From John Mayer to Metallica, this week it’s all about the music — with some football thrown in too.
Don’t know what to do in metro Phoenix? Here are our picks for the best events, concerts and shows happening in the Valley.
7/31: Chris Bianco cookbook signing
Chris Bianco was at the forefront of the pizza revolution, and it all started in the back corner of a grocery store in 1988. The chef won the James Beard Award for his Pizzeria Bianco and has championed the use of local, sustainable ingredients. He has several restaurants and his own canned tomato line at Whole Foods. His next venture is a cookbook, “Bianco: Pizza, Pasta and Other Food I Like,” scheduled for release on July 25. The charismatic chef will sign the books at Changing Hands in Phoenix. The $34.99 admission includes a signed copy of his book and entry for two.
Details: 7 p.m. Monday, July 31. Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. $34.99, plus tax. 602-274-0067, changinghands.com.
8/1: John Mayer
Each stop on Mayer’s tour will be comprised of three sets – full band, solo acoustic and John Mayer Trio. Mayer hit the charts at No. 2 in April with “The Search for Everything,” his seventh studio release, which Entertainment Weekly summed up with “If mellowness remains Mayer’s weakness, the brilliance of his best compositions provides a worthy trade-off.” The singer’s hits include “Your Body is a Wonderland,” “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Say” and “Heartbreak Warfare.”
Details: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Talking Stick Resort Arena, Second and Jefferson streets, Phoenix. $35-95. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
These alt-metal veterans named their second album “Wonder What’s Next” and then became the answer when three singles from that platinum breakthrough hit the mainstream-rock and modern-rock charts, including “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below,” which went to No. 1 on both charts. They’ve gone on to top the mainstream-rock charts four more times since then, with “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along),” “Face to the Floor,” “Take Out the Gunman” and last year’s “Joyride (Omen).”
Details: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave. $32-$52. 480-829-0607, luckymanonline.com.
8/2: Matchbox Twenty with Counting Crows
Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows will bring their A Brief History of Everything Tour to Ak-Chin Pavilion on Wednesday, Aug. 2. Matchbox Twenty front man Rob Thomas spent last summer on a co-headlining tour with Counting Crows and can’t wait to do it again. As the Crows’ Adam Duritz says, “To be honest, we took a vote after last year and decided to spend every summer with Rob from now on. Can. Not. Wait.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of Matchbox Twenty’s 12-times-platinum debut album, “Yourself or Someone Like You,” which featured the platinum single, “3 a.m.,” which topped the charts at Adult Top 40 radio. Counting Crows’ first album, “August and Everything After,” went seven-times-platinum, mostly on the strength of “Mr. Jones,” a Top 5 entry on the Billboard Hot 100 that remains their biggest hit. Other hits include “Round Here,” “A Long December,” “Hanginaround” and “Accidentally in Love” from the “Shrek 2” soundtrack.
Details: 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2. Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix. See website for ticket prices. ticketmaster.com.
8/3-5: Big Jay Oakerson
The standup comedian known for his raw, raunchy and honest comedy and easy charm will perform several shows in Phoenix. Oakerson has appeared on FX’s “Louie,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” along with a number of comedy festivals around the country.
Details: Aug. 3-5. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. StandUp Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $20. 480-719-6100, standuplive.com.
8/4-6 Prescott Gem and Mineral Club Show
Immerse yourself in earthly treasures at this event. More than 60 vendors will be on hand for the one of the largest gem and mineral shows outside Tucson. Enjoy demonstrations, raffle drawings, geode cuttings and more.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4-6. Prescott Valley Event Center, 3201 Main St. $5, free for 12 and younger with paid adult admission. 928-772-1819 or prescottgemmineral.org.
8/4: Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond is bringing his 50th Anniversary Tour to Phoenix. The Grammy-winning icon was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 despite being more of an easy-listening sensation. And the reasons should be obvious to anyone who’s followed his career, from his days writing hits for the Monkees to “Home Before Dark,” which became the legend’s first chart-topping album in 2008. As the Hall sums up the man’s appeal, “A charismatic and captivating performer, he’s been referred to as the ‘Jewish Elvis.’ In reality he’s bridged generations with his music, serving as a missing link between the iconic poles of Elvis Presley (rock and roll) and Frank Sinatra (adult pop).”
