You might recognize this Kiwi country singer from the small screen as a judge on American Idol or as Mr. Nicole Kidman. However, he’s best known for his music and dynamic live show. With his Graffiti U World Tour, he will bring tracks like “Female” and “Blue Ain’t Your Color” closer to fans. Country pop starlet Kelsea Ballerini is set to open the show with a handful of hits like “Legends” and “Yeah Boy” already under her belt.
Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.7200, livenation.com, 7:30 p.m., $37.25-$88.25.
Actor, comedian, writer, director, rapper — is there anything Donald Glover can’t do? The multifaceted performer tours under his R&B moniker for the first time in four years. He is expected to bring an intense, multimedia set with new socially conscious tracks like “This is America” and “Redbone,” as well as fan favorites like “3005.” Vince Staples will warm the crowd as opener.
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena.com, 8 p.m., $44.75-$124.75. Postponed until December.
CineLatino presents Zama
Part of the Phoenix Film Foundation’s CineLatino series, Zama tells the story of a South American officer of the Spanish Crown awaiting a letter transferring to him a better town. As the years go by and Zama begins to lose himself in the waiting, his situation gets increasingly delicate. If that isn’t enough to win you over, the Spanish-language film won a dozen film festival prizes in the past year.
Harkins Christown 14, 1620 W. Montebello Avenue, Phoenix, 480.513.3195, phoenixfilmfestival.com/cinelatinophx, 7 p.m., $10.
Arizona State Fair
OCTOBER 5 TO OCTOBER 28
Autumn in Arizona seems to be marked by the arrival of the State Fair. From games to petting zoos to deep fried everything, it’s an affair for the whole family. We recommend going for the curly fries after the Tilt-a-Whirl. The fair’s concert series opens with Gary Allan and will also host Big & Rich, Pitbull and Casting Crowns throughout the season.
Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 602.252.6771, azstatefair.com, various times Wednesday to Sunday, $4-$45.
Horror Puppet Slam
OCTOBER 5 AND OCTOBER 6
This 18-and-up creepy and comedic puppet show is the perfect start to the spooky season, taking your favorite felt-talking pals and venturing off into the frightfully funny. With raunchy topics, laughs and fluff to spare — what else are puppets made of? — this is not your grandma’s Sesame Street.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham Street, Phoenix, 602.262.2050, azpuppets.org, 8 p.m., $12 advance and $15 day of.
Why keep the monster trucks on TV when you can see them go head-to-head in the newly renamed State Farm Stadium? With trucks like Grave Digger, Son-Uva Digger and Whiplash rolling through, the monstrous motors will be at max. Diehard trucker fans can go for the pit party pass to see the trucks up close, get autographs and take pictures with the drivers.
State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, 623.433.7101, statefarmstadium.com, 7 p.m., $15-$135.
Clean Comedy Night
Westgate’s resident comedy club gives “lewd” the night off with a stand-up show rated squeaky clean. This all-ages event features familiar faces like Amy Blackwell, Dan Hanson and Manny Hernandez, as well as headliner Andrew Norelli, who has been seen on shows like The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel Live and has even hosted his own TED Talk.
Stir Crazy Comedy Club, 6751 N. Sunset Boulevard, Suite E206, Glendale, 623.565.8667, stircrazycomedyclub.com, 7 p.m., $10.
Aubrey & The Three Migos Tour
Admit it: you’re in love with Drake. It’s OK, we all are. After giving away his money in “God’s Plan” and inspiring viral videos with “In My Feelings,” rap’s go-to guy for emotion is taking his show on the road. His high-production set is enough to get even the biggest cynics on their feet. Migos, of “Bad and Boujee” fame, will start off the night.
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena.com, 7 p.m., $77-$206.
Don’t tell this no-nonsense English singer to “Smile,” unless you’re repeating the lyrics to her first hit. With sass, personality and energy to spare, Allen has been expressing her unique lease on life through tracks named after expletives and spunky lyrics like “Knock Em Out.” She’ll perform cuts from what she calls her most personal album yet, No Shame.
Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 7 p.m., $30-$40.
Little Bunny’s Halloween
OCTOBER 10 TO OCTOBER 28
Skip the scary movies and go straight to The Great Arizona Puppet Theater for seasonal fun for the younger ones. This puppet show finds Little Bunny learning to face his fears as he learns more about the fun, not-too-scary side of Halloween. Get ready to sing along!
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham Street, Phoenix, 602.262.2050, azpuppets.org, times vary, $12 adults and $8 kids 12 and under.
Broadway Under the Stars “Jet Set”
OCTOBER 11 TO OCTOBER 14
Recruiting hundreds of high schoolers for fully costumed and choreographed Broadway musical performances, it’s no wonder why Horizon High School’s fall choir concert draws in audiences from across the state. This year’s edition is themed after jet-set transportation and will feature songs from musicals by the likes of La La Land, Oklahoma, The Music Man, Jersey Boys and Chicago.
Horizon High School, 5601 E. Greenway Road, Scottsdale, 602.449.6000, horizonchoirs.com, 7 p.m., tickets TBA.
The 58th Original Phoenix Greek Festival
OCTOBER 12 TO OCTOBER 14
Your big, fat, favorite Greek festival is back with feta, folk dancing and fun to spare. For three days, festival goers can get as close to Greece as the west coast can take you with food, music, dancing, jewelry, art, kids’ activities and a Greek grocery. Save yourself a Euro and snag free parking at Charles Schwab.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1973 E. Maryland Avenue, Phoenix, phoenixgreekfestival.org, times vary, $3 and kids under 12 free.
OCTOBER 12 TO OCTOBER 21
Just in time for the spookiest season of all, Grand Canyon University dusts off the Shakespeare for a thrilling evening of theatrical violence, chaos and ruthlessness. After three witches predict Macbeth is destined to be king, he and his wife will stop at nothing to ensure his sovereignty and to keep blood off their own hands.
Ethington Theatre, 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.639.8880, events.gcu.edu/event/macbeth, 7:30 p.m., $12.
This funny guy has become a regular fixture in Adam Sandler movies, stealing scenes in flicks like Just Go With It, That’s My Boy and Click. It was on the stage doing stand-up, however, that this Minnesota-born comedian got his start. He brings his sardonic observational comedy back to Arizona after rocking the house opening for Adam Sandler in Phoenix earlier this year.
Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480.850.7777, talkingstickresort.com, 8 p.m., $45.
Arizona Taco Festival
OCTOBER 13 TO OCTOBER 14
This annual fiesta for America’s favorite hard-shelled delicacy is back with another spread you’ll never stop “taco”-ing about. Featuring creations from Arizona favorites like Ajo Al’s, Arizona Tacos and Chico Malo, as well as vegetarian and vegan options, the festival is equally dedicated to its tequila. Saturday is set to feature a Tequila Expo of epic proportions with over 100 types of tequila for sampling.
Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480.270.5000, aztacofestival.com, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., $12-$100.
Thursday nights at Tempe Marketplace are for hogs and motorcycle enthusiasts. Each evening will bring together hundreds of bikes along The District street with live music and deals on food and drinks. Bring your Class M driver’s license and save at shopping center hot spots like California Pizza Kitchen, Dave & Buster’s, Lucille’s BBQ and King’s Fish House.
Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 480.966.9338, tempemarketplace.com, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., free.
Phoenix Fashion Week
OCTOBER 18 TO OCTOBER 20
The Phoenix edition of Fashion Week is as devoted to the community as it is to the clothing, providing educational fashion seminars and vendors as well as modeling shows and parties. With 13 established designers showcasing work as well as work from 11 emerging artists and accessory collections, you need not travel far to stay fashion forward this year. Check online for show schedules and themes.
Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480.850.7777, phoenixfashionweek.com, 5:30 p.m., $10-$240.
