We've been graced with so much great live music lately that it's been something of a game to see how many shows I can cram into this relatively small space. Game on, people! Let's play!
On Aug. 27, 1977, 67,000 fans piled inside the gates at Arizona Stadium to witness a charity show for the American Heart Association featuring Arizona (not to be confused with the Arizona that's currently touring), Kenny Loggins, the Marshall Tucker Band and headliners Fleetwood Mac, who earlier that year had released Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Although, according to the Arizona Daily Star, the field was ready for a football game three weeks later, the damage done to the field was substantial enough that the stadium was verboten for aspiring concert promoters thereafter.
Until this week.
Nearly 32 years after that storied concert, UA student-body president Tommy Bruce, the same guy who brought Kanye to McKale last year, is bringing a five-act bill to the stadium on Wednesday, April 29, including headlining rap legend Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, Third Eye Blind, The Veronicas and a local act that had not yet been announced. Gates open at 5 p.m., and tickets, which range from $25.95 for obstructed-view seats to $200 for the best seats in the house, are available at asuaspecialevents.com. (Note: Tickets are moving slowly. Last week, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, aka ASUA, ran a 50-percent-off, one-day-only discount, so keep your eyes peeled for possible similar discounts.) Arizona Stadium is located at 530 N. Vine Ave.
This week also brings us KFMA Day, the annual festival promoted by KFMA FM 92.1 and 101.3, which this year brings with it what may be the most disappointing lineup in the history of the event.
Has-been '90s rockers Korn are headlining an eight-band bill that also includes Hollywood Undead, Anberlin, Escape the Fate, Red, PH8, The Kindled and We Draw the Tide.
Gates open at noon, Saturday, April 25, at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way, and tickets are available for $35 at Catalina Mart and KFMA.com.
As long as we're on the topic of outdoor music festivals, we should mention that the McDowell Mountain Music Festival takes place up north this weekend, on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road. (No word on whether the reanimated Yul Brynner will serve as emcee.) The lineup runs mostly in a rootsy vein, with Michael Franti and Spearhead headlining on Friday, and the Flaming Lips and Matisyahu taking the big slots on Saturday. All the info one could possibly want is available at MMMF.net.
The Tucson International Mariachi Conference rolls into town this week with workshops, performances and even a mariachi Mass.
But the most talked about performance is the return of Linda Ronstadt, who will make a guest appearance at the conference's Espectacular Concert on Friday, April 24. Ronstadt, once a conference regular, hasn't participated in the event for 13 years. Also on the bill for the big show are Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Los Camperos de Nati Cano and Eugenia León. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $48 to $88 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 321-1000. For complete information, head to tucsonmariachi.org.
While Arizona may not be on the itinerary for the Dead tour this summer, a pair of acts associated with them will perform this week at two different venues—alas, on the same night, Saturday, April 25. (Both acts are performing the previous night at the aforementioned McDowell Mountain Music Festival.)
New Riders of the Purple Sage began in the late-'60s as a less jammy, more countrified offshoot of the Grateful Dead, with a lineup that included Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart. Things have morphed a bit over the last 40-plus years, and these days, the roster includes original member David Nelson, as well as Buddy Cage, who replaced Garcia on pedal steel in 1971.
Get a taste of Panama Red at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, at the El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St. Advance tickets are available for $25 at Antigone Books, Plaza Liquors and Enchanted Earthworks; online at rhythmandroots.org; or by phone at (800) 594-8499. For further details, call 319-9966.
Simply put, what the New Riders were to the Dead, what Hot Tuna was to Jefferson Airplane: a splinter group for some of its members to explore another genre of music. In Hot Tuna's case, it was bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen's love of the blues that led them to form the band, though in the ensuing years, the group has explored other forms, including soul-rock and hard rock, with a revolving crew of musicians performing alongside the duo. These days, the band performs either in an acoustic format or an electric one. The show this week is electric.
Hot Tuna takes to the stage of the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 25. Tickets are $25 and $35, available at foxtucsontheatre.org. For more info, call 547-3040.
A trio of benefits worth your time and money go down this week in the Naked Pueblo.
First up is a benefit for the American Friends Service Committee. JusticePalooza includes Space Over Desert, The Tangelos, Leila Lopez, Courtney Robbins and Michael P., and things get rolling at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 26, at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is a suggested donation. Check out our City Week section and/or call 623-3200 for further information.
The other two both take place on Wednesday, April 29.
We told you last week about a benefit show at The Living Room, 413 E. Fifth St., to raise funds for the new location of youth venue and resource center Skrappy's, which will eventually open on Toole Avenue. This week, The Living Room brings us a sequel: Skrappy's Benefit Episode II will feature performances by Wolves and I Am the Lion starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Cover is a suggested donation. For more info, head to myspace.com/thelivingroomtucson.
Over at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., writers and musicians will team up to present the Po'Tree Salo(o)n, a benefit for Casa Libre, a nonprofit community resource center and inn for writers, and Sonora Review, the UA's creative-writing-student-run literary journal.
The event will be divided into two sections: On the Tap Room patio from 7 to 9:30 p.m., the lineup will alternate between poetry and fiction readings and musical performances; at 9:30 p.m., the proceedings relocate to the indoor stage at Club Congress for a strictly musical portion, including performances by Tom Walbank and the Ambassadors, the Kate Becker Project, The Iods and Chris Black. Participating musicians for the outdoor section are Emilie Marchand and Naim Amor, Maggie Golston, Jeremy Serwer and Lori LeChien, while the writers will be Amelia Gray, Jane Miller, Ander Monson, Richard Siken and Bo McGuire. Kristin Nelson and Jake Levine will emcee. Admission is a suggested donation of $5. Call 622-8848 for answers to any questions you may have.
Eb's Camp Cookin' CD-release party at Old Town Artisans on Sunday, April 26; Victoria Williams at ZUZI on Saturday, April 25; The Faint, Ladytron and Crocodiles at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, April 24; Matt Costa and The 88 at Club Congress on Monday, April 27; Joe Bourne at St. Philip's Plaza on Sunday, April 26; Granite and Phunk at Level Lounge on Saturday, April 25; Acid Mother's Temple and Sonic Suicide Squad at Plush on Monday, April 27; Indigenous and The Plateros at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, April 26; Mr. Lif and Willie Evans Jr. at Club Congress on Tuesday, April 28; comedian Doug Benson at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, April 25; LowGun Booking's first anniversary show with Logan Greene and the Bricks, Ralpheene, Monterey, Verdant, Chain Drop, Serows and Cities Like These at Dry River Collective on Friday, April 24; the fourth annual Weststock Music and Food Festival at Westward Look Resort on Saturday, April 25; Stephen Pearcy of Ratt at Paradiso Bar and Lounge at Casino del Sol on Friday, April 24; and a screening of the new live Wilco film, Ashes of American Flags, at the Rialto Theatre next Thursday, April 30.