Our 10 Favorite Metro Phoenix Music Venues
Some live music joints and concert halls have figured out the magic formula of how to both thrive and survive throughout the ups and downs, whether that means booking the right bands, finding ways to keep fickle music fans satisfied, or just offering them a suitable aura where they can lose their shit. Some are newer than others, and a couple were beloved enough to be raised from the dead.
It's also why these establishments are our favorite venues in town.
10. Nile Theater This downtown Mesa punk and hardcore haven is so badass that it came back from the dead. Some 15 odd years ago, the Nile was widely considered one of the go-to venues for three-chord devastation in the Valley, as well as indie and alt-rock favorite (a pre-OK Computer Radiohead played there in 1995). Then it closed amid a cloud of controversy in 2002, only to be revived two years ago by local concert promoter Mantooth Group. And things have pretty much stayed the same music-wise. Its cavernous digs still draw nationally known punk groups -- as well as a fair amount of emo, screamo, ska, and power-pop musicians -- who perform for hundreds either upstairs in the Nile main room or downstairs in the adjacent basement venue The Underground. Sadly, there's no liquor license, but the in-house java joint Lo-Fi coffee serves up potent brews of a different kind. -- Benjamin Leatherman
9. Chasers Bar & Night Club
Chasers may be located in Scottsdale, but its vibe is decidedly unlike the glitzy glamor of Old Town and its bumping clubs. Formerly the home of the Atomic Café, the darkened stage at Chasers plays host to underground hip-hop (often courtesy of promoters Universatile Music), but also features hardcore, punk rock, ska, metal and industrial rock, and even branches out to include buzzy indie rock (on May 1, Sacred Bones recording artist Amen Dunes is scheduled to play there). Long before they were indie darlings, Fucked Up brought their crushing tunes to the bar. Chasers caters to a crowd that doesn't care for bells and whistles, just the hard-hitting bands that take the stage there. -- Jason P. Woodbury