14 Best Fourth of July Parties in Metro Phoenix
Nate "Igor" Smith
The whiz-bang spectacle of the Fourth of July isn't gonna be limited to just skyrockets in flight or legal pyrotechnics going off in your neighbor's backyard, bub. The Valley's club scene tends to turn up the razzle-dazzle during the annual holiday with an abundance of can't miss Independence Day dance parties featuring blockbuster DJs who paint the town with explosions of sound.
This year's no exception, as promoters and proprietors are planning on lighting the fuse on numerous nightlife spectaculars over the three-day weekend where you can raise a toast to 'Murica, sport stars and stripes swimwear, blow up the dance floor.
Call us bleeding heart libbies if you must, but we're of the mind that the U.S. is best when it's open to anyone and everyone, regardless of their race, color, creed, or (dare we say) taste in music. So when a Latin-heavy dance night like Bar Smith's weekly Thursday joint decides to throw an event like its Pre-Fourth of July Bottle Rockets Bash, it seems downright American from a pro-melting pot point of view. The two-floor affair on Thursday, July 3, will feature DJ Fantastico spinning Latin on the rooftop while local legend Albert Lineses III provides hip-hop, trap, and EDM downstairs. Drink deals like $1 wells and AMFs until 11 p.m. and $2 Fireballs and Coronas before midnight will also be in the mix. Doors open at 10 p.m.
Fourth of July partiers at the Monarch Theatre in 2012.
The big beats and big-room sound of EDM forefather Paul Oakenfold will get your Yankee Doodle derriere moving during his headlining appearance at the Monarch Theatre on Thursday, July 3. Prism and locals Turner and Heit will open the night, which begins at 9 p.m., and is followed by an after-hours session with DJ Dan that kicks off at 2 a.m. and runs into the early hours of July Fourth. Admission is $20 for the main event, $10 for the after-party only, or $25 for both gigs.
The lighting rig at Electric Ballroom will be blasting as much color as a fireworks bonanza during the Independence Day Pre-Party on Thursday, July 3, as DJ Kaydee pounds out hip-hop tracks over the sound system all night. He's also celebrating the release of his new mixtape, Still Grindin' 3, which you can score free copies of before 11:30 p.m. Ditto for $5 you-call-its, $150 bottle of Ciroc, and $200 bottles of Ciroc with 24 Karat champagne or Luc Belaire Rose. Ladies also get in free and dudes on the guest list score reduced cover before 11:30. The party kicks off at 9 p.m.
You can thank our founding fathers for the fact that the Fourth of July is a nationwide day off, while you can similarly tip the hat to Pope Gregory XIII for his calendar system that allows the holiday to fall on a Friday this year, thus allowing a three-day weekend. Said fact is gleefully pimped by the cats at All-Star Thursday's when promoting its Best of Both Worlds Independence Party: "No work, no school the next day -- no excuses." Indulge in worry-free revelry when hitting up any of Bobby Q's three bars or two dance floors on Thursday night. DJ Freshmaker and DJ Phlava will be rocking hip-hop in one room while Astonish, Dark Vader, and Skoolboi serve up Top 50 in the other. There's also drink specials, tacos out on the patio, and more. Doors at 9 p.m. Cover varies.
Celebrating the Fourth of July in style in Scottsdale.
Yucca Tap Room
Blunt Club artist Dumperfoo probably won't be decorating a canvas with any ghetto-fab portrayals of Old Glory during his live painting session, nor will resident turntablist Pickster One drop any scratch-filled remixes of patriotic music on the ones and twos (save for maybe the Beastie Boys' joint "Paul Revere"). That said, the Blunt Club on Thursday, July 3, is firmly a Fourth of July fete, since the flyer features an homage to the iconic Black Cat Fireworks and special guest SlopFunkDust (a.k.a. local hip-hop producer Terrance Harding) will set off a firestorm of dancing during an all-beats set while both Pickster and Dumps will be "lighting off bootleg fireworks" in the parking lot.
The Party Time Crew not only...um, parties, they do it hard, and they do it colorfully (hence their unique logo). Such will likely be the case during their Fourth of July Bash on Friday, July 4, which will feature its resident DJ/party instigator Hazardous dropping electro and club bangers along with DJ DEF and Silent-J. A live photo shoot with the promo girls and models of BTT Studios will also give you the chance to be photographed with hotties while drink specials like $1 Fire Eater shots until 11 p.m. and $4 well drinks and pitchers will afford you courage enough to talk to 'em, too. The party starts at 9 p.m. No cover.
Maya Day & Nightclub
Maya will be transformed quite literally into a temple of boom on Friday, July 4, when renowned trance/house producer Mat Zo will unleash his typically bass-heavy creations from the outdoor DJ booth and rattle the walls. Ditto for Canadian 808 freak Grandtheft, who will serve as opener along with Miami-based electronic dance music trio Brass Knuckles and trap/electro beatsmith Jack Novak. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the party runs until 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and the VIP treatment goes for $40.
Nate "Igor" Smith
Rips Ales & Cocktail
Former KUKQ jock Leah Miller and local Jim Ballard, a longtime fan of the defunct AM alternative station of local lore, will certainly evoke the spirit of America being the "land of the free" at the ResurreKQtion Fourth of July Bash on Friday, July 4. There's no cover for the latest edition of their monthly revival of the famed station and its playlist, which involves the two spinning retro alternative from the station's heyday of 1989 to 1993 (think Jesus Jones, Machines of Loving Grace, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and Jane's Addiction) and they'll give out free recreations of KUKQ's signature bumper stickers. The music starts at 9 p.m.
Not everyone's heart will be swelling with jingoism and national pride come Friday. DJ Tristan/Iseult, for instance, will be "celebrating the dark side of American history" at downtown dance salon Palazzo at Red, White, &
Blue Black Magic, a special edition of his monthly night HÄXAN. Gloomy and grinding audio of a dark wave, witch house, industrial, synthwave, and post-nothingness nature will ooze from the sound system courtesy of Tristan/Iseult and Plastic Disease long after "the celebratory fireworks have died out and all that is left is a smoke filled sky." The gloom looms from 9:30 p.m. until 4 a.m. Cover is $8.
Is hip-hop still considered to be a bonafide path for going from rags to riches and grabbing ahold of the American Dream? While Jay-Z, Yeezus, 50 Cent, and countless other have certainly proven so, while varying amounts of cultural and hip-hop wags consider it to be a fallacy. Don't tell that to the crowd of unsigned and burgeoning local rappers who have been honing their respective games for years and will ply their rhymes during the Independent Hustlas Day Explosion on Friday, July 4, at Joe's Grotto. Justus Samuel of Cut Throat Logic will host the party, which will showcase such Valley talents as Hannibal Leq, Bookie, Boogeyman, Valeboy, Koko, Ethyn Blew, Wo Nyce 500, Rocadopolis, City Lyfe, and others. Things get going at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Two chicas at the grand opening of Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row last year.
Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row
Last Fourth of July, local country king Dierks Bentley fittingly celebrated the grand opening of his Scottsdale gin joint and honky-tonk with a packed house, live performances, barrels of booze, and enough down-home rowdiness to rival the campground at Country Thunder. One year later, you can expect much the same at Whiskey Row's First Anniversary on Friday, July 4, when the "outlaw country hip-hop" of Moonshine Bandits fills the place and gets everyone in the mood for a rip-roaring time. Leading up to the band's gig at 10 p.m. will be a day of barbecue, redneck cocktails, and giant-sized games of beer pong using a volleyball and trash cans as cups during a tournament for $300. Doors open at 11 a.m. and admission is free, y'all.
They're ditching red and blue at this Old Town Scottsdale spot for the annual Fourth of July All White Party on Friday night. And you can save some green by showing up early on, as an open bar will be available until 11 p.m., there's a $5 bucks gets those in nothing but white attire inside until at 11:30, and a fiver gets you Ciroc, Hennessy, or Patron until midnight. The DJ trio of Phlava, DJ Klassic, and Freshmaker will provide the soundtrack of hip-hop, R&B, and Top 40 to help get things ratchet. Doors open at 9 p.m.
The Shout House
Perched on the second floor of Westgate in Glendale, this giddy piano bar is planning wall-to-wall entertainment on Independence Day of both the rock and skyrocket variety. Its dueling piano players will begin dishing out power ballads, radio-friendly favorites, and chart-topping hits from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., with a brief intermission for patrons to check out Westgate's fireworks show from the patio at 9 p.m. Bartenders will pour $2 Coors, $8 domestics in a 32-ounce souvenir glass (with $6), and $6 patriotic cocktails. There's no cover for military or those who arrive early.
Short of handing out trucker caps, bibles, or "Love It or Leave" t-shirts, there isn't not much more 'Murica that DJ Roya and DJ Funkfinger can cram into their America, F*ck Yeah! dance party on Saturday, July 5. They'll have free apple pie, sparklers, miniature flags, a hot dog-eating contest, and cheap-ass $1.75 brews of the Miller, Coors Light, and PBR variety.
Attendees are encouraged to not only wear an "ensemble that shows the best American spirit" but to be as over-the-top as possible about it. The DJ duo will award prizes for the best costumes and plan on throwing some cheesy, holiday-appropriate songs like "Born in the USA," "American Girl," and even a certain ultra-profane Team America: World Police anthem into their usual mix of indie, dance, and retro tunes. The party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free before 9:30 p.m., $5 thereafter.
Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.