The best and biggest concerts playing metro Phoenix in December 2023

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The year of stadium concerts in metro Phoenix is coming to an end with one last blast at Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks ballpark: a co-headlining night of massive singalongs with Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel.

So that’s kind of a big deal, as is Alice Cooper’s annual Christmas Pudding concert with Sammy Hagar, Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson and Quiet Riot, a sold-out benefit for Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers at the historic Celebrity Theatre.

December also brings the first foray into the world of music festival production by TikTok, whose In the Mix brings Peso Pluma, Cardi B and more to Sloan Park in Mesa.

Here’s a look at those and other highlights of the month in metro Phoenix concerts, including several of the Valley’s finest local bands, from the Darts to Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.

It's never too early to figure out what concerts you might want to see in 2024, which will be easier if you check out and bookmark our constantly updated roundup of concert announcements.

The Menzingers

These Philly punks set the tone for their latest release with an anthemic rocker that all but dares you not to sing along with “They say hope is a dangerous, dangerous little thing/ To keep finding out the hard way what tomorrow never brings.” It’s the first of several songs that find them playing to their strengths — big songs addressing universal themes that sound like they were written by the kind of guy who drives home from the punk show cranking Springsteen with the windows down.

Details: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. The Nile, 105 W. Main St., Mesa. $33. 480-559-5859,

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The seasonal rockers are promising a new and larger presentation of the beloved holiday tradition, "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve," a multiplatinum DVD and long running PBS fundraiser. The plot follows the journey of a young runaway who breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theater seeking shelter from the cold and the ghostly visions she experiences from that concert hall’s past.

Details: 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $79.75 and up. 602-379-7800,

Yussef Dayes

The British jazz drummer-composer is touring the States in support of "Black Classical Music," a breathtaking 19-song journey through an endless range of styles that's held together by the clarity of Dayes' vision. As Pop Matters summed it up, "So call it jazz, call it classical, call it whatever you like, just don’t sleep on it."

Details: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $30-$43. 602-716-2222,

Rod Wave

The 35-city Nostalgia Tour celebrates the St. Petersburg, Florida, rapper’s fourth studio album, “Nostalgia,” which became his third consecutive release to top the Billboard album chart in mid-September. Four singles from the album — "Fight the Feeling," "Call Your Friends," "Come See Me" and "Boyz Don't Cry" — went Top 10 on the rap and R&B charts.

Details: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. Desert Diamond Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. $74.50 and up. 623-772-3800,

Queens of the Stone Age

The End Is Nero tour is in support of "In Times New Roman...," which marks the conclusion of a trilogy of albums that began in 2013 with ''...Like Clockwork." Uncut magazine called the album "a potent, heavy distillation of everything the group have done." They're joined by Spiritualized, who arrive in support of last year's mesmerizing triumph, "Everything Was Beautiful."

Details: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $29.50 and up. 800-745-3000,

The Musical Box

This tribute show will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Genesis' "Selling England By the Pound," recreating the stage show in painstaking detail, including Peter Gabriel’s iconic theatrics. Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has told The Republic more than once that "Selling England..." is his favorite Genesis release. Rolling Stone readers named it to a list of 10 best prog-rock albums of all time.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $35-$65. 602-267-1600,


Sabrina Teitelbaum told NME that her first album as Blondshell was largely inspired by spending quality time alone in her apartment during the pandemic with Courtney Love's soul-baring masterstroke, Hole's "Live Through This." As she told NME, "I think that let me feel like, ‘OK, I don’t have to water my emotions down, I can make music with the most intense feelings that I have, and that’s fine.’” The result is exactly the sort of catharsis she was after, a triumph of filtering raw emotion through the sort of racket that defined the '90s alt-rock boom with hooks that hit like Tyler Durden.

Details: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $18; $16 in advance.

The Darts

This is the Darts' first hometown show of 2023. They've been busy touring Europe in support of "Snake Oil," an electrifying explosion of Farfisa-fueled garage-punk mayhem, recorded with longtime producer Bob Hoag and available now on Alternative Tentacles Records. They're joined by Boots Electric (featuring Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes), Jesika Von Rabbit and Thee Madcaps.

Details: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Yucca Tap Room, 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe. $20. 480-967-4777,

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks

Musician Billy Joel performs at Chase Field on March 9, 2019, in Phoenix.
Musician Billy Joel performs at Chase Field on March 9, 2019, in Phoenix.

Two of the most beloved entertainers in the history of rock 'n' roll are joining forces for a co-headlining concert at Chase Field. This is the first time Joel and Nicks have shared a stage in Phoenix. Joel has been popping up in Nicks' set to sing Tom Petty's part on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."

Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson, Phoenix. Resale ticket prices vary. 800-745-3000,

For King + Country

The Grammy-winning Christian duo of Luke and Joel Smallbone are bringing A Drummer Boy Christmas | The 2023 Tour Experience to Glendale. It's something of a holiday tradition, which led to the brothers recording "A Drummer Boy Christmas." As Joel told told The Republic when they brought that to Glendale, "Christmas has kind of followed us around for most of our career."

Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Desert Diamond Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. $24.99 and up. 623-772-3800,

Gladys Knight

In 1996, Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, she was honored with a Legend Award at the Soul Train Awards. Her most beloved hits include "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "Neither One Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" and "Midnight Train to Georgia."

Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $45-$125. 602-267-1600,

Alice Cooper's 21st Annual Christmas Pudding

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, Sammy Hagar, Quiet Riot, SIXWIRE, the winners of the Alice Cooper Proof Is in the Pudding contest and the Solid Rock Dance Company join the man of the hour at his 21st annual musical variety show. All proceeds benefit the free music, dance, arts and vocational programs for youths ages 12-20 at Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers in Phoenix and Mesa.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Sold out. 602-267-1600,


These Phoenix rockers were in high school when they signed to Hopeless Records. A lifetime later, they're celebrating the 10th anniversary of "Burnout," their second full-length effort for the label. Absolute Punk declared it "vastly better than their old stuff," boasting "stronger lyrics, better instrumentals, and most importantly, better song themes." They're joined by First and Forever, Little Hurt and This Modern.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. The Nile, 105 W. Main St., Mesa. $22. 480-559-5859,

Tito Puente Jr.

The Latin jazz percussionist is celebrating the centennial of his legendary father. Known as the King of Mambo, Tito Puente played a major role in bringing Afro-Cuban and sounds like mambo, son and cha-cha-cha into the musical mainstream in the U.S. As the Smithsonian wrote when his image appeared on a postage stamp in 2011, "Tito Puente is the face of Latin music for many people."

Details: 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. $74-$79. 602-795-0464,

TikTok In the Mix

This is TikTok's first foray into hosting a live music event. The lineup features Peso Pluma, Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta and Charlie Puth performing in the round alongside up-and-coming talents Isabel LaRosa, Kaliii, Lu Kala and Sam Barber from the TikTok Elevate emerging artist program. In the Mix will also bring to life TikTok's For You feed, with activities inspired by the community's favorite trends.

Details: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa. $25-$60. 480-668-0500,

ALT AZ 93.3 Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

British indie-rock sensations Lovejoy, best known on this side of the pond for "Call Me What You Like," are touring the States in support of "Wake Up & It's Over," an EP that's drawn favorable comparisons to Arctic Monkeys. They're joined at ALT AZ 93.3's annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party by Cannons and Little Image.

Details: 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St. $55.50; $53.73 in advance. 480-644-2560,


A nine-piece ensemble conceived in 2010 by guitarist Chris Del Favero and clarinetist Jessie Demaree, Jerusafunk remain of the Valley more intoxicating musical attractions — a "psychedelic world funk experience," as they so aptly put it on their website, blending elements of klezmer, funk, jazz, Tropicalia, bossa nova, cumbia and Afrobeat. Tipping a hat to the great George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic, they like to think of what they do as "One Universe Under a Groove." They're joined by Emby Alexander and Sativan.

Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $15; $12 in advance. 602-296-7013,

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield
Rick Springfield

The Australian rocker had a minor pop hit in the early ’70s with a single called “Speak to the Sky.” But Springfield’s proper U.S. breakthrough came a decade later when he topped the charts with “Jessie’s Girl” and followed through with “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Affair of the Heart” and “Human Touch.” Last year, Springfield gave a candid interview to The Republic in which talked about the real-life inspiration behind “Jessie’s Girl” and how he was starting to think it might be time to learn a trade before that song blew up and changed his world.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Sold out. 602-267-1600,

Sydney Sprague

This is a homecoming concert for the rising indie star. She's been touring the States in support of "Somebody in Hell Loves You," a sophomore album that effortlessly lives up to their promise of her excellent debut, 2021's "Maybe I Will See You At the End of the World." It's an introspective trove of richly detailed breakup songs, the best of which offset the naked emotion of Sprague's delivery with the whisper-to-a-scream guitar dynamics of classic '90s alt-rock.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $16. 602-296-7013,

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra

This is just a stellar local bill topped by one of the Valley's most consistently exhilarating live acts, the great Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, whose latest studio release, "The Times," is as politically charged as its title suggests and as rhythmically charged as anyone familiar with their music would expect. They're joined by Earth Surface People, Harper and the Moths, and decker., whose "Ouroboros" is a richly orchestrated existential masterstroke.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $20; $15 in advance. 602-716-2222,

Music Sounds Like Christmas Live!

Music Sounds Records is celebrating the release of a self-produced 12-song Christmas compilation featuring the artists on their roster that sets out to capture the spirit of the holidays with a diverse collection that showcases the unique talents of the Phoenix music scene. The bill is topped by the psychedelic Latin jazz of Pijama Piyama with performances by Alex and the Moondaze, Herbert Walker, Zane Champion, Los Puchos, Nicosa, Alec André, Bubba Mac, New River Slim and C.M Black.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $25; $20 in advance. 602-716-2222,

Mannheim Steamroller

This project was launched as an alias for record producer/composer Chip Davis, whose calling card at that point was earning a co-writing credit on "Convoy," a novelty hit about CB radio slang. It was nearly a decade after Mannheim Steamroller's first album, "Fresh Aire," that he tried his hand at a holiday album — 1984's "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" went six-times-platinum.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27. ASU Gammage, Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard, Tempe. $40.50 and up. 480-965-3434,

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers

One of the Valley's most popular live acts for 25 years and change is holding court at Crescent Ballroom for a two-night stand being billed as an End of 2023 Celebration. Clyne rose to fame in the '90s at the helm of the Refreshments, whose breakthrough album, "Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy,"  spawned a modern-rock radio smash in "Banditos." He and that band's drummer P.H. Naffah launched the Peacemakers in 1998.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29-30. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $42-$79. 602-716-2222,

Reach the reporter at or 602-444-4495. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @EdMasley.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Best Phoenix concerts in December 2023: Stevie Nicks, Peso Pluma