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Top 5 Arts Events for March 7-13: Viva PHX, Bruce Springsteen, Wittenberg at Mesa Arts Center & More

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: Lists Issue: March 2016
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Crystal Castles#1: Viva PHX at various locations, March 12
In one night, 65 bands will perform at 15 venues around Downtown Phoenix for this second-annual audio extravaganza. A sonic spectrum of national acts including edgy electro duo Crystal Castles (pictured), seminal garage punkers Rocket from the Crypt, a DJ set by Biz “Just a Friend” Markie, hip-hop and breakbeat godfather Afrika Bambaataa, and Brooklyn-based indie rockers Beach Fossils will blast across the stages, along with performances by some Arizona favorites including indie rock band Lydia, avant jazz-punk outfit Playboy Manbaby, global-music ensemble Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and eclectic multinstrumentalists Dry River Yacht Club. $22 general admission, $45 fast pass (priority access at venues). 7 p.m. March 12 at multiple venues. vivaphx.com

#2: Bruce Springsteen at Talking Stick Resort Arena, March 10
Bruce Springsteen brings his E Street Band and “The River Tour 2016” to Phoenix, along with his impressive songbook of hits. For more than three decades, “The Boss” has been penning and performing tunes that capture poignant slices of American life, whether lamenting the occupational wasteland that awaited vets returning from Vietnam in “Born in the U.S.A.,” telling a tale of teen pregnancy in “The River,” or describing the plight of homeless people in “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Oh, and he's made some pretty good seduction songs, too (“Dancing in the Dark,” “Born to Run,” “Human Touch,” “Tunnel of Love”). $55-$150. 7:30 p.m. March 10 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. talkingstickresort.com/talking-stick-resort-arena

Wittenberg#3: “Wittenberg” at Mesa Arts Center, through March 12
Southwest Shakespeare Company performs playwright David Davalos' almost unbearably witty script, which imagines Hamlet's life at Wittenberg University, prior to the events in Shakespeare's tragedy (read our full review here). There, Hamlet's head becomes caught between the pious philosphies of his priest, Martin Luther, and the hedonistic leanings of his mentor, John Faustus. This comedic collision of philosophy, poetry, sex and anachronistic songs (like an archaically-worded parody of Robert Palmer's 1985 hit “Addicted to Love,” played on a ukulele) is a five-fathoms-deep sea of hilarity worth wading into. $12.50-$44. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through March 12 at Farnsworth Studio at Mesa Arts Center. swshakespeare.org

#4: Paint Out at Desert Botanical Garden, March 12
Landscape painters from Scottsdale Artists League make art in plein air at this multi-day event. Visitors to DBG can watch them in action at their easels as they wander the lush garden's pathways. The series culimnates in a show and sale of the artworks – which depicts scenes from around DBG – April 8-10. General admission to DBG costs $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (60 and older), $12 for students with ID, and $10 for children ages 3-12. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. March 12 at Desert Botanical Garden, with additional “Paint Out” events on March 19 and 26, and April 2. dbg.org

#5: Spring Into Style at Arizona Center, March 12
Phoenix Fashion Week hosts this runway show celebrating Arizona's top stylists and designers, and showcasing spring fashion trends. $30-$125. 6 p.m. March 12 at the Arizona Center. arizonacenter.com