The Entertainer! Magazine - April 2019

Page 1


4 Decades


KUPD brings Limp Bizkit, Ded to help celebrate

Dierks Bentley

ENTERTAINMENT AMPLIFIED Australia's Thunder Hollywood Vampires Special Guest CO-OP From Down Under

Bill Engvall

Saturday, May 18

Thur-Sat, May 9-11

Friday, May 17

The Showroom

The Pool

Bad Company

The Clairvoyants Saturday, June 1

Friday, June 7

The Pool

The Showroom

The Pool

Friday, May 24



The Ballroom



For tickets call the box office at 480.850.7734 or visit

1 01 & TA L K I N G S T I C K W A Y





Locally owned and caringly operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.




KUPD brings Limp Bizkit, Ded to help celebrate



4 Decades




Michelle Donovan pursuing lifelong music industry dream


‘MR. CLEAN SLATE ‘ Dierks Bentley explores new territory on ‘The Mountain’

on the cover: Larry McFeelie and John Holberg of KUPD Cover photo by Kimberly Carrillo



Times Media Group 1620 W. Fountainhead Parkway Suite 219, Tempe, AZ 85282 Phone 480.348.0343 Fax 480.348.2109


Steve T. Strickbine

Managing Editor

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Assistant Editor


Connor Dziawura



Shannon Mead

The quintessential guide to the Northern California gem

production manager Courtney Oldham



circulation director Aaron Kolodny


Top 25 • KUPD 40th Anniversary • Michelle Donovan • Freddie Lockhart



Dierks Bentley • Bayou Bandits • Tiki Oasis



Holiday in Healdsburg



Arts Calendar • Sean Daniels and Arizona Theater Compnay • Modern Millie • American Mariachi


contributing writers

Alison Bailin Batz, Kristine Cannon, Heather Copfer, Samantha Fuoco, Mckayla Hull, Laura Latzko, Carson Mlnarik, Randy Montgomery, Eric Newman, Taylor O’Connor, Bridgette Redman, Alan Sculley, Octavio Serrano



Staff Photographers

Kimberly Carrillo, Pablo Robles

Contributing Photographers Blushing Cactus Photo, Jordyn Crawford, Feld Entertainment, Fox Sports Arizona, Kelsey Grant/Arizona Diamondbacks, Alexandria Hensley, Jeremy Lebled, Jim Wright

FOX Sports covers all the bases of America’s pastime


Dining Calendar • Happy Hour Guide • My Nana’s Salsa Challenge • Scottsdale Culinary Festival • Berlin • French Fry Festival • Blue Hound Kitchen




Beer and Wine Calendar • Beerfinder • Spring Sippers • Beer Pairing • Flix Brewery • Rewined



Casino Entertainment Calendar • Tyler Henry • Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino



Sports Calendar • Baseball Day



Family Calendar • Disney on Ice • Maricopa County Fair



Live Music Calendar • Godsmack and Bike Week • Quinn XCII • Kyle Cook • Chvrches



Taylor Upsahl set to introduce new sounds to fellow Phoenicians NIGHTLIFE


Nightlife Calendar • Wet Electric • Taylor Upsahl • Max Frost



The Entertainer! is circulated throughout the Phoenix Metro area, especially concentrated in entertainment districts. ©2018 Affluent Publishing, LLC. A free online subscription is available to all readers simply by going to For calendar and news items, the deadline for submission is the 15th of the NOVEMBER prior to publication. Submissions are included based on available space and are used at the discretion of the editor. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations will not be returned unless it is specifically requested and submission is accompanied by a properly addressed envelope and sufficient postage. The Entertainer! makes every effort to authenticate claims and accurate times and event locations. We encourage readers to verify information prior to attending events or purchasing tickets. DISTRIBUTION SERVICES PROVIDED BY:

You’re Not Gonna Believe This


Available at this price through April 10, 2019. Buy yours online. $30 onsite during fair. Does not include fair admission or fees.

APRIL11-15, 2018 Available at this price through April 12, 2018. Buy yours online. $30 onsite during fair. Does not include fair admission or fees.


TOP25 Carson Mlnarik » The Entertainer!


APRIL 3 TO MAY 5 This “Wizard of Oz” spinoff recounts the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda a bit differently than its source material. This hit Broadway musical soars through Tempe once more with its larger-than-life sets, fantastic costumes and Tony Award-winning story. Whether you’ve seen the show before or are new to “Defying Gravity,” you won’t want to miss this. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe, 480.965.3434, asugammage. com, times vary, $39-$129.


APRIL 4 Christian rockers MercyMe—who’s behind “I Can Only Imagine,” the movie and song—have nine albums under their belt and energetically show off their inspirational music. Their “Imagine” tour is no exception, with Crowder and Micah Tyler set to open. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena. com, 7 p.m., $15.25-$95.25.

Phoenix Lights

Phoenix Pride

APRIL 6 AND APRIL 7 Phoenix’s pride festival is the state’s largest LGBTQ celebration, uniting members of the community with allies, businesses and other local organizations in a weekend of support. This year’s festival looks to maintain the usual fabulous atmosphere with over 300 exhibitors, live music, an arts expo and food truck favorites. Pop singers Kim Petras and JoJo will perform, as well. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.277.7433, noon to 9 p.m., $25-$90.

APRIL 5 AND APRIL 6 Relentless Beats’ ultra-popular Phoenix Film Festival fest is returning for a fifth year, APRIL 4 TO APRIL 14 celebrating the weird, wild and Arizona’s largest film festival is intergalactic with a mad dance party. back for 10 days of amazing movies This year’s lineup features artists like from across the globe. In between ASAP Ferg, Kaskade and Throttle. filmmaking seminars, parties The Park at Wild Horse Pass, and events, the festival screens 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass over 300 films and shorts, with a Road, Chandler, 323.908.0607, movie for everybody. This year’s TLR046_ENTERTAINER_AD_9.25x1.5_FINAL.qxp_Layout 1 3/13/19 7:41 PM Page 13, $99-$649.


PHX » CITY » LOCAL » PRIDE » DO » SEE festival opens with Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” and closes with Awkwafina’s new flick, “The Farewell.” Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix,, times vary, $45-$450 for passes, $15 single tickets.

“Barefoot in the Park”

APRIL 5 TO APRIL 13 Catch Glendale Community College’s take on the Neil Simon classic about Paul and Corie Bratter — two newlyweds who couldn’t be more different — as they try to settle into their new house. They are quickly interrupted by a surprise visit from the mother-in-law. Glendale Community College Performing Arts Center, 6000 W. Olive Avenue, Glendale, 623.888.7000,, times vary, $5-$8.

Shakespeare in the Park: “As You Like It”

APRIL 5 TO APRIL 13 Brelby Theatre Company presents a special Shakespeare in the Park series, just in time for the spring weather. “As You Like It” is a play filled with passion and lies, following the story of Rosalind, who ends up in a forest with her cousin, where all havoc breaks loose. Admission is free, but online reservations are recommended. Murphy Park at the E. Lowell Rogers Amphitheatre, 5850 W. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, 623.282.2781, bit. ly/2UzTp0h, 7 p.m., free.

“The Toxic Avenger”

APRIL 5 TO APRIL 21 This show is based on the 1984 cult film of the same name. In a polluted town off the New Jersey Turnpike, Melvin, an aspiring earth scientist, gets dumped into a vat of toxic waste and gains superhuman strength. What follows

can only be described as a series of chaos and crack ups — the best ingredients for a solid rock musical. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, times vary, $25-28.

The Kilt Chaser 5K

APRIL 6 This special 5K is modeled after “skirt chaser fun runs of yore,” giving ladies a 3-minute head start, and requiring all runners to race while wearing kilts. All race participants will receive a custom shirt, medal and a post-race pint at the Eighth Street Four Peaks. Papago Park, 625 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, 480.404.9967,, 7 to 10 a.m., $35-$40.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show”

APRIL 6 TO APRIL 21 The iconic and colorful stories of Eric Carle’s children’s books come to life on stage. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is magically transformed for the stage, as is “The Very Lonely Firefly.” The show runs one hour, including a Q&A, and is recommended for ages 3 and older. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.252.8497, herbergertheater. org, times vary, $12-$30.

Craig Ferguson

APRIL 8 The award-winning former latenight host takes a break from the TV screen to appear in the flesh in a brand new show. Catch Ferguson with never-before-heard material on the “Hobo Fabulous Tour,” during which the goofy comedian promises to spout off like the “aging unhinged vagrant” he is. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, 602.262.6225,, 7:30 p.m., $38-$78. (Canceled at press time)






new location

coming soon! e4 chandler

2430 gilbert road

eggstasy breakfast • lunch • mimosas

e16990 east shea blvd scottsdale

e210155 east via linda scottsdale ranch e320775 n pima road scottsdale






Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” APRIL 10 TO APRIL 14 Ariel, Flounder, Prince Eric and Sebastian take the stage with dazzling costumes, special effects and puppetry. Be prepared to drift away with the show’s irresistible tunes, like “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.” Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, times vary, $18.

My Nana’s Salsa Challenge

APRIL 13 In its 35th year, the My Nana’s Salsa Challenge is a showcase of over 100 different freshly made salsas, all vying for the $1,500 grand prize. Along with the action, there’s live music, a kids’ zone, and a margarita mixoff. Proceeds benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association. Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 602.955.3947,, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., $12-$15.

Chicas Roadshow

APRIL 13 Support independent artists with this roadshow of handmade goods by minority creators. Vendors include Oh Comadre Candles, Candy’s Kloset, and a pop-up shop sponsored by Nalgona Positivity Pride and Friends. Mucho Más Art Studio, 1736 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix,, noon to 4 p.m., free entry.

Donut Judge Me 5K

APRIL 14 We donut judge if you eat while running during this 5K! Sponsored by Doughnut Peddler, this race takes runners through Chandler

with donuts at two stops along the course, and more at the finish line. Participants receive an oversized medal to top it off. Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler,, 8 a.m., $10 kids 10 and younger, $30-$35 general admission.

The 1975

APRIL 15 This English pop rock band specializes in heartbreak anthems and sad night sound waves. The group kicks off its tour here in preparation for its fourth album, set for release in May. With tracks like “Sex,” “Chocolate,” “The Sound” and “Give Yourself a Try,” the boys certainly have a stacked setlist of singalongs to turn to. Pale Waves and No Rome open the show. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, comericatheatre. com, 7 p.m., $39.50-$59.50.

Bacon Bits Improv

APRIL 19 Catch improvisational comedy from the best of the best with Bacon Bits, the house team at Laughing Pig Theatre Improv. The shows are never the same. Improv may include adult content. Laughing Pig Theatre at Mesa Art Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, bit. ly/2O537VZ, 7:30 p.m., $10.

FRIED Festival

APRIL 20 Potato haters need not apply! This new festival is exclusively dedicated to everyone’s favorite greasy concoction – French fries – and will feature over 20 different fry creations at $2 to $3 each. Brews and chill zones will be aplenty, and the musical lineup is a curated mix of great music by Fairy Bones, decker., Please, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, Gus D. Wynns and The Breakers, Weird Radicals, Maintenance, Reverse Cowboy and Stoneypie. Fry vendors not available as of press time. Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third Street, Phoenix, 602.495.1500, friedfestival. com, 2 to 10 p.m., $15.



Phoenix Night Market

APRIL 20 AND APRIL 21 This one’s for the night owls! A street in downtown Phoenix transforms into a nocturnal night market with Asian and foodie-inspired entertainment, shopping and cuisine. Don’t wait to snag your ticket— last year’s inaugural event drew over 13,000 attendees. Downtown Phoenix, 310 S. Fourth Street, Phoenix, phxnightmarket. com, times vary, $10-$125.


APRIL 24 Throw it back to the early 2000s with this pop rock band fresh out of the MySpace era. Hitting the road once more, the California group behind viral hits like “Here (In Your Arms)” and “When We First Met,” is just as charming. Hala, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter, is set to open. The Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.296.7013, therebellounge. com, 7 p.m., $18.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” in Concert APRIL 26 TO APRIL 28 Forget the BluRay experience, these special symphony shows take your “Harry Potter” watching up to 11. The fourth installment in the series will play projected on the big screen, accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony. Join Harry Potter as he participates in the Triwizard Tournament, after his name is drawn in the goblet of fire. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 602.495.1999,, times vary, $25-$93.

reFABRICate Fashion Show

APRIL 27 Reduce, reuse, recycle, then work it! FABRIC throws this annual fashion show highlighting brands and designers creating sustainable and eco-friendly clothing. Catch designs of all types, from avant garde to lingerie, created from scraps from the cutting-room floor. The best part? Every piece is for sale. FABRIC, 132 E. Sixth Street, Tempe, 602.743.4638,, 6 to 9 p.m., designated driver $8 and admission $12-$50.

Arizona Craft Spirits and Cocktails Festival

APRIL 27 Enjoy the finer spirits your state has to offer with this festival comprised of local and national distilleries. Class it up a notch from your “usual” with craft cocktails and premium gin, whiskey, vodka and rum. Admission includes 20 drink tickets. Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 148 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, arizonacraftspiritsand, 3 to 9 p.m., $26-$100.

Arizona Sangria Craft Beer Food Truck Festival

APRIL 27 Kick back with this festival devoted to eating, drinking and soaking up the good times. Enjoy concoctions of every type, including cocktails, sangria, craft beers and growler fill ups. Shop vendors and top it off with grub from local food trucks. As if it couldn’t get better, the festival is dog friendly, and will feature a doggy costume contest and Chihuahua racing. Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 480.644.7529,, 4 to 10 p.m., $40-$50.

Sunday Funday at The Duce

APRIL 28 The Duce hosts a themed monthly dance class perfect for those wishing to burn calories and then refuel with brunch. Admission includes two classes with different instructors, as well as food and drink specials. The Duce’s delicious restaurant serves Sunday brunch until 3 p.m. The Duce, 525 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.866.3823, theducephx. com, noon to 2 p.m., $20.

DOWNTOWN Corner of 2nd Street and Jefferson, Across from Talking Stick Resort Arena Phone #: (602) 261-7625





I LOVE THE 90S 5.24.19







Real Rock

KUPD has been bringing the rock for four decades Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


he jokes start the minute guests enter KUPD’s studio, helmed by program director Larry McFeelie and morning show host John Holmberg. “If you want to sell a magazine, you want to find a male model,” Holmberg says with his dry sense of humor. “Not me.” McFeelie and marketing/ promotions director Mark Randall, show pity. But it’s that humor, along with KUPD’s knack for chasing trends, that has kept the “Big Red Radio” afloat for 40 years; since June 1, 1960. McFeelie and Holmberg are feeling it. McFeelie has been with the station since 1995, and Holmberg, since the early 2000s. “We don’t have turnover here,” Holmberg says frankly. “We’ve been a family as long as the station has been around. The cool part of it is we’ve been here for a good majority of it together.” KUPD is bringing the 40-year

celebration to Mesa Riverview Park for U Fest with Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, P.O.D., Fever 333 and Ded on Saturday, April 20. “It’s been pretty cool that we all get to celebrate the 40th and really feel like we’ve put in our piece,” McFeelie says. “Like John had mentioned, it feels like we’ve grown up with the radio station.” In some sense, that’s true. Listeners frequently tell the jocks they’ve been listening to them since they were kids. “That just makes me say, ‘God, no. You did not just say that,’” McFeelie says. “But it’s great,” he’s quick to add. “It’s really neat because you don’t get that in a lot of markets. Arizona loves KUPD. We have this great relationship with our listeners.” Holmberg is a longtime Arizona resident, whose father brought the family to the Grand Canyon State while working as a stadium contractor when Phoenix was a “Podunk town.” “When we were little, we moved a lot,” says the Dobson High School graduate.

“Larry was born here, but I grew up here, for the most part, since I was in the fifth grade. Up until then, I didn’t really have a home. Phoenix became our base. I watched it grow from 1983 to today. It’s a totally different place.” Holmberg calls it “Podunk,” but it’s more of an affectionate term. He’s fallen in love with the Valley, the same way its rockers have taken to him. “It’s a big city and it plays like a big city now, which is kind of neat,” Holmberg explains. McFeelie is a Valley institution, just

like his family. KUPD has been the Brophy High School graduate’s only employer, working his way up from overnights to program director, a title bestowed upon him in 2005. His father, Arnold, owned Karsh’s Bakery in Central Phoenix for 45 years until the business closed in 2014. “I can remember in grade school, flipping through yearbooks, and reading those lists of questions,” McFeelie says with a frequent smile. “My favorite radio station was KUPD. I had no idea, obviously, that I was going to be working here, which is kind of neat.”




McFeelie and Holmberg toss around the term “family,” and that extends to their friends as well. Their tenures at KUPD have afforded them experiences their 13-year-old selves would be crying over. “There’s a sports analogy,” Holmberg says. “It’s like getting drafted by your favorite team. That’s the cool part. I’m a Cubs fan. It would be great, if I ever got into baseball, to play for the Cubs. That would be a dream.” Joining McFeelie’s “team” since he was hired is a myriad of musicians who, fans forget, are people just like them. Through interviews and radio visits, McFeelie and Holmberg have seen those imaginary walls come down slowly. “The shine wears off, which I hate in a way,” Holmberg says “I feel like the comedians are my highlights, like the Norm MacDonalds, the Gilbert



Gottfrieds. “They come in here and they know our names or they remember us. Hanging out with Jon Lovitz was the strangest thing in the world because, as a little kid, I was such a Jon Lovitz fan. There is he, talking to me and we’re hanging out. It was just surreal.” For McFeelie, on the music side, he calls Corey Taylor from Slipknot a friend. “It’s cool seeing the real side of this guy who I idolized when I was driving around in a little Civic and blasting his music,” McFeelie says. “All of a sudden, he’s a real person.”

TECHNOLOGY TIDE Like all radio stations, KUPD has seen technology change. What was solely terrestrial is now streaming as well. Playlists have changed, too. Radio stations aren’t hyper focused on one particularly genre. “When we first started, I think referencing pop music was like, ‘Oh, don’t do it!’” Holmberg says with mock anger. “Now, everybody gets a taste of everything. You have your preference, but everybody bites off something.” As much as KUPD has grown, Phoenix has, too. “There’s some really great stuff coming from Phoenix,” McFeelie says. “With all the rock Phoenix has going on, we should have our own sound. We’ve never really put our feet in cement on that as much as we probably should at this point. “We have watched the birth and

growth of the coolest stuff, as we do at this radio station.” That “stuff” includes bands who they were sure were going to make it big, like Stabbing Westward or Trapt. “When I first heard Trapt’s ‘Headstrong,’ I wrote an email to the entire programmers’ panel in the country saying this band is incredible,” McFeelie says. “Then it just kind of petered out. But these days, the Highly Suspect is


seriously going to be the next big thing. It’s cool because we can all just sit around and talk about our love of music. It’s just neat.” Throughout the 40 years, there’s been a key to KUPD’s success. “Everybody is kind of fly by the seat of their pants,” Holmberg says with a laugh. “We’re all easy going. We really don’t have a someone who’s an ‘anchor,’ so to speak. The whole crew can play.”

UFest w/Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, P.O.D., Fever 333 and Ded Mesa Riverview, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 98kupd. com, 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, $39-$179.



Queen of The Nile 14


Michelle Donovan pursuing lifelong music industry dream Mckayla Hull >>> The Entertainer


ile Presents owner Michelle Donovan is over describing how she balances motherhood with her Downtown

Mesa venue. “You wouldn’t ask a guy that,” Donovan says during a conversation in The Nile Coffee Shop. “You do what you have to do to get the job done.” Truth is, she’s one of the few female promoters in town. The 37-year-old has leased The Nile Theater since 2010. The nearly 100-year-old building, which began as a movie house, didn’t become a music venue until 1994. After closing for the second time in 2002, it reopened in 2010 under the management of Donovan’s Mantooth Group, now dubbed Nile Presents. Donovan has had a longtime affair with music. In the sixth grade, she and her family moved from the Cleveland to the Valley. At age 15, while working at Sammy B’s Pizza, she started throwing shows. “I was working with a bunch of dudes who were in bands and were like, ‘Well, let’s do some shows in this pizza shop.’” She hasn’t stopped since. Through internships, with marketing companies and record labels, Donovan worked her way to the marketing manager position at The Marquee Theatre. After graduating from ASU in 2004, Donovan was employed by R Entertainment, where she booked casino and arena shows. Her resume also includes stints with booking, merch, driving and babysitting for Girl Repellent and Where Eagles Dare. Eventually, she cofounded Mantooth Group, a booking and promotions company that The Nile Theater uses. “My intent was never to do this for a living. I just kind of fell into it,” she says. Since Donovan’s Nile takeover, she added The Nile Coffee Shop, a coffee ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

shop and vegan eatery, to the front room of the venue. “It creates activity in the building where there wouldn’t necessarily be activity and allows us to have a stronger foothold in this community and not be just some nightclub at night,” Donovan says. The coffeeshop is used for community meetings, such as RAIL (Retail, Arts, Innovation & Livability) which, “puts more of a face on the venue and it makes it where it becomes more of a hangout.” Donovan wants more for The Nile than a strong imprint in the community. She is trying to create a healthy workplace where women can see they are just as valuable as men. That’s relevant for her coffee shop, The Nile Theater, The Underground, 51 West or her stage labor company, Upstage Labor. Being a woman in the music business, Donovan has experienced her own battles with being belittled for her gender. “When bands come in; I booked the show, it’s my venue, I did all that stuff, but they’ll turn to my male counterpart who’s running sound. It’s not everybody, but you learn really early on that you have to be assertive,” Donovan says. Hayley Rippy, tour manager for rockers Circa Survive and assistant manager at The Nile Theater, agrees. “I would say 60 percent of the time if I go to a venue that I don’t work at, they automatically think I’m the assistant or the merchant seller; when 100 percent of the time I’m the only one corresponding with them before we get to shows.” Donovan is quick to add she doesn’t call herself a feminist. “I am a humanist,” she says. “Nobody deserves to be belittled or treated lesser because you’re male or female or gay or straight or black or white. Everybody should get the same plane of opportunity.” She may be assertive, but she’s nurturing as well. A lot of her staff has been there for five-plus years and they created a family vibe.

“Because there’s a woman in charge, you get that inherently nurturing feeling or you want to protect everybody, at least that’s for me.” In 2013, Donovan became a mother, but that doesn’t stop her from working. She frequently brings her baby to the club. “I was here the night before I went into labor and then we were back here a week after for a sold out The Story So Far show,” she says. “I don’t think being a woman should

be an excuse to not do what you want to do. And I don’t think people should look at you like you’re lesser because you’re a woman because you can do just as much as if not more than your male counterpart.”

The Nile Theater 105 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 480.559.5859



Comedian Freddy Lockhart recalls his first time on stage Eric Newman >> The Entertainer!


omedian Freddy Lockhart’s show from Thursday, April 4, to Saturday, April 6, at Westgate’s Stir Crazy Comedy Club is a bit of a

homecoming. The seasoned comedian spent his formative years in Arizona, graduating from Corona del Sol in Tempe more than 20 years ago. When comedy brings him back to the Grand Canyon State, it’s comforting to know his friends are following his career. He, however, sometimes feels lost in the show business shuffle in Hollywood. “You kind of get jaded being L.A. all this time and feeling like nobody knows who you are or what you’re doing,” Lockhart says. “But, when you come back here, and people tell me they enjoy my stuff or have seen me on some of the things I did, it’s pretty cool.” Working as a comedian was Lockhart’s longtime goal. He saw little opportunity here, so he moved to Los Angeles and took a job at the Comedy Store. He took the stage for the first time at that club in 2000. It was the most “sincere and real” he felt on stage. For hundreds of shows afterward, he

tried to capture that same purity in his act. Nearly two decades later, he feels like his act is inching toward true authenticity. His new material dives deep into his own mental health issues, including panic attacks and anxiety, with a humorous perspective on something that could otherwise make life difficult. “I think about driving on a packed interstate, and all of a sudden feeling like I can’t breathe, like I’m shutting down, but I’m looking at it in a funny and relatable way on stage,” Lockhart says. That material is therapeutic for Lockhart and others. Fans reach out to him after performances to speak about their own issues. He provides an empathetic ear and relatable tales from his life. “It’s something a lot of people deal with. I think if we can look at laugh at it, it’s another step in hopefully getting a little bit better,” he says.

Freddy Lockhart Stir Crazy Comedy Club, Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 N. Sunset Boulevard, Suite E-206, Glendale, 623.565.8667,, various times Thursday, April 4, to Saturday, April 6, tickets start at $18.









