Since its relatively humble beginnings in 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has blossomed into one of the most popular festivals in the world, packing two weekends with sun and music (and lots of flowered headbands). For years, Indio’s proximity to Phoenix has resulted in consistent “Coachella runoff,” meaning acts playing the festival often make their way to the Valley. Can’t hack the camping and heat? Here are five Coachella concerts you won’t have to brave a sea of rich hippies to see.
British synth-pop band Bastille proffers 1980s-style flair, the kind of music you’d hear in a Brat Pack movie. The band’s hit “Good Grief” even features a sample from John Hughes’ 1985 comedy Weird Science. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-379-2800, comericatheatre.com
Glass Animals and Jagwar Ma
Australian trio Jagwar Ma and Oxford quartet Glass Animals blend a variety of styles, giving equal footing to trip-hop, R&B and psychedelic pop. The diversity speaks to the listening habits of fans, less likely to align with one particular scene than press play on diffuse Spotify playlists. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-379-2800, comericatheatre.com
After breaking through on America’s Got Talent, R&B singer Kehlani has appeared on the Suicide Squad soundtrack and earned a Grammy nomination for her “You Should Be Here” mixtape. Her debut album, SweetSexySavage, followed in early 2017. Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-829-1300, luckymanonline.com
The xx at Mesa Amphitheatre
The chilly electronica of London trio The xx should appeal as much to fans of Rihanna as The Cure. The band’s 2017 album I See You features “On Hold,” which samples Hall & Oates underneath singers Oliver Sim’s and Romy Madley Croft’s forlorn vocals. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St., Mesa, 480-644-2560, mesaamp.com
Indie duo Phantogram has taken its synth-pop mainstream, collaborating with Outkast’s Big Boi, Miley Cyrus and Skrillex. Led by the booming cut “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” their album Three offers brawny hits. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St., Mesa, 480-644-2560, mesaamp.com
— Jason P. Woodbury
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