Local Phoenix Music Scene
The history of the Phoenix music scene has included Alice Cooper, Stevie Nicks, The Tubes, Marty Robbins, Tanya Tucker, Michelle Branch, Dierks Bentley, Jordin Sparks, Jessi Colter, Mister Mister Meat Puppets and Phunk Junkeez. Cooper got his start in 60s Phoenix cover bands and ushered in a new mix of glam and shock to rock and roll that influenced later theatrical acts like Kiss.
The Phoenix music scene has not produced that many big names in music, but the combination of other Arizona scenes has generated some interesting history. Bands from Tempe such as Gin Blossoms have also been favorites of the Phoenix scene as have Mesa artists Young MC and Jimmy Eat World.
Phoenix Music Acts
Authority Zero * Bards of Mythville * Bella Lune * Boys and Frogs * Connor Shaw * dctanner * Geoffrey Paris * Green Lemon * Haymarket Squares * Intellect * Jordin Sparks * Laurie Laurson * Liquid Stranger * Love Me Nots * Love Suppine * Lyrical Trilogy * Michael Jon Hartman * Plutonium Nyborg * Psychostick * Raquel Aurilia * Rhythm Dragons * Sans Moi * Satchwood * Sunstorm One * Tercer Cielo * Timothy Don * Whitney Steele *
Phoenix Local Music Scene History
In 2020 the Phoenix music scene lost a notable personality to COVID-19. Kristopher Chupp, who went by the name DJ Steel, was a well known nightlife DJ in the area who died of coronavirus complications on July 12 at age 42. He worked at various clubs in the region such as the Crown Room, Pussycat Lounge and American Junkie. He had most recently worked at all three locations of Whiskey Row, owned by country star Dierks Bentley.
Arizona State University publication The State Press summarized the Phoenix music community in an April 24, 2019 article called "Phoenix Music Scene in a Nutshell." The article mentioned local acts Andy Warpigs, Astrud Aurelia, Optimystical, Color 8, Room 4 and Truminati.
The Phoenix New Times published a story on November 30, 2017 featuring quotes from several familiar local artists to reflect on how the scene has changed over the past decade. The article mentioned a feature-length film on the local scene called Dreams Are Essential that included a soundtrack of 17 songs by bands such as The Maine, The Stiletto, Formal, Oh Doctor and The Porches. Local figures interviewed for the article included Fizzle Promotions/Tiny Panda Records owner Frances Michelle Lopez, The Trunk Space co-owner JRC, musician Matthew Reveles and Dario Miranda of Stinkweeds.
Phoenix began hosting a major concert festival in October 2017, called The Lost Lake Festival at Steele Indian School Park. It featured both national and local acts on multiple stages over a three-day weekend. The event was organized by Superfly, presenter of Outside Lands in San Francisco, which attracts over 40,000 people.
Local musicians and fans are remembering photographer Tony Ziemba, who died at the age of 60 on February 27, 2017. Several artists played at his bedside during his battle with cancer. Ziemba was originally from Hudson, New York and worked as a photographer for British music magazine Dark Star. He attended several Grateful Dead shows during the 1970s and went on to become a Wall Street data architect. His website showcasing his photography is CapturedLive.us.
Phoenix is the home of many big events that showcase music, such as the Arizona State Fair, the coffee gallery Trunk Space, The Crescent Ballroom and The Lost Leaf. Each of these venues have hosted many performances, especially The Lost Leaf, where over 2,000 shows have been held since its launch in 2007. For blues and Motown lovers Char's Has the Blues is popular venue with nightly live music.
AZ Central is a website that provides information about nightlife in the Phoenix metropolitan area, mixing national and local news. The nightlife section covers local clubs, which include Maya, W, Smashboxx and El Hefe. The site covers Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe and more. It's a great website for learning about local restaurants and things to do around town.
Phoenix New Times is one of the most authoritative websites that keeps up to date with the Phoenix music scene. The site includes a concert calendar, music blog and music newsletter. Some of the local acts that have been featured on the website include The Freaks of Nature, Brian "Head" Welch, Markus Schulz and Alice Cooper.
Shows are scattered around the city as there is no central location where the local scene is based. The downtown area needs more venues for local artists if the city is to be noted for its regional talent.