Dierks Bentley explores new territory on ‘The Mountain’ Alan Sculley >> The Entertainer!


or Dierks Bentley, every album he makes is like a new quest and a discovery. Where some artists go into projects with an idea of the sound or style they want to pursue or even the lyrical direction they’ll explore, Bentley is Mr. Clean Slate. “I go into every album knowing that I don’t know what I want to talk about,” the Phoenix native says. “That might sound kind of weird. But I don’t go in there with an agenda. I definitely don’t think I know anything. So, I’m not going to draw back on themes that I think are strong or I feel I write well about or my growing up or my childhood or the way I was raised. I try to go into albums with a blank slate. I have no idea what I want to write about. I have no idea. And I don’t carry songs over from previous albums. It’s all fresh. I’m just looking for something. I mean, I’ve always been a seeker. It’s who I am. I’m seeking something out and opening my heart and my mind to whatever (is out there), to what’s going to hit me.” When it came to his latest album, “The Mountain,” Bentley might not have known what kind of album he was going to make or what he wanted to write about. But he did know where he wanted to go to bring the record to life. Over the preceding decade, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival had become a favorite destination for Bentley, first as a fan, and later as a performer. “It’s a pretty special spot. I went out there in 1997 kind of following the Del McCoury Band, followed them out there. It was so awesome, a fun deal,” Bentley says. “I’ve been back (other) times since then. I played it in 2010, well, in 2010 on the bluegrass record (his album, ‘Up on the Ridge’), I played the night before the opening night and then came back (in 2017) and played the main stage, which was just so awesome and a great experience. I just felt so creative out there that I wanted to come back and write.”


So, Bentley, who has racked up 17 chart-topping singles over the course of eight previous albums, gathered up six of his favorite Nashville-based songwriting friends and headed west for six days of unsupervised creativity. The songwriting session helped bring the themes of “The Mountain” into focus – the beauty of Telluride and the mountain west and the idea that every person faces challenges they need to overcome -- in other words, their own personal mountain to climb and conquer. “When I got to write with those songwriters, I had some (song) titles, but there was still no meat. It was just trusting the process,” Bentley says. “I guess I’m just trying to write about the way I feel. I don’t spend a whole lot of time on social media and I don’t hang with a bunch of other like singers in this town. I guess I’m on my own island in a way, which for me is musically good, I think, for me to just do my own thing. I’m just trying to do what I do. I know a couple of things. I love country music and I have a deep knowledge of the history of country music and just a love for traditional country music and I also love a lot of new stuff I hear on the radio, the younger stuff, too. It’s a great genre. I love everything about it and I’m just trying to do my own thing.” To record “The Mountain,” Bentley returned to Telluride, bringing along Jon Randall Stewart (who produced

Bentley’s bluegrass album “Up on the Ridge,”) and Ross Copperman and Arturo Buenahora Jr. (who produced Bentley’s two previous albums, “Riser” and “Black”). He felt these producers could create a cool mix of rootsy acoustic and more modern sounding countryrock. “Having these guys work together on this album, they really brought out the best of the two worlds I love – rock, with huge sounds and just interesting sounds,” Bentley says. “But having like Sam Bush, who plays a lot of mandolin on this record, the mandolin, it’s funny, it packs a little punch. It adds a lot of dirt and layers to the music, as does Jerry Douglas with the dobro. And Tim O’Brien is singing harmonies throughout the entire ‘Mountain’ track. There’s a lot of cool instrumentation on this record.” The mix of rustic rootsy country and rock is achieved impressively on songs like the title track, whose sturdy and spacious sound fits the name of the song, “Woman, Amen” and “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” a pair of tunes that generate a pleasant ramble, and the latest single, “Burning Man” (a top five single), whose blasts of guitar and driving beat get the album off to a dynamic start. These songs play a big role in giving “The Mountain” more punch and energy than “Riser” or “Black,” which were weighted more toward ballads and mid-tempo

material—although “The Mountain” has several fine ballads as well, including the lovely “Religion” and “Stranger to Myself.” “The Mountain” also continues a trend for Bentley of writing albums with a thematic thread and a personal connection to his life. The album paints a portrait of a man approaching middle age, liking the place he’s reached, but recognizing life also offers much more to accomplish, learn and enjoy. The title song is about meeting and embracing life’s challenges and opportunities. “Living” clearly delineates the difference between existing and truly living and appreciating life. “Woman, Amen” (a recent No. 1 single on Billboard magazine’s Country Airplay chart) is about Bentley’s wife, Cassidy, and the lasting source of love, faith, hope and inspiration a man can find in a woman. Such thoughtful and honest lyrics help Bentley stand out in a country genre fi lled with its share of songs talking about pickup trucks, drinking beer or hanging out in honkytonks with a group of bros. Bentley is trying to bring the world of the mountain west and the themes of “The Mountain” to life on his current tour, using video and stage sets that evoke the double meaning of the album title. “The physical mountain makes me feel so happy and alive when I’m there, which is the way I want fans to feel


when they come to my show,” Bentley says. “I want them to feel like they’re standing on top of a mountain and having a great night. But the metaphor is there’s a struggle and a climb (in life). It’s a really interesting thing. That really engages me, and when I’m engaged, the show benefits as well.” From the visuals to crafting the set list, plenty of thought has gone into creating a show that Bentley hopes will leave audiences with special memories that last long after the last song is played, and the house lights come on. “I’ve been on tours where people, they come out on the road and the first show is kind of like their practice,” Bentley says. “(I sang) to a wall for weeks, just to my content team, video team, lighting team, (people) who helped me put this thing together. So, I’ve spent a lot of time on this thing. A lot of thought goes into it so when we get out there our first show feels like our hundredth show.”

Country Thunder 20585 E. Water Way, Florence,, various times Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14, $78-$600.



Louisiana Proud


Joshua Strickland: From Bourbon Street to the battlefield to The Bayou Bandits Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


ew Orleans is where truth, fate and voodoo all intersect. A native of Livingston Parish in southern Louisiana, Joshua Strickland is familiar with all three. By 14, he was living through the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina; eight years later, he began the first of 187 Army combat missions in southern Afghanistan in Kandahar City and the lower Arghandab River Valley. “My daddy was in Vietnam,” says Strickland, who now lives in Phoenix with his family. “My brothers, one of them was in Desert Storm and the other was in Iraq. My brother-in-law was in Iraq. Then I was in Afghanistan. It was a family tradition.” Particularly, though, the military took care of Strickland once he was honorably discharged as a sergeant after nine years in the Army. He took his benefits, studied at Chamberlain University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Strickland loves his career as a registered nurse, which calls him to the clinic three days a week. He spends the other four days with his true calling: music. The affectionately named The Bayou Bandits are set to release their new album in May or June. “I wanted to play music because that’s my passion,” Strickland says. “I always tell everyone, ‘I’m not a nurse. I’m a singer, who just so happens to be a nurse.’”

MUSICAL AMBITIONS Strickland got his musical start playing on Bourbon Street as a “bucket boy” when he was 13. “I used to stand on the corner of Bourbon Street and Iberville, right in front of this place called the Old Absinthe House, right there in the French Quarter, or sit on the steps of Jackson Square,” Strickland says. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

“I would set out a guitar case and sit on a little bucket. I only knew, like, three or four songs. I would just sit there and play all day trying to make money. That’s where I got my start.” His repertoire was “Suzie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival because he believed they were from New Orleans. “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard, was another gem, and the third one was a gospel tune called “Peace in the Valley,” which was made popular by Elvis Presley. “I didn’t know what the heck I was doing,” Strickland says. “I would just play and try to make a little bit of money.” His father, Col. Joey Strickland, played a bit of guitar, but Strickland honed his singing skills in Southern Baptist churches. “That’s where music started,” he says. “I mean, you’ve got Chicago. You’ve got New York. You’ve got Memphis. You’ve got Nashville. But if you can make it in New Orleans, you can make it anywhere. “In my opinion, that’s where the greatest music came from. Then, they sent it on up the river to Chicago where they electrified it. That’s where you got Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf and B.B. King. That all started down in New Orleans and the Mississippi River Delta.” Arizona fell on his lap when thenGov. Janet Napolitano appointed Col. Strickland the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services in July 2008. He served until April 2013. Wanting to be close to him, Strickland made Phoenix his permanent home. It was only natural when he formed a band to share his Louisiana roots. “I’m real proud to be from south Louisiana,” he says. “It’s the place that made me. I wanted to share that with everybody. “I also pride myself on being an Army guy. I’ve never had a handout. Everything I have I’ve worked for. There are a lot of great bands that are in the same boat, who had to make their

way, but that’s us too. We started from nothing and now we play all the major stages around the Valley.” The first single from the new album is “Take Me Back,” a Southern rock testament to Strickland’s love of Louisiana. It was produced by Don Salter at The Saltmine Studio Oasis in Downtown Mesa. Salter is also turning the knobs for the quartet’s debut album. “He’s a real artist,” Salter says about Strickland. “He’s the real deal. He’s got a very manly country-tinged rock band there. It’s a man’s man kind of music. It has that crossover between country and rock. It’s got blue-collar appeal. I’m

really anxious to complete their album. It should give them a serious release in the world they’re trying to conquer. “They’re a cool band. Again, it’s like man’s music—not to mean it’s not appealing to women, too. He’s a guy’s guy. He appeals to the blue jean-wearing, truck-driving, kick-ass person. A lot of us take for granted of blessings he’s gone out there and kicked some ass for America and he’s got that chutzpah. He’s not afraid to tell it like it is. He has honesty in his lyrics. He has emotion in his lyrics. It’s not pretty and it’s not sanctimonious or lightweight. The best word to describe it in my head is ‘gritty.’


He has a gritty edge to his songwriting. I think he’s got a bright future. He’s not going to take no for an answer.” “Take Me Back” was cowritten primarily by lead guitarist Jeremy Magid and Strickland. “Jeremy came up with the idea,” Strickland says. “I love it out here, I really do, but my heart’s really back home. Due to circumstances, I have to stay out here because I have to raise my son. My mom, my dad, my sisters and my brothers are all back home. I get these moments where I’m kind of sad and downtrodden. My guitar player, who’s like my best buddy, he recognizes these things. “He came up with this idea one time about ‘take me back.’ The song’s about longing really to be home. That’s how it was written, and it just spiraled from there. Everybody seems to like it.” Magid is nonchalant about “Take Me Back.” He simply says it was inspired by Strickland. “We were in a cover band for a long time, so I’ve known him for a while,” Magid says, “I wrote the song about Josh and sent it to him. He could identify with it right away. He said it was like I was reading his mind. I know he misses home, and I know he’d like to move back there.” Strickland says he frequently reflects on his life, which hasn’t been easy, he realizes. “I reflect on the things I’ve done in my life at a pretty young age,” he says. “I’ve done a lot and so when he wrote a song

about me, it was one of those reflection moments. I don’t know how to explain it. “It was like I stepped outside of myself to look at myself. It was surreal because the song was so spot on. We both collaborated on it. I added things, he added things, but he put the general idea together. It was interesting because I didn’t expect somebody else to nail it so close to how I felt.” He quickly dashes any stereotypes about people from Louisiana. “People think we talk slow,” he says. “People think we’re dumb rednecks, which, you know, a lot of Louisiana folks are backwoods—don’t get me wrong. But we’re all hard-working people down there. I’m proud to be where I’m from, which led us to the next song we’re recording.” That would be the tongue-in-cheek “Kiss My Dixie Ass.” “We don’t have Southern rock here,” Strickland says. “You have bands like The Black Moods or the Gin Blossoms, whom we have respect for, but that’s not our sound. Our sound is Southern rock, in your face. “A lot of people say Southern rock doesn’t have a place out here in Arizona. It just rubs me the wrong way. I’m a transplant, but I love Phoenix. I was born and raised in south Louisiana. We started writing a song called, ‘Kiss My Dixie Ass’ in response to the folks who said that. “Everybody we’ve previewed it for is in love with it because that’s how I feel.”


Dukes and Boots III 8708 W. Harbor Boulevard, Peoria,, 928.501.2227, 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 3, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 5, tickets prices TBD. The Bayou Bandits perform 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 4.




Tropic Like It’s Hot Learn about the tiki culture at the Hotel Valley Ho Octavio Serrano >> The Entertainer!


he tiki culture is in the blood of Otto and Baby Doe von Stroheim. “It’s in our blood for sure,” Otto says. “I grew up in Torrance (California) and every house that was made in the ’50s and ’60s had tropical landscapes. I didn’t realize until I grew up and left that area, that the whole world wasn’t like that.” Still, they are spreading their message by bringing the tiki culture and AZTO (Arizona Tiki Oasis) to the historic Hotel Valley Ho from Friday, April 12, and Sunday, April 14. The weekend kicks off with the TikiTiki Ho-Ho Luau, a stylish luau at Hotel Valley Ho’s OH Pool, complete with a traditional pig roast, fresh poke bowl

station, grilled options including crispy cola-marinated short ribs, Hawaiianthemed desserts, and an array of tiki cocktails. The Tiki festivities continue with a marketplace featuring more than 60 curated artisans. For those who really want to be engrained in the tiki culture, there are more than 20 educational seminars with topics ranging from tropical cocktail mixology, to the history of tiki in the Southwest. A pop-up art show will feature international tiki artists including Japan’s Mookie Sato and Josh Agle (a.k.a. Shag) from Los Angeles, and Scottsdale’s Fashion by Robert Black will be doing a poolside fashion show. Authors Sven Kirsten (“The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Pop”), Beachbum Berry (“Grog Log and Sippin’ Safari”) and Shannon Mustipher (“Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails”) will also make

Arizona Tiki Oasis seminars Friday, April 12 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Wild West Tiki in the Valley of Fire w/ Mike Skinner 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Hotel Valley Ho Magical History Tour Noon to 1 p.m.: EXOTICA: The story of the sound of Tiki, on a platter w/Brother Cleve 1 to 2:30 p.m., 3 to 4:30 p.m.: Tiki’s Big Bang: Planter’s Punch w/Jeff “BeachBum” Berry 1 to 3 p.m.: The Good, the Bad, and the Tiki w/Marshall Shore 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Adventureland, Trader Sam, and two shots of Rum w/Trader Brandon

Saturday, April 13 10 to 11:30 a.m.: In Search of Tiki in the Sunshine States w/ Sven Kirsten 10 to 11 a.m.: Vintage Hair Styling w/ Lauren and Severely Mame 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Hotel Valley Ho Magical History Tour 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: On the Road: Visiting East Coast Tiki and Mid-Century Modernism w/ Darren Bradley and Sam Lubell Noon to 1:30 p.m.: New Traditionalists w/ Garret Richard Noon to 1 p.m.: The Art of Trader Vic’s w/ Eve Bergeron 1 to 4 p.m.: Modern Phoenix: The Three Hour Tour w/ Alison King 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Ukulele Jam & Singalong w/ Steve Conrad and Kehau Kuhi 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Create a World of Tiki in your Home w/ Pam Kueber 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Kon-Tiki Book Club w/ Karen Finlay 3 to 4:30 p.m.: Catch The Wave: Women Leading Rum w/ host Shannon Mustipher 3 to 4:30 p.m.: “Bosko and the Rebirth of Tiki,” with Bosko Hrnjak and special guests 5 to 6 p.m.: House Industries: From Sub to Pop Culture w/Andy Cruz

Sunday, April 14 10 to 11 a.m.: The Birth of Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise 11 a.m. to noon: Where Cantilever Meets Coyote: Postwar Architecture in Phoenix w/ Alison King 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Arizona Tiki Oasis Book Signing 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Arizona Tiki Oasis Bartender Battle


appearances at weekend seminars. Evenings will be filled with rooftop parties, cocktail-lounge-style dinners and a suite open to those with the evening resort pass.

FAMILY AFFAIR The von Stroheims founded Tiki Oasis 18 years ago when they tried to revive the mid-century Palm Springs Caliente Tropics Motel, which attracted a small gathering of tikiphiles. “They were under new management and they were thinking about changing the style of the hotel from ‘tiki’ to ‘southwestern,’” he says. “We threw our event there and convinced them that tiki was big and popular.” Eventually, Tiki Oasis outgrew The Tropics and moved to the Crowne Plaza in San Diego in 2006. Since then, it has grown to include two locations, three hotels and well over 3,000 attendees. The inaugural AZTO will welcome nearly 2,000 attendees. “We were looking to expand Tiki Oasis and we were looking for a location that would have the correct vibe for us,” Baby says. “Funny, playful and something potentially historic and we were really pleased when we found the Hotel Valley Ho because that is a historic hotel that was built in the 1950s.” Baby says Tiki Oasis is having a free marketplace with Tiki art, jewelry, clothing and collectible ceramics. “We have artists who will be coming from all over the country to sell their wares in our marketplace, which is free and open to the public,” Baby says. Tiki seminars are the anchor of the weekend, Baby says.

“They are all about a variety of topics including historic preservation, the history of tiki in the Southwest, cocktails and mixology and mid-century art,” Baby says. Those with an evening resort pass will have access to the Tiki Oasis nightclub, Baby says. Although the duo founded Tiki Oasis in San Diego, she says the Scottsdale event is different. “This is less of a large-scale music festival and there will be opportunities to hang out and get to know people. It has a more intimate setting,” Baby says. “You learn during the day and you have cocktail parties at night where you can hopefully discuss and share what you’ve learned,” Otto adds. Like their previous efforts, AZTO is for charity. “Arizona Preservation Restoration Foundation is a great partner for us at this event because they care about keeping and holding onto history in Arizona and they want to make sure these things are preserved for future generations,” Baby says. The streamline the cause, Otto and Baby say their passion is to preserve the history of tiki and its culture. Historic sites and architecture fuel their desires. “We really want to try and preserve what’s left of tiki architecture so people can go and experience it again,” Otto says.

Arizona Tiki Oasis (AZTO) Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, aztikioasis. com, various times Friday, April 12, to Sunday, April 14, various pricing.

(602) 374-7133

Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed


rt Gallery • Yoga and Meditations Studio • 24-hour fitness center • Media Lounge • Heated Spa

(602) 892-3333

Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed


alking distance to all Downtown Phoenix has to offer • Outdoor kitchen with poolside TVs • Concierge Services • Modern Fitness Center

(602) 957-0051


Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed

ooftop Sundeck • Fire Pit • State-of-the-art Fitness Center • Lounge with Ping-pong and Billiards Tables • Mountain Views





y g a r d i u l b o s d H in Heal

The quintessential guide to the Northern California gem Alison Bailin Batz >> The Entertainer!


ith world-class dining, wineries and places to rest one’s head, Healdsburg is darn near heaven on Earth. But with hundreds of options – many within walking distance of each other – how is one supposed to even start planning a trip?

STAY The Grape Leaf Inn, just off the main drag in the heart of Healdsburg and walking distance to nearly a dozen wineries, award-winning restaurants and other attractions, is not only charming, but sneaky cool. In addition to rooms and suites – including a guest house off the main property with its own patio and indoor/outdoor shower – the inn boasts a speakeasy for guests, which is accessible through a secret door hidden

behind a bookcase! And while the nearby restaurants are delicious, do not miss Grape Leaf for breakfast. Their lauded chef makes everything from scratch daily and even visits your table to personally help you choose you own culinary adventure.

SIP Cast Wines is a newer vineyard and tasting room to the area, but it cast its spell on visitors and locals quickly (so it is clearly named well!). A chief reason: Its terrace boasts one of the most expansive views of the region, or of any wine region in the country. They also have a festive atmosphere with champagne sabering on the patio and lively Pétanque games (a cousin of bocce) on a custom-built court. Of course, their wine is also exceptional, especially their takes on Sauvignon Blanc and Old Vine Zinfandel. Opt for a seated tasting or a full vineyard walking tour to get the full experience. Mazzocco Winery has similarly mind-blowing Zinfandel, and a garden patio perfect for spring and summer tastings. A member of the Wilson family of wineries in the region, another option is to book their VIP tour, where you’re

$300 Off Move In when you mention Entertainer Magazine!

Offer valid through April 30, 2019. Restrictions apply, contact property for details. ■ (602) 892-3333

whisked away to four of their wineries over the course of six hours with full transportation and an expert guide. Now, if you can’t make it a full day, definitely visit Mazzocco’s sister winery, Wilson Winery, if you can. Not only is it run by a female winemaker, but it is an area landmark, and not only for its wine and historic barn building. On the lawn, you would be hard-pressed to miss the 26-foot-tall steel coyote, which the owners bought from an artist who had it on display at Burning Man. And yes, you can climb it for the photo opp of a lifetime. For those seeking photo opps with both feet still safely on the ground, head over to Dry Creek Vineyard, a familyowned vineyard founded by California wine pioneer David Stare known as the birthplace of Fume Blanc. They offer wine blending classes by reservation, where guests can not only taste wine, but blend their own bottle of custom wine as well. ZO Wines, like Dry Creek, offers tastings. And like Dry Creek, they also offer something extra special: a tasting wheel! Rather than simply savor a flight



of wines, your wine guide will take you on an adventure in tasting using a ZO colorful tasting wheel, where you are able to use your own senses to determine the flavors you personally taste in each glass (not what someone tells you that you should taste). The interactive experience makes novice wine lovers feel comfortable, and it challenges veteran tasters to come up with new ways to describe each sip, smell and swirl in each glass. And then there is Ferrari-Carano. Yes, that Ferrari-Carano, which owns 1,600 total acres of vineyards across 24 ranches. Most people don’t realize the wine giant, which was founded by a husband-and-wife team of Italian descent, is located in the heart of Healdsburg. The estate is something out of a movie, complete with overflowing gardens, a full Tuscan villa, fountains, statues and tasting experiences for the ages. Certainly, their terrace tasting is special, but if available, splurge on the private wine tasting in their Prevail Room, deep in the heart of their winemaking facility in a VIP room fit for a king.

DINE Beyond being known for its wine, Healdsburg is one of the true birthplaces of the farm-to-table movement, and nearly every restaurant in the area puts the concept into action in some delicious way. This is perhaps no more evident than at Zazu Kitchen + Farm, which grows almost all of its own produce on-site and at its sister farm down the street. As such, menus change not only with the seasons, but with the daily fresh harvest. Its chef and co-owner, Duskie Estes, gained national acclaim when she competed on “The Next Iron Chef” on the Food Network in recent years. She has since appeared on the channel several more times, on various programs. Insider tip: order anything on her menu with bacon, including the bacon-infused cocktail. For a far different experience, but something otherworldly while in Healdsburg, also try Bravas, a tapas bar where it is almost impossible to stop ordering small bites. Hailed by Travel + Leisure as “one of the top 20 tapas

restaurants in the U.S.,” Bravas serves up traditional Spanish and modern tapas-style dining in Wine Country by James Beard nominees Mark and Terri Stark. And then there is Valette. Over a glass of wine nearly two decades ago, two brothers dreamt of a restaurant that would provide a canvas for Sonoma County farmers, winemakers and artisans to showcase their crafts. The restaurant is in Downtown Healdsburg, the heart of Sonoma County and the location where their great-grandfather operated bakeries. They opened Valette in 2015, realizing their dream.

Holiday in Healdsburg

For more, visit






CALENDAR Randy Montgomery >> The Entertainer!

Fountain Hills Youth Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Boulevard, Fountain Hills, 480.837.9661 x3,, times vary, $12.

Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were the first two women to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. While polar opposites, both shared a great deal in common. This story is the portrayal of two individuals who have shaped modern history while serving on the highest court of the land. Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.2151, phoenixtheatre. com, times vary, $36-$101.


“The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns” TO APRIL 9 The delightful Marvelous Wonderettes will perform more than two dozen hits from the 1950s and ’60s. With an all-new script, the group will frolic, wisecrack and sing, all while having you reminisce about the good old days of rock ‘n’ roll. Expect to hear selections like “Rock Around the Clock,” “At the Hop,” “Dancing in the Street” and “River Deep, Mountain High.” Note: shows are performed Mondays and Tuesdays only. Hale Center Theatre, 50 W. Page Avenue, Gilbert, 480.497.1181,, times vary, $20-$36.

“James and the Giant Peach”

TO APRIL 14 Roald Dahl’s stories—especially the tale of James Henry Trotter—have been read, shared and enjoyed by audiences around the globe. This dramatic-yet-hilarious tale is the fantasy of a young boy who dreams of escape. The adventure includes a magical peach, insect friends and an incredible journey. This is the perfect play for the entire family!


APRIL 2 TO MAY 8 Called the musical that will “make you laugh, cry and think,” this “untold true story” of the Witches of Oz takes a look at what happened long before Dorothy arrives in the Emerald City. In Oz, there is a young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, 480.965.3434,, times vary, prices vary.

“Sisters in Law”

APRIL 3 TO APRIL 28 The Phoenix Theatre Company presents a world premiere stage production based on the 2015 best-selling book of the same name.

“American Mariachi”

APRIL 4 TO APRIL 21 It’s the 1970s and girls can’t be mariachis—or can they? From the mind of José Cruz González comes a new comedy about music’s power to heal and connect, and the freedom to dream big. Lucha has been taking care of her ailing mother. Looking to break the routine, her and her spunky cousin search for musicians to start an all-girl mariachi band. Breaking tradition and dodging disapproving relatives, they wonder if they can pull it off. Expect a heartwarming tale, along with live mariachi music! Arizona Theatre Company, Herberger Theater Center - Center Stage, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.258.9481, arizonatheatre. org, times vary, $25-$75.

$300 Off Move In when you mention Entertainer Magazine!

