and a rapper's precision, conjuring vivid imagery and transfixing audiences with the unique rhythm and flow of his soulful delivery."I think reading poetry and listening to hip hop offer a lot of the same rewards," reflects Kennedy. "The good rappers are so honest, and in my opinion they deserve to be viewed as poets. Regardless of the form, though, I just feed off of anyone who's expressing themselves and sharing their feelings."Kennedy's live shows are intense and powerful experiences, something he's again quick to credit to the influence of poetry, in particular the African-American writers Black Ice and Amir Sulaiman."Watching those guys perform serves as a reminder to give everything you have with every line," says Kennedy. "They don't have music to back them up, so they have to be convincing with every word.Convincing listeners has never been something Kennedy's struggled with. He sings with a fire in his soul and writes with raw, unfiltered honesty reflective of both his emotional and musical maturity. It's a rare combination that enables both his recordings and performances to cover such a wide and potent spectrum. Celebratory and solemn. Playful and serious. Analog and electronic. Dermot Kennedy has always been fascinated by extremes.
Friday, February 14
Emerging from the rough streets of Memphis, Adolph Thornton Jr., better known by his stage name , Young Dolph , came on the scene with grim club bangers and cold punch lines, turning himself into a local hero via a series of mixtapes before breaking nationwide around 2014. Dolph debuted in 2008 with his Paper Route Campaign mixtape, then releases like The Weed Album and South Memphis Kingpin brought him to 2012 when he dropped the first in a successful series of mixtapes dubbed High Class Street Music. His from-the-bottom grind and mixtap'ing his way out of the mud lead Dolph to bec o me one of the only independent musicians to have multiple Top 20 records from 2014-2016. Young Dolph’s thick Tennessee drawl distinguishes him from most rappers and has gained him collaborations with rap superstars such as 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross, to name a few. In February 2016, Dolph released his debut studio album, King Of Memphis, which debuted at number 8 on Billboard ' s Top R&B / Hip-Hop Album Charts and number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart. The 11-track project has no features, and boasts production from the likes of Mike WiLL Made It, Zaytoven, Drumma Boy, TM88, Cassius Jay, Nard and B and more.
Friday, February 21
Phora (real name Marco Archer) has lived through more than most 25-year olds.Despite being the victim of a stabbing and a shooting, he maintains a lust for live and positive attitude well beyond his years.Born and raised in Anaheim, California, Phora started rapping in his bedroom, while working as a tattoo artist.He later turned his art into the wildly successful clothing brand, Yours Truly, which now has a brick and mortar store on Fairfax in Los Angeles as well as a substantial online presence.His eighth album (and first independent release after leaving Warner Bros. Records)Bury Me With Dead Roses, was released on July 26 and several songs made an impact on all DSPs (New Music Friday, Mellow Bars and The Newness).Featuring production from critically acclaimed producer Scott Storch (“Blame On Me”), appearances from Universal Latin recording artists Ecko and Mariah (“Te Necesito”) and production from the Yours Truly Records stalwarts Anthro Beats and Native, the album hit the top 25 on the overall charts and top 10 on the rap charts.From start to finish, the album touches on love, loss, life, grief and sorrow, with Phora urging his listener to “Not take your life for granted and appreciate people while they’re still here.”Phora recently returned from an intimate exclusive run of shows in September, which sold out in 30 minutes. Phora’s devoted passionate fans (whose numbers grow by the hour) have more touring as well as new releases to look forward to in 2020.
Arizona Roots Festival
Reggae Music Festival
Saturday & Sunday, February 22 & 23
Monday, February 24
Electric Guest have attracted followers from the start. After Asa and Matthew’s initial collaborations as roommates, the two formed the group in 2011 and worked their way towards success with the tuneful touch of their 2012 debut album Mondo (co-produced by close friend and mentor Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton) and the laid-back funk of single “This Head I Hold.” But they soon began to suffer a minor case of the second album syndrome. An initial set of songs was scrapped, and the full follow-up Plural didn’t arrive until 2017.Asa’s drive to create goes far beyond his group. Over the years, he has contributed musical pieces to TV shows including Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, American Dad. Aside from working with Jepsen and Portugal. The Man, he also landed credits on Anime’s “Campfire” and Melvv’s “Anything Else.” Asa and Matthew also teamed up to help Cold War Kids pen a number of tracks, including their 2019 comeback single “Complainer.” In the last decade, you’ve heard something by the members of Electric Guest -- whether you know it, or not. Matthew also co-wrote “Feels Right,” the group’s collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen.But after enjoying the success of their hit-making magic, Asa and Matthew have reconvened for their main gig with some firm ideas. “We both love early 2000s pop music, and the way those songs sound,” adds Asa, referring to the genre-agnostic TRL-era that incorporated everything from Lenny Kravitz to Justin Timberlake. “We wanted to do something with that energy but put our own spin on it. I wanted to be nostalgic without being retro.”This time around, they had the benefit of experience, too. “It came easier this time because I think we remembered to have fun” adds Matthew. And if you don’t believe them, just ask their KIN.
Rock & Pop Music Festival
Saturday & Sunday, February 29 & March 1
Tempe Beach Park