Best Drag Show 2018 | 4Some Revue | Nightlife | Phoenix

Club VOLT's 4Some Revue recently has undergone changes, altering the original cast that has been performing at the relatively new venue for over a year. Toothpick and Joey Jay have been added to the show, joining original cast members Luna Love St. James and Gia DeMilo to bring the roof down every Friday starting at 10:30 p.m. The weekly cast is talented, bringing their own brands of fashion, comedy, and lip-syncs time and time again. But it's the rotating special guest spots (filled with some of the Valley's most interesting performers, veterans and newbies alike) that make the show truly pop. Be sure to try one of the special 4Some cocktails, which have to be the booziest $4 drinks offered in metro Phoenix.

Katie Walter

At most local bars, karaoke seems like an afterthought or off-night lark aimed at bringing in bodies when it's ordinarily dead, dead, deadski. Not so at The Grapevine in Old Town Scottsdale, where the spot's nightly singing sessions in the downstairs bar are its most popular attraction. Grapevine's proprietors fully embrace its rock-star status as a karaoke destination and offer a fun, come-as-you-are atmosphere, where a diverse crowd croons an equally diverse variety of tunes. KJs (or "karaoke jockeys" for you rookies) James, Monica, DJ Rey, and Frank are your affable hosts and can suggest something from the 400-page songbook if you can't decide. They might even join you on vocals, as will the bartenders, waitstaff, and other patrons, particularly if it's a crowd-pleaser like "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Bohemian Rhapsody." If you're eager to grab the mic and step into the spotlight, things get going at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Talent is, of course, optional, but enthusiasm is always appreciated.

Game bar Bonus Round is total geek heaven. Besides the fact that it's literally next door to a comic-book shop, the bar features signature drinks inspired by Star Wars and other nerdy subject matter (we like the fruity, potent Plasma Grenade), weekly bar trivia sessions, movie screenings, and tons of fan art dotting its walls. Oh, and Bonus Round has games. Lots of games. Like, an insane amount of games. Beyond its selection of 18 arcade titles (including the popular multiplayer title Killer Queen), there's a living room-like area outfitted with a big-screen TV equipped with a number of emulated old-school consoles. Nearby, you'll find shelves overflowing with games of the board, card, tabletop, and party variety, ranging from old favorites like Risk and Clue to more modern examples like Settlers of Catan. They don't stay shelved for too long, and frequently can be found being played at tables by groups of friends eager to pwn one another for fun. Game on!

Charles Barth

Technology and credit cards have made cash practically obsolete, but the jukebox at Gracie's Tax Bar is the perfect reason to bring some crisp green bills for a night chugging down some libations. Smooth out some Washingtons and Lincolns against the edge of the multidisc machine, and you can craft an eclectic soundtrack for your drunken evening. Filled with music selected by local businesswoman and musician Grace Perry, the jukebox allows you to dance to some Otis Redding, rock out to The Clash, or put on some Johnny Cash and cry in your beer. (Note: We never recommend crying in your beer. Ever.)

Benjamin Leatherman

Is it a saloon? An Irish pub? A dive bar? All of the above? This bar on Camelback Road has a front porch that would fit in during the days of the Old West, a name that suggests Irish heritage, and an interior that could only be described as dive-y. Still, in an era when brand is everything and most restaurants and bars rely on gimmicks to get customers in the door, you have to respect H.B. Hanratty's amazing generalness. There's alcohol. There are darts. There's billiards. There are even pinball machines and the classic arcade hunting game Big Buck Hunter. If you want more in a bar, go somewhere else.

Let's face it, sports bars can be a dime a dozen. When it really boils down to it, they're all pretty much the same, offering the standard mix of bar food, televised action, and brews aplenty. Frankly, it takes something special to stand out from the lineup of other jock joints in town, which Santisi Brothers does with ease. Its enormous selection of 130 television screens (a.k.a. the "Wide Wall of Sports") trumps any other sports bar in town by itself. There are also plenty of activities taking place nightly at this north Phoenix hangout, ranging from karaoke and poker to fantasy sports sessions. Add in its similarly staggering selection of food and drink options (which include a wealth of hand-tossed pizzas, delicious wings, and a variety of Italian favorites), and Santisi Brothers stands tall over its competition. 

Benjamin Leatherman

There are many, many dive bars gracing the neighborhoods of our vast metropolis, but Hambone Sports Bar sets itself apart with a couple of distinct attributes. First, the Mesa strip mall bar has been The Hambone since 1958, or whatever year it opened — no one really knows for sure. It's first and foremost a pool bar, meaning six or so billiards tables dominate the room. The best part? You can smoke inside as there technically aren't windows, just screens. Yes, it's also a little warm, so good thing there's a bar and experienced bartenders to go with it. And here are some more fun facts: There used to be a menu, but now it's just drinks and snacks, so it dropped the "and grill" from the name. It opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday — a classic dive bar move — and at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It does accept credit cards, it does have an internet jukebox, and yes, it does have a claw machine packed with stuffed and adult toys.

Jennifer Goldberg

When you think about it, Casey Moore's Oyster House — a freaking mainstay of the Tempe bar scene — is a big place. First, you have to make a decision on where you'd like to drink — options being the inside bar, a couple of side rooms, the spacious front patio, and the back-bar area shrouded in canopies that make you feel like you're shopping in some Moroccan market. If you're arriving during the day — and we suggest you do, as the patio is dog-friendly till 5 p.m. — make your decision and order a drink, because it's about to get fun. Spot old friends, out-of-towners, obvious regulars, and students just realizing they maybe shouldn't have brought their parents here for lunch. What's more, you can couple this quality people-watching with the lengthy and well-executed food menu. Order some fried clam strips, Oysters Rockefeller, Casey's Famous Reuben, or on chillier days, a cup of Casey's homemade soup. And for every other day, there are cold drinks.

Benjamin Leatherman

Most DJs wait forever for their big break. Chris Villa got his at age 13. In 2001, he was spotted doing turntable trickery at a local Guitar Center by a personality from Power 92.3 (now Power 98.3/96.1). It led to an appearance on the hip-hop station, and later, a full-time job after graduating high school. And Villa's gotten exponentially better since then, developing into a rock-solid selector who can effortlessly spin mixes on the fly, dominate in DJ battles, and rock a crowd. Having just turned 30, he's only hitting his stride. Good thing, too, since Villa's constantly in demand. He plays at clubs five nights a week, posts hit-getting performance videos to industry website, holds it down weekdays on LIVE 101.5, and works as an official Arizona Diamondbacks DJ during baseball season. He also occasionally jets off to NYC for sets on SiriusXM's Shade 45 channel or Serrato's social media platforms. And somewhere in there, he finds time to dote on his two sons, ages 6 months and 3 years. Basically, it's "can't stop, won't stop" for Villa, who wouldn't have it any other way.

The fliers made by Djentrification are as unique as one of his mixes. That is to say, they're a blend of funky, quirky, and worldly vibes, coupled with a little bit of odd and a whole lotta cool. For years, the artist and DJ has created fliers for events he's involved in (like the weekly 602'sDays party at Bikini Lounge). Each one is crafted by hand using a number of methods — including stenciling, drawing, and silk-screening — and always feature his distinctive styles of lettering that are almost graf-like in appearance. He also occasionally incorporates desert or indigenous influences, whether it's a serpentine creature winding around the letters or fashioning words in the shape of a roadrunner. Djentrification's art deserves its own exhibition, which it got earlier this year ... sorta. During AJJ's Desert Trash party at The Van Buren back in February, a collection of his fliers, prints, and other works were put on display, including the amazing poster he created for the event (natch).

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