Offer valid through April 30, 2019. Restrictions apply, contact property for details. ■ (602) 374-1733

APRIL 4 TO MAY 3 Chandler’s Vision Galley presents a boundary-pushing exhibit featuring pieces from photographer Kari Wehrs and sculptor Nathaniel Lewis. The two artists share the theme of contrast by showcasing atypical art. Viewers will be challenged to question what they’ve previously viewed as normal, while seeing Civil War-era processing on modern photography and brightly colored, child-like tools of war blended together. Vision Gallery, 10 E. Chicago Street, Chandler, 480.782.2695,, times vary, free.

“The Toxic Avenger”

APRIL 5 TO APRIL 21 The Toxic Avenger character and films are that of cult legend. The independent horror film has been a fan favorite for decades. This rock musical is based on the 1984 film of the same name and takes place in Tromaville, a polluted town just off the New Jersey Turnpike. Melvin Ferd the Third, an aspiring scientist, vows to clean up the state, but gets dumped in a vat of toxic waste here he is then given the gift of super-human strength, a blind girlfriend, and inherits the wrath of the town’s corrupt mayor. Note: This show contains adult language and stage blood. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main


Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, times vary $25-$28.

and film. When the body of a teenager is found drained of blood, it is believed to be part of a ritual murder spree. There’s more to the story, though. Eli, 12, will soon find out the truth after meeting and falling in love with a young girl who has moved in next door. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 480.350.2822,, times vary, $25-$40.

“Leaving Marks: The Rock Art and Archaeology of Deer Valley” ONGOING Connect with the past at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. More than 1,500 symbols along the trails of the preserve give guests a glimpse into the lives of those from thousands of years ago. Before


stepping outside, experience an orientation film, interactive kiosks and hands-on-activity stations. Note: the trail, does not have shade, and is not ADA accessible. Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, 623.582.8007, shesc., free-$9.

“You Are Not Alone” Oracle Artist Studio Tour

APRIL 6 AND APRIL 7 Celebrating its 28th year, the Oracle Artist Studio Tour features the work of 40 participating artists and craftspeople at 18 locations. On the self-guided excursion, view and/ or purchase original and handmade artwork including paintings, jewelry, leather, ceramics, sculptures, glasswork, and more. Visit the event website for a map and more information. Various locations around Oracle, 1470 W. American Avenue, oraclestudiotour. com, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free.

Jerusalem Quartet

APRIL 7 The Jerusalem Quartet—Alexander Pavlovsky, first violin; Sergei Bresler, second violin; Ori Kam, viola; Kyril Zlotnikov, cello—will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. The group has performed together since 1996 and has toured the globe. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale, 480.499.8587, scottsdaleperformingarts. org, 5 p.m., $29-$49.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid Junior”

APRIL 12 TO APRIL 15 Ariel makes a deal with an evil sea witch for the chance to convince a handsome prince that she’s the girl he’s been looking for. Based on the popular Disney animated feature, this stage production is an enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. Grab the entire family, and head out to Queen Creek to journey “under the sea.” Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek, 480.987.7469,, times vary, $13-$15.

“Let the Right One In”

APRIL 12 TO MAY 4 Stray Cat Theatre brings to the stage an exciting adaption of a popular Jack Thorne graphic novel

APRIL 19 AND APRIL 20 The nuances of common high school experiences in the age of social media are brought to the stage through dance, and inspired by real stories from CaZo Artistic Director Bridgette Borzillo and her troupe. Issues explored include bullying, peer pressure, coming out, thoughts of suicide, first loves or having to wearing a mask to fit in. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, times vary $21-$45.

Kids Ticket Start at $18 Kids Tickets

“The Sleeping Beauty”

APRIL 27 AND 28 Ballet Etudes brings the classic and timeless tale of Sleeping Beauty with a two-act ballet. An evil fairy condemns Princess Aurora and is sentenced to death. The only thing that can save her is to be awakened by true love’s kiss. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter. Ages 2-12. Limit org, times vary, $16-$22.

Kids Tickets Start at $18! Ages 2-12. Limit of two (2) kids tickets with purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Tickets at market pricing. Purchase tickets at venue box office, or call 800-745-3000.

Kids Tickets Start at $18! Start at $18! TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA APR 11 – 14

of two (2) kids tickets with purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. Restrictions, e additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Tickets at market pricing. Purchase tickets office, or call 800-745-3000.

TALKING STICK RESORT AR TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA APR 11 – 14 APR 11 – 14 APR 11 – 14 Ages 2-12. Limit of two (2) kids tickets with purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Tickets at market pricing. Purchase tickets at venue box Ages 2-12. Limit of two (2) kidsoffice, tickets with purchase ofora full-priced adult ticket. Restrictions, exclusions and call 800-745-3000. additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Tickets at market pricing. Purchase tickets at venue box office, or call 800-745-3000.

“On the Shoulder of Giants”

APRIL 28 Maestro Sheridan and Salt River Brass perform selections ranging from classical to jazz and from musical greats Herbert L. Clarke to Miles Davis. Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter. com, 3 p.m., $16-$25. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM




‘American Mariachi’ shows music’s healing power Octavio Serrano >> The Entertainer!

American Mariachi” playwright José González believes mariachi goes beyond the music sheet. It’s an integral part of family and the community, two themes that are prevalent in the play that opens at the Herberger Theater Center on Thursday, April 4. “American Mariachi” revolves around a female protagonist who struggles to break through social norms and become part of a mariachi band. González fell in love with mariachi music 10 years ago as a professor at California State University. “I began to study there, and I realized I knew nothing about music and particularly mariachi music, but I was stuck to it,” González says. “I continued to take the class after 10 years, but what that did for me was that it let me enter into a world of that musical culture and tradition.” Having a background in theater and Chicano studies, González knew he wanted to share his passion for the mariachi culture with a larger audience. “I wanted to share that world that most folks may not know,” González says. “The community may appreciate the music, but the mainstream audience may not understand why that music is so ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

important.” First-time director Christopher Acebo, says, “Those connections to family and to the community and to art making, have all been things that have been in my life and to be able to work on something that explores that on a stage is really thrilling.” Acebo says the story is about pursuing passion and overcoming adversity and social norms. The protagonists are women, which is important. “It’s primarily a play about pursuing a passion, even in the face of adversity or barriers,” Acebo says. Although “American Mariachi” appeals to the Latino community, Acebo says its family themes and story is something that can resonate with other audiences. “I think the play does have resonance for all audiences, not just Latino audiences,” Acebo says. “I think it emphasizes the challenges that we have in our families, especially as members in our families grow older and lose their capacity and how we deal with that I think is a big universal theme the play brings out.” Acebo says it was a meaningful experience to share a story that has an impact on multiple platforms. “Putting mariachi music on the stage of a regional theater is a big statement,” Acebo says. “It’s a big political statement,

it’s a big statement about community, and it’s thrilling to share that art form.” González’s curiosity for mariachi music turned into a passion that he is ready to share with larger audiences. He wants to promote the culture of mariachi music but with new ideals that break through social norms and the “macho culture and how we see the rules of men and women.” Even more than that, however, González says he is excited for the audience to enjoy the music.

“You hear that music, man, and you just can’t help by to want to get up and start singing or playing with them,” González says.

“American Mariachi” Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.256.6995, herbergertheater. org, various times Thursday, April 4, to Sunday, April 21, tickets start at $25.

Robyn Hitchcock April 2 Mary Fahl DARYL April 5 STUERMERTrace DUO Bundy

Tuesday, April 23 | 7 p.m. | $33.50–$43.50

April 11

Celebrating over thirty years of musical accomplishments, virtuoso lead-guitarist Daryl John Kay Stuermer of the super-group Genesis and the Phil of Steppenwolf Collins band has been touring the world to sold out crowds since 1978. April 14

David Lindley April 16

Upcoming Concerts Robyn Hitchcock April 2

A Night of the Miracles Mary Fahl April 19 April 5

Trace Bundy Stanley Jordan and April 11

Kevin Eubanks

John Kay 27 of April Steppenwolf April 14

Run Boy Run

David Lindley April May162

A Night of the Miracles And19many more! April

Les Paul “Goldtop” electric guitar, 1952

Stanley Jordan and Kevin Eubanks April 27 Run Boy Run May 2 And many more!

Les Paul “Goldtop” electric guitar, 1952



Exhibition Open Now!

2019 sponsored by by 2019Concert ConcertSeries Series sponsored | 480.478.6000 | 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ | 480.478.6000 | 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ




World-class theater director, Sean Daniels, brings his talents back to the Valley Bridgette Redman >> The Entertainer!


ean Daniels has a message for every kid who walks through the doors of the Arizona Theatre Company: They, too, could someday be an artistic

director. Daniels is living proof. He was recently tapped as the artistic director for the 52-year-old theater company, which performs in Tucson and Phoenix. His first theater experience was thanks to the ATC. His parents were season ticket holders until they moved from Mesa to Florida when he was 14. He says he took every theater class ATC had and was in a production of “Winnie the Pooh” there. “There was no bigger dream of mine than to have a life in the theater,” Daniels says. “It never occurred to me that I’d be able to work in, much less run, the place. I want every kid who walks in to know that is 100 percent a possibility for them.” From those beginnings, Daniels has had a successful career in theater. He cofounded Dad’s Garage in Atlanta after graduating from Florida State School of Theater in 1995. It is now an awardwinning theater company that boasts an annual audience of 30,000. After that, he was associate artistic director/resident director at San Francisco’s California Shakespeare Theater associate artistic director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville; and the artistic director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts. The American Theatre Magazine named Daniels one of the top 15 up and coming artists in the United States whose work will transform America’s stages “for decades to come.” It also says he’s “one of seven people reshaping and revitalizing the American musical.” And now he’s coming back to Arizona, the birthplace of his theater dreams. “My family loved theater,” Daniels says. “I didn’t realize until later in life that not every family subscribed to every theater in town.” He says that while his family would go to New York a few times a year to see theater, it was the quality of work happening in his home town that was really exciting to him, quality he wants to see continued. “I want (ATC) to be a local theater ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

that the world pays attention to,” Daniels says. “I want it to be the place where work is happening that the rest of the industry is paying attention to.” How does one do that? It starts with the “local” part of the theater. When Daniels knew he was returning to Arizona, he researched plays that took place in the state and found a dearth of them. “When I got the job, I thought, ‘Let me Google the great plays about Arizona heroes and we’ll do one of those,” Daniels says. “I didn’t find any. We’re commissioning shows and doing shows, but not telling stories about our own state and how it made our country what it is today.” That’s something he wants to change. He wants to avoid the danger of doing theater that is only relevant on the coasts. “A lot of theater over the past 20 years have become a bit of an Ivory Tower,” Daniels says. “It is a lot of artists from New York and you get it or you’re stupid. I’m not interested in that.” Rather, he says, he is focused on the belief that all theater is local. He wants to develop programs that help the community understand why ATC does what it does, what it costs and what the barriers are—real or perceived—to people attending theater. One program he plans to launch is something he’s developed elsewhere— the Cohort Club. It gives 20 community members access to all rehearsals and production meetings. Those members learn more about how the organization works on the inside so that they can become advocates for it on the outside. “By the time you get through five years, you have a hundred people who can talk fluently about what you do, why you make the choices you make, and why things cost what they cost,” he says. While Daniels has directed shows around the world and created new works, he says what he is best known for in his past two jobs is bringing radical transparency to an organization and engaging artistically with the community. “Being an artistic director is often not the most glamorous job,” Daniels says. “It was once explained to me that you are running for office, but you never get elected. If it’s going to be a tough job, it needs to be a labor of love and it needs to be a community you feel passionate about.”

Arizona is a place he can be passionate about. “I really believe Arizona deserves a world-class theater and we can be a leader,” he says. Daniels expressed the importance of ATC’s arts education and says no other organization can make a donor’s dollar go further. He acknowledges that arts education has been ripped out of schools and it isn’t coming back. “If we’re not doing it, it’s not happening,” he says. “It’s easy to go out and ask people to fund it because that is for the betterment of the community that we all live in.” Daniels plans to take a hard look at the programming. He wants to make sure shows engage with communities they haven’t traditionally reached, and the community’s diversity is reflected on stage. “A lot of programming is for older, white audiences,” Daniels says. “Without displacing those groups, we need to look to other groups and say that this is your theater too—from race to economic status to age—to say there is room for you here. Maybe it won’t be that all six shows are for you, that’s cool. But here is one.” To do so, he’ll involve the entire staff, board members and community members in the season planning. He wants to open all the doors so people can

see how theater is made and to learn how it all comes together. Reaching out to diverse groups isn’t just the right thing to do, he says, it is also smart stewardship. “If ATC is going to exist in 40 years, it has to better reflect the community it exists in,” he says. He also points out that each city has its own personality and he wants to focus on really getting Phoenix to own the theater the same way Tucson does. He and his wife will be living in Phoenix and he’s going to bring in someone focused on audience engagement. “Tucson owns that theater and that’s great,” he says. “We want Phoenix to feel just as excited about the work and that it is theirs, and not just something that comes in from another city.” Meanwhile, Daniels is looking forward to walking back through the doors of the theater that was so important to him in his youth. “It is a chance to help to grow an organization that has meant so much to me, that has positively affected my life,” Daniels says. “To give back to that—that is the main thing I’m grateful for.”

For information about Arizona Theatre Company shows, visit




Dawnn Lewis hits the stage for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ Bridgette Redman >> The Entertainer!


awnn Lewis has been defying conventions since she was a teenager and it has resulted in a long-lasting career that includes Broadway, television, composing, voice acting and songwriting. From April 25 to May 5, this former star of “A Different World”—and the composer of its theme song—will star as Muzzy in Scottsdale Theater Company’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the Tempe Center for the Arts. “I’ve come to know the caliber of the projects that are done there,” Lewis says. “Another client represented by the same agency as me has worked there with David (Hock, the artistic director) and had nothing but amazing things to say. It is a lot of fun working with great people in a community who loves live theater.” Hock says Lewis can make Muzzy her own during the run at the Tempe Center for the Arts. “Dawnn can make it her own,” he says. “She has a very sassy side to her personality, so I can make Muzzy sassy and fun and seductive.” Hock has already made one alteration to the show for Lewis. Muzzy’s second song is always done with backup boys, but Hock is instead giving her backup trumpet players who will play what the vocals would be singing. “Dawnn can riff and play around with the musicians on stage,” he says. “Thoroughly Modern Millie” came out in 2002 with music by Jeanine Tesori (also known for “Fun Home,” “Shrek: The Musical” and “Caroline or Change.”) It was based on the 1967 film starring Julie Andrews. Set in 1922, small-town girl Millie Dillmount has arrived in New York City determined to become a success—which includes finding a great job and marrying her rich boss. Muzzy is a famous singer who advises Millie on her love life, particularly with Jimmy, who will be played by Kelly Methven, who has toured with “West Side Story,” “Rock of Ages” and “Grand Hotel.”

STORIED CAREER Lewis created the role of Delores in “Sister Act” and she was in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” with Matthew Broderick. A New York native, she was the only girl among four children and sang and danced to musical TV shows as

a child. That whetted her appetite for performing. Because she was perpetually surrounded by boys, her mom wanted to encourage her to do something that was her own and sent her to dance class when she was 7. She discovered she had a talent for it and by the time she was 8, was performing at Carnegie Hall. “My mom raised us on her own and was really happy I had an interest that was a positive one,” Lewis says. “She invested everything she could. My brothers would come to my recitals. They hated it, but we learned to be supportive of each other.” She graduated from high school at age 16 and played the cello, danced, sang opera and published a series of poems. “I was seeking out all these ways to express myself creatively and it looked like the sky was the limit,” she says. She attended the University of Miami, whose staff was reluctant to admit her because of her age. Her grandmother, who lived nearby, agreed to be a responsible adult for her. While at college, she ignored the classes she was told she should take because she’d already had them at her performing arts high school. Instead, she chose the classes that made the most sense for her career. The University of Miami ended up developing a new musical theater degree program designed around her. “You were either an arts or music major, but because my background was cross-discipline, I was the guinea pig for musical theater,” Lewis says. “The program has now graduated Tony winners, Oscar winners and Grammy winners. I’m really proud of that.” They made her reaudition for every class she was already in. She says she had a 45-minute audition before a jury of the entire faculty of music and the faculty of fine arts. She performed two arias— one in Italian and one in French—a Broadway song, a jazz tune, a comedic and dramatic monologue and then choreograph a dance. She was then able to go back to taking the classes she was already taking. After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1982, she performed on Broadway and toured with live shows. Then she got the call to audition for “A Different World.” An hour later, her phone rang again with a request to write the theme song for the show. She thought her friends were playing a joke on her. It wasn’t until after her audition, when she met with Bill Cosby and the show’s artistic team in the star’s dressing room,

that they discovered they’d asked the same person for both roles. She played Jalessa Vinson-Taylor from 1987 to 1992. More recently, she’s voiced Storm of the X-Men in three games and other characters for Mortal Kombat, “Futurama,” “Spider-Man: The Animated Series,” “Bruno the Kid” and “Boondocks.” She starred in two Disney Channel original movies. In 2006, she was in the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls,” and released a CD called “Worth Waiting For.” She has a recurring role on “Major Crimes,” DreamWorks’ “Spirit Riding Free,” Netflix’s “Carmen Sandiego,” and “Veronica Mars.” For a busy actor like Lewis—she’s doing voices for 10 animated series and runs her own foundation, A New Day, which offers hope and empowerment to youth and underserved communities— Hock says he makes sure the schedule can work for her. Lewis will arrive for a week of rehearsals and then the show runs for two weeks. “For performers who have movie and TV shooting schedules, this is really

nice,” Hock says. “They don’t have to commit to a long time and it opens up the possibility to more people I can get. They aren’t tying themselves up for six months the way they would for Broadway.” Bock says this musical is just about having fun. “It’s a fun night out to hear really good singing, see a TV star you wouldn’t normally get to see, watch some live dancing and hear a live orchestra.” Lewis says she loves “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is about female power in the ’20s, about being progressive and not being afraid to say who you are. “Muzzy is committed to living her biggest best life and about recognizing that there was a cost,” Lewis says. “That resonated with me personally. I love what I get to do, and I get to do it in a large way.”

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe,, various times Thursday, April 25, to Sunday, May 5, $42-$58.






CALENDAR Samantha Fuoco >> The Entertainer!

Oak’s Diner & Flapjacks’ Tax Break Deal

THROUGHOUT APRIL Oak’s Diner and Flapjacks is offering a “tax-break burger,” its well-known 8-ounce burger, French fries and soda for $7.95 during the season. Oak’s Diner and Flapjacks, 6219 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, 480.488.5704.

Valley Ho pool’s evening luau. Enjoy a traditional pig roast, fresh poke bowls, and grilled options like crispy cola-marinated short ribs. The menu also features Hawaiian-themed desserts and delicious cocktails. Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, 480.376.2600, hotelvalleyho. com, 7:30 to 10 p.m., $99.

VegOut! Vegan Beer and Food Festival

Picture Perfect Park Wine & Food Tasting

APRIL 6 Support Lost Dutchman State Park by sipping wine and tasting food at Picture Perfect. Vendors include Brown Bear BBQ and Handlebar Pub & Grill, and Marconias will provide the music. Fun raffles and games round out the evening. Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 602.542.4174, azstateparks. com, 5 to 8 p.m., $42.

APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14 Vegan beer? It is possible! The second annual VegOut! Scottsdale Vegan Beer and Food Festival advocates and celebrates a vegan lifestyle through food, drinks, live entertainment, educational speakers, chef demonstrations, vendors and fitness classes. Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, vegoutevents. com, times vary, $10-$40.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

The Tiki-Tiki-Ho-Ho Luau

APRIL 12 Get a taste of the tiki at the Hotel

APRIL 13 Thirty-five of the Valley’s top restaurants come together at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Sticking to its successful formula, the festival also features music. Berlin, The Black

Moods, Wyves and Elvis After Noon are on the docket. Tito’s Handmade Vodka Lounge is open to 21 and older guests. Civic Center Mall, 7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale, 480.945.7193, scottdalefest. org, noon to 9 p.m., $12.

Brunch-ish: Bottomless Brunch

APRIL 20 Experience one of the unique brunch parties of April, while meeting new people. Vibe out at Paz Cantina to old school hip-hop and R&B tunes during the bottomless brunch. Paz Cantina, 330 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, 602.281.2930,, 6 to 11 p.m., $30.

Arizona Sangria Craft Beer Food Truck Festival

APRIL 27 While the weather is still cool and the sun is out, come down to the fifth annual Sangria Festival and drink cocktails, sangria, craft beers, margaritas and mojitos. Food trucks will be around to ease the munchies. This event is open to the public, but guests must be 21 or older to purchase a ticket and glass for the tastings. Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 480.644.7529, arizonasangriafestival. com, 4 to 7 p.m., $40.

Nirvana Food & Wine Festival: Rosé Parté APRIL 27 Hosted by Wrigley Mansion’s chef Christopher Gross and owner Jamie Hormel, the event welcomes special guests The Bella Twins: Nikki and Brie Bella of WWE fame, stars of E! Network’s “Total Bellas” and the inspiration behind Belle Radici wines; and The Potash Twins: Ezra and Adeev Potash of Bravo TV’s “Beats + Bites.” Guests will enjoy rosé paired with dishes from Gross, Chef Robert Irvine and Chef Lindsay Autry, cocktails from mixologist Libby Lingua, and music by DJ Miss Mix. Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 602.955.4079,, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $150 plus tax.

Sushi Festival

APRIL 27 TO APRIL 28 Rock the Fork brings a sushi festival for foodies in the Valley. Music, wine and beverages will be available as well. Festival Area at Horse Lovers Park, 19224 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix,, noon to 7 p.m., $12.



off all beer, $2 off all food, $4 well drinks, $5 Tito’s (exclusions apply), and $7 classic cocktails.

Linger Longer Lounge

Guide Brat Haus

3622 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.947.4006, Nestled in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Brat Haus’ open-air patio paired with delicious beers, wine and cocktails offers a soothing atmosphere. Happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, includes $2 off all draft beers, $2 off glasses of wine, $4 off well cocktails. Free dog brats for four-legged friends.

Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers

18529 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.912.7219; 4222 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.941.2747, Additional locations in the Valley. Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers lives up to its name but offers more than that. Happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, includes $3 domestic pints, $4 domestic aluminum bottles, $4 Four Peaks pints, $5 premium wells, $5 Sauza Blue Margarita, $5 Jack and Coke, $5 house wines.

craft beer. For bites, dine on $6 bruschetta, featured seasonal vegetable, warm marinated olives, $8 sweet and spicy calamari, Dorian burger, and $15 small charcuterie board.

EVO Scottsdale

4175 N. Goldwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, 480.265.9814, Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and features $5 select wine and $5 select draft and bottled beer.


83 E. Broadway Road, Tempe, 602.491.9119, Play billiards and darts while drinking some brews at Freezers. Happy hour is all day every day! $3 PBR and Rolling Rock pints from open to close. Specials are Monday – Friday which includes a burger and any draft beer for $10, $1 off all draft beers, $2 off all wells and house wines, and $3 off house cocktails from 3 to 7 p.m. Every Thursday drink some Deep Eddy Vodka for $5 all night long.

Gallagher’s Sports Grill

Copper Blues

50 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 480.719.5005, At Copper Blues, headliners don’t just occupy the stage, they surround it in the form of tap handles and inviting service. Happy hour is offered from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday to Sunday.

CRUjiente Tacos

3961 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.687.7777, The modern neighborhood taqueria and two-time Grand Champion winner of Arizona Taco Festival has happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and reverse happy hour from 9 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour appetizers include $8 chips and guacamole/queso. CRUjiente Tacos’ award-winning street-style tacos, including the $4 Korean fried chicken taco and $3.50 pork belly taco, are available with special pricing during happy hour. All draft and bottled beers are $1 off, all wines by the glass are $2 off, all well drinks are $5, Modelo Especial and Tecate Light cans are $3.50.


7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480.907.5635, A perfect place to spend happy hour, Dorian has crushed blue velvet booths, a circular marble top bar and a light and bright airy dining room. Enjoy a lavish evening at happy hour with $2 off specialty cocktails, $6 glasses of featured wine and $5 well drinks and

Additional locations throughout the Valley, Gallagher’s Sports Grill loves sports as much as it loves food, so it brings both of them together. Dozens if TVs to watch numerous sporting events, Gallagher’s has it all. Happy hour snacks run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and drink specials run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reverse happy hour is from 10 p.m. to Midnight.

Hungry Monk

1760 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, 480.963.8000, Chandler’s Hungry Monk pours 27 craft beers, with daily happy hour from 2 to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday all day.

Kelly’s at SouthBridge

7117 E. Sixth Avenue, Scottsdale, 480.393.3205, Kelly’s at SouthBridge in Old Town has happy hour from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, featuring $4 off selected starters and Kelly’s cocktails, $5 draft beers and well drinks, $6 house wines, $49 bucket of four Chandon Splits, and $100 Caymus.

Little Woody

4228 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.955.0339, Little Woody bar is filled with food and games for any type of party goer. From 4 to 7 p.m. daily, happy hour includes $1

$300 Off Move In when you mention Entertainer Magazine!

