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 Winners must be 21 and older. Winner will be selected at random and notified by phone Thursday, December 29, 2011. — Benjamin Leatherman


Celebrity Theatre

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

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

Symphony Hall

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.

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

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.

JJ Madisons

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

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.