9 Arizona music artists to see live before the new year

9 Arizona music artists to see live before the new year

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will play at Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix on Dec. 29 and 30. (Photo by Major Motion Pictures)

By Teresa K. Traverse

December 20, 2023

The last few weeks of 2023 are upon us. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to see more local bands play shows all over town, why not get an early start on this one?

From Dec. 21 to 31, you’ve got nine chances to see these local bands perform in metro Phoenix and Tucson. From country artists to a Latin salsa band, enjoy these local bands before we say goodbye to 2023.

Looking for more with a healthy dose of holiday flair thrown in for good measure? ZooLights in both Phoenix and Tucson and the Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden will also feature live music.


Dec. 21 – Jules at Valley Bar

130 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix

9 Arizona music artists to see live before the new year

Photo by Neil Schwartz (@neilschwartzphoto)

Local musician Jules will be opening for country singer Tyler Dial on Dec. 21 at Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix. Like Dial, Jules is also a country artist and even competed on “The Voice” in 2020. According to her website, she’s a student at Arizona State University and is enrolled in the college’s popular music program. On her Instagram page, you can see her signing a cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over.” You also can listen to her latest EP, “Heart Between Hearts,” by clicking on this link.


Dec. 22 – Ryanhood at the MIM Center

4725 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix

Tucson folk rock duo Ryanhood is performing a special Christmas show featuring dueling guitars at the theater at the Musical Instrument Museum. Audience members can look forward to original holiday songs, covers of classic holiday music, and fresh spins on old classics along with the band members’ holiday tales and memories. Read more about the band on their website.

Dec. 23 – Feliz Navidad con Carmela y Mas at The Nash

110 E. Roosevelt St. in downtown Phoenix

Nine-piece Valley-based Latin Salsa band Carmela y Mas will be playing a Latin jazz and salsa holiday show at The Nash in downtown Phoenix. Carmela Ramirez is the singer behind this group. Learn more about Ramirez in the link.

The group is asking that show attendees bring a donation for De Colores. De Colores Domestic Violence programs provide a secure place for families to heal from abuse. Items to bring include T-shirts, socks, underwear, pajamas, toys, and household supplies.


Dec. 23 – Pleasure Cult at Valley Bar

130 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix

9 Arizona music artists to see live before the new year

(Photo courtesy of Pleasure Cult)

Pleasure Cult is a four-piece Phoenix-based band that was created in 2021. According to Valley Bar’s website, the band’s sound is “a collection of old school inspired tunes with nostalgic sound combined.” The band’s latest EP is called “The Best Secret You’ll Never Keep.” Pleasure Cult also has played shows at local venues like Crescent Ballroom and The Nile Underground. Learn more about this band on its website.


Dec. 29 and 30 – Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers at Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave. in downtown Phoenix

9 Arizona music artists to see live before the new year

(Photo by Major Motion Pictures)

One of Arizona’s most iconic home-grown bands, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, is closing out 2023 with two back-to-back shows at downtown’s Crescent Ballroom. Clyne’s music is described on the band’s website as a blend of punk rock, country western and mariachi music that makes for one eclectic sound. Clyne and the band’s drummer, PH Naffah, started out as members of the Tempe quartet, The Refreshments. Clyne also wrote and performed the theme song for the animated show “King of the Hill.”


Dec. 29 – The Dead Rabbitts at The Rebel Lounge

2303 E. Indian School Road in Central Phoenix

The Dead Rabbitts—spelled that way likely as a riff off of lead singer Craig Mabbitt’s last name—is a metalcore group that calls Phoenix home. Mabbitt is also the lead singer of post-hardcore band Escape The Fate. The band has released a total of three albums. The most recent album? “Rumination,” which was released on April 1, 2022. Learn more about the band via its Facebook page.


Dec. 30 – Carlos Arzate at Valley Bar

130 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix

Tucson native Carlos Arzate has been a part of Arizona’s music community since the ’90s. His other projects include Innisfail and American Android. The two bands mentioned had a louder sound than Arzate’s current Americana style of music. Today, he performs as Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls. The 11-song “Got Me Wrong” was the first full-length album from the group. According to his website, expect to hear Arzate’s big voice in songs about social inequality, border realities, family, struggle and triumph that can be quiet and yearning. Learn more about Arzate on his website.


Dec. 30 – Sophia Rankin & The Sound at The Rialto Theatre

318 E. Congress Street in Tucson

Tucson-based Sophia Rankin & The Sound’s latest album, “Too Close to the Riptide,” is a blend of rock, pop, and folk music. Rankin released her two first solo CDs when she was a student at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School. Hear Rankin and her band live at The Rialto Theatre in downtown Tucson.


Dec. 30 – CZYK at The Nile Underground Theatre

105 W. Main Street in Mesa

CZYK, a four-piece alt metal band based in Phoenix, Arizona, will be playing a show at Mesa’s Nile Theatre. According to the band’s Facebook page, the Dec. 30 show is the band’s first headlining show at The Nile. The band also released a new song called “Without a Trace.” This show is your first chance to hear the tune played live. Learn more about this band on its website.



  • Teresa K. Traverse

    Teresa K. Traverse is a Phoenix, Arizona-based writer and editor. Her work also has appeared in national print outlets including Weight Watchers, Bust and Parenting magazines and on sites like Tripadvisor, Wine Enthusiast, SFGate, Brides, Rachael Ray Every Day, Bustle, Racked, ForRent.com, WeddingWire, Refinery29, The Daily Meal, Oxygenmag.com, USA Today and Fast Company. She's the managing editor of Sedona Monthly. In her spare time, she loves hiking, reading magazines and spending quality time with her long-haired Chihuahua, Rocket. Visit teresaktraverse.com to check out more of her work.



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