Offer valid through April 30, 2019. Restrictions apply, contact property for details. ■ (602) 957-0051 ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

6522 N. 16th Street, Suite 6, Phoenix, 602.264.4549, This vintage cocktail lounge and kitchen, with a game room and a DJ spinning vinyl, offers happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and all day Sunday. Happy hour includes $6/$7 selected appetizers, $3 Linger Longer Lager and domestic beers, $4 well drinks, $6 Tito’s draft cocktail and select cocktails, and $8 classic cocktails.

Pedal Haus Brewery

730 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.314.2337, Mill Avenue’s resident brewpub and beer garden, Pedal Haus Brewery offers beer enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy happy hour from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and all day Sunday, with half-off wings, $3 Pedal Haus beers, $3 mimosas, $4 Bloody Marys and $5 margaritas.

Philly’s Sports Grill

1826 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe, 480.946.6666; 1402 S. Priest Drive, Tempe, 480.968.6612; 4855 E. Warner Road, Phoenix (Ahwatukee), 480.247.8655, Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, and reverse happy hour from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Rehab Burger Therapy

7210 E. Second Street, Scottsdale, 480.621.5358, Rehab Burger Therapy was founded on the idea that everyone deserves a break from the daily grind. Happy hour is offered from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and 11 a.m. to Close every Thursday. This includes $1 off Party Starters, wine by the glass, and any Rapid Relief. Enjoy $2 off Special Treatment & any Skinny Remedy.

Rico’s American Grill

7677 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, 1.800.947.9784, Resort guests and locals can enjoy daily happy hour specials from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. Drink specials include $4 domestic beers and well drinks, $5 draft beers, and $5 bartender’s pick backyard cocktails. Food specials include $5 loaded pub fries, $5 quesadillas and $7 pork carnitas tacos.

The Sicilian Butcher

15530 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, 602.775.5140, Every day is happy hour at The Sicilian Butcher in the bar area only with premium wells starting at $5 and house-select wines or beers for $5.50. Happy hour bites include prosciutto bruschetta and fried ravioli for $7, a bucket of meatballs or eggplant parmigiano flatbread for $10, and a house-select bottle of wine and polenta and meatball board for $19.

Spinelli’s Pizzeria

420 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 602.800.5300, Spinelli’s Pizzeria has happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, with specials like $3.50 wells, $4.50 calls, $4 cheese pizza slices, $4.50 pepperoni pizza slices, and half-off appetizers.

The Stockyards

5009 E. Washington Street, Suite 115, Phoenix, 602.273.7378, In 1947, The Stockyards, Arizona’s Original Steakhouse, opened its doors with a menu focused on its historical past: beer. Staying true to its heritage, The Stockyards’ menu continues to feature only the finest corn-fed, aged steaks and prime rib, Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, when house wine, draft beer, saloon snacks, domestic beer and well drinks are discounted. Complimentary tenderloin sliders are also offered.

SunUp Brewing Co.

322 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.279.8909, SunUp offers beer brewed on-site, with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.

TapHouse Kitchen

6137 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite #108, Scottsdale, 480.656.0012 3131 E. Shea Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.656.0012 Always putting the guests first, TapHouse Kitchen strives to become a business that is the forefront of the industry, is innovative, unique and desirable to the city and state. TapHouse Kitchen uses the freshest ingredients in the bar and in the kitchen to serve up the best beer, cocktails, and food!

Tutti Santi

6339 E. Greenway Road, Suite 108, Scottsdale, 480.951.3775, Tutti Santi’s menu offers Nina’s original recipes for Italian classics, from antipasti freddi to mozzarella caprese. Happy hour is 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery

4321 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.378.3001, Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery hosts happy hour 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, with $1 off draft beer, $6 cocktails, $1 off wine by the glass and a reduced-price appetizer menu. On Thursdays, it has $3 house draft beer, house wine and appetizer menu.

Uncle Bear’s Brewery

4921 E. Ray Road, Suite 103, Phoenix (Ahwatukee), 480.961.2374; 9053 E. Baseline Road, Suite 101A, Mesa, 480.986.2228; 21151 E. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, 480.882.3177, Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, with reverse happy hour 10 p.m. to close Sunday to Thursday. Happy hour includes $4.50 Uncle Bear’s craft pints, domestic bottles, wells and house margaritas. Other specials include $5.50 22-ounce Uncle Bear’s craft and house wines, $1 off all Uncle Bear’s backyard drink menu, and $2 off Bear Bites.

The Womack

5749 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix, 602.283.5232, Embrace happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, with $1 off all beer, $4 well drinks, $5 draft wine, and $6 selected cocktails.



My Nana’s uses salsa to spread awareness of hemophilia Laura Latzko >> The Entertainer!


n Arizona, the ability to make a good salsa is a point of pride. At My Nana’s Best-Tasting Salsa Challenge, aficionados can put their skills to the test against others and give back to charity. In its 35th year, the annual salsa competition will take place this year on Saturday, April 13, at Sloan Park in Mesa. The event is put on by the Arizona Hemophilia Association, an organization that works with patients suffering from bleeding disorders and their families. Proceeds from the event will help support the organization’s Camp HONOR, a summer camp for children with bleeding disorders. With general admission to the salsa challenge, attendees will receive unlimited samples of chips and salsa samples. VIP tickets earn guests access to a special VIP area, a catered meal, unlimited salsa and chip samples and four drink vouchers. Along with the salsa competition, the event will have a kids’ zone with inflatables and live performances from local musicians, bands and salsa dancers. During the salsa challenge, contestants will compete in mild, hot and “anything goes” categories. The “anything goes” category was designed for salsas made with ingredients such as mango, pineapple or cranberries. During the event, bartenders will have a chance to give back as part of the Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix-Off. The margaritas they make will be paired and auctioned with sports memorabilia, vacations and event tickets. Tori Katz, business development specialist for the Arizona Hemophilia Association, says the salsa challenge has a variety of flavors. “That’s the cool thing about the salsa challenge is there is definitely something for everyone. It’s not just hot salsas that you’re trying all day, and then you can’t feel your tongue for days afterward,” Katz says. The contestants are required to make 13 gallons of salsa onsite, and judges look at qualities such as the taste, aroma and consistency. “I know from our head judge, I’ve heard him say so many times that consistency is very key to him. He looks to make sure every single bite is the same instead of having some really soupy and some really chunky,” Katz says. Attendees will have a chance to vote on their favorites by donating money as part

of the People’s Choice category. In honor of the challenge’s 35th anniversary, the top winners will receive a total of $3,500 in prize money, as well as special prizes like Arizona Diamondbacks tickets. Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations can enter multiple salsas. Each year, a few spots go to families affected by blood disorders. Many contestants decorate their booths in the spirit of the event. In the past, participants have had Day of the Dead, firefighter and Jimmy Buffettthemed booths. Katz says many contestants return every year and bring their family members and friends to participate with them. “It’s definitely one of those things where you have to get a team together. You can’t just do it by yourself,” Katz says. Some participants having been taking part in the challenge for more than 15 years. Lisa Denton of Salsa Patron helped her father at the challenge and continued the tradition after he passed away three years ago. “We would go with him, have fun doing it, hang out and help him, and then it turned into our thing,” Denton says. Her father started making salsa to take to friends’ parties. Denton uses her father’s recipes, only making a few tweaks to them. She works to make her salsas unique by adding hard-to-find peppers. She makes her salsas fresh and doesn’t put them in jars or cans. She says it takes dedication and hard work to make the salsas. “Salsa is pretty labor intensive. It’s not a quick, fast, easy thing to make, when you are making big volumes,” Denton says. She has recently taken salsa-making to another level by selling her five salsas at local farmers markets. She, her family and her friends make about 160 quarts of salsa a week. The challenge has also inspired contestants, including defending champion Brian Hay, to start their own salsa businesses. He makes six types of salsa, including hot and mild mango pineapple and cucumber salsas. As part of his company Hay Salsa Lovers, Hay makes and sells around 17 gallons of salsa every three weeks to customers around the Valley, including employees at local medical offices. He started making salsa for potlucks at work and for nurses at a local oncology center when his wife was going through cancer treatments. Hay also dabbled

in salsa making while working at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Arkansas years ago. He said he always had a knack for making salsa. “It was just a touch of this, and a shake here, a shake there, and salsa was born,” Hay says. Hay adds salsa-making can be unpredictable when using different peppers. “You always have to taste test because you never know if the peppers are going

to be truly hot or hot enough to make it mild as opposed to something hotter,” Hay says.

My Nana’s Best-Tasting Salsa Challenge Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, salsachallenge. com, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13, $12 through April 12, $15 at the door, $59 VIP tickets.





Scottsdale Culinary Festival is about more than food Kristine Cannon >> The Entertainer!


he buzz generated around Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s 40-year anniversary last year was infectious. So, can the Scottsdale League for the Arts (SLA), a nonprofit organization that organizes the Scottsdale Culinary Festival every year, possibly top the success of last year’s event at this year’s festival, slated to take place on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, at the Scottsdale Civic Center? The short answer from SLA President Glenn Azzari is a confident “yes.” “It’s become an iconic Scottsdale event,” he says. “Everybody wants to go there, they want to be seen there, and everyone loves to see their favorite restaurants showcased at the festival.” It’s a word used to describe the annual culinary event often by Azzari – “iconic” – and he isn’t wrong. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival started in 1978 when the SLA, which supports and raises funds for the arts and arts education programs, was formed. It remains one of the largest culinary festivals in the nation. “It was started 41 years ago by a group of gentlemen who were just trying to create a fundraiser to help capital improvements for the [Scottsdale] Center for the Performing Arts,” Azzari says. “It just kind of caught on from

there, and it grew and grew and grew into what it is today.” In addition to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, SLA hosts other food-centric events: the Brunch Club, Cooks + Corks, the Four Peaks Burger Battle and the Cocktail Society. One-hundred percent of net event proceeds from these events go directly to nonprofit arts organizations throughout Maricopa County. Since year one, the festival that attracts nearly 30,000 attendees has donated $5 million to the arts. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival, specifically, accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of the money raised each year by SLA. “Last year, we raised just over $100,000 for our grant program,” Azzari says. Twenty-four organizations benefited from last year’s net proceeds; 2018 grant recipients included Ballet Arizona, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Heard Museum. This year’s Scottsdale Culinary festival will feature the staples attendees have grown to know and love over the decades, including three stages of live music from more than 20 bands with Orange County, California-based, new wave band Berlin headlining on Saturday, with The Black Moods opening; the Four Peaks beer garden, a wine garden and spirits lounge; two days of culinary demonstrations; a VIP area and – the real stars of the show – around

35 participating restaurants. New to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is an arts section featuring posters from all 41 years of the festival. “Because of what we have going on with the construction, we’ve had to create some interesting activations in areas within the Civic Center to get around that,” Azzari says. “There are two bridges that allow you to get past the construction area, but those bridges are going to be covered with posters.” Construction on the Drinkwater Bridge and Underpass started this past winter. “We’re trying to make the best of that,” he adds. But let’s talk about the food. Two mainstays of the festival include Roka Akor and Sushi Roku. “Roka Akor is what is one our diehards. They’re always, always packed,” Azzari says. “But those are two that have been coming to the festival for quite a few years.” Also on the lineup are Aioli’s Gourmet Burgers, Four Peaks, Pokitrition, Honey Bear’s BBQ, Social Hall and The Crepe Club. Nailing down the food lineup each year is difficult for SLA, as it strives to maintain a balance of established, popular restaurants and up-and-comers

to the culinary scene. “We do our very, very best to find those restaurants that really need to get exposure and try and help them get a boost at our festival,” Azzari says. “Does it work out every time? No, but there are plenty of times when it does work out, and people had the opportunity to really showcase what they have to offer.” During its 15 years, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival has never dipped below 300 volunteers and has had as many as 500. “From a management and logistics standpoint, it’s a massive job by itself, and we have a whole team that deals with our volunteers,” he explains. That said, “We’re always looking for great volunteers to help with the festival with all our events,” he adds. SLA’s long-term vision for the Scottsdale Culinary Festival involves continuing to raise the bar in terms of entertainment, the quality of participating restaurants and attendance. In fact, SLA’s three-year goal is to grow the event by 6,000 to 8,000 attendees. “It’s distinctly possible we definitely can raise the overall attendance,” Azzari says, adding he hopes to make the festival a regional event, not just a state event. “We’re trying to take it to a new level when it comes to people coming from California, from Nevada, from Utah and Colorado, from New Mexico and bringing the entire region,” he says. “And when something like that happens, everybody benefits: obviously our charity benefits, city of Scottsdale benefits and everybody, in general; it’s a win-win situation.” See related story about Scottsdale Culinary Festival headliners Berlin on page 35

Scottsdale Culinary Festival Scottsdale Civic Center, 7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale, 480.945.7193,, various times Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, $12-$125. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

TERRI NUNN: FULFILLED Berlin’s singer is begging to be part of ‘Top Gun’ sequel THE ENTERTAINER! MAGAZINE APRIL 2019


Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


erlin singer Terri Nunn has everything she wants at age 57. She has two of her founding members—bassist John Crawford and keyboardist David Diamond—are back in the fold, and together, they’re recording new music. One thing she really wants, though, is another turn at “Top Gun,” as Berlin and Giorgio Moroder scored their biggest hit, “Take My Breath Away,” for the film’s first incarnation. “We’re begging them,” Nunn says with a laugh. “I would love to do another song with Giorgio. He’s back on the scene as a hot DJ. I just love him. We stayed friends over the years. He’s a great, wonderful man and a great talent.” Nunn says the Moroder-penned “Take My Breath Away” still resonates and it’s “amazing.” “I love the song and Giorgio,” he says. “He could have farted and I would have sung it. Seriously, the timing was right. I have good range and I guess my fearlessness about it is what made it work.” Nunn describes Moroder’s original version as “robotic, not romantic.” She

dared to change the melody and elongate it to make it “flowy.” “I just sang it as I wanted to sing it and it sounded good,” she says. “It was a fluke and I got the job.” These days, Berlin is recording new music. Crawford’s return was miraculous, Nunn says.

“A couple years ago, he came back into my life,” Nunn says. “He was getting a divorce and he needed a friend. As someone who’s been through it—I’ve been through it once—I know he needed a shoulder to cry on. That’s what brought us together. “The creativity started to spark, the

music flowed, and we got a record deal. I didn’t expect it. Life is miraculous, the way things come together. It never ceases to amaze me. I like that about getting older. It gets far better. I’m just leaving my 50s and they were great. It was my favorite decade so far.”

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A BASIC FOOD GROUP? A new Phoenix Festival brings French fries in all their glory 36


Taylor O’Connor >>The Entertainer!


rench fries are an important food group. They are beloved, crisp creatures that fill taste buds with a salty, starchy crispness. People dig and beg for more. Their best friend is a series of sauces, whether that be ketchup, mayonnaise or ranch, create possibly the greatest snack or entreé, if people prefer. When festival organizer David Tyda was faced to choose his next festival topic, the answer was simple: a French fry festival. Why? “I love French fries.” Over the years, Tyda and his business partner Lisa Duffield created multiple food festivals, including those dedicated to tacos, pizza and donuts. They call him the head cheese or el guapo, but Tyda prefers “festival organizer” and “French fry lover.” FRIED Festival come to Hance Park in Phoenix from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20. “There are two reasons why I wanted to do a French fry festival. No. 1 4/20 is on a Saturday this year and I wanted to focus on the world’s greatest munchie. It’s just a subtle wink and nod toward the date. No. 2: I just really love fries and a lot of people do.” Tyda emphasizes fries are no longer a side dish, but an entrée. During his time deciding to make this festival, Tyda had “A-ha moments.” “The first a-ha moment, I was at another culinary festival and Frite St. had partnered with Chula Seafood and did a clam chowder French fry and they were incredible. It sealed the deal for me, it shows that fries are more than good with ketchup. The second A-ha moment happened the very next day. I saw these four girls having lunch and three of them got salads and one of them just got a plate of fries. I could see the looks of jealousy on the girls’ faces, the ones who got salads, and they kept reaching over to take their friend’s fries. They weren’t even asking for them.” No one ever asks to take a fry, and no one just takes one fry from their friend’s plate. “When your stealing fries, you don’t gingerly take one. You ride that line between taking an acceptable few and an entire handful.” Tyda wants to celebrate all of the types of fries and make sure they are all represented at his festival. This year, the focus is on toppings. Because chefs are becoming more experimental with their French fry making skills, Tyda wants to celebrate all of the creative ways fries can be consumed. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

Highlighted caterer American Poutine Company share its cheese curds and brown gravy. Tyda knows it sounds gross, but he says everyone changes their mind when they try them. Bolognese fries from Merkin Pizza Wagon aren’t bad, either. They are fries served in a Chinese takeout box and are topped with Bolognese sauce, parmesan cheese and basil. The festival will boast everything from waffle fries, straight fries, shoestring fries, tater tots (yes, they are a French fry) and the topping-filled fries. Although Tyda regrets to inform that crinkle cut fries are not a part of the team this year, he hopes to continue growing the French fry representation

for the years to come. There will be 12 to 15 stands and food trucks that accept cash and card. Gracie’s Tax Bar will provide alcoholic beverages and will only take cash. Attendees will need to purchase a drink ticket for $6. Nine local artists will perform at the festival—Fairy Bones, decker, Please, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, Gus D. Wynns and The Breakers, Weird Radicals, Maintenance, Reverse Cowboy and Stoneypie. “All of the bands are front and center. It’s a culinary festival at its heart, but we really amped up who we booked. We wanted to focus more on a cohesive band lineup with hot, local indie rock, bluegrassy americano sound. There are a lot

of fun groups and it should be a blast.” His advice for attending the festival: wear a lot of sunscreen and wear stretchy pants. After all, he doesn’t want foodies to feel restricted. Fries are truly a “communal food” according to Tyda, and he hopes to bring the community together, one handful of French fries at a time.

FRIED Festival Hance Park, 1202 N. Third Street, Phoenix, 480.442.9176,, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20, $15 online.




Chef Dushyant Singh and staff call for a revamp of Blue Hound Kitchen Taylor O’Connor >> The Entertainer!


alking into Blue Hound Kitchen, guests are greeted with dark wood floors, floor-toceiling windows and dim lighting, setting the cozy-yet-glamorous mood. Still, executive chef Dushyant Singh says it was time to “recenter” Blue Hound Kitchen by overhauling the dinner menu. He’s taking a look at the lunch and dessert offerings as well. “Blue Hound has been open for six years,” he says. “It was time to refresh and refocus ourselves. The chefs were excited to make a change and try something new.” The entire team had a hand in the project; everyone brainstormed and then tasted the food together. They applied the menu changes to a specials list to see how guests enjoyed them. Blue Hound’s dinner menu has classic dishes with a twist. “I bring a different approach to food than the previous chefs, but at the same time, I’m keeping up the same philosophies and giving the guests

what they want,” he says. “I want to make Blue Hound a go-to spot, not a special occasion place. It’s something to crave, rather than something extravagant.” Among the new items is tuna crudo, a ceviche-style dish, with a twist of Asian flavors that makes the tuna pop ($16). The crispness and sweetness of watermelon is something not usually expected with tuna, but it works. To amplify the tuna even more, cilantro was sprinkled on top. A dinner highlight is braised lamb osso bucco, which was tender and easy to cut ($12). With porcini cherry demi, roasted root vegetables and gremolata, the dish was tender and juicy. The lamb’s powerful flavor was addictive. With the osso bucco were grits cooked to the perfect degree. Charred broccoli steaks ($8) were reminiscent of summer barbecues. It had a smoky taste, but it wasn’t overpowering. A culinary veteran of more than 16 years, Singh was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and has garnered experience and recognition from a slew of notable establishments across the country including the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, the La Quinta Hotel & Spa in Southern California and The Westin Chicago River North. His talents brought him to Arizona where he enhanced his skills at some of the Valley’s most well-respected restaurants including Kai at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, the state’s only five-star restaurant from Forbes and FiveDiamond restaurant from AAA. Most recently, he served as the executive chef at The Camby, Autograph Collection where he was part of the opening team and oversaw all food and beverage operations for the hotel’s four dining outlets. As for Blue Hound Kitchen, Singh says it may seem high end, but he considers it “approachable.”

“It’s an environment that isn’t stuffy, but casual. I want them to be with their families and be comfortable with one another,” Singh says. “I want them to come to this restaurant and not be scared. I want people to know that it’s very approachable and a place you can sit

down and enjoy a conversation.”

Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails CityScape, 2 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.258.0231,

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CALENDAR Samantha Fuoco >> The Entertainer!

The Art of Wine

APRIL 7 Sample wine and delectable nibbles and participate in a silent auction with the ARTabilityAZ Group this April at the Civitan Foundation in Phoenix. The silent auction will feature gift certificates for an array of dining, theater, museums and hand-crafted art items. Civitan Foundation, 12635 N. 42nd Street, Phoenix, 520.631.6253,, 2 to 4 p.m., $45 in advance, $50 at the door.

Yoga + Beer in the District

APRIL 10 AND APRIL 24 Grab your mat and experience yoga with a twist! Experienced yoga instructors lead the onehour classes, during which beer will be served. Can’t get much more relaxed than that. Barnes and Noble Courtyard, Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.513.7586, shopdesertridge. com, 10 to 11 a.m., free.

beer options, there will be food, live music and entertainment. A portion of the proceeds to benefit The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 N. Sunset Boulevard, Glendale, 623.385.7502, arizonacraftbeerfestival. com, 5 to 9 p.m., $10-$50.

VegOut! Vegan Beer and Food Festival

Hop and Hops Easter Event

APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14 Vegan beer? It is possible! The second annual VegOut! Scottsdale Vegan Beer and Food Festival advocates and celebrates a vegan lifestyle. VegOut! features vegan foods, drinks, live entertainment, educational speakers, chef demonstrations, vendors and fitness classes over two days. Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, vegoutevents. com, times vary, $10-$40.

APRIL 20 Hop over to Goodyear Ballpark for this family-friendly event that blends traditional and nontraditional Easter festivities. Visit the Easter Bunny and the egg-dying station, dive into the egg pit, get temporary tattoos and grab candy. Relax and watch the fun happening with a beer at the “Hops Garden.” Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear, 623.882.3120, goodyearbp. com, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Free.

Cocktails Under the Cosmos

Bags & Brews Cornhole Tournament

APRIL 16 Celebrate everything celestial with an astrology twist at the cocktail reception on Camelback Overlook rooftop deck. An Ariesthemed signature cocktail will be served. Guests can also explore the galaxy through a telescope with an expert astronomer. Tickets include appetizers with two cocktails, glasses of wine or beer. Mountain Shadows, 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, 855.485.1417, mountainshadows. com, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., $45.

APRIL 26 Grab a brew and play cornhole for a good cause at the Bags & Brews Cornhole Tournament supported by Corporate Interior Systems. All proceeds will go to A New Leaf Charity. Cash prizes and food trucks are part of the fun. Los Olivos Park, 2802 E. Devonshire Avenue, Phoenix, 602.304.0100, eventbrite. com, noon to 5 p.m., $25.

Barks & Brews

APRIL 13 Adopt, don’t shop, while drinking brews at Barks & Brews in Anthem. Spend the afternoon looking for a new best friend, drinking in the craft beer garden, and watching live entertainment. Outlets at Anthem, 4250 W. Anthem Way, Phoenix, 623.465.9500, outletsanthem. com, 2 to 6 p.m., free.


Arizona Sangria Craft Beer Food Truck Festival Arizona Craft Beer Festival

APRIL 20 True Arizona beer lovers will come together to sample the best local craft brews – from Flagstaff to Tucson – encompassing over 25-plus breweries. Along with

APRIL 27 While the weather is still cool, visit the fifth annual Sangria Festival and drink cocktails, sangrias, craft beers, margaritas and mojitos. Grab food truck snacks to go along with the drinks. Dance to live music and other forms of entertainment. Riverview Park, 2100

W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 480.644.7529, arizonasangriafestival. com, 4 to 7 p.m., $40.

Arizona Craft, Spirits and Cocktail Festival

APRIL 27 Sip, mix and mingle the way through the Arizona Craft, Spirits & Cocktail Festival. Taste premium spirits like whiskey, gin, vodka, rum and carefully crafted cocktails. General admission tickets include seven drink tickets, access to seminars, music and games. Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2727, eventbrite. com, 3 to 9 p.m., $26.

Nirvana Food & Wine Festival: Rosé Parté APRIL 27 Hosted by Wrigley Mansion’s Chef Christopher Gross and owner Jamie Hormel, the event welcomes special guests The Bella Twins of E! Network’s “Total Bellas” and the inspiration behind Belle Radici wines; and The Potash Twins: Ezra and Adeev Potash of Bravo TV’s “Beats + Bites.” Guests will enjoy rosé paired with dishes from Gross and chefs Robert Irvine and Lindsay Autry, cocktails from mixologist Libby Lingua, and music by DJ Miss Mix. Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 602.955.4079,, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $150 plus tax.

Spring Sippers



Patio season is perfect for highly drinkable wines Alison Bailin Batz >> The Entertainer!


here’s no better time than patio season to enjoy these lighter-bodied, highly drinkable wines than now.

