Where was your favorite place to catch a concert this past year? We're willing to bet all the cash we got in our Christmas stockings it was at the much-ballyhooed Crescent Ballroom. Or maybe at the Tempe Tavern or Scottsdale's Roxy Lounge. All three of these pimp live music palaces made a major splash after making their debut during the past 12 months.
Elsewhere in Scottsdale, this year also saw the birth of a wide variety of nightlife concepts in Old Town, allowing nightcrawlers to drink and dance either by the pool (Spanish Fly), inside a pseudo bank vault (The Mint), or in the secretive embrace of a clandestine club (Wild Knight).
We also bid a fond farewell to more than a dozen different bars, clubs, and venues. Some went way before their time (Venue 104) and a couple closed their doors only to return within months (College Dropouts) or closed with plans of being reborn in 2012 (The Foundry).
Read on for a list of which places came or went this past year.
Crescent Ballroom: Since opening in the fall, this epic music venue has beckoned scenesters, bon vivants, and indie kids into its midst almost every night with its urbane aura and killer lineup of performers. Its concert hall has hosted big names like St. Vincent, Iron and Wine, and Phantogram. Then there's the lounge, which has provided a dimly-lit setting to enjoy microbrews and premium booze from the bar, as well as free shows and DJ gigs almost every night of the week.
Scottsdale's New Spots: Saddlebag Trail got a host of new arrivals over the past 12 months, such as the raucous El Hefe, the clandestine Wild Knight, and the latest location of Dan Majerle's sports bar empire. Meanwhile, the Dollhouse added a girly counterpart to the more manly Smashboxx, Spanish Fly took the notion of swank pool parties to a whole new level, Barney's Boathouse moved from Tempe to Old Town, and the both the Roxy Lounge and Rockbar Inc gave clubgoers a place to catch local bands and throw up devil horns.
Yellow Canary Dance Hall/Funny World: We also witnessed the debut of a number of under-the-radar music venues, including the YCDH (which is run out of an industrial park by Stephen Steinbrink and James Fella) and the funky house-based joint known as Funny World (which is run by a dude named "Space-Alien Donald"). Like such underground spots as The Tribe House and YOBS, its a place to catch unique band shows without having to worry about IDs or bouncers.
Here's a list of establishments that made a debut (or a re-debut) this year.
The Rogue West: For what seemed like eons, this dingy dive was the only bona fide punk bar in the West Valley. And after Jugheads and Copper State Tavern closed last year, Rogue West was one of the only punk joints in town, period. It had all the hallmarks of a great place: Tatted-up bartenders, cheap swill, live rockabilly bands on weekends, and a shitty bathroom. In April, the owners dropped a bombshell and announced its closing due to "an absurd personal injury lawsuit." A bizarre ending for an equally bizarre place.
Devil's Martini: At one time, both Devil's Martini locations in Old Town and North Scottsdale were the place to see and be seen in Scottsdale. They were haute hideaway's drenched in white decor that served as notorious hunting grounds for cougars, as well as a gathering spot for urban professionals, well-manicured men, and hip twentysomethings looking to dance. Eventually, hipper and flashier clubs opened and drained away their business.
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Here's a look back at the music venues, dance spots, and nightclubs that closed during this past year: