With a zeal for music as vast as an Arizona prairie, this state does music festivals on the same scale as international sporting events. Be a part of a seething, sunny mass of humanity.
One of the state's largest musical venues is the Gila River Arena, which seats around 17,000. The venue doubles as a sports center, and whether it's a gig or a game you've come for, you'll be in for a treat. Bette Midler has played the venue, as have the Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry. A retinue of other A-list musicians, including Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, and Taylor Swift, have also made appearances.
When it comes to seeing your favorite performers live, there are few better venues in Arizona than Chase Field. Home of the state's first Major League Baseball team, the venue hosts large-scale concerts and conventions and sits at the heart of the community. Notable performances include concerts by Kenny Chesney and NSYNC. Enjoy a litany of luxurious facilities along with melodic sounds.
Roughly on a par with Chase Field, Talking Stick is another combined concert and sports venue. Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, this 11-hectare venue is cutting edge, featuring a vast, air-conditioned atrium and luxury facilities. Frank Sinatra gave one of his final performances here, and international superstars such as U2 and Depeche Mode have since graced this hallowed hall.
In Arizona, iconic listening rooms quite literally haunt the hillsides. Outdoor gigs resound with the grace of the state's scenery, its heritage, and its sophisticated settlers. From symphonic sounds in the Sonora Desert to Metallica at leafy Ak-Chin, many of Alabama's greatest auditoriums are outdoors.
International acts jostle with Arizona locals at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix. Skylar Grey and Oh Wonder are among the performers who have traversed its stage. The brainchild of Charlie Levy, the Ballroom is popular with the sleek and edgy crowd. Pitchfork treasures and indie legends generally play to a packed house.
Seating around 8,000 beneath a pavilion and a further 12,000 on the adjacent hillside, Ak-Chin is one of Arizona's most iconic live music venues. Billy Joel was the first musician to perform here, and the standards haven't slipped since then, bringing performances by Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, and Fall Out Boy, as well as a variety of summer music festivals.
Every Sunday, Scottsdale's favorite outdoor music venue hosts blues, rock, classical, and country performers. Amid the leafy environs of the 30-acre park, you'll also find the Scottsdale Railroad Museum and a range of other special events throughout the summer.
Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Sonora Desert, visitors to the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale enjoy live music from celebrated musicians in a salubrious setting. Center Stage Bar hosts nightly performances in a cactus garden with bubbling fountains and sophisticated, low-key lighting.
Elvis Presley's vocals still echo in the ambiance of Tuscon's historic arena, while the Roaring 20s return at the city's Temple of Music and Art. Don't overlook Phoenix's constellation of superb musical hideaways. Locals linger at numerous small-scale spots, which are worth hunting down, too.
More intimate than the vast concert venues that orbit Phoenix, the Comerica is situated downtown. The venue counts Chickenfoot, Lana Del Rey, and Paulina Rubio among its sell-out performances. The Radio City Rockettes also drew over 100,000 visitors to the concert venue over the course of their 38 performances here.
Hosting the Tuscon Winter Chamber Music Festival among other large-scale music festivals and events, Tuscon Arena is one of the most atmospheric concert venues in the state. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the music venue has recently been restored and has seen the likes of Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, and Jimmy Buffet grace its elegant interior.
Locals clamor about Tuscon's favorite 1920s venue, which was in danger of demolition before being restored to its 600-seat glory. The traditional concert hall is an atmospheric venue for Broadway performances, cabaret, and concerts. There's also a contemporary art gallery and restaurant onsite – culture vultures prepare to swoop in.