2018 EPOCH ROSÉ Epoch Estate Wines (Paso Robles) Take time to smell (and taste) the rosé this spring! Taking inspiration from the rosés of southern France, Epoch’s pink has us all obsessed and the 2018 delivers on all levels. From pink grapefruit, ripe lime, honeysuckle blossom, pink rose, rhubarb, crushed gravel and guava, there is so much going on in this delicately hued rosé that there are no limits to where and how to enjoy it. Just get it while it lasts. 2018 BALLETTO VINEYARDS PINOT GRIS Balletto Vineyards (Santa Rosa) This distinctive wine opens with stone fruit and citrus but quickly morphs into something more savory, serious and delicious. The mouthfeel is a contrast of zingy lime against a surprisingly rich, velvety viscosity. Subtle tannins and minerality add texture and extend the wine for an incredible and lengthy finish, in terms of texture and flavor. ballettovineyards. com SMOKE TREE ROSÉ Smoke Tree (Sonoma) Fresh and vibrant, Smoke Tree Rosé offers aromas of rose petals,

grapefruit and nectarine. The palate continues with flavors of strawberry, passion fruit and lemon woven together with elegant acidity. The finish is crisp and refreshing.

2017 CHARDONNAY Carlson Creek Vineyard (Willcox) Carlson Creek Vineyard’s 2017 Chardonnay has hints of citrus, Willcoxgrown apples and melon on the nose. The palate reveals a bit of nuttiness under baked pear and a lovely supple quality from sur lie aging. Whole cluster pressed, aged in stainless steel and neutral French barrels for 10 months on the lees with full malolactic fermentation. PINE RIDGE CHENIN BLANC + VIOGNIER 2017 Pine Ridge (Clarksburg) With notes of honey and stone fruit on the nose followed by bright acidity on the palate, CB+V is the perfect accompaniment to spicy, savory Asian cuisine. Pine Ridge is the first to marry these varietals 20 years ago to create this distinctive blend as part of an experimental bottling, which ultimately has become one the most popular wines. 2018 SODA ROCK SAUVIGNON BLANC Soda Rock Winery (Alexander Valley) A zesty lemon-lime essence fills the nose, while traces of dried herbs add a savory dimension to the aroma. The silken entry reveals mouthwatering flavors of pomelo, lemon, passionfruit and kiwi. A round texture beautifully balances the refreshing acidity. 2018 SAUVIGNON BLANC Taft Street Winery (Russian River Valley) This Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc is refreshingly crisp, the bouquet perfumed with hints of green apple and white peach. A fine mineral edge frames citrus flavors of key lime and grapefruit, while lively acidity provides a polished, lingering finish. 2018 FRIENDS.WHITE Pedroncelli (Geyserville)

Literally named because it is wine to be shared with friends, this boasts the enticing combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. As a result, it is aromatic, floral and even a little fruity.

GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 Paul Mathew Vineyards (Russian River Valley) Expect lots of floral notes in the nice, followed by spice, lychees, ginger and a hint of fresh thyme. Upon tasting, enjoy hints of passion fruit, lychee and grapefruit dominate this classic style Gewurztraminer.

ARMIDA 2018 SAUVIGNON BLANC Armida Winery (Russian River Valley) Peaches, pear, guava and jasmine aromas explode from the glass. The wine begins on the palate like taking a fresh bite out of a crisp pear. Sweet apricot and green apples dance along the tongue. The limey, textured finish is refreshing with just a hint of toasted cashew. 2018 ESTATE ROSE OF PINOT NOIR Rodney Strong Vineyards (Healdsburg) This vibrant rosé of Pinot Noir has aromas and flavors of strawberry, melon and tropical fruits. Brilliant and bright with fresh acidity, notes of citrus and a clean finish. 2015 DRY CREEK VALLEY CINSAUT Frick Winery (Dry Creek Valley) This single vineyard, small batch wine is big berried, soft and delicious. It explodes with aromas of red fruit and full, round flavors of cherry, strawberry jam and raspberry. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM



BEER DIRECTORY Where to find the best beer bars in town

Craft 64

6922 E. Main St, Scottsdale Craft 64 is proud to offer 36 local Arizona beers on tap in the heart of Scottsdale. Arizona beers only!

Mellow Mushroom Pizza

2490 W. Happy Valley Road, 5350 E. High Street

• 740 S. Mill Avenue Incredible Pizza and amazing beer make Mellow the place to go for a craft beer experience.

Papago Brewing Company

7107 E. McDowell Rd, Scottsdale The granddaddy of Arizona beer bars, there is something for every beer lover at Papago.

Boulders on Broadway

530 W. Broadway Road, Tempe Boulders has the appeal of a neighborhood bar with a beer list that’ll make your eyes pop.

Hungry Monk

1760 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler Whether you want great wings or great beer, Hungry Monk’s selection is tough to beat.

Harvey American Public House

and bustle of the city.

1524 E. Williamsfield Road, Gilbert First class food and first class beer, all set away from the hustle

Goldwater Brewing Co.

3608 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale This new brewery is already making waves with their desert-inspired brews – and names. Check out their Scotch’Dale Scottish style ale.

Spokes on Southern

1470 E. Southern Ave., Tempe A comfortable bike-themed grill with 24 draft handles and food made from scratch.


Culinary Dropout

5640 N. Seventh Street 7135 E. Camelback Road Located at The Yard, Culinary Dropout has everything you look for in a great restaurant experience, especially great beer.

Scottsdale Beer Company

8608 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale Quality craft beer made right here in Scottsdale. Happy hour is 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, with $1 off all Scottsdale Beer Company beers, well drinks, wines by the glass, and all small bites and starters!

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

4420 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale Dierks Bentley has been known to kick back with a craft beer or two, and so can you at his digs.

Freezer’s Ice House

83 E. Broadway Road, Tempe (At the corner of Mill & Broadway) Freezer’s Ice House is the Valley’s premiere Billiard Sports Bar establishment with 24 icy cold beers on draught. Come see us! Happy hour is 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. ASU students (with Student ID) play pool free from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Specials throughout the week include $2 Tuesdays, ASU Night Thursdays, UFC Fight Night Saturdays and Pool Pass Sundays.

The Casual Pint Central Phoenix

4626 N. 16th Street, Unit 102, Phoenix The Casual Pint Central Phoenix is a fun spot with an upscale yet casual atmosphere. Our expert “beer-tenders” can serve up craft beer by the pint from our tap wall, by the can or by the bottle to enjoy in our store.

Copper Blues/ Stand Up Live

50 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix Have a beer and a meal at Copper Blues before the standup show. You won’t even worry if it’s sold out.

Brat Haus

3622 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale The name says it all – brats, pretzels, Belgian fries and plenty of craft “bier” to make everyone happy.

Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers

4222 N. Scottsdale Road • 20831 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Do we need to say more? The name spells out everything you need to know.

Philly’s Sports Grill

1826 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale 1402 S. Priest Drive, Tempe

4855 E. Warner Road, Phoenix Over 20 beers on draft, 15 craft beers on tap plus more selection in cans/bottles. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. daily, and reverse happy hour is 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (excludes UFC, Boxing and ASU events).

Flanny’s Bar and Grill

1805 E. Elliot Road, Tempe Home of the Third Thursday Tap Takevoer. The rest of the month is pretty good, too.

Phoenix Public Market Café

14 E. Pierce Street, Phoenix The Phoenix Public Market Café is a casual urban hangout offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and great beer.

Main Ingredient Ale House

2337 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix A charming old home is the location for this Coronado neighborhood hangout spot.

Pig & Pickle

2922 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale A restaurant that focuses on balance and quality, Pig & Pickle doesn’t skimp when it comes to their craft beer selection, either.

House of Brews Sports Bar 825 S. Cooper Road, Gilbert Is it a sports bar or a craft beer bar? It’s both!

The PERCH Pub & Brewery

232 S. Wall Street, Chandler Located in historic Downtown Chandler, this brewery and pub not only has delicious craft brews, but is also home to a collection of beautiful, brightly colored rescue birds!

TapHouse Kitchen

Hilton Village, 6137 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 108, Scottsdale Taphouse kitchen has 20 handles of the most sought after craft beers, mostly local brew and 2 THK selection rotating handles that change with the season and taste of what we are craving at the time.

Ground Control

4860 N. Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park Fresh roasted coffee and an ever-changing selection of good beer, including a fantastic import selection, make this one of the top spots in the West Valley.

The Brass Tap

1033 N. Dobson Road, Suite 104, Mesa Over 60 Taps of great craft beers and over 300 total craft beers from around the globe available! Casually upscale atmosphere, open-air patio that is cigar-friendly, nice menu, daily specials and knowledgeable staff. What more could you ask for?

Uncle Bear’s Brewery

4921 E. Ray Road, Phoenix Stop by to enjoy some local craft beer including Uncle Bear’s and other guest taps as well as delicious bites and a great happy hour!





Alison Bailin Batz >> The Entertainer!

“NPX: A Neighborhood Joint is just that, the new neighborhood spot in North PhoeniX (get it?). The scratch kitchen features unique offerings like Asian nachos, wafflebattered chicken, and three types of tater tots (all homemade, of course) served up in a relaxing, family-friendly environment. Enjoy a tasty beer from the vast tap selection or a craft cocktail like our house barrel-aged Manhattan or Negroni, all included on a generous happy hour menu offered every day of the week. If you’re a sports fan, then you’re in luck with our enormous 195-inch TV. The kids can enjoy playing with the blocks and Wii

BREWERY: DESCHUTES BREWERY NAME: DESCHUTES FRESH SQUEEZED IPA STYLE: NORTHWEST IPA A juicy citrus and grapefruit flavor profile. As if fresh Citra and Mosaic hops were squeezed straight into the bottle. For sure, a winning spring and summer beer in the Valley.


in the Kidz Korner while mom and dad can kick back and enjoy a nice meal.” -Mike Siggins, owner of NPX

NPX: A Neighborhood Joint 4717 E. Bell Road, Phoenix, 602.788.7134,

PAIRING: THE NPX BURGER COST: $13 Deschutes Fresh Squeezed goes great with a burger! The citrusy IPA gets its unique flavor not from fruit directly like other citrus IPAs, but Citra and mosaic hops. A great beer like Fresh Squeezed deserves a great burger – the NPX Burger is a fresh ground beef patty topped with a slab of pastrami that is house cured for 14 days and cooked for 12 hours that just falls apart in your mouth. But we’re not done there, next is the Swiss cheese and bacon – then we finish it off with our tangy house made coleslaw. Order it with homemade bacon cheeseburger tater tots on the side to complete a perfect IPA/burger pair. If you’re not a burger fan, another classic pairing with Fresh Squeezed is NPX’s beer-battered fish and chips served with a zesty homemade tartar sauce, house-cut fries, and coleslaw.

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Bartenders who really know their beer Octavio Serrano >> The Entertainer!


lix Brewhouse has been expanding across the nation since 2011, bringing its brewhouse movie theater concept to seven locations, including Chandler. Growing right along with Flix is Marisa Bernal, Flix Chandler’s lead brewer who helps create its diverse beer menu. Bernal moved to Arizona from New Mexico to manage the brewing side of Flix, which showcases light and dark ales, along with creative tastes like the Umbra chocostout, a smooth brew made with an abundance of chocolate malt. For those who enjoy lighter tastes, the Luna Rosa is spiced with coriander and includes puree of blood oranges. Bernal is eager to learn about Arizona’s culture and the tastes resdients enjoy. With her background in wine making, she wants to eventually create the perfect recipe for beer.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN CRAFT BEER? I was in college and I was studying food science and technology. They allowed me to do an emphasis in fermentation science, so I did wine making. And from there, it turned into an internship in California in Epoch Estate Wines in Paso Robles. I was part of the winemaking team. I was a winemaker first and then I turned into a brewer. I decided it was time to find another avenue. There were a lot of upand-coming breweries in Albuquerque, so I figured why not take my love of beer and see if I can turn into a career. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES CRAFT BEER SPECIAL? The culture. I think every beer has its own personality and it really goes into the environment of who drinks it. We’re a family culture. We’re entertainment driven because of the movies, but we also tend to see families like to come. It’s a one-stop shot for dates, too. You come in and you have drinks, food and movies right here. TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE LOCAL REGIONAL BREWERIES DOING IT RIGHT - AND WHY YOU LOVE THEM? Everything must be so clean. Everyone and anyone who brews beer, whether it’s home brewing or in a professional ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

setting, knows how to keep the area 100-percent clean. The parts should be properly sanitized. I was just a Pedal Haus last night in Tempe and I love the beer there. It is always very clean and very crisp. I also like SanTan Brewing Company a lot. The people there are just amazing, and I can call them for anything.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEER CULTURE IN ARIZONA? I found it and everyone in it very welcoming. I, being a person who didn’t really know that much about brewing in general, was able to ask anyone. I could pick up the phone, call a brewer, introduce myself and ask them a question and they would answer it. As a community, we want to get better. We are only as good as the weakest brewery. So, if we can each raise each other up, then why not? My favorite thing is

getting to know the people. The palate in New Mexico is way different than the palate here. What people drink in New Mexico, they want those big hot heavy beers. Here, it’s a little less hoppy. It’s interesting to see those different dynamics.

TELL US ABOUT THE BEER PROGRAM AT FLIX? Every Flix Brewhouse location has its own brewery on site; we brew everything in house. It’s a two-man operation, myself and my assistant, and we run everything from the keg washing, to the tank cleaning, to the brewing, to the transferring. We are a seven-barrel system. I have my seven fermenters and I actually have transfer hoses that go across my entire lobby that go into my serving tank. It’s directly connected to the draft system, so I don’t have to deal with any kegs. It’s actually very fun, all of our beers come out with movies.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BEERS? We just put on a passion fruit Belgium blonde, it’s called Excelsior. We put it out for the Captain Marvel movie that just came out. Before that, I had a beer called Galaxy Raptor Cowboy IPA which was for “The Lego Movie 2.” We will also have Scarlet Wit, which is for “The Avengers.” It’s going to be a raspberry berry. We just put a seasonal called Crambola Ale. It is a cream ale and it tastes fantastic. I don’t really have a direct specialty. I like to keep all over the place. If you saw my entire calendar, you would see a lot of different styles.

Flix Brewhouse 1 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, 480.476.8080,



REWIND WITH REWINED Bar dabbles in old-fashioned games, cocktails and snack foods Heather Copfer >> The Entertainer!


hen Jordan Bartkowiak considered opening a bar, he knew he had to pay tribute

to the past. “We were always sharing the memories of going to Blockbuster or even your favorite snack foods as a kid, all the games you used to play with your family and we really wanted to capitalize on that,” he recalls about conversations he had with planners. The result is Rewined Beer and Wine Bar at 3308 N. 24th Street in Phoenix. Bartkowiak describes it as “’90s/’80s retro nostalgia with games.” Inside the colorful venue are hundreds of games: “Clue,” “Pictionary,” “Trouble,” among others. The bar top has pogs and cassette tapes. Multicolored lights hang from the ceiling. On the back wall, a yellow sign glows “Be kind. Rewined.” Co-owned by John Vo, Rewined opened October 19 -- a little earlier than the two expected. “We were planning on opening a week from then,” he says. “I just wanted to get everything perfect. But we had locals walk up to the door asking if we were open yet. I said, ‘You know what? Cash only we can be, yes.’” From that first day, Rewined was a success. Guests texted their friends and guests posted on social media. “I still get people in saying, ‘We saw your build-out and we found you on Facebook and we followed your story.’ They’re always excited when they come in and it’s really neat.” Rewined offers more than 25 wine selections with eight of those on tap. Cider and kombucha are available, too. Customers can choose from eight beers on tap and more than 70 canned and bottle beers. Ten percent of draft sells is donated to local organizations like Halo Animal Rescue and Spina Bifida Association of Arizona. “If you want to come learn something about wine or beer or just sit and have one without being bothered with infi nite knowledge, we’re an excellent choice,” Bartkowiak says. “It’s really just a warm, homey atmosphere.” Popcorn is on the house and snack foods like cheese puffs and peanut butter pretzels are available for purchase. Because the food menu is limited, visitors are encouraged to bring grub.

“People stop in and they’ll bring a pizza or something and they’ll eat it here and it’s totally fine with us,” Bartkowiak says. “We encourage it because we don’t have heavy food, just snack-type stuff.” The clientele is fairly diverse, according to Bartkowiak. “Black, white, purple with pink spots and old and young as well. We have a lot of educators in the area because there are a lot of schools around here. We get a lot of retirees and a lot of young homeowners as well.” There are no age restrictions at Rewined. Parents are welcome to bring their kids to relax and play a round or two of games like “Battleship” and “Uno.” Bartkowiak explains he and Vo were “huge gaming people” before this bar. “We had a running game night with a bunch of our friends that lasted over six years. There were children who were born, grew up and joined game night. It became that epic,” he says. “Sometimes game night would happen at the Grand Canyon, at a hotel, sometimes in different people’s living rooms. We really want to have a place where that’s sort of built into the fiber of it. Just a mess of games and fun and a little bit of nerdiness because I’m a hopeless nerd.”

SHOW US YOUR GAME FACE! Join us for our Daily Specials

MON ----------- Super Burger - $5.99, Turkey Burger - $5.99, Tenderloin - $5.99 TUES ---------- 10 oz Prime Rib, Baked Potato & Salad - $12.99 WED ----------- 30 Super Salads - $9.99, BBQ Ribs - Half Rack $11.99 THUR ---------- BBQ Ribs - Half Rack $10.75 w/Cole Slaw, Beans or Fries! FRI ------------- Shrimp Platter $10.99 SAT/SUN ----- Breakfast until 11am. Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar until 4pm.

Starting at 4pm: Jack Daniels Rib-Eye Steak, Salad, Baked Potato - $13.99



480-675-9724 7607 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale 85257

Rewined Beer and Wine Bar 3308 N. 24th Street, Phoenix, 602.429.9660,

(SE Corner of Miller & McDowell)


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CALENDAR Octavio Serrano >> The Entertainer!



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Chris Botti doesn’t care that he hasn’t had a No. 1 L. Kent Wolgamott >> The Entertainer!


hris Botti has a Grammy award and a stellar reputation as one of the finest jazz trumpeters. What he doesn’t have is something most jazz musicians lack these days. But, for 16 years, he hasn’t let that deficiency slow him down. “I’m a musician,” Botti says. “I don’t have a hit song. If you look at Chris Isaak, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, they have a hit song. Did K.D. Lang play ‘Constant Craving’? You can’t ask that about me. I have a hit band, a hit show. Over time, the exit poll for the show – I play 260 times a year – brings people in.” Botti’s Grammy is a Best Pop Instrumental Album award for 2013’s “Impressions.” But he’s really not a pop musician. “I’m a trumpet player first and a jazz musician second and I’m an entertainer. That’s my real problem with jazz. They think if you’re trying to be an entertainer, you’re diminishing the music. I’ve got a newsflash for them. Louis Armstrong, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie were all entertainers. Miles turning his back on the audience was his entertainment, a shrewd move.” Miles, of course, would be Miles Davis, the legendary jazz trumpeter who, decades ago, prompted the young Botti to decide to play music for a living. “He inspired me to be a professional musician,” Botti says. “My start came when I saw Doc Severinsen on TV. For pursuing the trumpet, I had Doc. That was when I was 9. When I was 12, I heard Miles and the whole thing just clicked. Doc was a great trumpet player, still is. But he was all flash. With Miles, that brooding beautiful sound is what got me.” Forty-three years after he heard “My

Funny Valentine,” Davis continues to play an important role in Botti’s music. “We play a couple songs from ‘Kind of Blue’ every night,” he says. “It’s very evident with the way I play, the horn muting that I’m very influenced by Miles.” Botti and his band play Davis music at every show, part of a wide-ranging, stylistically varied repertoire that knows almost no boundaries. “For anyone who hasn’t come to one of my shows, it’s hard to explain it,” Botti says. “If I’m going to see U2, they’re going to play their hits and there’s going to be a light show. You understand that. They don’t understand that with me. They’re coming to see a band with three singers, one of them’s an opera singer, one of them’s a jazz singer, one of them’s an R&B singer. It’s all over the place. “It’s the variety of music in the show that makes it so different. There isn’t anywhere else in the (world where) you Elusive continued on pg. 47


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GAMBLING ON RENOVATIONS Harrah’s Ak-Chin celebrates 25th anniversary with upgrades Alison Bailin Batz >> The Entertainer!


s part of its year-long 25th anniversary celebration, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino unveiled the results of a major, multiyear construction project that boasts upscale renovations touching the entire property. A new 12-story hotel tower adds 230 rooms. Besides the luxurious surroundings, the expanded gaming floor boasts live entertainment, slot machines, video poker, video Keno, statewide progressives, the World Series of Poker, live action poker and blackjack. “Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino also features the only bingo hall in the Caesars organization, continuing the proud heritage of William F. Harrah, who opened his first bingo hall in Reno in 1937,” says Robert Livingston, general manager and regional president of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. Always striving to go above and beyond guests’ expectations, the property also created an expanded ballroom and updated its resort-style hotel rooms that overlook a soon-to-be remodeled pool area featuring a swim-up bar. And then there is the spa.

THE SPA AT HARRAH’S AK-CHIN Featuring signature massage and facial

treatments and a full-service nail salon, the spa is a welcome addition to the casino’s guest experience. The spa features four treatment rooms including one couple’s suite. Additional features of this spa are the adjustable beds to ensure guest comfort and increased relaxation, complimentary LED light therapy in each treatment room, a dedicated esthetics room with back bar feature, and the signature Hungarian face massage that is featured in all of Eminence facials. In addition, guests may add a facial enhancement to any massage. The spa also boasts renowned skincare brand Eminence for facial and body experiences, and Farmhouse Fresh for other treatments.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD “We are also proud of how we dazzle when it comes to dining options throughout the property, with offerings that run the gamut,” Livingston says. According to Livingston, guests and players at Harrah’s Ak-Chin can now enjoy a variety of options, including its newest offerings Oak & Fork and Chop, Block & Brew, a recently enhanced buffet, and favorites Agave’s Restaurant, Copper Cactus Grill and Dunkin. THE BUFFET The renovated buffet features American, Asian and Mexican fare including hand-carved meats

accompanied by traditional sides, salads and soups. The dessert bar features favorites including gelato and minicheesecakes as well as new selections created by Chef Colin Ribble. The newly remodeled 7,607-squarefoot buffet features a new pizza and pasta station complete with Italian favorites like pizza/calzones; brick oven-baked pastas; made-to-order pasta station; and assorted breads and antipastos. The buffet’s cost, $21.99, includes nonalcoholic beverages including soft drinks, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost. The seafood buffet ($31.99) is available on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 4 p.m. as well as a champagne brunch ($21.99) on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

OAK & FORK Oak & Fork is already making waves on the national food scene. A wine bar with perfectly paired small plates, guests can choose glasses, bottles and even tastes of wines at the touch of a finger by using a custom iPad programmed with all of the amazing varietals’ tasting notes, origins and price points within. Even Wine Spectator Magazine took note, recently honoring Oak & Fork with an “Award of Excellence.”

CHOP, BLOCK & BREW Chop, Block & Brew features gourmet burgers and a wood-burning mesquite grill. The rustic and relaxed environment serves as a perfect venue to enjoy pureaged steaks, prime rib and seafood. In addition, the restaurant boasts a full bar including more than 30 draft and bottled craft beers, hand-crafted cocktails, premium whiskey and scotch. The 3,454-square-foot restaurant has seating for 159 guests and features Native American-inspired artwork and design elements that highlight the culture and traditions of the Ak-Chin Indian Community. “It was important to us as we developed this new restaurant that we incorporated the customs and traditions that are important to the Ak-Chin Indian Community,” Livingston says. “Working with the art and design committee that was appointed by Chairman Robert Miguel, the community’s history and culture is depicted in the architecture, artwork and colors throughout the restaurant.”

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino 15406 N. Maricopa Road, Maricopa, 480.802.5000, ENTERTAINERMAG.COM




Tyler Henry will share the lessons he’s learned from the departed Kristine Cannon >> The Entertainer!


yler Henry might be known as the “medium to the stars,” reading for countless celebrities, like Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian, Alan Thicke, LaToya Jackson and nearly 200 others, on his E! Network TV show “Hollywood Medium.” But now the clairvoyant medium will take his talents on the road for “Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Departed,” during which he’ll conduct live readings for the rest of us plebes. “With the live show, the goal of that really is just meant to do as many live readings as possible,” Henry says. “With the TV show coming out, there were a lot of questions about readings, how to actually receive a reading, so this was a great way to do that.” Henry received thousands of inquiries for private readings following the airing of Season 1: over 175,000 of them. “There was a huge demand,” he says. “It’s important to be able to be accessible, because not everybody can come to L.A. I want to come to them and be able to at least increase their odds of getting read.” The “Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Departed” tour started in March in California and will make its way to Talking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale on Friday, April 12. The tour has been so popular, several of the shows sold out – including the one in Scottsdale. “This is not just a 9-to-5 job; I am my job, if that makes sense – and it’s a cathartic thing to be a part of,” Henry says. Henry had a seemingly normal childhood in Hanford, California, just a little over 30 miles southeast of Fresno – that is, until one night when he was 10 years old. Henry awoke with the feeling his grandmother was about to pass on to the other side. And he was right; minutes after telling his mom about what he felt, they received the unfortunate phone call. Henry’s clairvoyant gift kicked in to overdrive.


