There's a local angle on the massive metal show featuring Black Sabbath, with Pantera, Megadeth, and Soulfly in support: That last band's founder, Max Cavalera, formerly of Brazil's political-thrash outfit Sepultura, is now a Valley resident. For more info on the Brobdingnagian head-bang-fest, slated for Thursday, December 31, at Bank One Ballpark, 401 East Jefferson, see the feature on page 100.
Hopefully, the Phoenix Symphony won't have to strain, two blocks away, to make itself heard over the din from the Black Sabbath show (see above). The symphony continues its 1998-99 season with a program of faves from opera, ballet and theater, including "Largo al Factotum" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville; "Tango" from the film Addams Family Values; "Waltz of the Flowers" from Nutcracker; and Kurt Weill's "Moon-face Starry Eyed" from Street Scene. Members of Ballet Arizona perform to the latter two selections. Robert Moody conducts; the evening features solos by concertmaster Borivoj "Boro" Martinic-Jercic. It starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, December 31, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $23 to $43; a champagne toast at intermission is included. 262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 994-2787 (SCA), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
If you missed his Christmas Eve show at the Blue Note, you can still catch the coolest of the Jacksons, Michael's uncle Luther, when he plays a New Year's Eve show of his traditional Chicago-style blues sounds, backed up by the Valley-based Loose Cannons, from 9 p.m. Thursday, December 31, to 1 a.m. at the Alamo, 11807 North Saguaro Boulevard in Fountain Hills. The $5 admission includes party favors and champagne at midnight. 837-3360.
Or, if you prefer nonmusical New Year's Eve revels, there's the comedy lineup at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater. The bill, led by Kathleen Madigan, also features Jimmy Schubert and MAD TV regular Pat Kilbane. Showtimes are 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, December 31; and the same hours Friday, January 1; and Saturday, January 2; and 8 p.m. Sunday, January 3, at the Improv, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets are $30 and $40 for the 8 p.m. Thursday show, $50 for the 10 p.m. Thursday show, $12 for the Friday and Saturday shows, and $10 for the Sunday shows 921-9877.
For other New Year's Eve options, see the New Year's Eve Guide on page 90.
The previous night's partying notwithstanding, the Sacramento-based swing outfit Chrome Addicts vows to be in the mood to jump, jive and wail on the evening of New Year's Day. The band's scheduled to take the stage on Friday, January 1, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, in support of its blues-tinged and rather hoppin' CD Chrome Addicts Take II. Doors open at 8 p.m.; showtime is 9. 265-4842.
Busier now, almost, than in the midst of the Diamondbacks season, Bank One Ballpark hosts the 21st annual Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship at 6 p.m. Friday, January 1. Eight champion high school bands from around the country, including Arizona's own Highland High School, are set to compete at the event. Tickets are $15 reserved, $10 general. 350-0911 (Fiesta Bowl), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
"The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" are among the soul-healing tunes featured in The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, a revue by Mark Lamos and Mel Marvin that continues the season for the state's official professional theatrical entity, Arizona Theatre Company, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The run kicks off with a preview at 8 p.m. Friday, January 1; the opening proper is at 8 p.m. Sunday, January 2 (a "pay what you can" show); and performances are also scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, January 3; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 6. The January 6 show is audio-described for the visually impaired. Tickets range from $20 to $33, with discounts available for senior adults, students, military personnel and those in groups of 10 or more; they're available at Herberger and Dillard's box offices. The run continues through Sunday, January 24. 252-TIXS (8497), 503-5555.
The usual array of floats, bands, horsies and celebs rolls down Central for the Fiesta Bowl Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 2; reserved VIP tickets are $18; reserved riser seats are $12; and reserved chairs are $8. 350-0911 (Fiesta Bowl), 503-5555.
Guest-jurored by Frank Sargent and Ed Mell, the second annual "For Adults Only" show opens at 11 East Ashland. The exhibition, featuring works of sculpture, photography, video, poetry and mixed media, begins with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, January 2, and continues through Saturday, January 23, at the venue (off Central, two blocks south of Virginia). 257-8543.
Many of the galleries in the city's Old Town arts district remain open from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, January 3, for the annual Fiesta Bowl Scottsdale Art Walk. Also on the agenda: entertainment, kid-art stuff, food and drink. Admission is free; call 350-0909 for more information.
Pianist Michael Ellis is scheduled to perform contemporary tunes for free from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, January 3, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. 957-6660.
Buried somewhere in the midst of all the Fiesta Bowl hoopla, there's a football game of some sort. In preparation for this minor sideline event, Tempe's Rio Salado Park hosts College Football's Biggest Party, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday, January 4. Jumbotrons, music, cheerleaders and bands, food and drink are all on the agenda. Tickets, available in advance or at the gate, are $10. 350-0911 (Fiesta Bowl), 503-5555.