Hello, everyone. I just had the craziest dream! A worldwide pandemic prohibited live entertainment for a year, and everyone had to wear masks! Thank goodness I’m awake, and it was just a dream … right?
Of course, I am joking; COVID-19 is more of a nightmare—and a very real one at that. However, thanks to vaccines, live entertainment is beginning to return—and there are finally some happenings to share with you all. Here’s a taste of what the Coachella Valley entertainment scene has to offer during the month of May. Of course, these events are subject to change, because, well, you know …
There is one big name coming to the valley in May—and he’s christening a brand-new events space, of sorts, at Spotlight 29. Dubbed Coachella Crossroads—a large open field which has been frequently hosting soccer games—the venue will host country star Toby Keith on Saturday, May 15. Singer Jimmie Allen will open at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $175. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.
Fantasy Springs’ Special Events Center, where the bigger names play, has not reopened yet—but you can still find some great entertainment at the casino/resort. Acoustic and Unplugged featuring Mark Gregg and Misty Howell takes place every Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 11 p.m. inside Twelve. Admission is free, as the duo tackles a number of songs you’re familiar with in an intimate setting. Over in Lit, every Tuesday from 7 to 11 p.m., get your cowboy boots ready for Country Night. Whiskey Tango is slated to perform May 4, and you can catch the Doo-Wah Riders on May 18. Admission is free. Every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m., radio host and musician Brad Mercer hosts Brad’s Pad, a night of classic-rock tunes performed by Mercer and his eight-piece band. Again, admission is free. You’ll also find some riveting entertainment at Lit every Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., such as Vice Versa on May 7 and 8, and Six Hot Live on May 28 and 29. Admission remains free! The Rock Yard remains the place to be for Latin music and tribute acts. Every Wednesday and Sunday, from 7 p.m. to midnight, it’s Noches de Fuego, where you can dance the night away. Catch Nubes, a Caifanes Tribute, on Sunday, May 9, or Joyas Prestadas, a Selena tribute, on Sunday, May 30. The classic cover-rock bands arrive every Friday and Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 15, brings Queen cover band Queen Nation, and you can see a tribute to The Doors called Wild Child on Friday, May 28. Admission to the Rock Yard is, yet again, free. You must be 21 or older to attend any event, except for the classic-rock series at the Rock Yard, for which you must be 18-plus. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
The brand-new Agua Caliente Cathedral City is set to host a number of events in its lovely outdoor space. Starting May 7 and continuing every Friday, Latin musician Nacho Bustillos will perform from 7 to 10:30 p.m. His performance will be followed by a DJ set from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Every Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., prepare yourself for Super Sondio With Alf Alpha and Friends. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older to attend. Agua Caliente Cathedral City, 68960 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; 888-999-1995; www.aguacalientecasinos.com/cc.
The Hood Bar and Pizza is easing its way back into live entertainment, as owner Brad Guth has been adhering to local guidelines and taking every precaution. Every Friday at 8 p.m., Drag Queen Bingo With Sham Ibrahim is on the docket. This hilarious event has been a longtime favorite at The Hood. Every Saturday at 9 p.m., The Hood hosts Comedy Under the Stars, which features both local and national comedy talent. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older to attend, and Comedy Night has a two-drink minimum. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220.
The Joshua Tree Music Festival has started a brand-new outdoor concert series. Music Is the Soul of Life places attendees in their own “pod” of up to four people to ensure physical distancing. Funk band Diggin Dirt is slated to perform at 6:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, with rock band Con Brio taking the stage at 6:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29. Cumbia band Las Cafeteras will perform at 6:15 p.m., Sunday, May 30. Tickets for up to four people are sold by the pod, and range from $180 to $400. Joshua Tree Music Festival, 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree; joshuatreemusicfestival.com
Coachella Valley Brewing Co. has plans for a full month of entertainment. At 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 5, celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a performance by traditional Spanish group Las Tías. At 7 p.m., Friday, May 7, things should feel intimate, if socially distanced, as the brewery hosts an Outdoor Acoustic Showcase with featured performers including Matt Davin, Marc Sax, Nick Hales, Esther Sanchez, and Adam Gainey. The ante will be upped a week later, at 7 p.m., Friday, May 14, as The Sieve and the Saddle and Allies are set to perform. Friday, May 21, brings both cover band Christine and the Lost Keys and R&B duo Angelique and Dare House for a night of musical cross-pollination, starting at 7 p.m. The start-of-the-weekend fun continues at 7 p.m., Friday, May 28, with sets byindie artist Honey the Witch and acoustic soloist Symara Stone. All events are all ages and free. Coachella Valley Brewing Company, 30640 Gunther St., Thousand Palms; 760-343-5973.