He received messages from people he never knew nor met. And years later, in his early 20s, Henry became a global sensation, reading on the aforementioned hit TV show that premiered in 2016 and embarking on a nationwide tour. During “Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Departed,” Henry will take the stage to speak about his gift, how it affects his everyday life, conduct an audience Q&A and live readings. On average, he’ll read for seven to 15 people per night on the tour, and each reading lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. “Information comes through really strongly, so whether I’m standing in front of one person or standing in front of thousand people, there’s always something to pick up on,” Henry said. “So in cases like (a live audience reading), I have to be extra precise and specific about what’s coming through.” Henry’s process involves scribbling on a blank sheet of paper – a lot of scribbling. This helps him focus on what the message is to the recipient during a reading. “When I get into my process, like scribbling, I start getting into an intuitive mindset,” he says. One of the most common questions he gets from people is if the process is like the film “The Sixth Sense” – “and it’s really not,” he says with a laugh. “It’s really just a matter of interpreting subtle impressions and being able to really attribute thoughts to feelings and words to feelings,” Henry says. “I have to be able to take any stimulus, any changes that are going on in my mind and body and articulate it in a way that makes sense and should be validated.” Through years of reading for others and helping them gain some sense of closure, Henry has learned many life lessons along the way that he’s applied to his own life. “I’ve learned a lot from doing readings because it just kind of getting insight into what people who’ve passed away have valued in hindsight and their perspective, and so for me, it’s taught me a lot,” he says. He’ll share these lessons on the tour,


like the importance of communicating to our loved ones who are still alive. “Because of the amount of people who come to me with regrets and feeling of wishing they could have said certain things that didn’t get to get said, I’ve seen the importance of really communicating with them here in the now and for better or for worse, just making sure you’re on the same page with everybody,” he says. “I think just valuing them while they’re here.” Of all of the celebrities he’s read for, Henry says he was equally as surprised – and star struck – when Sofia Vergara and Rebel Wilson opened the door to greet him at their respective homes. “I was totally shocked and just kind of overwhelmed and had to work through it,” he says with a laugh. “Rebel Wilson is a comedian who I look up to in a lot of ways just for her being herself unapologetically, yet she is just an inspiration in some ways to me,” Henry continues. “So, to be able to actually have her open the door and have to sit down and do a reading, it was really surreal.” And as for the skeptics out there, he gets it. He’s even curious about how it works himself. “I think that it’s important to be skeptical,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of clients who were, whether they were religiously skeptical or scientifically skeptical of it, coming on the show with an open mind and being willing to see what the evidence shows and the experience.” During season four, which premiered

in February, Henry agreed to a brain scan during a reading, conducted by celebrity doctor, Dr. Drew Pinsky. “I allowed them to hook me up to their feedback machine and monitor the results of the reading,” he says. “That willingness to go under testing is, on some level, a testament to my credibility. So, I just want to continue doing that and just showing that I’m curious, myself, about how this works – but I also don’t claim to understand it. I don’t think anybody really can.” What Henry hopes is the biggest takeaway from his live shows is for the audience to honor their passed loved ones’ legacy through their actions. “I really hope that people are able to take away just the importance of knowing that our loved ones really never leave us,” he says. “With grief, it’s very easy to sit down and feel like we want to die ourselves, and that’s a counterproductive take to take.” “I think that our loved ones encourage us to honor them through our actions and go on those vacations that we always wanted to go on with them and take those trips and really live their memory. And that’s a very important thing.”

Tyler Henry’s “Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Departed” Talking Stick Resort and Casino, 9800 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480.850.7777, tylerhenryhollywoodmedium. com, Friday, April 12, sold out

Elusive continued from pg. 44

can see that I’m curator of a Rubik’s cube of an all-star band. That’s been my mantra for 15, oops, 16 years.” Prior to leading his band, Botti played with music legends, starting with Frank Sinatra when he was still a student at Indiana University. He spent a decade touring and recording with Paul Simon and, during that period, also performed with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin and, in 1999, toured with Sting. “Being around Paul Simon, Sting and Joni Mitchell, I learned a lot about being a band leader,” Botti says. “My first gig was with Sinatra. He wasn’t just a singer, he was an entertainer and a band leader. He was like (comedian Don) Rickles, except he sang. He would talk to an audience, not at them. That’s something I learned early, how to interact with an audience.” Botti acknowledges he’s never going to have a huge hit – in part because he’s an instrumentalist who isn’t likely to get the radio airplay and playlisting that creates hits in 2019. But it’s also because, in his words, the “Record business fell off a cliff.” That was borne out by the Billboard magazine album chart the week we spoke. That chart, released January 14, had rapper Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s “Hoodie SZN” at No. 1. Streamed 83 million times online, the album sold exactly zero physical copies (CDs, vinyl albums) and had only 823 paid downloads. That, to the say the least, is a disincentive for artists like Botti to make records. “Why? I really don’t know why you would do it,” says Botti, who might just


make an album this year anyway. “We did a live DVD last year that’s out there. We play a show and people put it on Twitter, they put it on YouTube, that’s the record of it. I suppose I’ll make a record this year. But I don’t know. I’m better at my craft. I’m a better trumpet player than I was nine years ago, five years ago. But I’m a touring act.” And tour he does – and has. He’s playing about 250 shows a year now. “We’ve done more than that,” he says. “We were gone 300 days a year when we were a cheaper act. We would go anywhere. We had situations where we’d fly to Seoul, Korea, do a one-nighter, then the next day was Jacksonville, Florida.” That tour, which seems as never ending as Bob Dylan’s is where Botti says he’ll use all his skills as a musician and entertainer to create a special evening. “I go see a lot of shows and support a lot of musicians,” Botti says. “It’s just hilarious. They don’t care at all. You’ll see them come out and the first thing they say is ‘on the piano, blah, blah, blah,’ ‘on the drums, blah, blah, blah,’ ‘on the trumpet, blah, blah, blah.’ Then they play the music. How do you know anything about those people and the music? If you thread things out and talk about people individually, it makes it more special and it brings people into the show.”

Chris Botti Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road, Sahuarita,, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, $35-$45.




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CALENDAR Eric Newman >> The Entertainer!

Cardinals Caravan in Prescott APRIL 3 The Arizona Cardinals, who hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, will visit Prescott for a meet and greet with fans. Among those joining the caravan are the team’s cheerleaders and mascot Big Red. Safeway, 1044 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, 928.445.4550,, 4 p.m., free.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Boston Red Sox

APRIL 5 The Diamondbacks host Boston in the first home game of the 2019 MLB regular season, with a newly revamped roster. The team will host a pregame fiesta, and the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive an opening day schedule magnet. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.514.8400,, 4:10 p.m., tickets start at $39.

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

APRIL 5 The Suns host New Orleans in the final home game of the 2018-19 regular season. Watch as Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton

possibly matches up with Pelican star Anthony Davis in a tight game. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2000, tickets, 7 p.m., tickets start at $10.

Arizona Rattlers vs. San Diego Strike Force

APRIL 6 Arizona hosts San Diego for its only home game in April, before taking on a three-game road trip en route to another hopeful playoff season. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.514.8383,, 5 p.m., tickets start at $10.

game, and the week nine matchup could have playoff implications in the AAF’s inaugural season. Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe, 480.865.2333,, 5 p.m., tickets start at $19.

FC Tucson vs. Toronto FC II

Arizona Coyotes vs. Winnipeg Jets

APRIL 6 The Coyotes finish the 2018-19 NHL season against the Winnipeg Jets. Celebrate a successful campaign with the team as Arizona honors its guests with Fan Appreciation Night. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800,, 7 p.m., tickets start at $37.

Arizona Hotshots vs. Birmingham Iron

APRIL 7 The Hotshots face Birmingham in their final regular season home

APRIL 13 FC Tucson kicks off the season with a home game against Toronto FC II during its first year as part of the USL League One. Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way, Tucson, 520.600.3095,, 7:30 p.m., ticket prices vary.

square off for IFL dominance in in the Grand Canyon State. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Avenue, 573.3000,, 3 p.m., tickets start at $17.

Phoenix Rising FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2

APRIL 20 The Rising hosts Seattle in an area rivalry. Both teams are looking to make the playoffs and strengthen their seeds. Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, 751 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe, 623.594.9606,, 7:30 p.m., tickets start at $20.

AIA Tennis Team Championship

Tucson Sugar Skulls vs. Arizona Rattlers

APRIL 14 The Tucson Sugar Skulls continue their inaugural season of the Indoor Football League by taking on Arizona. The two

APRIL 27 See Arizona’s best high school tennis players at Paseo Racquet Center, as the doubles and singles quarterfinals and semifinals will be played this day for boys and girls. The final round is April 29 at a site to be determined. Paseo Racquet Center, 6268 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale, 623.979.1234,, 1 p.m., adult tickets are $10.



FOX Sports covers all the bases of America’s pastime Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


he crack of the bat. Whether it’s in a Major League ballpark or a city diamond with Little Leaguers, that’s the sound

of spring. FOX Sports Arizona and the D-backs are celebrating sluggers of all sorts with “Baseball Day Arizona” on Saturday, April 13. The day will include 24 hours of baseball and softball programming on FOX Sports Arizona, highlighted by three live game broadcasts featuring Arizona teams, including high school baseball, college softball and Major League Baseball. “Baseball’s been such a big part of Arizona—in every corner of Arizona,” says FOX Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh. He cites college ball, junior college, Cactus League, Minor League and the Arizona Fall League and, of course, the D-backs. “‘Baseball Day Arizona’ is a celebration of all we’ve discovered along the way,” says Walsh, who’s worked University of Arizona, Tucson Toros, Phoenix Firebirds and D-backs games. “I think it’s the perfect touch for what we’re able to do—show games and tell the stories around them. “We have a softball game in the middle of it. That’s a huge part of the story in this state. I’m sitting here in Florida on a Coyotes day off. There’s Spring Training all around me. Everybody thinks this is the bastion of Spring Training, but Arizona’s got a say, too.” Walsh’s colleague, Jody Jackson, calls “Baseball Day Arizona” an appropriate tribute to the state. “There’s so much baseball and

softball being played in Arizona,” she says. “From tee-ball to professional, we just want to celebrate all of it.” Jackson is affected by baseball daily, thanks to her 12-year-old son Connor (football and baseball) and 11-yeardaughter Caitlyn (volleyball and softball). “It’s not just the sport, but it’s life and parenting and dealing with athletes as youngsters,” she says. “Seeing my husband coach them is a really cool experience. “My son participated in Little League All-Stars at 10, 11 and 12. I found it’s truly a community. You see the same people. You see little brothers and sisters pulling wagons with snacks. I’ve always loved sports. It’s about sharing experiences with people. I’ve made lifelong friends.” Jackson has a war chest filled with baseball memories. Sticking out in her mind is the D-backs’ last Wild Card Game when Archie Bradley hit a triple. “That whole game was unbelievable,” she says. “We had a four-hour pregame show. ‘Baseball Day’ is the only thing that’s longer. I remember the crowd being so crazed. It was so great. “You play so many baseball games just to get to that point. The game was better than I ever expected it to be. They play 162 games. It is a very mentally draining sport. I don’t know if people at home see it that way. That’s part of why I love covering baseball. It’s something different every day and it brings people to the TV every night.” Cy Young-winning pitcher/FOX Arizona post-game analyst Brandon Webb says “Baseball Day Arizona” will equally draw fans to the tube. “What’s cool about it is they’re incorporating women’s softball, a high school game at Chase Field and it ends with a bigleague game, the D-backs and the Padres,”

he says. “It’s cool to be able to get all the different levels and genders involved in it.” The special makes sense. After all, Webb says, baseball drives Arizona. “So many people come in to watch their favorite teams during Spring Training,” Webb says. “We have a baseball mecca. A lot of great athletes have come out of Arizona because we can play here year-round. There’s NCAA, junior college, high school, Fall League. There’s a lot of baseball and big baseball fans here. This is going to go over well.”

Here’s the lineup

Twenty-four hours of “Baseball Day Arizona” begins at midnight Saturday, April 13: Midnight: Rockies at D-backs from April 1, 1998 (first D-backs regular season telecast on FOX Sports Arizona) 3 a.m. Padres at D-backs (replay of previous night’s game) 6 a.m. Diamondbacks Live Postgame (re-air) 6:30 a.m. Braves at D-backs from April 26, 2001 (Luis Gonzalez 13th homer in April – then MLB record) 9:30 a.m. “Baseball Day Arizona” pregame 10 a.m. “Baseball Day Arizona: Corona del Sol vs. Desert Vista” 12:30 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Live” 1 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona: Arizona vs. Grand Canyon” softball 3 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Live” 4:30 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Pregame” 5 p.m. Padres at D-backs 8 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Postgame” 8:30 p.m. “Baseball Day Arizona Recap” 9:30 p.m. “Diamondbacks Live Postgame” 10 p.m. Padres at D-backs (replay)






CALENDAR Samantha Fuoco >> The Entertainer!

Storytime for Tots

APRIL 3 AND APRIL 17 Children ages 3 to 5 can enjoy storytime in the birthday room at Butterfly Wonderland, as the staff reads educational stories and leads the kids in crafts featuring butterflies and caterpillars. Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, 480.800.3000,, 10 to 11 a.m., $23.95, event free with admission.

Friendly Pines Camp Information Night

APRIL 4 AND APRIL 22 Parents who are interested in sending their children to Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott may attend an information night at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort and DreamTeam Academy. Door prizes, giveaways and refreshments will be available. Fairmount Scottsdale Princess Resort’s Arabian Room, 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, 928.445.2128,, 7 p.m. April 4, free; DreamTeam Academy, 15955 N. Dial Boulevard, Suite 3, Scottsdale, 928.445.2128, friendlypines. com, 7 p.m. April 22, free.

“Bibbity Bobbity Baaaam”

APRIL 5 TO APRIL 7 Written by Charlotte Nixon, the story chronicles the life and times of Petal, before she became the infamous Fairy Godmother. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, various times, $15.

Reading Fur Fun

APRIL 6 Are your animal-loving kiddos not old enough to volunteer? Reading Fur Fun is a special reading program that gives kids the opportunity to hang out with the dogs at the

shelter while improving their reading skills. Kids ages 8 to 11 can sign up to read to the dogs. Arizona Humane Society, Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion, 1521 W. Dobbins Road, Phoenix, 602.997.7585,, 8 to 11 a.m., $10.

Arizona Family Campout

APRIL 6 TO APRIL 7 Arizona Family Campout Programs are designed for families who have little or no experience camping. Learn how to set up a tent and to cook outside, plus try fun camping activities. Patagonia Lake State Park, 400 Patagonia Lake Road, Patagonia, 520.287.6965,, $90 for a family of up to four.


APRIL 6 Avondale hosts this free family event that focuses on literacy, education, healthy lifestyles and water safety for ages 5 and younger. Shuttle rides are available to and from the park from Lattie Coor, Littleton and Michael Anderson elementary schools. Children of any age can appreciate interactive activities and entertainment throughout the day. Friendship Park, 12325 W. McDowell Road, Avondale, 623.333.1000, avondalekidsfest. com, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., free.

Maricopa County Fair

APRIL 10 TO APRIL 14 The Maricopa County Fair returns with more than 35 rides, and food courtesy of Steve’s Flaming Hot Turkey Legs, Deep Fried Coffee, the Mac Doggie Dog and others. A shopaholic? The shopping pavilion will have more than 60 vendors inside and 25 outside. Animals like sheep, goats and cows will be aplenty. AZ Exposition & State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 602.252.0717,, 10

a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, $10.

Sandfest 2019

APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14 Go pound sand in an unlikely place: Downtown Phoenix’s Children’s Museum of Phoenix, where Sandfest will feature food trucks, music, interactive games, sand-sculpting competition and more. The “Sand Guys” from Travel Channel’s “Sand Masters” will create a one-of-akind signature sand sculpture. After playing in the sand, go inside the museum and hang out. Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix, 602.253.0501, childrenmuseumofphoenix. org, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $11.95.

Celebrate Mesa

APRIL 13 Celebrate Mesa is a free family event that brings the community together to enjoy games, carnival rides and entertainment. Experiences include the AZ Raptor Experience at 10:30 a.m.; live music from the Freddie Duran Plan at 11:30 a.m.; Living Green Village; toddler area; petting zoo; bounce houses; and kids’ games. Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main Street, Mesa, celebratemesa. com, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free.

Toddler Test Kitchen

APRIL 13 Help children learn an essential life skill – cooking. This parentchild class, for kids ages 2 to 6, creates magic in the Toddler Test Kitchen. Each class features an age-appropriate, original recipe created by Baby Bloom Nutrition. Parents are required to take the class with their children. The Farm Kitchen, 6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602.276.6360, thefarmatsouthmountain. com, 10 to 11 a.m., $30.

Discount Tire Free Family Sunday

APRIL 14 Explore the Phoenix Art Museum and get a discounted price for the special-engagement exhibition “Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place.” Each Discount Tire Free Family Sunday features opportunities to learn about

and create art with local Valley artists like muralists and dancers. April’s theme is “Wild” – take part in associated activities like scavenger hunts, live performances and tours. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.457.5814, phxart. org, noon to 5 p.m., free.

“American Girl Live”

APRIL 16 TO APRIL 20 Experience American Girl in a new musical inspired by American Girl’s iconic characters and their stories. The American Girls will share their dreams in a journey across time. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500,, various times, $35-$55.

Festival of Tales

APRIL 27 Children can read their favorite books at Paradise Valley Community College’s ninth annual Festival of Tales. Bring books to life with the way of storytelling that involves reading, literacy and cultural activities. More than 5,000 free books will be handed to kids. Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602.787.6659,, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., free.

Día del Niño

APRIL 28 The Phoenix Zoo celebrates Hispanic Children’s Day with family-friendly entertainment and activities. Activities include DJs, crafts, prizes, carousel rides and lucha libres. Dance to mariachis and bust open piñatas with the kids. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, 602.286.3800, phoenixzoo. org, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $24.95.

“Schoolhouse Rock Live!”

APRIL 28 TO MAY 26 A pop culture phenomenon returns to the musical stage. Academic subjects will never seem boring again when presented through megahits like “Conjunction Junction,” “Just a Bill,” “Interplanet Janet” or “Three is a Magic Number.” Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.252.8497, childsplayaz. org, various times, $12-$30.





‘Worlds of Enchantment’ brings beloved characters to the ice Laura Latzko >> The Entertainer!


isney movies allow viewers to enter other worlds and get to know the characters. The “Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment” tour brings these stories before audiences, but in a different way. The ice skating tour will immerse audiences in “Cars,” “Toy Story 3,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen” during its visit to the Talking Stick Resort Arena from Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14. Meant for people of all ages, the show offers pieces of each story and popular songs from the films. The production spotlights beloved characters such as Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars,” Ariel and Flounder from “The Little Mermaid,” Buzz Lightyear and Woody from “Toy Story 3” and Olaf, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff from “Frozen.” Audience members are encouraged to sing and dance along as ice skaters perform to songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Let It Go.” In the show, the ensemble members play multiple characters and help to capture the mood in difference scenes. Light and sound

effects also aid in bringing the magic of each film to the ice. Ensemble member and Line Captain Chelsea Ridley says it is important for performers to be in sync, especially during big numbers. “I feel like it looks like a school of fish,” Ridley says. “Everyone is moving together and in sync. That’s something that we definitely work on week to week and is a skill that grows stronger as the tour goes.” Ridley, who loved “The Little Mermaid” growing up, says audience members often get excited when they can connect with their favorite characters. “It’s the stories that some of us grew up with, and then there are new stories that the younger ones know. So, everyone gets to have something that they love and can share together,” Ridley says. Each “Disney on Ice” show is slightly different in style and tone. Ridley made her debut as Princess Tiana in “Disney on Ice presents Dream Big.” Originally from Illinois, Ridley won silver and gold medals as a competitive skater. She started skating when she was 4 years old and was inspired at a young age by superstar French skater Surya Bonaly. When she started with “Disney

on Ice,” she found performance-level skating to be different than competitive skating because of the level of emotion needed. “We are athletes, and everything we are doing out there is very technical, and it takes a lot of strength and training,” Ridley says. “But you have to have that acting component because you have to bring everything to life. You are in this big arena. You have to learn how to make sure everyone can see what you are doing, telling that story with your body language as well as your face.” Ridley says although she always enjoyed competitive skating, performance-style skating has allowed her to expand on her abilities. “Yes, I do love the competition side, the strength in how you have to work super hard and train for that one moment,” Ridley says. “I also really love the artistry, being able to tell stories to your audience and being able to captivate your audience in that way.”

The dancers in the show come from different parts of the world and have varying backgrounds. Many of them have skated competitively. In the show, they use their training to make intricate jumps and turns look flawless. “A lot of the technical stuff I feel like people don’t notice so much because we do it with such ease, but what we’re doing out there is actually quite difficult,” Ridley says. Ridley says daily demands make performance skating different than competitive skating. “The thing that may be the most difficult is keeping the energy up,” Ridley says. “When you are on the performance side, you have to be on every night, multiple times a day. Because even though we’ve done the show tons of times, it’s the first time the audience is seeing that show. So, you have to be spot on every night. It makes it so much easier when you have an audience that is loving it, and they are just living in the moment with you.”

“Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment” Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 1.800.745.3000, disneyonice. com, various times Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14, tickets start at $20. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM



The community can showcase traditional and modern ventures this month Laura Latzko >> The Entertainer!


here are different ways to be part of a county fair, whether it is raising animals for auction, baking a pie, making a quilt, taking pictures on a cellphone or performing with a choir or dance group. At the Maricopa County Fair, community members have the chance to showcase more traditional and modern ventures. This year’s county fair will take place Wednesday, April 10, to Sunday, April 14. The fair offers entertainment like a livestock show and auction, motorsports, carnival rides and games, multiple entertainment stages, a petting zoo and agricultural exhibitions. Karen Searle, executive director of the Maricopa County Fair, says event staff shows attendees where food comes in an immersive way. The county fair dates back to the 1950s, when it served as a county fair and citrus festival. During the fair’s livestock show and auction, children ages 9 to 19 years old will show animals they have raised, such as pigs, sheep, pygmy and dairy goats, chickens, rabbits and dairy cattle. The livestock show is expected to have over 1,000 animals. Searle says raising animals teaches young people important lessons they can use throughout their lives. “When they are raising an animal that is going into the food chain, they learn responsibility,” Searle says. “They learn so much about business, and by that I mean the costs and expenses of raising an animal, how much the animals cost, how much time they have to put in. So, it’s not just responsibility for themselves, but it is responsibility for another living creature.” Some families have multiple children in the fair. Parents are often involved in raising the livestock and showing at different events. “Parents are driving them every weekend or transporting those animals. It is definitely a commitment by the family,” Searle says. Each year, a select number of children take part in the Beef Exhibitor Outreach Project, in which they raise market steer for the first time. They are mentored by youth and by adults. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

“They are taught proper ways to feed and proper ways to care for, groom, walk and show this 1,200-pound animal,” Searle says. The children receive funding toward the cost of the steer and feed, which they pay back after their animals are sold at auction. During the show, judges look at how well the children connect with and have raised their livestock and how well the animals fit market standards. In the AZ Ag and Ewe section, locals can learn more about Arizona’s agriculture. The Farm Tours offer opportunities to interact with baby animals and get up close with farm equipment. Community members participate in the fair in different ways. The county fair offers categories for traditional and modern hobbies, including the culinary arts, photography, horticulture, clothing design, quilting, cellphone photography and model building. “Whether it’s something that people do for a hobby because they love it or even professionally, we welcome it all,” Searle says. “The talent that is in our community is extremely impressive. That’s why I encourage everybody to participate.” On four stages, the fair will showcase local community acts such as dance troupes, bands, cloggers, belly dancers, a safety magic show, karate schools and choirs. Roaming performers such as a magician and balloon act will also entertain crowds. This year, the fair will have new traveling exotic bird and western medicine shows, as well as Wild West gambling games. The County Fair Stage offers a more immersive experience, where visitors can participate in old-fashioned activities such as hula hoop and bubble-gum blowing contests. Similar to previous years, the fair will offer monster trucks, freestyle motocross motorcycles and Demo Cross demolition figure 8/derby races throughout the weekend. On Saturday, utility task vehicles will take part in a special race. During the fair, attendees can try foods such as flaming hot turkey legs, pizza, fried Twinkies or Oreos, corndogs, cotton candy, fry bread or lemonade. There will be nostalgic and thrill rides, including a Ferris wheel and carousel, and

carnival games for different skill levels. The fair has special pricing for different groups throughout its five-day run. Seniors 55 and older and anyone in uniform will receive free entry on Wednesday. By bringing canned food goods to be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank, festival goers will receive $4 off admission on Thursday. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade get free admission and four free rides on Thursday when they read four books. They must complete a Read to Ride form to participate.

Maricopa County Fair, Arizona Exposition and State Fairgrounds 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix,, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, Thursday, April 11, and Sunday, April 14; and 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, $9 general admission, children under 8 free, parking is $10.













