Viva PHX: Everything You Need to Know About This Year's Festival

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Melissa Fossum
The Neighbourhood performs at last year's Viva PHX music festival.

Downtown Phoenix is going to be more than a little busy this weekend, you might say. More specifically, its sidewalks and even an alley or two are going to be crowded with music fans on Saturday evening, as will 20 different venues scattered throughout a two-mile radius when the second annual Viva PHX music festival dominates downtown with a cornucopia of sound, light, and color.

As you might expect, there's going to be a lot to see and do as each of the locations hosting Viva PHX gigs will be alive with activity. And while those who will attend the walkable music festival, which is very much in the spirit of Austin's South by Southwest extravaganza, will be doing a lot on Saturday night, they won't be able to see it all.

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Pot of Gold Music Festival: A Field Guide to This Weekend's Event in Tempe

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Jim Louvau
A patron of Tempe Beach Park's big Saint Patrick's Day concert in 2014.
Tempe Beach Park has hosted major concert fests and outdoor gigs over the last decade -- a lot of 'em, in fact. However, few are as high-profile and star-studded as this weekend's four-day Pot of Gold Music Festival at the park.

It's definitely one the longest, as the springtime music event will take place over four days and nights that will encompass Saint Patrick's Day weekend and the actual holiday itself. And, as you may have heard, there are a lot of great bands and performers to catch each day.


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How Adia Victoria Got a Buzz Off One Single

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Jessi Zazu
Adia Victoria

In an age when the Internet immediately determines the popularity of an artist, it seems presumptuous to heap the hype on a musician after releasing just one song. After listening to the malaise-filled anthemic "Stuck In The South" by Nashville-based artist Adia Victoria, the song legitimizes the practice of being quick to judge the vitality and importance of this songwriter and her distinctive perception of the ways of the world. The single not only works in establishing Victoria's bold and brash personality, but paints a melancholic picture of a young woman's hopelessness and desperation to escape her upbringing set to muddy rhythm and blues.

"I wrote 'Stuck In the South' from the vantage point of my teenage self in Mauldin, South Carolina," she explains, "I tried to put myself back in the emotional place I was at before leaving home for the first time and moving to NYC. The South had become synonymous with insanity for me. It was becoming less a place and more a sick frame of mind. I don't "mean" for it to represent anything [other] than what it inherently is: a song about a young girl being driven insane by her surroundings."

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25 Best Concerts in February in Phoenix

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Darrin Ballman
Over the Rhine is scheduled to perform on Friday, February 20, at the MIM.

Look, we understand if you spent all of last weekend locked inside your house. We can't blame you in the slightest, considering all the madness surrounding that whole football thing. Now that its past, we wholeheartedly emerging from you self-imposed exile and getting out, especially if it involves seeing some live music.

And as our extensive online concert calendar demonstrates, there's a lot of those going on in February. Here are 25 of the best options that are worthy of your cash.


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Bush's Gavin Rossdale Doesn't Mind Playing Music for 40-Year-Old Women

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twitter.com/GavinRossdale
Gavin Rossdale was a favorite with the ladies in the '90s
The post-Cobain era of alternative rock was very kind to Gavin Rossdale and his band, Bush. The band's multi-platinum debut record, Sixteen Stone, thrust them into mainstream and made Rossdale the crush of 16-year-old girls around the world. But let's face it, Bush happened to be in the right place at the right time, and how can you blame them? While they never achieved the commercial success of Sixteen Stone, they formed more of their own musical identity on 1999's The Science of Things before calling it quits after 2001's Golden State.

After an eight-year break, Rossdale re-formed the band and was forced to replace original guitarist Nigel Pulsford and bassist Dave Parsons, who declined his invitation for a reunion. These days, the former grunge heartthrob is a family man who isn't looking to recapture the 90's and has no problem playing for 40-year-old women, as he explained to Up on the Sun during an early-morning pre-tour rehearsal.

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8 Best Metal Concerts in February in Phoenix

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Jim Louvau
Marilyn Manson has a new album out, and he's coming to town to promote it.

The start of February made it one of the busiest, most exciting months of 2015 in the Valley of the Sun. More than a million extra people crowded into town for the Phoenix Open, the Superbowl, or the fact that they're just snowbirds. Clearly cause for shots of whiskey and heavy metal. Lucky for all us metalheads, the heavy metal scene isn't resting on its laurels, even with all the other heavy excitement, traffic, and rain around town.

Don't let that keep you indoors, though. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of February.

There's local EP release bashes, legends like Napalm Death and Marilyn Manson, and even a show by metal guitarist John 5 on Valentine's Day. I know where I'll be pre-gaming before the strip club.

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25 Best Concerts in January in Phoenix

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Anthony Mair
Imagine Dragons are scheduled to perform on Friday, January 30, at the DirecTV Super Fan Festival in Glendale.

The holidays might with over with and done, but its gonna take us a little while to fully decompress, sober up, and allow things to get back to normal. Admittedly, we're not the only ones who are readjusting, and there's no better way to illustrate that than the relative absence of touring bands and musicians for first week or so of January as everyone gets back on the road.

That's not to say there aren't great shows to see in the interim, as many notable locals are putting on some big gigs, which you can scope out for yourself via our online concert calendar and daily music picks.

However, once things get going later this month, its really going to get going. And its due largely due to two big sporting events.

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Best 13 Metal Concerts in Phoenix This January

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Alaectra Busey
Westfield Massacre

The year 2014 ended with a hell of a heavy metal season, with shows like Yucca Tap Room's "Not So Silent Night" ushering in the New Year -- but unlike the insane holiday spending and the snowbird-thick traffic pace, the show calendar isn't slowing down any time soon.

I'm aware that this Metal Mondays Best Metal Shows of January is a little late, so it doesn't include killer shows like the Dead of Winter Festival this past weekend and Anti-Flag.
However, there's an abundance of shows throughout January, and that's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley.

There are prominent metal acts like Cattle Decapitation, Machine Head and Periphery, and a wealth of local shows, including the ever-intense HannemanFest and a "When Titans Collide" show, where some of the best metal acts in the Valley share the stage.



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25 Best Concerts in December in Phoenix

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SideOneDummy Records
Andrew Jackson Jihad is scheduled to perform on December 30 at Crescent Ballroom.
If you can somehow find time in your busy schedule, as well as money in the budget that isn't set aside for the holidays and such, you might consider checking out a show. There are certainly enough great one happening between now and the end of the month, including the following 25 suggestions.

And if you need even more suggestions, be sure to peruse both our daily music picks and New Times' extensive online concert calendar.

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Tegan and Sara Explain the Shift Toward Pop on New Album

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Chris Buck
Tegan and Sara have shifted towards uber-pop on their latest album.

Indie duo Tegan and Sara, identical twin sisters with the surname Quin from Calgary, have toured with their fellow countryman Neil Young and had their track "Walking with a Ghost" covered by The White Stripes. Their connection to their music and each other is clear during their live shows. The openly gay musicians' frank discussions about their childhood, politics, and touring have become a hallmark of their renowned performances.

"It started out as a hobby and a fun, passionate way to be creative. It happened to snowball into a really amazing and successful career. We try to be respectful with what we say and how we use our power and try not to use our stage as a soapbox. We are aware of the power we've accumulated because of what we do, but we really try to be socially responsible, great humanitarians, and we try to be great spokespeople for the things we believe in but mostly what we do is try to make music that we're proud of," Tegan says.

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