Things to Do

Your Guide to Phoenix's Best Thanksgiving Weekend Parties in 2019

Where are you spending Thanksgiving eve?
Where are you spending Thanksgiving eve? Benjamin Leatherman
When it comes to the drinking holidays, Thanksgiving eve ranks up there as one of the biggest. In truth, it’s second only to New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day in terms of size.

Such will be the case on Wednesday, November 27, at many bars, taverns, and nightspots in the Valley. It's because of any combination of the following reasons: There’s no work the next day, scores of friends and family have returned home for the holiday, and people need a place to celebrate with (or escape from) said friends and family.

The following roundup of parties is heavy on events taking place on Thanksgiving Eve, but it also includes several shindigs on Thursday, November 28 (a.k.a. T-Day itself), and Friday, November 29. You can shake a tailfeather, drink your weight in Wild Turkey, or raise a toast with kith and kin.

Pre-Thanksgiving Bash

Wednesday, November 27

Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe

Head over to Yucca Tap Room on the night before Thanksgiving for music from Scattered Melodies, Pride Through Strife, Radio Blonde, Banter, and Billy Sutherland. The gig gets going at 8 p.m. There’s no cover, which should leave you some scratch to buy drinks or play pinball in the Electric Bat Arcade next door.

TekkNoir: A Blade Runner Celebration

Wednesday, November 27
The Lunchbox, 4132 East McDowell Road

As of last week, the future is now. In case you haven’t heard, our reality caught up with the timeline of the dystopian sci-fi flick Blade Runner, which is set in the formerly distant future of November 20, 2019. Geeks everywhere are going gaga over the whole thing, including the ones behind TekkNoir, the monthly synthwave-centered “dance and drag experience” at The Lunchbox.

This month’s edition of the party will celebrate the masterpiece, and feature local cyberpunk/industrial artists – including iff, ShinobiMusiq, Noirblvd, Rad Dude, and Heretic G – curating the sci-fi noir sound and aesthetic. DJ Thaumat will provide the visuals, and Yoyo Blackfire will host. Costumes are welcome, but Replicants aren't. Start time is 8 p.m. and admission is $5.

Dead Hot Workshop and Pistoleros

Wednesday, November 27
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue

Thanksgiving is all about annual traditions – and the musicians of legendary local acts Dead Hot Workshop and the Pistoleros have one that stretches back 23 years. Every Thanksgiving eve since 1995, the bands have gathered their nearest and dearest from the local scene for a “family” rock show. This year’s edition happens at Crescent Ballroom will feature sets by both bands, as well as Banana Gun and Truckers on Speed. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Wednesday, November 27

Club Luxx, 136 East Washington Street

This pre-Thanksgiving party will feature DJs Eighty M and Yellawave in the mix, penny drinks until 11 p.m., and plenty of dance floor action. Doors are at 9 p.m. and admission is $10.

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27

Social Tap, 4312 North Brown Avenue, Scottsdale

Drink specials like $5 Tullamore Dew shots and $6 Irish mules will be available all day. Local band People Who Could Fly will perform at 5 p.m. Call 602-432-6719 for more info.


Wednesday, November 27
Cobra Arcade Bar, 801 North Second Street

Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily have to mean all turkey everything. The folks at Cobra Arcade Bar, for instance, will instead offer tacos aplenty at their outdoor festival on Wednesday night. Vendors and food trucks will be set up in the parking lot, as will a variety of arcade games. DJ Javin and Aw.Dre will be in the mix. The party goes from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and there’s no cover.

Uptown Paradise

Wednesday, November 27
Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 North 16th Street

Your old man might want to tag along with you to this dad rock paradise, brought to you by DJs Paul Bearer, Blvk Cat, and Aaron Useless. The trio, collectively known as the Tempe Groove Collective, will bring you '70s and early '80s gold in the vein of Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, and Toto. Who knows? You may even bond with your pops, which is what the holidays are all about, right? The start time is 9 p.m. No cover.


