Our 10 Favorite Metro Phoenix Music Venues

Categories: Lists
RHYTHM ROOM KE.jpg
Kholood Eid

4. Rhythm Room The Valley's long-running juke joint is fine with indie rock, alternative, and alt-country during the week (last summer Atlanta garage rockers The Black Lips made a real mess of the place), but transforms into a boogieing blues party each weekend. Proprietor Bob Corritore (who hosts Those Lowdown Blues, a solid block of blues each Sunday night on KJZZ) has brought legends like R.L. Burnside and Robert Lockwood to town, often recording the onstage jam sessions for prosperity. The house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, are adept at backing up guitar slingers, and nights often kick off early, so you can get two whole shows' worth of music (and a couple cans of beers and a whiskey) in if you've got an afternoon to kill. -- JPW

YUCCA TAP JPW.jpg
Jason P. Woodbury

3. Yucca Tap Room Shows are (almost) always free at the Yucca Tap Room, which is one of numerous charms of this venerated Tempe live music haven. Here are a few more: Its divey milieu (wood paneling, cheap PBR, neon beer signs) is a fitting setting for rock 'n' roll debauchery usually taking place on the stage, the adjacent craft beer and whiskey lounge is stocked with some serious spirits, and the crowds are always colorful. There's music every night, running the gamut from the weekly Blunt Club hip-hop throwdown to Valley Fever's Sunday evening Americana extravaganza, with plenty of rock and punk the rest of the week. Plus, The Ghost of Eastside Records and a well-stocked smoke shop are a couple of doors down should you need either vinyl or a vaporizer to complete to truly feel rock 'n' roll. -- BL

Location Info

Venue

Map

Nile Theater

105 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: Music

Pub Rock

8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Club Red

2155 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Hollywood Alley - CLOSED

2610 W. Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ

Category: Music

Sail Inn

26 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

, ,

Category:

Rhythm Room

1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Yucca Tap Room

29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
48 comments
Dummies
Dummies

No Rogue is a Big mistake. Marquee blows.

Thomas M.
Thomas M.

Rogue bar. Manny has been the best supporter of local music I've ever had the chance to meet. It's hard to publicize, but the financial support he gives to bands has funded many a tour. Ask local bands about it.

Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf

I also adore the Lost Leaf and think it is overall a sweet spot for a drink and chat, but not an ideal place to see a band.  There is no place to hang out and watch them.  And Long Wong's, while a flavorful institution and fixture on the circuit, is the same as the Lost Leaf in that it has terrible sound and layout.  It's a great place to get wasted and smoke cigarettes, though.

Echoguitarist
Echoguitarist

Mick at the Rogue is hands down the best sound guy in town. His resume of touring with some MAJOR international acts speaks volumes.How it's not on the list confounding to say the least.

Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon Elizabeth

let me be the tenth/fifteenth/hundredth person to agree that the marquee should really be replaced by the rogue on this list

Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf

If you're looking at which venues in town have been able to stay open, continue to draw crowds, and have a unique identity, you're making a mistake by leaving out the Rogue.  They've been around a long time, and have only been getting better, especially in the last 5 years.  Unlike the metro Phx hipsters or the undermotivated college crowd, the core clientele at the Rogue are young adult professionals who are die-hard enough music fans that they'll go out any night of the week for a show (and not complain about a cover, which always $5).  Not only that, but unlike other rock dives in town (Really? Chasers and Hollywood Alley?), they rarely work with outside promoters and put on a steady stream of emerging acts from the local, regional and national scenes..or international for that matter.  Remember when Mother Mother played there?  What about Wallpaper?  Next time either of them come back it'll be at the Crescent or something comparable.  Also, indie-film star/director Vincent Gallo goes there to drink when he's in town, ever since his band played there last year. 

Mic
Mic

No Rogue? Really? Wow. New Times: don't go out very often, unless it's to a place they usually frequent.

Live music junkie
Live music junkie

It is indeed disappointing that the Rogue was left out, and the Marquee was included.  No one likes the Marquee except for the people who only go to a concert once every couple years and don't know the difference.  The Rogue is the only venue of its size and style that truly gives a fu*k about helping the scene flourish. 

Kennykiklar
Kennykiklar

I miss the Electric Ballroom and Gibsons.

Modnyc85
Modnyc85

No Rogue?? And Marquee? Come on...

Aaron Kes
Aaron Kes

I think the sound sucks at the Marquee for what it should be.  I'd take them off and have The Rogue for sure.  That place is great and Manny is the man.  I also think Lost Leaf is the bees knees.  Although I may prefer it as a bar as opposed to how I think of it as a music venue.

