Yes, we know. Your fake ID is spectacular. Nobody cards you because your mustache is simultaneously full and rich and completely earnest-looking. Your friends buy cases of Natty Light from extremely vigilant chain stores for sport.
But if you're just getting back in town for the fall semester and not 21 yet, consider giving yourself a day off from being born in 1992 and try catching a show at one of these always or frequently all-ages venues. You might like the change of pace.
Popular local acts and touring folk and indie-pop types of all sizes come through the Trunk Space. [Nearly] every show is $6, which is easy enough to remember (and pay), and it's clear from every angle -- from the bands they book to the look of the place to the earnest eulogies the death of Noodle, their zine-writing cat, generated on Facebook -- that the people behind your night out care about local music and local music fans.
Their tastes are eclectic enough that whether you're into indie rock, folk rock, wizard rock, or (as they did on August 20) just celebrating HP Lovecraft's birthday, you should find something you like. But it's maybe more fun to just show up and see who's playing.
(Pictured: The crowd for Harry and the Potters at the Trunk Space.)
Nile Theater, Mesa
The Nile Theater does a great job of booking acts who seem to have this in common: They're prone to developing extremely devoted, often young-ish fanbases. (Appropriate, since everything is all-ages.) That means it's not unusual at all that this month they've booked bothHello Highway
, a poppy, clean-cut guy from San Diego, and veteran deathcore act The Acacia Strain.
With three rooms, they're able to host all-ages shows of varying sizes, which leaves them flexible to book both local up-and-comers and national touring acts like -- this October -- Streetlight Manifesto.
(Pictured: Alkaline Trio at the Nile Theater.)
Marquee Theatre, Tempe
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Most of the big touring acts who come through the Marquee -- in September they've got Cold War Kids and the newly Bennington'd Stone Temple Pilots -- do so playing all-ages shows, which is good news since the Marquee draws such a strange, often compelling mix of national bands to town.
Whether you're a fan of the nostalgia acts that come through--they seem to be the go-to venue for '90s package tours--the indie success stories (Animal Collective in October?) or the hard rock and metal, you'll probably be able to get in. (Word of warning: They Might Be Giants' show at the Marquee on October 25 is 14+, so if you're a 12-year-old "Your Racist Friend" lover you might need a fake School ID.)
(Pictured: Limp Bizkit at the Marquee Theatre.)
The blues shows for which the Rhythm Room is justly famous are typically 21+, but when the Rhythm Room hosts the likes of Anamanaguchi and Kitty (as they did recently), Night Drive, or Girl in a Coma (as they will in September), Phoenix's seminal blues venue becomes an all-ages stop that's a good bet even if the last time you saw live blues was when Albert Collins showed up in the middle ofAdventures in Babysitting
(Pictured: Ceremony at the Rhythm Room.)
Club Red/Red Owl, Tempe
You'll have to watch their calendar closely -- they book plenty of 21+ shows, too -- but Tempe's Club Red brings a ton of all-ages hip hop and metal to a place that can't get enough of it. It might seem strange that the same venue is your ticket to seeingChris Jericho's metal band
and indie hip hop/Tumblr star Mac Lethal, but you won't see us complaining about it.
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(Pictured: Big K.R.I.T. at Club Red.)