Cizmar/Chilton: Can Phoenix or Mesa Get Some Synergy Going After the Great Valley Venue Shakeup of 2010?

It's been a tumultuous year for Phoenix-area venues. Kicking off with Modified Arts' move from indie rock venue to straight-up gallery, things have been shifting and sliding and opening and closing like gangbusters.

Downtown all-ages venue Phix is the latest casualty, with Scottsdale's Chyro Arts following in a matter of days. Meanwhile, Mesa will soon have both an all-ages club (The Underground) and a small theater (The Nile) within walking distance of large indoor and outdoor venues (Mesa Arts Center and Mesa Ampitheatre).

Where does this leave local music lovers searching for cool shows? Honestly, neither local concert promoter Steve Chilton or myself, New Times music editor Martin Cizmar, know for sure.

I tend to hope Mesa's Mormon-controlled city government will finally support the liquor licenses needed to turn the quaint and totally walkable suburban downtown into an arts Mecca.

Steve thinks Phoenix's much more progressive city government positions the capital's downtown for a resurgence when commercial real estate prices finally take the expected plunge, making it feasible to open a low-margin music venue.

Listen to the full discussion in today's podcast


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