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

The Marquee? Are you fucking kidding? That place is a shit show, every time. Their security acts like you are a convicted felon, trying to get into a preschool Take off my shoes? For the fucking Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Are you shitting me? Men and women cannot stand together in line waiting to get in? Yah- that makes for a fun date night. I loathe the Marquee and I will go down there in person and clap when it gets shut down. They don't give a shit about their customer, and treat you like shit at each and every opportunity. I wouldn't go there even if Radiohead were performing, I got free backstage passes, and a blowjob every ten minutes.

Fuck you Marquee theatre, see you in hell.

nordski
nordski

It seems as if they just put 10 venue names in a hat and randomly drew them for these ranking.  The Crescent is great, but the only reason it made number one is because its shiny and new.  Oh and Stateside owns it so all their best shows get booked there automatically.

The Marquee coming it at number 2 though makes this whole list a joke.  It has two things going for it:  its big and next to a college so big name bands can play there.  Beyond that its a dump, the sound is never good, and the staff is over-the-top rude.  

shutupforeveralmostallofyou
shutupforeveralmostallofyou

Shiny and new = clean bathrooms and a great new soundsystem. Not to mention snacks, great drinks, cool lounge area to hang out in before the show, great setup (not a bad view in the place), bleachers to sit on, etc.  The Clubhouse was a shitshow, and I danced a jig when it closed. Now, I don't ever have to worry about a great act getting booked there instead of the Crescent.

Jolly Jackson
Jolly Jackson

 The closing of winter land in Frisco in DEC 31st 1978 where the grateful dead played till 5am was better. then you got served free breakfast before you went  home and out into the big bad mean morning fog and sun coming down from LSD.

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

You are spot-on. My last (and final) trip there was so shitty, I actually tried to email the venue just to let them know what is going on with their venue, and how fucked up it is. There wasn't even a way to contact anyone, so even if you wanted to provide true and helpful feedback- there was no way to do it. 

With entertainment dollars more and more scarce, you think they would realize the customer is not the enemy, and perhaps we can not shat on them- but Marquee truly doesn't give a shit.I hate the Marquee even more than I hate clowns, and that is saying something because five clowns raped me once. It was a very bad day, but I did get a balloon animal out of the deal, so I have that going for me.

Rebecca MacTavish
Rebecca MacTavish

As a Phoenix resident I find this article disheartening. For one it lists nine, not ten locations. Secondly, the headline references "Metro Phoenix" yet seven, the majority, of the venues are NOT in metro Phoenix. As an online publication which is potentially used/referenced nationally, you're really dropping the ball for the Valley of the Sun. It's a dis-service to each city by mislabeling.

nordski
nordski

Regardless of what you think the word metro means you still look like a snob posting something like this.  Maybe look up words you don't know from now on?  If this was an article just about Phoenix proper venues they would have left "metro" out of the title.  Also, The Lost Leaf would have made the list. 

Rebecca MacTavish
Rebecca MacTavish

Call me a snob. I'm passionate about music and The Valley of the Sun. And at least I do so as myself, rather than a toss away user name. So I'll expand, rather than retract, my comment. While the term "Phoenix metropolitan" area exists, it's not the term "metro Phoenix," a term for Phoenix, specifically downtown. It's like calling Oakland, San Francisco when it's actually a part of the Bay area. I'm passionate about this because there's been lots of discussion about defining and making distinctions between the cities as a value to commerce in general for each city. As for the count, there are ten. So seven of ten are not in Phoenix; still the majority. The Trunk Space is not listed on the Location Info summary (which lists the other nine). I was already fired up and the article is cut between five pages (probably for ad revenue). So after going through full article twice, and giving this opinion piece far too many page hits, I didn't go back through and write the venues down and double check against their own provided summary.

joe.distort
joe.distort

as someone who likes tightly packed shows that get rowdy, the Lost Leaf is 'small' in all the wrong ways. its a great spot to go have a beer, but as far as shows? its terribly laid out and theres no room to actually get up close or move around

Valley Musician
Valley Musician

Obviously the Rogue should be (high) on this list.  The Rogue stands for what a local music scene is all about and they have great sound.    Manny is the MAN...ny.    I must also echo the negative sentiment regarding the Marquee...  though they do often have great acts.  

SunDevilRick
SunDevilRick

While I respect Benjamin and Jason I lost a little for them for not including the Rogue. It is a great place to see music and the lineups that Jack has been putting together at long Wong's have been top notch. Just inviting argument by doing this list really. And Crescent and Marquee are on a different level then every other listed bar they shouldnt even be on here!