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4. Talking Stick Resort Arena, Second and Jefferson streets, Phoenix. $44.75-$120.25. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
The metal legends are bringing the WorldWired tour to the biggest stage in town in support of their sixth consecutive release to top the Billboard album charts, “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct.” The WorldWired our played Singapore in January, inspiring a rave in the Straits Times. “There are rock bands,” their critic began, “and then there are heavy metal showstoppers.” Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat will be the main support acts for the tour run. Each ticket purchased through official outlets includes your choice of a standard physical or digital copy of “Hardwired …To Self-Destruct.”
8/5: Prowl & Play: Dinosaurs!
Dino fans are sure to love roaring and exploring at the Phoenix Zoo. The fun evening will include meet and greets with Raja the Baby T-Rex, sandpit fossil digs, waterslides, dino-themed activities and crafts and more.
Details: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $8. 602-286-3800, phoenixzoo.org.
8/5 Sun Devil Weekend in Payson
The Rim Country town turns out to welcome the Arizona State football team to Camp Tontozona with a pep rally and food truck festival. Festivities kick off Friday with a pep rally featuring football competitions, autograph sessions with former Sun Devils and more. On Saturday, several food trucks will offer tasty fare, from the gourmet to the hand-held. The fest also features live music and a corn-hole tournament.
Details: Pep rally is 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4; food truck festival is 2-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Green Valley Park, 1000 W. Country Club, Payson. Free. paysonrimcountry.com.
8/5: Ed Sheeran
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is touring on “÷” (pronounced “divide”), which features the quadruple-platinum “Shape of You,” his first chart-topping entry on the Billboard Hot 100. A second single from the album, “Castle On The Hill,” debuted the at No. 6 the same week “Shape of You” hit No. 1, making Sheeran the first artist ever to have two singles hit the Top 10 at the same time. The ginger-haired Brit is no stranger to the Glendale sports arena, where he served as the opening act on Taylor Swift’s Red Tour. At the time, his biggest U.S. hit was still “The A Team.” His other hits include “Lego House,” “Give Me Love,” “Don’t,” “Sing,” “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph.”
Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Gila River Arena, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, Glendale. $74-$95. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
8/5 Wine Country BBQ
Owners of LDV Winery invite you to bring your appetite and camera to the vineyard. Photography experts will show you how best to capture the vineyard from every angle. Take a tour, sample some wine and settle in for a casual dinner cooked by the LDV owners.
Details: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. LDV Winery and Vineyards, 13922 S. Kuykendall Cutoff Road, Pearce. $25, tickets must be purchased in advance. 480-664-4822, ldvwinery.com.
8/5-6 Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture – Walk in Beauty
Artists and storytellers join to present the Navajo “Beauty Way” philosophy of life. More than 70 artists representing several clans will be on hand, including silversmiths, weavers and painters. Basket makers will be working on site, and a Navajo ethno-botanist will lead a hike.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6. Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff. $12-$18. 928-774-5213, musnaz.org.
8/5-6 Peach Mania Festival
It’s all peachy when Apple Annie’s Orchard celebrated the harvest with its festival devoted to the juicy fruit. Start the day with an all-you-can-eat peaches and pancakes breakfast, then hop aboard the wagon for the short trip to the orchard to pick your own. There will also be peach samples, peach pie and peach ice cream. Beware the pitfalls of eating too much.
Details: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6. Apple Annie’s Orchard, 2081 W. Hardy Road, Willcox. Free, fees for peach-based products. 520-384-2084, appleannies.com.
8/5-6: Experience the Andes
Enjoy music and culture from the longest mountain range on Earth, all without having to travel to South America. The signature event at the Musical Instrument Museum features music and dance performances, and make-your-own instrument crafts.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 5-6. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Included with paid museum admission. 480-478-6000, mim.org.
8/6: Val Kilmer presents ‘Cinema Twain’
Val Kilmer will present a special screening of “Cinema Twain,” the film of his one-man play about Mark Twain called “Citizen Twain.” In the 90-minute film Kilmer transforms himself into Twain in a performance that is moving, funny and more. Kilmer will conduct a question and answer session with the audience after the screening.
Details: 7 p.m. Sunday, August 6. Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $30 and $70. 480-719-6100, standuplive.com.
Biggest and best upcoming events in Phoenix
With reporting from Alison Stanton, Jennifer McClellan, Scott Craven and Ed Masley.
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