Wednesday, November 27

Fibber Magee's Pub, 1989 West Elliot Road, Chandler

The members of local ska act 2Tone Lizard Kings will turn Thanksgiving eve into Skanksgiving eve (see what we did there?) during their annual show at Fibber Magee’s on Wednesday night. Don’t forget your porkpie hats and skinny ties, rudies. We're talking to you. The shindig starts at 7 p.m. and there’s no cover.

Xtra Ticket

Wednesday, November 27

Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue

The night before Thanksgiving at Last Exit will be more about grooves than gravy when renowned local Grateful Dead tribute act Xtra Ticket will re-create the sounds of the legendary band. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

Thanksgiving Eve Rockin' Funk Party

Wednesday, November 27
Rockbar Inc., 4245 North Craftsman Court, Scottsdale

Rock meets funk when local bands The Uncommon Good and their buddies Shawn Johnson and the Foundation take over Rockbar Inc. on Wednesday night. The gig gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7.

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Daft Punk tribute act One More Time
Benjamin Leatherman

One More Time

Wednesday, November 27

The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street

Thanksgiving eve will see renowned Daft Punk tribute act One More Time, who got their start here in the Valley, go harder, faster, stronger ... um, one more time in front of their hometown. They'll perform remixes of Daft Punk songs, as well as a variety of electronic dance tracks. Go around the world starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20.

Groove Candy Pre-Thanksgiving Day Jam

Wednesday, November 27
Bar Smith, 130 East Washington Street

Local hip-hop selector M2 might end up sleeping late on T-Day, as he’ll be up pretty late rocking the record decks the night before at Bar Smith. Groove Candy’s Thanksgiving eve festivities will feature him and fellow DJs Robby Rob, Ramses Ja, and Mattlocks spinning hip-hop, neo-soul, R&B, dancehall, and classics. Doors are at 9 p.m., and ladies get in for $5 before 11 p.m. if they RSVP on the guest list (you can text 480-467-7187 to do just that).

Thanksgiving Potluck and Acoustic Night

Thursday, November 28
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe

Widows and orphans of the Valley can seek refuge at the Yucca Tap during its free Thanksgiving Potluck, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring a dish to share (there’s a sign-up sheet at the bar). Just don’t cop out and bring a bag of chips, bruh. Later that evening, an Acoustic Night will commence at 8 p.m. Local artists and acts like Haley Green Music, Still Drunk Still, Austin Sweeney, Shane Zen, and The Wilt Family will perform. Free.

Jive Turkey

Thursday, November 28
Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue

Local musician Ryan Rousseau will don his DJ Gila Man persona and layout a repast of funk and soul on vinyl with DJ Mitch Freedom during this Thanksgiving night affair in Valley Bar’s Rose Room. Expect special guests, adult beverages, and a lot of dancing. The records roll at 9 p.m. Admission to the 21-and-over party is free.

The Island of Misfit Toys Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28
Thunderbird Lounge, 710 West Montecito Avenue

The friendly folks at the Thunderbird Lounge are opening their doors and hearts to the lost and the lonesome on Thursday night for the aptly themed The Island of Misfit Toys Thanksgiving. It's a party and potluck starting at 4 p.m. with free food available, movies, and plenty of classic arcade games to play. No cover.

Black Friday Punk Rock Supershow

Friday, November 29
Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe

If you're like to do something to do on Black Friday other than engaging in retail warfare, consider attending this punk show, which will feature sets by 80*D, We Steal Copper, Corky’s Leather Jacket, El Googly Diablo, and Night Nurse and the 602s. The 21-and-over show is free and starts at 8 p.m.

Obsidian 2019

Friday, November 29
Lumberjaxes, 3109 South Fair Lane, Tempe

The DJs and promoters of local electronic dance music collective Techno Snobs have put on multiple shows this year in a mix of venues, ranging from clubs to warehouses. Their biggest event of the year, Obsidian, will take them into a completely different venue altogether: Lumberjaxes in Tempe. The axe-throwing attraction will serve as a unique setting for what’s likely to be an absolute rager. They’re bringing in such top-shelf DJs and EDM talents as leftfield house and techno act Assailants, as well as techno artists like Headless Horseman, Ben Sims, Dasha Rush, and Truncate. The 18-and-over party runs from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Admission is $45.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.