CALENDAR Connor Dziawura >> The Entertainer!

Classless Act

Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $10-$12

Arise Roots

Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Beach Viper

Rockbar Inc., 8 p.m., $8

Buddy Guy w/Jimmy Vaughan

Edge Happy Hour: Jessi Teich and Trio

Tempe Center for the Arts, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

Jeff Dayton: A Salute to Glen Campbell

Celebrity Theatre, 8 p.m., $40-$95

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $33.50-$48.50

Mary Fahl


Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $15-$20

Mike Sherm

Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $15-$50


Dance Gavin Dance

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $38.50-$43.50



The Pressroom, 7 p.m., $20

Joey Sellers Trio

The Rebel Lounge, 7 p.m., $10-$12

Crescent Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $15

Raven’s Friday Night Rendezvous w/Kenny Gee Project

Pokey LaFarge

Rebirth Brass Band

Club Red, 7 p.m., $15

Club Red, 6 p.m., $23-$25

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $17-$20

Citizen Cope

Marquee Theatre, 8:30 p.m., $31-$61

Dilly Dally

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $15-$20

Hollowpoint Vigils

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $5

Veil of Maya w/Intervals

The Van Buren, 6:30 p.m., $20-$22

APRIL 2 Bob Fahey

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10


Crescent Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $22.50-$25

Robyn Hitchcock

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $38.50-$43.50

Ruby Boots

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Shawn Johnson

Rockbar Inc., 8 p.m., $7-$10

Why Bonnie

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $8-$10

APRIL 3 Children of Bodom

Club Red, 6:45 p.m., $27.50-$33

The Van Buren, 6:30 p.m., $27.50-$30 The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $13-$15 The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $10-$25

Marcus Rezak’s Shred is Dread Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Plague Vendor

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $12

Sierra Hull

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $33.50-$43.50



The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10 Crescent Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $15


Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $15-$35

The Scorpion Decides The Nash, 7:30 p.m., free

Doug Preston and the Soul Searchers

The Rhythm Room, 7 p.m., $10

Graham Louis

The Rebel Lounge, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10


Gila River Arena, 7 p.m., $15.25-$70.25

Moonshine Bandits

Last Exit Live, 7 p.m., $15-$18

SFJazz Collective: Music of Miles Davis

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $43.50-$53.50

Taking Back Sunday w/Frank Iero

Marquee Theatre, 8 p.m., $35-$160

Ten Fe

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $33.50-$38.50

Red Not Chili Peppers Rockabilly Saturday Night! The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10

The Solomon Trio

The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $8-$25

Tony Jackson

Tempe Center for the Arts Theater, 7:30 p.m., $25-$35

Whitney Houston Tribute

Celebrity Theatre, 8 p.m., $25-$40

Terror Jr

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $17-$20

Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 8 p.m., $35-$45



Club Red, 8 p.m., $18-$75


Afton Showcase

The Rhythm Room, 6:30 p.m., $11-$14

Bear Ghost

Benny Golson


California Guitar Trio


Taking Back Sunday w/Frank Iero

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $22-$25

Marquee Theatre, 8 p.m., $35-$160

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra w/The Dip

Zakir Hussain: Masters of Percussion

Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $15-$18

Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $10-$12

The Van Buren, 7:15 p.m., $36

Max Frost

Crowning Thieves

Club Red, 6 p.m., $10-$13

The Nash, 3 p.m., $16-$65 Chandler Center for the Arts’ Bogle Theatre, 3 p.m., $36-$42

Camilo Septimo

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $20-$25

Kero Kero Bonito


Now incorporating a backing live band, Kero Kero Bonito’s evolution could be considered surprising, to say the least. Recently signed to Polyvinyl, the British trio has pulled back from the bright, colorful, J-pop-influenced stylings of past projects like “Intro Bonito” and “Bonito Generation” in favor of a noisier, almost garage rock flavor on last year’s “TOTEP” and “Time ‘n’ Place.” Though you won’t find vocalist Sarah Midori Perry rapping in Japanese or singing about turning pink from eating too much shrimp this time around, these new projects show the band – Perry, and producers/multi-instrumentalists Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled – moving forward. Before a slated appearance at Coachella in Indio, California, the trio and their additional live members will pass through Mesa for a show at The Nile.



The 1975


Join this beloved British pop-rock band as the group kicks off its tour behind its latest album, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” in Phoenix on Monday, April 15. The album became the group’s third No. 1 album in the United Kingdom. In the United States, “A Brief Inquiry” landed in the top five in Billboard’s top 200 on release date. In 2012, the band formed and later released its first EP, “Facedown,” which brought them to the first songs played on U.K. radio. The band gained momentum upon the release of “Chocolate” in 2013 and soon after, began touring extensively to build up awareness.

Cedric Gervais

Māyā Day and Nightclub, noon, $10

Lincoln Durham

The Rebel Lounge, 8:30 p.m., $12-$15

Better Oblivion Community Center


Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $15

Lucky Devils

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., sold out

Shoreline Mafia

Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $15-$25

Toubab Krewe

ASU Jazz Repertory Band

Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $14-$17

Tempe Center for the Arts, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $67-$103



Valley Bar, 8 p.m., sold out

David Lindley

Red Molly


Los Tigres del Norte

Mesa Amphitheatre, 6:30 p.m., $10-$125

Mickey Gilley w/Johnny Lee Orpheum Theatre – Phoenix, 5:30 p.m., $39-$75


Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $43.50-$48.50

Scarborough: A Simon and Garfunkel Tribute featuring Witherward

The Listening Room, 5 p.m., $20-$25

Sunday A’Faire w/Tessa Karrys, Nolan McKelvey and Muskellunge Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, noon to 4 p.m., free

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., free The Van Buren, 8 p.m., sold out

Edge Happy Hour: I Am Root

Jack and Jack

Ghost Cat Attack

The Rhythm Room, 7:30 p.m., $7

APRIL 16 The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $5-$10

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $33.50-$43.50

Marquee Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $26.50-$41.50

Harlem River Noise

Lorna Shore w/Enterprise Earth

Sofi Tukker

Kyle Cook (of Matchbox 20) w/Paul McDonald

Trace Bundy


Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $12-$17


Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $18-$20 The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $25-$30

The Rhythm Room, 4 p.m., $15-$20

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $35.50-$40.50

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $8-$10

XIXA w/Ojalá Systems

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $25-$28

Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12

This Wild Life



Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $17-$19

Dead Floyd

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10 Club Red, 6 p.m., $15-$17

The Messthetics

The Rebel Lounge, 8:30 p.m., $12-$15

Railroad Earth


Russell Schmidt Sextet

The Agony Scene w/Oh, Sleeper

The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $10-$25

Space Jesus

Pub Rock Live, 7 p.m., $13-$15

The Pressroom, 9 p.m., $30-$35

Iceage w/Shame

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10


John Vanderslice

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $32-$35

Dead Floyd


Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $13-$15


Chely Wright


Last Exit Live, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12

Good Boy Daisy

Jam Session: Mike Ozuna

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., free

Ben Rector

Last Exit Live, 8 p.m., $15-$25

The Anderson Brothers

Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25


Pub Rock Live, 7 p.m., $12-$15

The Gooch Palms

Club Red, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25

Quinn XCII

The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $8-$25

The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $10-$35 Club Red, 6 p.m., $23-$25 Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10 Comerica Theatre, 8 p.m., $25-$72.50


Marquee Theatre, 8 p.m., $23.50-$53.50

APRIL 10 Della Mae

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $28.50-$38.50

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band w/Beth Hart Band Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 7:30 p.m., $39.50-$69.50

Jake Miller

Māyā Day and Nightclub, noon, $10 Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $15-$55

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $15-$18

JP Harris

Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones

The Nash, 6 p.m., $5-$10, or free for instrumentalists and vocalists who sit in

Lewis Nash and Friends

John Kay of Steppenwolf

Metal Allegiance w/Superfix, Weapons of Anew

The Nash, 7:30 p.m., $10-$25

La Boeuf Brothers

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $48.50-$68.50


Marmalade Skies



Musical Box

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Club Red, 7 p.m., $20-$100

The Rhythm Room, 4 p.m., $15

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $33.50-$43.50

Celebrity Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $35-$65

Troubled Minds

The Rebel Lounge, 6:30 p.m., $5-$10

APRIL 13 Adrianna Marie and Her Groovecutters

The Rhythm Room, 9 p.m., $10-$12

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $25

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $20-$22

Sidhu Moosewala

The Pressroom, 8 p.m., $43.50-$110

Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 7:30 p.m., $42.50-$208

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal


The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $15-$18

APRIL 15 The 1975

Comerica Theatre, 7 p.m., sold out

Ages and Ages

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Ben Kweller

Valley Bar, 6:30 p.m., $17-$20



Marquee Theatre, 8 p.m., $35.50-$65

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $14-$16

DDAT: Jazz and Hip-Hop

Metal Church w/Doro

Mesa Arts Center’s Alliance Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., free

Dennis Lloyd

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $20-$60


The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $30-$35

Spyro Gyra

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $33.50-$48.50

Wayne the Train Hancock

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $20-$22


Club Red, 7 p.m., $16-$18

Club Red, 6 p.m., $27-$30

Pierce Pettis

The Listening Room, 7 p.m., $25-$30

Soul Power Band

The Rhythm Room, 9 p.m., $10

Strand of Oaks


The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $15-$20

Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $48.50-$63.50


Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $15-$18

5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

Ex Hex

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $16-$18


Club Red, 7 p.m., $23-$25

Epic Beard Men (Sage Francis and B. Dolan)

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $20-$24

Stanley Jordan w/Kevin Eubanks

Valley Bar, 7:30 p.m., $18


UFEST 2019 w/Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive


Musical Instrument Museum, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., $33.50-$43.50



Riverview Park, 2 p.m., $39-$175

Veronica Swift Quartet w/Benny Green


Tempe Center for the Arts Lakeside, 7:30 p.m., $40

After the Calm w/Interfate

We Three

Last Exit Live, 7 p.m., $20 Club Red, 6 p.m., $15-$17

Jake Hill and Josh A

Pub Rock Live, 7:30 p.m., $15-$18

King Dude

Club Red, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Amy Hānaiali’i

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $38.50-$48.50

Band Splash 2019 w/Sum 41, SWMRS, The Wrecks Big Surf, noon, $19-$125

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $25-$40

Party Nails

The Pressroom, 7:30 p.m., prices TBA



Days on the Green Music Festival 2019


I Prevail

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $13-$15

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $23.50-$28.50

Clarice and Sergio Assad

Edge Happy Hour: Flamenco Por La Vida w/Tertulia Flamenca


Jam Session: Adam Clark

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $38.50-$53.50

The Rebel Lounge, 7 p.m., $10-$12

Bhad Bhabie w/YBN Nahmir

Fear Farm, doors at noon, $44-$600

Tempe Center for the Arts, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

Kalmah w/Uada

Club Red, 5 p.m., $20-$25

The Miracles

Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $53.50-$73.50


Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $16-$18

The Plot in You

The Nile, 6 p.m., $18-$20

Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ Virginia G. Piper Theater, 5:30 p.m., $30-$160

Puddle of Mudd

Marquee Theatre, 5:15 p.m., $32-$62

Radiohead’s “The Bends” Tribute Show

Last Exit Live, 7:30 p.m., $12-$15

The Sugar Thieves

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10

Tokyo Jetz

Pub Rock Live, 8 p.m., $15-$18

Cory Branan w/Vandoliers Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Falling in Reverse

The Van Buren, 7 p.m., $27.50-$30

K Camp

Marquee Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $20-$40


Club Red, 7 p.m., $14-$16

Night Beats

Last Exit Live, 7:30 p.m., $15

Sonu Nigam w/Neha Kakkar Comerica Theatre, 5:30 p.m., $62.50-$503.50

APRIL 22 Chris Cohen

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $12-$14

Damian McGinty

The Listening Room, 8 p.m., $35-$100


Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $25-$28

Soccer Mommy

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $12-$14



Damian McGinty

Ben Vereen

Daryl Stuermer Duo

Musical Instrument Museum, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., $48.50-$78.50

Days on the Green Music Festival 2019

Fear Farm, doors at noon, $44-$600

Edge Happy Hour: Tatiana Crespo

Tempe Center for the Arts, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free ENTERTAINERMAG.COM

The Listening Room, 8 p.m., $35-$100 Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $33.50-$43.50


Marquee Theatre, 9 p.m., $22-$52

Los Straitjackets w/Red Elvises

The Rhythm Room, 7:30 p.m., $20-$24

Olivia O’Brien

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $15-$20

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $10-$12

Banana Gun

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $10

Blac Rabbit

Last Exit Live, 7 p.m., $12

Com Truise

Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $20-$22

Edge Happy Hour: Escargot Jazz Tempe Center for the Arts, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free

J.D. the Antichrist

Pub Rock Live, 7 p.m., $5-$10

Langston Hughe’s “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet

Earl Sweatshirt

Club Red, 7 p.m., $30-$35 The Van Buren, 7:30 p.m., $33-$36 The Nash, 6 p.m., $5-$10, or free for instrumentalists and vocalists who sit in


Club Red, 6 p.m., $20-$22

Run River North

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $12-$15

APRIL 29 The Mike Vax and Ron Romm Collaboration

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $35.50-$40.50


The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $18-$20


Musical Instrument Museum, 7:30 p.m., $33.50-$43.50


One Drop

Jon Anderson

Rockbar Inc., 8 p.m., $10-$15


Club Red, 8 p.m., $22-$25

Storm Large

Valley Bar, 8 p.m., $13-$65 The Van Buren, 7:30 p.m., $35-$125

Keiko Matsui

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $38.50-$53.50

Chandler Center for the Arts’ Bogle Theatre, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., $46-$56

La Dispute


Omar Apollo

The Rebel Lounge, 8 p.m., $13-$15

Whitey Morgan

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $25-$85

APRIL 27 Architects

The Van Buren, 8 p.m., $27-$30

Danielle Nicole

The Rhythm Room, 8 p.m., $12-$15

Django Festival All-Stars

Musical Instrument Museum, 7 p.m., $38.50-$48.50

Edge Happy Hour: Musa Mind Tempe Center for the Arts,

The Nile, 7 p.m., $22.50-$25 Crescent Ballroom, 8 p.m., $15-$18

Passion Pit

Marquee Theatre, 8 p.m., $35-$119

Valley of the Sun

Club Red, 7 p.m., $15-$17



EASY RIDERS Godsmack appreciates Arizona’s biker vibe Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


hannon Larkin loves Arizona and that says a lot for a drummer who tours the world with Godsmack. One thing sticks out: the motorcycle scene. “All my friends are bikers in Arizona,” Larkin says. “I have had a Harley for a long time. I love to ride my motorcycle, so yes, you could say I’m a biker.” Godsmack has played Sturgis and Laconia (New Hampshire), and now the band will headline Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld the beginning of April. “We’ve always had that kind of culture in our fanbase,” Larkin explains. “Sully (Erna, singer) and all four of us have bikes and ride them. We have for a while. “A couple times, we pulled our bikes on a trailer on tour. I’ve probably ridden my bike in 47 states because of the band. It has to be a good tour, and we have to be able to afford to pull the bikes. The bus drivers get paid extra to pull a trailer.


If we could, we’d take them every tour.” Godsmack is touring behind its seventh studio album, “When Legends Rise,” which was released in April 2018. It was fueled by the Top 5 rock song, “Bulletproof,” and the title track. “Under Your Scars” was a stretch for Godsmack, as it’s the first ballad the band has recorded. “‘Under Your Scars’ was different for us,” he says. “We didn’t want it to be cheesy and turn out like some soft rock ballad. There’s a fine line between a great ballad and a cheese rock ballad. That’s why we never had ballads before on the record. “We went through 20 different arrangements until everybody looked at each other and said, ‘We’re proud of this. This can represent the band.’ Every note, every cymbal placement was very important. The whole build at the end was something we spent a lot of time on to get it to elevate emotionally and to climax.”

Larkin says the response to “When Legends Rise” has been remarkable among fans. “We love the new record and the fans are appreciating it,” he says. “We might dig deep in Scottsdale and play a couple songs that aren’t the radio songs. “We always go through our whole catalog and pull out one old song people wouldn’t expect. For us, there are eight songs that we have to play that our fanbase expects. If we don’t play ‘Voodoo’ or ‘I Stand Alone,’ for example, they’re (mad) at us. It’s all about them.” The “required” setlist isn’t something that Larkin necessarily minds. “We’re entertainers,” he says. “We love to play—always have. We’ve spent 20 years as a band. We’re very proud of that. No matter what our record sales show, our live shows are consistent.” Godsmack will determine the third single by fan reaction at concerts. “We hope it’s the ballad,” Larkin admits. “We’re really trying to be different on this record because we’re more mature and older.

Arizona Bike Week Arizona Bike Week runs Wednesday, April 3, to Sunday, April ,7 at WestWorld, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. Times vary. • Tickets are $68 for a four-day pass, including all attractions, vendors, entertainment and concerts. • Daily passes are available as well. Tickets for Wednesday, April 3 (with a performance by Buckcherry), and Thursday, April 4 (George Thorogood and the Destroyers) are $31 each. Friday, April 5, sees 3 Doors Down and tickets for that day are $36; same with Saturday, April 6, and the Godsmack show. All concerts start at 9 p.m. For more information, visit We’re not angry young men full of piss and vinegar. “We’re settled into life and the universe. We tried to change the sound up a bit, and play stuff we feel comfortable with. We’re not trying to act like youngsters. It’s not like we’re old farts. We’re not trying to be something we’re not and be fake. We don’t hate the world. We’re in love with it right now. It’s about rebirth like the Phoenix rising.” Singer Erna was the last Godsmack musician to turn 50, so the band flew to Cabo to celebrate at Sammy Hagar’s club, Cabo Wabo Cantina. “He was cool enough to let us play during a birthday party for Sully,” Larkin says. “We just jammed, man, all night. Nuno Bettencourt—who’s a shredder guitar player—they played ‘Hot for Teacher’ and they killed it.”



Matchbox Twenty’s Kyle Cook finds peace with ‘Wolves’

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


yle Cook admits he sometimes has selfconfidence issues. The Matchbox Twenty guitarist took 43 years to release his debut solo album, “Wolves.” He was a bit fearful of releasing his own material, but this time, the circumstances were ripe. “Unfortunately, my relationship with my wife unraveled,” Cook says. “We’re divorced now, and all these songs started emerging. They were piling up. They had some personal meaning to them. After two decades, I finally put out a solo album.” “Wolves” explores heartbreak and healing, all to the tune of Cook’s signature guitar sound. His influences shine through—Queen (“Better This Way”) and the late Tom Petty (“Wishing Well”). “Wolves” allowed Cook to explore music and create songs that fit his voice. The title track is 2 minutes, while the closer, “Silver Lining (Opus),” meshes three songs and an additional chorus to clock in at 13 minutes. “The three songs are very personal. I’m a huge Beatles fan. I loved the back half of ‘Abbey Road,’” referring to the medley that closes the record. “In this singles-based era, people want to put playlists together and stream things. They’re not committed to this many minutes of music. Those songs are 15 minutes. The strings and the guitar parts connect via the keys and harmonic bits. That took me a while. I wanted to be ambitious toward the end of the album.” Music has always been an important part of Cook’s life. He grew up in the tiny Frankfort, Indiana, 50 minutes northwest of Indianapolis. Concerts and the radio shaped his future desires. His first instrument was violin, which he started in junior high. His choice quickly switched to guitar when he heard Slash’s licks on “Appetite for Destruction.” Through an ad in Guitar World magazine, Cook discovered the Atlanta Institute of Music. The school’s president, Nite Driscoll, took notice of Cook and referred him to producer Matt Serletic. From there, Matchbox Twenty was born. Matchbox Twenty’s debut, “Or Someone Like You,” has sold more than 12 million copies. Cook, who has also performed with John Waite and Mick Jagger, found his long-term marriage’s problems needed

to be written about. But “Wolves” isn’t a downer. “Never Goodbye” acknowledges his ex-wife. “Even though we’re not married any more and we will probably see each other very rarely, we have these two children who make us tied and bonded infinitely,” he says. “And therefore, we will never actually say goodbye to each other.” Cook will play cuts from Matchbox Twenty and “Wolves” when he performs an afternoon show at on Saturday, April 13, at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix. He’ll put his own spin on Matchbox Twenty songs, even though they’ll still have that Cook signature sound. “I’ve felt being technically good at an instrument or virtuosic is cool, but having people be able to hear and identify something you’re playing is more important as an artist,” Cook adds.

ROAD TRIPPIN’ WITH MY FRIEND Find 5 Great Day Trips From the Valley

Kyle Cook w/Paul McDonald The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, ticketfly. com, 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, $15-$20. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM



Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry on filtering influences through a pop lens

Connor Dziawura >> The Entertainer!


t’s been a busy couple of years for Glaswegian synth-pop trio Chvrches. In the two and half years since the band last played the Valley, it has recorded and released a new album with super producer Greg Kurstin, reimagined several tracks in an acoustic setting for the “Hansa Session” EP, collaborated with the likes of Japanese group, Wednesday Campanella and masked, EDM producer Marshmello, and recruited a touring drummer. Now, the band is gearing up for a run of U.S. tour dates, which kicks off with the first weekend of Coachella. During a string of surrounding West Coast shows, Chvrches will stop by The Van Buren on Monday, April 22. The following day, Tuesday, April 23, the trio will make its Tucson debut at the Rialto Theatre. Cherry Glazerr opens both shows. Although much has seemingly changed since Chvrches last came to town, lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry views each aspect of the band’s evolution as a natural and logical step forward, or what could be considered a continuation of its story. “I think for us it was always important that we felt that the band was authentic in the way that it came across. At the start of the first record (2013’s ‘The Bones of What You Believe’), we didn’t really want it to feel forced,” Mayberry says. She is joined in the group by producers/multi-instrumentalists Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, the latter of whom is also a vocalist. Jonny Scott is the band’s touring drummer. “I think for me, I would rather wait for it to develop on its own than force a kind of performance persona or performance style on the band in that moment. And I think at this point everybody’s grown comfortably as performers or as writers, or just we know better what we want the band to be.” Speaking on the musical palate with which the band is working, she adds, “I think for us we really wanted it to feel like it was a throwback to the bands that we loved, like the kind of Depeche Mode-y, Nine Inch Nails-style production stuff, but put in a pop band context. And I kind of like that with us. There’s always a little bit of salt in the sugar, if that makes sense.” While it could be said that Chvrches has remained consistent in the sound it set in the early portion of the decade, “Love is Dead” could also be considered its most commercial project yet. This time around the band enlisted the


support of Kurstin, who has produced for the likes of Adele, Sia and Paul McCartney. “I feel like Greg is a really amazing musician as well as an amazing songwriter, but he’s also not precious about certain things. I think he’s very much of the opinion that you work at it, and then if it still doesn’t feel good after a certain amount of time, it doesn’t matter that you’ve invested in it. It doesn’t work. Don’t bang your head against the wall. Find something else that’s exciting,” Mayberry says. “I think in a way that was really refreshing to me, because it wasn’t this kind of arduous slog of a time. It was more kind of just discovery. I think you can get bogged down in your own over thinking sometimes. I think it was nice to just think about things in a less kind of weighted way sometimes.” Nearly a year removed from the release of that record, however, Chvrches’ most recent output comes in the form of the stripped back “Hansa Session” EP and several one-off collaborations with other artists. While collaborations have been canon in the Chvrches story – Paramore’s Hayley Williams contributed vocals to a remix of 2015’s “Bury It” and The National’s Matt Berninger was featured on last year’s “My Enemy” – the trio has continued to flex its creative muscle since “Love is Dead” was released. For Mayberry, one-off releases offer much-needed creative expression during the touring cycle, when writing is usually set aside. In this case, the variation between the collaborations keeps Chvrches from being put into any one stylistic box, she adds. “Out of My Head,” which features Wednesday Campanella, started with an unfinished song from the “Love is Dead” sessions. Upon being introduced to the music of Japanese music outfit, Mayberry says, they began to exchange emails. And it was in the inbox where the song ultimately came together. The two acts didn’t meet in person until after the fact, preventing any expectations for how the collaboration would turn out. “She’s an amazing performer,” Mayberry says of Wednesday Campanella vocalist KOM_I. “She’s such an interesting, uncompromising person in the way that she conducts

herself. I find that really appealing.” Chvrches also features on Marshmello’s “Here With Me,” released in March. The song began with what Mayberry describes as a rough acoustic song that didn’t feel like a Chvrches song – that is until the trio linked up with Marshmello, who “did his magic stuff to it and turned it into something else.” Also composed primarily via email correspondence, the two acts didn’t meet formally until it was time to track the final vocals. “We didn’t really have any expectations of what it was going to be like,” Mayberry adds of working with Marshmello. “We were just interested to see what he would come up with. “I think, for me, at the end of the day, if the song connects with people and it makes people feel something, it makes them happy or it connects with them in a way that they need when they need it, then that’s what music’s meant to be about. I don’t think that dance music is a place where I have traditionally lived or found a lot of things for me, but I think in a way that’s what’s cool, that this moment in time it feels like the concept of genre has kind of been broken down.” Though Mayberry notes casual discussions are ongoing as to what direction the band will take with its own music next, no consensus has been reached. In the meantime, the band will continue touring in support of “Love is Dead.” And for the band’s upcoming headlining tour dates, it has partnered with PLUS1

to donate $1 from every ticket sold to Girls Rock Camps, which empowers girls, trans and gender-diverse young people through music education and mentorship. Chvrches has launched similar partnerships while touring in the past. “When everyone’s talking about representation and festival lineups and all those things, I’m like, well, the way that you change that is for the people at the top to start thinking about things differently, but also on the grassroots local level to start actually investing in people that are already putting the work into that,” Mayberry explains, referring to ongoing discussions over a lack of female artists being booked at music festivals. “I think that there’s already amazing people doing this work, so we can do a tiny little bit to help them do that. I wish it could all go away very quickly. And I think it would be nice to know that while we had this moment, we did something useful with it.”