A.D. Adams
A.D. Adams

..I'm talking about KWSS-FM, 106.7, of course!

A.D. Adams
A.D. Adams

Great article! I would agree with ALL of those choices....well,hell...I've played at 9 of 'em!!!
Cheers....and keep up the GREAT work, and congrats on being the best damn station on the dial in Phoenix!!!

       -A.D. Adams-
CRASH STREET KIDS
GLASS HEROES
(former) BEAT ANGELS

Keep it Real
Keep it Real

Dont want no sorrow for this old orphan boy, I dont want no crying only tears of joy. im gonna see my mama and gonna see my papa and ill be bound for glory in the morning when I go away. Levon Helm RIP

Keep it Real
Keep it Real

I dont mind choppin wood and I dont care if the moneys no good ya take what ya need and leave the rest but they should have never taken the very best , the night they drove old Dixie down. Levon Helm

BIKER TRASH
BIKER TRASH

The steel horse saloon at 19th ave and bell road has the best rock and blues music in this city.

Margie
Margie

 New Times readers and bloggers dont go to bars like that. they are yuppies not bikers. thats their loss.

Old Pard
Old Pard

I weep for our country's lost musical taste.

PSYCHEDLIA
PSYCHEDLIA

 People under 50 years old need a good hit of strong LSD. and if that dont work they need an ass whopping. that will help being out the best. one must suffer and live life to the fullest  to write good music.

Jacedatol
Jacedatol

No 910 live? They have mainstream bands and a big outside stage. Ugggh crescent ballroom is crap.

Bsbltriviagod
Bsbltriviagod

Leatherman didn't include 910 because he doesn't listen to metal. Crescent is a nice place, but I wish they'd have heavier acts there...but that's just me. Don't forget about The Blooze as well.

joe.distort
joe.distort

i like smaller spaces and generally prefer them to not be 'sleek' or 'cool' or whatever you wanna call the Crescent...but even i have to admit its a great spot with a fantastic setup. i fully expected to dislike it before i went there, but i just cant.

Phxmusic4lyfe
Phxmusic4lyfe

Please, don't be jealous... its not becoming of you. There isn't a damn thing you can say about the crescent that can't be positively refuted in a couple syllables or less. 

JRC--The Trunk Space
JRC--The Trunk Space

Why thank you for including us on this impressive/intimidating list!
I think you got us right, siting who we book more than what our room offers as accommodation. 

Crescent takes the crown in 2012!

Personally, Rhythm Room remains one of my fav' places to see a show.
You just know that Bob Corritore is a musician because of how the place is set up.
It's intimate but big enough, and despite having an aging decor it still exudes class and charm.

Hippodelux
Hippodelux

I would and do drive to tucson to go to Rialto over seeing a show at marquee. The staff is rude, the venue smells mildewy, and the sound is only sometimes good.

Freedom Fighter
Freedom Fighter

I don't like the fact that The Marquee Theater takes a picture of my ID with a computer before I can be allowed to drink there...how am I to be sure they are not using my infotmation inappropriately? They have no privacy policy posted anywhere at the venue Not to mention the ridiculous prices they charge for their drinks. The venue is so overrated and Luckyman runs the place like it's a Fortune 500 corporation. I have boycotted the Marquee. I'll go to a show at a dive any day over The Marquee. Tom Lapenna is a dick!

Joey
Joey

Good list. The Clubhouse really died when Crescent opened, it just needed a gang shooting finally put it out of its misery. And I still don't understand why everyone hates the Marquee. The sound is not that bad plus there no other venue close to its size that matches up. Unless you like going to the ghetto and seeing a show at cramped seated outdated Celebrity Theatre.

joe.distort
joe.distort

its just that i dont like shows of that size regardless so im a little biased

Bobby Plant
Bobby Plant

Good list! But No Rogue Bar love? Have they fallen off the 'love' list?

Only dis on the Crescent is that single bathroom in the bar section - major fail.

Hippodelux
Hippodelux

I very much agree that Rogue bar should be on the list.
And just a heads up, crescent added a second single bathroom in the lounge already, and after super big shows they've been keeping the ballroom open for drinks and bathroom in order to keep people from going elsewhere

joe.distort
joe.distort

ugh the marquee????

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

I am just as shocked as you. I would sooner stab both ears with an ice pick than ever go back there for a show. Every time someone goes to the Marquee for a concert- the terrorists win.

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