Some sad news broke earlier this week that Arizona State University has taken a tumble in Newsweek's rankings of the top party schools in the nation. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. At one time (read: 2002) ASU was at the top of the heap and had a major infamy for hosting some major ragers, whether it was in various dorms and frat houses across campus or over in the bars and clubs of Mill Avenue.
It's time to reclaim your crown, Sun Devils. And you can do so during any of the back-to-school bashes that will be taking place at the nightspots located throughout both Tempe and Scottsdale. Proprietors of said establishments are eagerly welcoming back students (and their disposable incomes) from colleges across the Valley with a variety of guest DJs, drink specials, and unique events over the next week or so in anticipation of classes resuming on August 23.
Canteen A special "Back to School" shindig will be staged at the Mill Avenue drinkery on Saturday, August 18, and promises games and contests, prizes and giveaways, and both employees and patrons dressed as nerds and "naughty students." Students who show their IDs will get a ticket for a penny shot during the affair, and happy hour pricing will be offered from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. The party starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.
Afterlife While a majority of our back-to-school party rundown is devoted to drinking establishments, there are a few places where the 18-and-over crowd can shake a tailfeather, most notably this all-ages Scottsdale playground. The club resumers its weekly Afterlife Saturdays Uncensored (A.S.U., get it?) on Saturday, August 18, and will offer the AZ Party Rockers, DJ Looney, and DJ Jon Amaral in the mix until 4 a.m. A variety of casino games, go-go dancers, and shower shows are also planned. Doors open at 10 p.m. The cover is $10 before 11 p.m., $15 thereafter.
Vintage Lounge A massive back-to-school blowout will take place on Thursday, August 23, at the second floor lounge and will feature $3 well cocktails, shot specials, giveaways, and DJ NYC spinning up electronica, dubstep, and dance music. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover charges vary.
Mill Cue Club The stylish pool hall will both welcome back ASU students and celebrate its 17th anniversary on Thursday, August 23, with a red carpet-themed soiree offering go-go girls, roaming photographers, specials on Vodka Red Bull cocktails, $4.50 Long Islands, and a visit from Sin City's DJ Spyder. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Smashboxx DJ Lucky Lou of Hollywood's Party Rock Crew will be the special guest on Friday, August 17, when Smashboxx welcomes back the college crowd with a night of dancing and drinking. Doors open at 9 p.m. Cover charges vary.
Fat Tuesday DJ Elijah Stone will be dropping Top 40 jams and dance music all evening starting at 9 p.m. during the kickoff of Mardi Gras-themed bar's "King of Tuesdays" weekly party on Tuesday, August 21. Meanwhile, happy hour prices will be available all day long, including all of its signature daiquiris available for $5.50, half-priced appetizers, and all well cocktails and bottled beers for $3 each. Hours are from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.
The Sail Inn The college crowd will be busting out the bed sheets for the Sail Inn's annual Toga Party on Saturday, August 25. Besides a bevy of babes and bros in bacchanalian wear, the event will include live music from such local bands as The Sugar Thieves and Spafford, as well as various drink specials, a costume contest, and a combination burlesque and freak show. The fete begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Big Bang College kids can get free admission to the underground piano bar every night (not to mention 20 percent off all drinks) from Thursday, August 23, until September 1 when they flash their student ID to the doormen before heading downstairs. Hours are from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.
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Tavern on Mill Sport some maroon and gold (or any other item of Sun Devil gear) and you'll get Smirnoff drinks for $2 each during the Tavern's "ASU Pride Night" on Thursday, August 23. Pimp prizes like gift cards, tickets to ASU football games and free chances to play the links for free at Karsten Golf Course will be raffled off all night. Deejay T3 and the Boom Squad will provide the soundtrack. The event begins at 9 p.m. Admission is free.
Zuma Grill A "Freaks and Geeks" fiesta will be staged on Thursday, August 23, and will feature hot spins from DJ Wolfpack, a custom longboard being given away to a lucky patron, and $3 Pineapple Mind Erasers all night. The party starts at 9 p.m. No cover.