The Scottsdale 20-30, a nonprofit charity club, throws a golf event and gala each fall, raising money for more than a dozen local children’s charities. Their wildly popular golf tournament runs on Friday, however their annual galas are where the party is at. With an evening hosted by national radio hosts Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra, attendees will enjoy entertainment by a live band, dancers, an Elvis impersonator, stilt walkers, aerialists, as well as a speed painter and auction. Dinner and drinks will be served by local restaurants.
The W Scottsdale Hotel, Scottsdale, 480.970.2100, 2030nf.org, 6:30 p.m., $150 regular and $250 VIP, with table pricing available.
Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge
If you’ve been on the search for an obstacle course that you and your kids can tackle, look no further. This 2-mile course takes runners through mud, water and up and over unimaginable obstacles— cargo nets, floating cannonballs and rock walls galore! Admission includes a medal, a free parent race, cinch bag, Clif Bars and $5 re-runs.
Rawhide Western Town and Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, 480.502.5600, kidsobstaclechallenge.com/phoenix, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., $45-$59 and parents free.
OCTOBER 20 AND OCTOBER 21
Relax, unwind and eat all the gelato you can fit in your stomach. That’s right, this touring gelato festival features all-you-can-eat artisan Italian ice cream. Dedicated to finding the best flavor, this festival pits experienced gelato makers against each other and leaves the decision in festival goers’ hands. You can go back for as many seconds as you want after you try every flavor and make your pick!
Kierland Commons, 15205 N. Kierland Boulevard, Suite 150, Scottsdale, 480.348.1577, bit.ly/2MklGTH, noon to 7 p.m., $20-$30.
Otsukimi: Japanese Moonviewing Festival
OCTOBER 26 AND OCTOBER 27
Otsukimi is the ancient Japanese tradition of holding parties to view the harvest moon. This authentic celebration takes place right in Phoenix and features live dance, musical entertainment, Japanese food, desserts and telescopes alongside the natural beauty that is the garden. Sake cocktail, anyone?
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, 1125 N. Third Avenue, Phoenix, 602.274.8700, japanesefriendshipgarden.org, 6:30 to 10 p.m., $25 online and $30 at door.
The Terrain Race focuses on finding the “fight” in every runner. If you can jog three miles and do a couple of pushups and sit ups, you can tackle the mud, monkey bars, rope walls and cargo nets that make up the 5K race. Enjoy your sanctuary with cold beer and food at the finish. Test your endurance — and your inner crazy — and take advantage of unlimited laps.
Rawhide Western Town and Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, 480.502.5600, terrainrace.com, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., $20-$80.
Ride-In Movies at the Park: Hocus Pocus
Break out the bikes while the weather is nice enough with Mesa’s pop-up and ride-in movie series. Hocus Pocus finds the Salem witch trial-era Sanderson sisters revived in modern-day, just in time for some Halloween trouble as they attempt to become immortal. Bring your picnic chairs, blankets and arrive early for safety messages and kids’ activities.
Mountain View Park, 845 N. Lindsay Road, Mesa, 480.644.2352, mesaaz.gov/residents/transportation/bike-pedestrian, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., free.
Día De Los Muertos Phx Festival
Celebrate the Mexican tradition, Day of the Dead, with downtown Phoenix’s most colorful festival experience. Enjoy the festivities — from skull painting to shopping to cuisine — alongside Taiko drumming, Ballet Folkórico and music performances. Audience members will join the performers in the day’s La Procesión for music, dance, remembrance and a minute of silence as the sun sets.
Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.495.0935, diadelosmuertosphx.com, 2 to 8 p.m., free
Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
This Irish dance performance may make use of cutting-edge technology, lights, dancing robots and acrobatics, but it keeps the heart of its namesake, Lord of the Dance, the show which made Guinness World Record holder Michael Flatley famous. With Dangerous Games, tradition mixes with contemporary for an exciting time for all ages.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7:30 p.m., $39.50-$69.50.