Best Place to Get Up Close and Personal with the Band 2010 | Palo Verde Lounge | Bars & Clubs | Phoenix

Best Place to Get Up Close and Personal with the Band

Palo Verde Lounge

Jacob Tyler Dunn
The beloved PV has long been known by punkers and other scuzz-rock fans as one of the best rocker-friendly drinking dives in the Valley. And when no-BS owner Chuck unplugs the jukebox, pushes the pool table to the back of the tiny bar, sets up a cheap PA, and starts slinging $2 PBRs, the "Dirty Verde" becomes the next best thing to a rock 'n' roll house party. Packed tight and inches away from the band, fans shake along to the music and hold their beers high, while loud-ass amps rattle their bodies and the singer's sweat flies in their faces.

Best Place to Find an Underground Hardcore Show

The Slurp

The Slurp, located in a hush-hush warehouse around McClintock and University drives, is a beautiful wreck: pieces of debris all over the concrete floor, a pile of music gear and random junk in one corner, and, leaning against one wall, 10-foot-high pieces of particle board painted with, well, let's just say interesting designs. Combine that with out-of-town bands playing hardcore, screamo, black metal, or anything that insinuates impending death, and dark-music fans have a pretty rad place to publicly hate their lives. You can even climb a dodgy ladder to an even dodgier perch for an elevated view of acts such as Portland's Transient, Florida's Dark Castle, locals like The Tightholes or Pigeon Religion, or the Navajo Nation-based Sinking in Shit.
Benjamin Leatherman
Six years ago, longtime downtowners Bradford and Andy McPants started a weekly underground DJ night at Bikini Lounge. They had no way of knowing the beast they were creating. After various incarnations and resident DJs, today's artsy dance party is 602'sdays, and you're not going to find anything else like it in the Valley. Folks like Djentrification, Meaty Ogre, and Salchi von Papi spin and mash up sonic oddities such as rare Afrobeat, Turkish psych, and Thai funk. Throughout the year, the shindig will go thematic, meaning you'll have to pick out the confetti from your PBR pitcher during Mardi Gras or duck from the Super Soaker-aided, fake-blood attack around Halloween.
Some clubs have bikini-clad girls dancing on pedestals. Others book touring DJs who are "big in London." And most are decked out with mirrored walls and flashing lights. But none of that guarantees a great dance night. That's why we love Ransom, on Fridays at Philthy Phil's. You won't see any of those cheap tricks at this authentic dive bar. And with a teeny dance floor, it only takes about 10 people to fill it — you'll never feel alone or awkward.
The Lost Leaf
Name a crappier feeling than this: The bar's closing and you're 12 fluid ounces away from being slightly more than "just buzzed." One solution is to spend a night drinking brewskis at The Lost Leaf. Then, when you're about to get booted after last call, order a bottle/multiple receptacles of beer, keep it capped, get home safely, and enjoy the beverage at home. The downtown spot, open 365 days a year, has a license that allows takeout beer purchases — so, as long as you don't do something stupid, like shotgun a Chimay in The Lost Leaf's front yard, you'll be all good.
Word from the wise: It'd be a shrewd move to become a fan of The Quincy on Facebook or to start following the underground venue's tweets. That's the only way to find when the next over-the-top after-hours affair is happening at The "Q." Hidden in a ramshackle strip mall down the street from Rainbow Donuts, it functions as the studio and gallery of funky photographer Quincy Ross. But it transforms into a secretive seraglio of sinful fun on weekend nights, most of which don't even get going until after midnight. But if you're eager to attend the next big bash, be warned: Getting inside typically involves traipsing down a pitch-black alley leading to the back door. Better download that flashlight app for your iPhone.
Patricia Escarcega
Our qualifications for "Best Hangover Breakfast" have more to do with the comfort of our surroundings than the actual food on the plate. Let's face it: Those first few bites aren't going to be pretty, no matter what you're eating. The food just needs to be greasy. And the lighting had better be dim, the booth high-backed, and the waitress kind. Harlow's fits the bill on all accounts. We're not recommending you drink yourself sick (or even silly), but if you do, we have just the morning-after spot for you.
Rough night? We've got the cure. The Meadows got a lot of press this year when Tiger Woods booked a suite there in an effort to kick his lady lust — or, at least, execute a hollow gesture to please his sponsors and avoid a $100 million divorce settlement. No word on whether the program worked for Tiger (the nearest Perkins restaurant is in Bullhead City, so we suggest you ask around there), but he probably had a nice stay at this dude ranch-like clinic that advertises its "desert views and clear skies." In addition to helping people with a poontang problem, they'll treat your addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and — get this — work. Sounds corny, sure, but their programs draw well, so The Meadows has served as a quiet place for Kate Moss, Mike Tyson, and Whitney Houston to battle their demons. As for us, we're not ready to give up booze, pills, or sex just yet, but we'd still consider a weekend retreat. Who knows what the relapse rate is, but The Meadows seems to be a great place to spot a celebrity — provided you don't mind don't listening to a dude in a cable-knit turtleneck yammer on about how you're "destroying everyone and everything you love." And, hey, you might just get the chance to have sex with Tiger Woods.
Lauren Cusimano
Though James Bond would hate the Three Wise Men shot at Rips, the drink might be as close as you get to having the balls of the original international man of mystery. The girl behind the bar at Rips will pour hefty amounts of Crown Royal, Jose Cuervo, and Jack Daniel's — the three international wise men — into a sizable tumbler. Then she'll laugh at you when you try to take it all at once. It's known as a "catch up with your friends," for any latecomer to happy hour, or a "pre-Obscura," to be consumed before the weekly Saturday-night dance party. Trust us, getting up the courage it takes to dance like a true hipster at Obscura just might be worth the drink's $9 price.
Benjamin Leatherman
The electricity bill at Kat's probably doesn't tax the wallets of its proprietors too terribly, as the lighting is low inside this dive bar located near Indian School Road and 24th Street. The inky interior is punctuated only by the faint glow of a few neon beer signs and a pinball machine, providing a shadowy sanctuary in which to escape the worries of the world, if only for a few hours. It's a little bit like the Batcave (or should we say, Katkave), only with beer, booze, and billiards. The barkeeps never seem to answer the phone much, either, so one will never have to worry about his or her day-drinking sessions being disturbed by a concerned significant other.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of