Chvrches w/Cherry Glazerr The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, 480.659.1641,, 8 p.m. Monday, April 22, $38.50-$43

Chvrches w/Cherry Glazerr Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson, 520.740.1000,, 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, $33-$56



Quinn XCII wears his love of Michigan on his sleeve Taylor O’Connor >> The Entertainer!


hen musician Quinn XCII discusses his sophomore album, “From Michigan with Love,” he repeatedly uses one word: mature. The show, the music and the lyrics are all … mature. “From Michigan with Love” is something that came with age. The singer-songwriter, born Mikael Temrowski in the Motor City, turns 27 in May. The album explores his problems with depression and anxiety. “I’m finally understanding what music does for people,” Quinn says. I want to make music that connects to people.” It is not about making hits, but creating something he—and others— believe in. Quinn says fans’ positive feedback gives him the courage to continue the mental health conversation. “I think in today’s world, it’s a prevalent topic and it’s a very important topic,” he says. “It’s definitely the right time to strike and talk about that stuff.” Although mental health is an important topic about which he is passionate, the writing process was difficult. “I wanted to talk about it in an authentic, personal way,” he says. “That was the trick; to shed my personal light on it and words I don’t think were commonly used.” The former Michigan State University student says the personal light allows fans to see another side of himself. “The first album showed who I was after I graduated from college and moved to L.A.,” he says. “I asked myself ,‘How do I move forward with my music?’ I feel like this was the next step.” Quinn will showcase his new music on Tuesday, April 9, at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. It’s a major step forward for the act who previously played clubs. “I think right now, it’s cool because they (fans) have seen the previous shows, and now they are seeing a more produced show,” he says. “There’s more going on onstage, more music, and it’s more mature. I think I am looking at things differently. I’m getting older and I’m maturing, and I think that naturally affects you as an artist.”

Quinn says he wants his music to mirror his personality and love of the Wolverine State, hence the title, “From Michigan with Love.” “It’s important for people to know I’m from Michigan because it’s my home,” Quinn says. “I wanted to shed a little light on people from the Midwest and Michigan.” Don’t get him wrong, Americans are great as a whole, but Michiganders have their own set of values. “They are all hard-working and genuine people and I think that’s who I am, and I try to keep those morals and values,” he adds. Quinn also believes Michigan is where his mental health problems began, thus making “From Michigan with Love” an ideal title. “It’s been something I’ve been dealing with for a while now and I don’t think fans expected that from me,” he says. “The process of making that album really made me a smarter writer because it allowed me to be more vulnerable with my stuff and talk about anything else.” MORE HD CHANNELS, To help with this process, Quinn collaborated with several artists, FASTER INTERNET AND including Jon Bellion. MORE HD VOICE. CHANNELS, “I’ve collabed much more with this UNLIMITED FASTER AND MORE HDINTERNET CHANNELS, album because I was able to meet more UNLIMITED VOICE. FASTER INTERNET AND people this past year,” Quinn says. • Speeds up to 60Mbps UNLIMITED VOICE. “It was really cool to work with people • Unlimited data – no data caps who I can feel safe with. When I make • Speeds up to 60Mbps stuff, I try to find people I can trust, and ••Speeds up data to 60Mbps Unlimited – no data caps SPECTRUM INTERNET™ these people are my friends.” • Unlimited data – no data caps AS LOW AS As for Bellion, “He is someone I have SPECTRUM INTERNET™ INTERNET™ SPECTRUM looked up to and that was a bucket AS LOW AS AS LOW AS list thing for me. I was like a student soaking up all of what he does in the studio.” /per mo. After a year of writing and producing, for 12 mo. mos /per /per mo. for mos when for 12 12bundled* mos Quinn was relieved when the album when bundled* when bundled* dropped on February 15. Touring and writing at the same time was a bit Blazing Internet availableand and can can be Spectrum Internet™ much. Now he’s excited to focus on the Blazing fastfast Internet is isavailable beyours yourswith with Spectrum Internet™ Blazing fast Internet With is available and can beatyours with Spectrum Internet™ speeds starting 60 Mbps tour. With speeds starting at 60 Mbps With speeds starting at 60 Mbps “Phoenix fans can expect a fun, SPECTRUM TRIPLE PLAYTM 125+ CHANNELS TM energetic bigger show and I’m excited TM TV, INTERNET AND VOICE SPECTRUM TRIPLE PLAY SPECTRUM TRIPLE PLAY 125+ CHANNELS 125+ CHANNELS to show fans the next chapter of not TV,INTERNET INTERNET AND VOICE TV, AND VOICE UP TO 60MBPS only my music, but performances as well.” TO60MBPS 60MBPS UPUP TO /mo each

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Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 1.800.745.3000, comericatheatre. com, 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, tickets start at $25.



844-872-2820 844-872-2820

*Bundle price for TV Select, Internet and Voice is $89.97/mo. for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. WiFi: Equipment, activation and installation

fees apply. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. All Rights Reserved. ©2017 Charter Communications.

*Bundle price for TV Select, Internet and Voice is $89.97/mo. for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. WiFi: Equipment, activation and installation

fees apply. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. All Rights Reserved. ©2017 Charter Communications.

*Bundle price for TV Select, Internet and Voice is $89.97/mo. for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. WiFi: Equipment, activation and installation fees apply. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. All Rights Reserved. ©2017 Charter Communications.






CALENDAR Octavio Serrano >> The Entertainer!


APRIL 4 Mackenzie Johnson, otherwise known as MAKJ, discovered his passion for DJing while he lived in China. At age 15, he grabbed hold of his first set of Technics 1200 turntables. MAKJ is now venturing into the world of original production with upcoming fresh releases. Additionally, MAKJ is featured on the popular “Electric Sound Stage” station on iHeartRadio. El Hefe Tempe, 640 S. Mill Avenue, Suite 110, Tempe, 480.257.2797, relentlessbeats. com, free admission before 11 p.m. with RSVP.

Phoenix Lights

APRIL 5 AND APRIL 6 The Phoenix Lights celebrates its fifth anniversary with a lineup that includes Arty, Bailo, Black Caviar, Decadon and Claude VonStroke. This event is 18 and over. The Park at Wild Horse Pass, 20000 S. Maricopa Road, Chandler, 323.908.0707,, 5 p.m., $99-$399.

San Holo

APRIL 7 San Holo made his debut in



late 2014 and quickly gained an impressive following. His single “We Rise” came out on NestHQ and gained the support of Skrillex and Diplo. His new single “IMissu” is San Holo’s effort to bring the future of sounds to his audience. This event is 18 and over. Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff, 928.556.1580, relentlessbeats. com, 8 p.m., $37-$99.

Space Jesus

APRIL 12 Jasha Tull, better known as Space Jesus, is coming to Arizona from Boulder. Having built a reputation for performances and appearances at TomorrowWorld, Shambhala and Mysteryland, Space Jesus continues to reach his audience. With a focus on alien basslines, gangster beats and future feels, the performer is sure to leave a mark in the Orpheum Theater. The event is 18 and over. Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff, 928.556.1580, relentlessbeats. com, 9 p.m., $25-$35.

Guy Gerber

APRIL 12 Guy Gerber is coming to Shady Park in Tempe with his compelling style of melancholy and euphoria. The Israeli DJ has influences from groups like Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. Gerber is constantly rated one of the best touring acts in dance music, earning a top 10 live performer nod three years in a row from Resident Advisor. In addition, his crossover album with Puff Daddy, “11:11,” which was one of 2014’s most impressive

LPs. This event is 21 and over. Shady Park, 26 E. University Drive, Tempe, 480.474.4222,, 9 p.m., $30-$25.


APRIL 25 Matroda takes early influences from Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles, creating a well-rounded sound. Recently, Matroda debuted at the renowned Avalon Hollywood and came out with his “Shut it Down” EP. The event is 21 and over. El Hefe Tempe, 640 S. Mill Avenue, Suite 110, Tempe, 480.257.2797, relentlessbeats. com, free admission before 11 p.m. with RSVP.

eventgoers will experience the sounds of an electronic music festival while enjoying the refreshment of a waterpark. The headliners include RL Grime, Benny Benassi, What So Not, Bonnie X Clyde, Bruno Furlan, Sonny Fodera, Taiki Nulight, Tails, VNSSA and Will Clarke. This event is 18 and older. Big Surf, 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480.994.2297,, noon, $59-$1,280.


APRIL 26 SoDown’s live sets are filled with vigor and animation and is sure to breathe life into Shady Park in Tempe. His charismatic persona has earned him a dedicated fan following. In 2018, SoDown appeared at Red Rocks, Coachella, Electric Forest, Global Dance, among other spots. SoDown continues to expand his music. This event is 21 and over. Shady Park, 26 E. University Drive, Tempe, 480.474.4222,, 9 p.m., $20.


APRIL 27 Habstrakt’s style is said to be an array of bass genres, house and dubstep, as heard in his “Cool Cats Never Die” EP. As he prepares for his debut U.S. tour, the performance in AURA is sure to impress fans. This event is 18 and over. AURA, 411 S. Mill Avenue, Suite 201, Tempe, 480.210.2872,, 9 p.m., $20-$35.

Wet Electric 2019

APRIL 27 Wet Electric takes over Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe where


What So Not

APRIL 27 What So Not has been part of the Australia’s latest electronica revival and since 2011 and is now coming to Gentle’s Ben in Tucson. His latest original single, “Buried,” featuring George Maple and Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune, resonated well with fans. His “Divide and Conquer” EP is a mix of knowledge and collection of sounds gained during his travels. This event is 18 and over. Gentle Ben’s 865 E. University Boulevard, Tucson, 520.624.4177, relentlessbeats. com, 9 p.m., $25.



Sweet and Sassy Taylor Upsahl set to introduce new sound to fellow Phoenicians Christina Fuoco-Karasinski >> The Entertainer!


aylor Upsahl is in the midst of a tour with Max Frost, and although it’s an eye-opening experience, she is looking forward to returning home to Phoenix. “I haven’t played in Phoenix in such a long time,” Upsahl says enthusiastically. “While I was growing up, the Phoenix music scene was always so supportive. I have a new sound. I have a new band. It’s going to be so fresh.” Performing as sweet-sounding “Upsahl,” she plays the Valley Bar in Phoenix on Saturday, April 6, with Frost’s “Gold Rush Tour.” The former Glendale resident, whose father, Mike, is a well-known Valley musician, recently released the single “Drugs,” the followup to “The Other Team.” Amassing more than 500,000 streams, “Drugs” is on her first major-label EP “Hindsight 20/20,” which hit stores in March. “I’m really excited,” says Upsahl, who’s slated to play Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer. “We’ve been releasing singles for the past year. I’m writing every day with producers and writers. I feel like, overall, the sound has come about through a lot of experimentation. “This EP is a combination of a bunch of different worlds and genres—pop, alternative, urban. I’m really excited to share this.” Her success has been a long time coming. When she was 17, Upsahl wrote and released a self-titled EP, which gained recognition throughout the Valley. A graduate of the Arizona School for the Arts, a performing arts middle/ high school, Upsahl continued to hone her craft, while being classically trained on piano, guitar and choir. “I started going to the Arizona School for the Arts when I was 10 years old,” she says. “I graduated high school there. Every morning we’d do our academics, and after lunch we would just have arts classes all day long. It was great to be surrounded by a bunch of people who were studying dance, theater or music. It was a very supportive place to grow.” She moved to Los Angeles after graduation and quickly signed with David Gray of Universal Music Publishing Group as an artist. Her goal was to work with several writers and producers to up her game. The plan worked, as she was the first artist signed to Arista Records, which was resurrected by music exec

David Massey. She calls it “the craziest opportunity ever.” Coming full circle to Phoenix is just as gratifying. She recalls gigs with Decker and others who were equally as supportive. “All the bands and artists in Phoenix are so amazing. Let’s say there were three bands on a show. Somehow, everyone would find a way to collaborate on one song,” she says.

Upsahl is looking forward to seeing where “Drugs” takes her from here. The video is opening doors for her. Directed by Patrick Lawler, the clip depicts an apartment party through a psychedelic lens of brightly colored illicit substances. “I knew I wanted to make a house party video for ‘Drugs,’ as that’s where the inspiration for the song came from,” she says. “It’s a metaphor for

dealing with fake people and superficial conversations, so we wanted to replicate that feeling throughout the video with fake and colorful ‘drugs.’ This video is so dope.”

Max Frost w/Upsahl Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix,, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, $15-$50.





EDM acts splash into Big Surf Waterpark Kristine Cannon >> The Entertainer!


ery few traces of the very first Wet Electric in 2010 exist online. One particular video posted on YouTube shows a much sparser crowd, dancing and thrashing about in a water park with seemingly no familiar DJ acts to be found. It was a simple concept in the very early stages of what would once become the massive, wet ‘n’ wild EDM festival with the stacked lineup we now know and love: party to electronic music in a water park. But leading up to year three, Activated Events founder and Wet Electric creator and producer Steve Thacher gave Relentless Beats


founder Thomas Turner a ring. “I was probably an obvious good partner at the time because of my history with Relentless Beats,” Turner says. “He reached out to me and we had a conversation. I did it right away, and we’ve been at it ever since.” This year marks a Wet Electric milestone – its 10-year anniversary – but this is technically Relentless Beats’ eighth year being involved. “Most events don’t have a shelf life that many years, so to celebrate 10 years is really cool; it’s exciting,” Turner says. Wet Electric – the 18-and-over event that takes place Saturday, April 27, at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe – now boasts multiple stages, renowned artists and DJs, waterslides, luxury cabanas, bars and the largest wave pool in the country (it’s a 2.5-million gallon wave pool). “(Wet Electric) was different,” Turner says. “(Thacher) had a vision for doing something that was different than any of the events we had in our portfolio at the time, and that made it attractive.” The lineup is a healthy mix of big names and up-and-comers, from Benny Benassi, RL Grime, What So Not and Bonnie x Clyde to Bruno Furlan, Sonny Fodera, VNSSA and Will Clarke. When Relentless Beats partnered up with Activated Events, Turner undoubtedly elevated Wet Electric, thanks to the connections he had made with artists and labels since he founded RB in 1996. “Steve and I working together is a good thing because I’m in front of a lot of this talent and able to make it part of our annual plan to keep the lineup fresh and appealing,” Turner says. It isn’t an

easy task booking such large acts, either. “It’s always difficult securing them and getting them to sign off on it,” Turner says, adding they’ll entice the artist by offering to send the acts to another city at night or a Friday night to make Tempe appealing. “There are a lot of people that want to book these acts, so it’s very difficult to pin them down,” he says. “It’s quite a bit of work.” What makes Wet Electric successful, according to Turner, are the fans and the local, ever-growing EDM community. “Electronic music is a staple of millennials’ entertainment options each weekend, and in Arizona, we’ve got a really good core group of fans that anticipate these events each year. They keep coming back,” he says. EDM saw exponential growth over the years, with a peak in 2016 when the EDM industry was worth an estimated $7.4 billion, according to IMS Business Report. Comparatively, the EDM industry was worth an estimated $6.9 billion in 2014, up 12 percent from $6.2 billion in 2013. Between June 2014 and June 2015, EDM tracks were streamed 11.2 billion times. It was also reported in 2018 that about 160 million EDM festival tickets were sold annually. After years of growth, the global electronic music business did slip by 2 percent in 2017 to $7.3 billion, but this was attributed to the many crossover EDM tracks now classified as pop or R&B in sales data. There’s no slowing down the EDM industry, as IMS estimates that the global EDM industry could be worth nearly $9 billion by 2021. “It’s just grown exponentially each and every year,” Turner says. “I’m driving down the road with my kids and they’re citing records on the radio they like and they’re acts that I that I book that play my events. And I can remember so many years ago that it was a sub culture.” Turner says EDM will continue to remain a staple in American entertainment culture. “There’s going to be staying power,” he says. “When I see my kids who are avid dancers and gymnasts and all their friends and parents all talking about what I’m doing and the acts that I book, I know that it’s here to stay. It’s become part of our culture.” Turner credits the strengthening of the economy for the recognition, rise and success of more subculture events and festivals, like Full Moon Festival, which takes place every other month at The

Pressroom. “Here’s the thing: It’s not new,” he says. “Now that the economy stabilized and we’ve had a few good years, people are developing things again, and it’s lending more opportunity for more people to do things. You’ve got a lot of people posting events that have created families around the culture that they support. And it’s an exciting time for the city to have that culture being bred in it.” Relentless Beats had a hand in spreading the good EDM word throughout the Valley, bringing in smaller DJ acts and wildly popular EDM acts that otherwise wouldn’t make a pit stop in the Valley. His efforts didn’t go unnoticed by other movers and shakers in the EDM industry, either. In 2016, founder of Global Dance Ha Hau described Turner as the leader in the EDM movement. “It’s an awesome title and something that we plan to live up to,” Turner says. He continues, “I spent the past 20 years of my life purveying good house music and electronic music culture through all the club and concerts we produce. We do the festivals, venues that we’re building, and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon.” Wet Electric marks the start of peak event season for Relentless Beats. “It represents spring break and we’re near the summer and vacations and that means good times ahead,” Turner says. “This event is a good kickoff off to all of that, and certainly for Relentless Beats.” Following Wet Electric, Relentless Beats immediately kicks off their pool parties at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. “It all just kind of happens one, two, three,” Turner says, adding he books around 300 local acts throughout the year. At Wet Electric, Turner is excited to watch the underground acts on the RB Deep stage, the festival’s newer stage – which made its debut about three years ago – dedicated to house music. “It’s become one of the big features of the festival,” he says. “Rather than being mish-mash of artists, it has a real identity. A group of fans congregate at it all day long and don’t leave it.” He’s also excited to watch Will Clark and What So Not. “What So Not is an outstanding act,” he says. “Honestly, I like everybody on the lineup. It’s funny, my first love is house music and underground music, but through operating Relentless Beats all these years, I’ve developed a fondness for all of it.”

Wet Electric Big Surf Waterpark, 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480.994.2297,, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 27, tickets start at $49.


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Max Frost tackles his challenging new album with the help of Fitz Alan Sculley >> The Entertainer!


n what has been a fairly brief time as a professional music artist, Max Frost has had some notable success. But even as he heads into a new phase of his career with his first fulllength album, “Gold Rush,” Frost feels like he’s just scratching the surface for where he wants to go as an artist and songwriter. “I’m still sort of in this place where songwriting is just, I don’t know, it’s just this strangely challenging thing,” he says. “I’ve always been into it (songwriting). I’ve always thought about songs, but I still feel like I haven’t really cracked my own code yet or broken through on how I want to really write. I’ve just gotten lucky a couple of times that I feel like is all that I’ve done so far.” Luck can’t be discounted as an ingredient in any success in music. But Frost also showed some songwriting and studio skills, turning out genre-blending songs – such as the underground hits “White Lies” and “Adderall” –that have earned him status as an artist to watch. Frost posted the former song to his Soundcloud account in March 2013, and saw it immediately get plays. Eventually, it went No. 1 on The Hype Machine’s “Most Popular Tracks to Blog About Now” list and cracked the top 40 on Billboard magazine’s Alternative Songs chart. That got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed him in June. The label released Frost’s first EP, “Low High Low,” in 2013, followed by a second EP, “Intoxication,” in 2015, which included three more singles. That release was followed by another trio of stand-alone singles, including “Adderall,” and a guest appearance on the 2017 DJ Snake hit “Broken Summer.” But after those successes, Frost, 25, felt he needed to shake things up to move forward with his music. One step was to move from his life-long home of Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles in April 2017. “I just knew it was time to go,” Frost says. “I knew that if I moved to L.A., I would have no choice but to work as hard as I could. The thing about staying where you’re from is that you can be so comfortable there that it’s hard to, I don’t think great art comes from comfort. It’s not to say that you have to make yourself miserable or that I believe you have to be like living in hell to make anything


good. It’s more just that whatever drives you to work a 15-hour day on music is not very likely (to exist) if you’re just staying in the place that you’re from, when all these friends you have are hitting the clubs and there are so many things to do.” Another key step – and an incentive to make Los Angeles his next home – was that Frost had become friends with Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums, who happens to live in Los Angeles and had become a mentor to Frost. Fitzpatrick had agreed to executive produce Frost’s next album, and being in the same city made sense for the two. By the time of his move west, Frost had been working on his first full-length album for some time, a process that grew frustrating as he scrapped a few early versions of the album. “It wasn’t even like writer’s block. It was just sort of like I was just making stuff that was OK, it was good. But I could just tell when I played it for people it wasn’t moving them,” he says. “I could tell when I would try the songs out live, it wasn’t moving them. You know very quickly. You don’t know in the room when you’re working, but you know when you start bouncing music off of people. You can see it in their faces and their body language whether something is working.” Frost arrived in Los Angeles ready to do whatever it took to create a debut album that he felt proud to release. Without the distractions he had in Austin, Frost could concentrate fully on songwriting and recording. He also found he was able to let go of preconceived notions he had for his music and he also embraced the idea of writing music with pop hooks – as long as the songs also offered something meaningful that could connect with listeners. In the process, he found his creative options opening up and he was coming up with more songs. Having Fitzpatrick available to help guide him through the writing and recording process also proved to be a key in successfully completing “Gold Rush.” “What I found in Fitz was someone who not only had the credibility and had done great work that had success and understood music, he could speak the language and he could look at where I was coming from on a particular song or in the bigger picture, and he could turn to me and point out where my weaknesses were,” Frost says. “I think when people can help you


identify your weaknesses, that’s just so invaluable, especially when the creative process is as difficult as making an album.” “Gold Rush” might actually feel a bit more cohesive than Frost’s earlier EPs. But the album still blends genres and evades boundaries. For instance, “New Confessional,” “Anxious” and “Eleven Days” all feature hip-hop cadences to their vocals and grooving beats, but they have multiple pop hooks, A few other songs add variety, such as the recent top 30 alternative songs single, “Good Morning,” which has a gospel feel mixed with its modern beats; “Money Problems,” which brings more of an old-school soul element into the sound; and “Put It On Me,” which leans toward modern pop with a melodic vocal and a smooth percolating beat. While the “Gold Rush” songs were largely created on computer in the studio, Frost takes a different approach to making music live. He is essentially a one-man band, moving from instrument to instrument and looping parts on top of each other to give the illusion of a band playing the music. “The difference between what I’m doing and most of the loop shows I have seen is one, that this involves quite a few more instruments,” Frost elaborates. “I’ve seen a lot of really great loop shows


that are keyboards and a guitarist. This is a full drum set, keyboards, basses, guitars, acoustic and electric. There are beat pads. “I guess the idea that I’m trying to create or make the audience feel with me is that the stage, with all of these instruments and with all of this technology, almost in a weird way, becomes one thing and it’s this sort of space ship that I’m piloting through the musical journey.” Another feature of the show is a giant reel-to-reel tape player that Frost has built to use as a stage backdrop – and to add something more to the show. “There’s a movie called ‘Wild in the Streets,’ where the main character’s name is called Max Frost, which is totally coincidental. I never found out about it until I started having a little bit of success in music and people started asking me if I had named myself after that character,” Frost says. “But I do take advantage of the coincidence by using these old quotes from the movie that come out of the (reel-to-reel) tape player, like a radio broadcast or something.”

Max Frost w/Upsahl Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix,, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, $15-$50. ENTERTAINERMAG.COM



YOU’RE NOT GONNA BELIEVE THIS Bizarro facts that will stretch your noggin

Samantha Fuoco >> The Entertainer!

✔ The first World Series was between Pittsburgh and Boston in 1903. Boston won the series 5-3. ✔ The first All-Star Game was in 1933; the AL leads the series with 44 wins. Two games ended in ties. ✔ No Diamondbacks’ pitcher has ever worn a single-digit number.

✔ Don Larsen pitched the only perfect World Series game on October 8, 1956.

✔ In World War II, grenades were designed to have the same weight and size as a baseball. ✔ The longest game in MLB history was a 25-inning affair on May 8, 1984, when the White Sox beat the Brewers 7-6, in eight hours and six minutes.

✔ Baseball fanatic Charlie Sheen bought 2,615 tickets to a Los Angeles Angels game to improve his chances of catching a ball.

✔ The longest D-backs’ game was 5 hours and 45 minutes in 15 innings. They beat the Dodgers with a walk-off. ✔ The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Dock Ellis claimed he threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970, while under the influence of LSD.

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