By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
As far as years go, 2011 wasn't one of the best. Sure, getting out mitts on Tom Waits' latest album was pretty sweet, but we coulda lived without the major tragedies and the never-ending financial nightmare. We're eager for this year to end, but not before we send it out on a positive note with a memorable New Year's Eve. If you're also hoping for high jinks and high adventure on Auld Lang Syne, check out the list of potent parties taking place around the Valley on Saturday, December 31. And you also could be the winner of a case of Bud Light, 10 Harkins Movie Passes, and a $50 gift card to Coach & Willie's. Just count the number of Bud Cards in this guide (all of them) and enter your guess online at www.phoenixnewtimes.com/budweiser. Winners must be 21 and older. Winner will be selected at random and notified by phone Thursday, December 29, 2011. — Benjamin Leatherman
SPECIAL EVENTS & CONCERTS
440 N. 32nd St.
Fans of Mötley Crüe and David Lee Roth-era of Van Halen won't wanna miss KUPD's New Year's Eve affair starring tribute acts Motley, Inc. and The Atomic Punks. Doors are at 8 p.m.; $5 general admission, $10 reserved seating. Call 602-267-1600.
Fort McDowell Casino
10424 N. Fort McDowell Rd., Fort Mcdowell
Enjoy free appetizers, party favors, a free champagne toast at midnight, and music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Lucky 7 Saloon from The Whip-its. Call 602-843-3678.
Montelucia Resort & Spa
4949 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale
Radio Junket and DJ XXXclusive will be the featured entertainment at the resort's New Year's Eve gala, which also promises dancing, champagne, and more. 7 p.m.; $45-$75 for general admission, $1,500 for VIP entry. Call 480-627-3200.
203 W. Adams St.
It wouldn't be Auld Lang Syne without a concert by perennial New Year's Eve favorite Jerry Riopelle, who will present an evening of his blues-rock hits with support from Garland Jeffreys. 9 p.m. $45-$100. Call 480-784-4444 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
The Marquee Theatre
730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe
Jason DeVore and the boys from Mesa's Authority Zero will be celebrating New Year's Eve in front of a hometown crowd with an evening of ska-punk along with the Voodoo Glow Skulls. Valley bands Lookoutlook, Inept Hero, and Riot Act are also scheduled to appear. 6 p.m., $22. Call 480-829-0707.
Scottsdale's Ultimate Block Party
Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
The Old Town fete mixes champagne, cocktails, and bands aplenty, as well as the usual staples, like a fireworks show at midnight. Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers headline the main stage, which also includes performances by Veragroove and The Black Moods. Various food, beverage, and street vendors also will be on hand. 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. See www.scotts dalesultimateblockparty.com.
225 E. Adams St.
The Phoenix Symphony presents its annual New Year's Eve concert, offering its rendition of Broadway hits, as well as a selection of Strauss waltzes. 7:30 p.m., $37 and up. Call 602-495-1999.
201 E. Jefferson St.
The King of Pop will be feted in grand fashion when Cirque du Soleil stages Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour to downtown Phoenix. 8 p.m., $50-$175. Call 480-784-4444 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
The Ovations Live! Showroom hosts an evening of rock 'n' roll action from Powerdrive. 8 p.m., $25-$250. Call 800-946-4452.
The Compound Grill
7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Texas roots rockers Uncle Lucius will serve up an enticing sonic stew combining country twang with R&B grooves for the Compound's patrons during its New Year's Eve celebration. The Sugar Thieves will open the show. 8:30 p.m., $20-$25. Call 480-585-5483.
El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria
4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale
DJ Diesel will be in the mix all evening at what's sure to be a packed party, which will feature penny drinks all night. A wealth of table service and seating options are available, ranging from $800 for the personal tap booths to $1,000 for the stage above the bar. 8 p.m., $50 and up. El Hefe will also reopen at 6 a.m. on January 1 for the "New Year's Day Wake & Bake," which offers a complimentary buffet, bottomless mimosas, a Bloody Mary bar, and house music from DJ Thomas James. Call 480-241-2682.
430 N. Power Rd., Mesa
This East Valley eatery will offer a special $24.99 dinner for two featuring a shared appetizer and dessert, champagne toast at midnight, two entrees, and more. Live music will also be offered throughout the night. 5 p.m. Call 480-924-8778.
Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
6991 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
Dine on selections from the à la carte menu and enjoy live entertainment by The Nate Willams Band before partaking in the midnight champagne toast. Private dining rooms are also available for parties. 5 p.m. Call 602-264-2655.
Mastro's Ocean Club
15045 N. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale
Mastro's private dining rooms will be available on New Year's Eve, an à la carte menu will be served, The Joey and Link Band offers live entertainment, and a champagne toast takes place at midnight. 5 p.m., $50-$100. Call 602-264-2655.