The college crowd is typically flush with cash at the start of the school year, often because of overly generous parents or one of those soon-to-be-regretted student loans. But trust us, the money doesn't last. Your bank account may seem loaded in late August, but things will get scarce by the time midterms roll around, particularly for those who are over 21 and plan to imbibe before, during, or after classes in the weeks and months ahead.
It probably would be best to stretch things out a bit. And we recommend starting as early as possible, like by availing yourself of any of the copious drink and booze deals that are being offered by some of the bars and nightclubs in Tempe and Scottsdale that will be hosting "Back to School" parties and other special events in your honor starting tonight and up until this weekend.
And believe us, said events are definitely aimed at you. Plus, there are a plenty to choose from, each with its own respective repast of economically priced drinking options and unique vibe -- from low-key concerts to gigantic ragers. Last week, we gave you the lowdown on five such fiestas. Here are twice as many that will occur from today through Saturday, August 25.
Wells Fargo Arena As it's wont to do at the beginning of the fall semester, ASU is throwing a special welcome-back concert at the arena tonight. This year's version of the event will feature '90s radio favorite Gavin DeGraw as the headlining performer. Pop-rocker Andy Grammer will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but there's a catch: It's only open to Sun Devil students only and requires an ASURITE ID to get tickets.
Fat Tuesday The Mill Avenue drinkery is offering two straight nights of drinking and dancing distractions to welcome college kids back to campus. Happy hour prices -- including $5.50 daiquiris, half-priced appetizers, and 28 different bottled beers -- will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. today. DJ Eli will be in the mix starting at 9 p.m. Come back the Wednesday night for $3 Skyy cocktails, Fireball shots, and Miller Lights, as well as music from DJ Hazardous. There also will be chances to win ASU football tickets either night. There's no cover.
Firehouse Tempe Think you've experienced some wild times at Firehouse's Tempe location? Yeah, us too. But whatever hazy memories of rowdy excess you might have won't be as epic as the sort of debaucherous activities on tap for its Back to School Bash on Thursday, August 22. And we need only three words to tell you why: Porn and Chicken.
The notorious touring dance club rager -- which has served up libidinous thrills to night crawlers in New York, L.A., and its native Chicago -- is scheduled to swing through the Firehouse on Mill this week. Last year, it also invaded the Firehouse in Scottsdale. As before, Orville Kline, one of its resident DJs and hosts, will bring along his collection of party rock and electro hits, as well as a variety of skin flicks that will screen on various TVs and help fuel the anything-goes vibe. And they'll also be serving fried chicken -- hence the name. Check out the YouTube video for a glimpse at what's in store. The raging starts at 9 p.m.
Smashboxx As longtime listeners of 101.5 Jamz can attest, the station's afternoon drivetime personality Joey Boy is down with partying. So he seems a fitting guest host for a big to-do like Smashboxx's "Welcome Back Bash" on Thursday, August 22. The off-the-chain event will also feature DJ Decipha from 101.5, who knows a thing or three about getting people to go wild out, and DJ Jon Amaral warming things up after doors open at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
C.A.S.A. Sunba Thump Day is sort of a big thing at the two-story Sunba as the joint's typically packed during its two-shindigs-in-one House Party Thursdays and Kick Back Thursdays. This week promises an even busier mix of beats, booze, and bodies as its proprietors are planning a "Return of the Dragon Party" on Thursday, August 22, with "insane drink specials" and special spin sessions by guest DJs. The C.A.S.A. lounge will serve two-for-one wells and domestics, $3 Fireball shots, and $4 Long Islands until 11 p.m., while the Sunba patio will have a two-hour hosted champagne bar for ladies starting at 9 p.m., $2.50 Budweiser drafts, and more. The lineup of selectors includes gigs by Snapdragon, DJ XIII, and Brady Marshall. No cover all night.
Firehouse Scottsdale Just like many of the students at local institutions of higher learning, Firehouse Scottsdale's College Thursdays got a bit of a respite during the summertime. Now that classes have resumed, however, the weekly event has made a return. It still features $3 beers until 10 p.m. and other booze bargains, as well as DJ Convince in the booth until last call. Best of all, there's never a door charge, which helps take the sting out of waiting in the usually crowded line to get in.
Mill Cue Club Downtown Tempe's only billiards joint will be staging a massive blowout on Thursday, August 22, where a few different things will be celebrated. Not only are ASU students back for the fall semester, but it's also the club's 18th anniversary. They're planning to roll out the red carpet, have the staff dress to the nines, and offer specials on select booze for the occasion. To wit: two-for-one deals on XXIV Karat champagne will be available, as will $4 SoCo beverages, Fire Eater drinks, and Red Bull vodkas. The party starts at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Wild Knight In addition to the usual high-style crowds and clubwear-adorned masses common to Scottsdale, Wild Knight will welcome in those dressed as sexy nerds and nerdettes on Thursday for a special event geared toward the college crowd. The nightclub is planning a "Back-to-School Knight" affair on Friday, August 23, and is encouraging patrons to dress as bookworms, eggheads, or geeks. A slew of local DJs will hit the decks all evening, including Curtis Matthew, Spencer Thomas, Texwitheffects, Michael James, and Freightrain. Doors open at 10 p.m., and there's no cover.
Tempe Marketplace Yup, we're getting into the spirit of things as well. New Times will present its annual "Back to School Pub Crawl" on Friday, August 23, offering an evening of drinking bliss at several of Tempe Marketplace's numerous nightlife establishments. And there's an opportunity to score a free trip outta town to boot. Participants will each receive one free beer or cocktail of their choice at every one of the five spots comprising the crawl -- which includes San Felipe's, Thirsty Lion, Dave & Busters, and Bar Louie -- as well as a poker card. And if you happen to sport a killer hand by end of the event, there's a chance to score a free trip for two to Sin City. The event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available online or at the District Stage on the night of the crawl. More details can be found online.
Tavern on Mill Call us crazy, but we've got this nagging suspicion that Saturdays at the Tavern are going to be a regular destination for the ASU crowd, especially given its relatively close proximity to Sun Devil Stadium. While football games don't resume until early September, the bartenders at the Tavern will have a number of reasons to hang out at the place on Saturday, August 24, when they'll serve $3 Sparky Snacks shots, $3 Pinnacle vodka cocktails, and $5 frozen vodka Red Bull drinks. DJ T3 of the BoomSquad will perform starting at 9 p.m. No cover.