New Year's Eve Guide: What Do to Do on the Biggest Night of the Year

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

Celebrity Theatre

Meat Puppets
It seems as though a slew of hometown heroes will stage some big gigs on New Year's Eve, whether it's the Gin Blossoms, Authority Zero, or Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. You can also add brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood to that list, as their seminal local band Meat Puppets — which got its start amid the chaos of Phoenix's punk scene in the '80s before riding a rocky road to success — will visit Clubhouse Music Venue, 1320 East Broadway Road in Tempe, for a special Auld Lang Syne engagement on Saturday, December 31. Flamingo and Peachcake will open the show. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $25-$35. Visit www.luckymanonline.com.
Meat Puppets
It seems as though a slew of hometown heroes will stage some big gigs on New Year's Eve, whether it's the Gin Blossoms, Authority Zero, or Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. You can also add brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood to that list, as their seminal local band Meat Puppets — which got its start amid the chaos of Phoenix's punk scene in the '80s before riding a rocky road to success — will visit Clubhouse Music Venue, 1320 East Broadway Road in Tempe, for a special Auld Lang Syne engagement on Saturday, December 31. Flamingo and Peachcake will open the show. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $25-$35. Visit www.luckymanonline.com.
Goblin King New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball
The 1980s were an awesome time to be an aficionado of fantasy films. Besides epic adventures like Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster, or Clash of the Titans, the era of parachute pants and President Reagan produced such memorable cinematic escapes as Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Legend. The latter three films (as well as Willow and The Princess Bride) will be celebrated during the Goblin King New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball on Saturday, December 31, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as creatures and characters from the flicks. Meanwhile, upbeat '80s alternative and pop tunes will be played in a "decked-out ballroom," Djentrification will offer beats in the lounge area, and Futurekind and dancers from the 
Scottsdale AZ Jazz Ensemble will perform. The 21-and-over (sorry, cosplay kiddies) event starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. Call 602-595-9187.
Goblin King New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball
The 1980s were an awesome time to be an aficionado of fantasy films. Besides epic adventures like Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster, or Clash of the Titans, the era of parachute pants and President Reagan produced such memorable cinematic escapes as Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Legend. The latter three films (as well as Willow and The Princess Bride) will be celebrated during the Goblin King New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball on Saturday, December 31, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as creatures and characters from the flicks. Meanwhile, upbeat '80s alternative and pop tunes will be played in a "decked-out ballroom," Djentrification will offer beats in the lounge area, and Futurekind and dancers from the Scottsdale AZ Jazz Ensemble will perform. The 21-and-over (sorry, cosplay kiddies) event starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. Call 602-595-9187.

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.

Orpheum Theatre

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.

Symphony Hall

225 E. Adams St.

www.phoenixsymphony.org

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.

US Airways Center

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

www.wingilariver.com

The Ovations Live! Showroom hosts an evening of rock 'n' roll action from Powerdrive. 8 p.m., $25-$250. Call 800-946-4452.

RESTAURANTS

The Compound Grill

7000 E. Mayo Blvd.

www.thecompoundgrill.com

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

www.elhefe.com

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.

JJ Madisons

430 N. Power Rd., Mesa

www.jjmadisons.com

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

www.mastrosrestaurants.com

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

www.mastrosrestaurants.com

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.

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