Live music fans of the Valley, gas up your cars and get ready to rock. As temperatures start cooling down and summer slips into fall, the local drive-in concert scene is expected to start heating up.
A number of virtual and live music gigs will be happening at drive-in theaters and other outdoor locations across the metro Phoenix area over the next few months. And they’ll star such notable bands and artists as The Beach Boys, Los Lobos, and Sully Erna from Godsmack.
Drive-in concerts have been taking place in the Valley since the COVID-19 pandemic decimated the live music industry and shut down venues over the spring. It’s been a mix of live performances by local bands and virtual concerts with prerecorded sets by Metallica, Blake Shelton, and other big-name artists.
With temperatures cooling off in the months ahead, the number of concerts is likely to increase, says Bob Bentley, co-owner of Mesa’s Digital Drive-In. His venue has hosted several drive-in gigs and is promoting a performance by Los Lobos later this month.
“Drive-in concerts in the Valley slowed down because of the triple-digit temperatures,” Bentley says. “Once things begin to really cool off, maybe by mid- to late-October, you’re going to see a lot more drive-in concerts happening.”
We’ve assembled a list of every drive-in concert, virtual or otherwise, that’s scheduled to happen in the Valley this fall. As you’d expect, each will have contactless ticketing and various safety requirements, such as wearing masks outside your vehicle and maintaining social distancing.
Phoenix New Times recommends visiting the promoter or venue website for full details before you head out.
Kane Brown: Encore Drive-In Nights Virtual Concert
Saturday, September 26
Three Valley Locations
Like any of the other recent virtual drive-in concerts featuring big-name talents, Kane Brown’s upcoming show will see the country-pop/R&B superstar performing a hit-filled set preceded by several openers. In this case, country musicians Granger Smith, Lauren Alaina, and Jimmie Allan will provide support.
Three different drive-ins will be showing the gig: Digital Drive-In AZ (1901 North Alma School Road, Mesa); the West Wind Glendale 9, 5650 North 55th Avenue, Glendale); and WestWorld of Scottsdale (16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale). The concert starts at 7 p.m. at each theater. General admission is $76 and VIP tickets (which include earlier access) are $176.
Latin/roots rock band Los Lobos.
David Alan Kogut
Sunday, September 27
Digital Drive-In AZ, 1901 North Alma School Road, Mesa
The famed L.A.-based ensemble – who mix Latin, roots-rock, cumbia, country, and R&B into their repertoire – will be the first live concert at Digital Drive-In AZ in months. “It’s been a long, hot summer and we had to put shows on hold,” Bentley says.
Those in attendance are likely to hear many of Los Lobos’ biggest hits during their 90-minute set, including “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes,” “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee),” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and, of course, “La Bamba.” Gates open at 4:30 p.m., local band Soul Persuasion performs an opening set at 5:30 p.m., and Los Lobos takes the stage at 7 p.m. General admission is $160 and VIP tickets (which include earlier access and better parking) are $185.
The Beach Boys at a 2019 concert.
joergens.mi/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons
The Beach Boys
Saturday, October 24
Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 West McDowell Road
West Coast promoter CBF Productions is bringing its “Concerts in Your Car” series to the Valley this fall, starting with a performance by The Beach Boys. The current lineup of the legendary rock/pop band – which includes Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston – will be featured.
Like similar events the company has staged in Southern California, concerts will be held in a theater-in-the-round setting with bands performing on a cube-shaped stage set up within the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Vehicles will be parked on all sides of the stage and large video screens will be available with audio being broadcasted to car radios. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $99 for the farthest section from the stage to $249 for the closest. Complete details and prices are available here.
Sully Erna & Aaron Lewis
Friday, October 30
Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 West McDowell Road
Godsmack frontman Sully Erna and Staind vocalist/guitarist Aaron Lewis are joining forces for a series of acoustic drive-in concerts in cities across the U.S. The tour, which makes a stop at the Arizona State Fairgrounds the day before Halloween, will see the nu-metal icons performing unplugged while onstage together.
We’re guessing they’ll play songs from their respective bands and side projects, including Lewis’ country-focused solo work. According to the tour’s website, there will be a limit of four people per vehicle. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and ticket prices haven’t been announced yet.
The Valley’s own Roger Clyne.
Roger Clyne & PH Naffah Duo
Saturday, November 7
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road
Hometown rock ‘n’ roll hero Roger Clyne will team up with Paul “P.H.” Naffah, his bandmate from The Refreshments and The Peacemakers, for this special gig in connection with the Stella Artois Polo Classic at WestWorld that same weekend. Expect plenty of upbeat, high-energy, and celebratory rock and pop tunes from the duo. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available in pricing tiers of $85, $100, and $125 per vehicle with the more expensive options getting you closer to the stage. More info is available here.