New Scottsdale Nightclub, Livewire, Opens on December 27

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Courtesy of Livewire
Livewire in Scottsdale.
After darkness falls every weekend night in Scottsdale, the city's entertainment district and its many bars and club pulsate with a noisy cacophony of beats, thumps, and the lively thrum of happy chatter. Come daytime, however, its replaced with a nonstop thrum of pounding, grinding, and a flurry of beeps from heavy equipment in motion.

Construction is taking place seemingly everywhere in the area as there's a major drive going on right now in Scottsdale's nightlife scene. And much of it is in preparation for the two big party occasions on the horizon: New Year's Eve and the Super Bowl week.

Over the past year, one of the major projects in progress has been the construction of Livewire, the 11,000-square-foot live music and entertainment venue along Indian Plaza that will open on Saturday, December 27, will host concerts, comedy shows, and other performances.

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Girlfriend Gallery Tries to Fill the Void Left by Tempe's Shuttered Music Venues

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Girlfriend Gallery logo

"We will be the hand on the chainsaw of rebirth that will tear down the rotting tree of the art world, and plant our seeds in the desert of Tempe ... join us." So begins the manifesto (yet to be written) of Girlfriend Gallery, a venue in the Valley that is actually opening and not closing.

Located not far from McClintock Drive and Rio Salado Parkway, Girlfriend Gallery will double as an art exhibition room and concert venue. Mo Neuharth, of Numb Bats and Paper Knife publishing, is doing most of the booking, while the space itself is managed by 21-year old Justin Guthrie, who says this gallery "represents good ol' American freedom."

"I wanted a place that I could do whatever I want and create my vision," he adds. "




Hopefully people like it."


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EDM Phoenix Changes Its Name to Element 14

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Benjamin Leatherman
Downtown's Element 14, formerly known as EDM Phoenix.
It's commonplace for new businesses to make any number of adjustments within the first few months of opening, and EDM Phoenix is no exception to that rule.

The proprietors of the newly opened downtown dance club, which debuted last month along Central Avenue, recently rechristened the place Element 14.


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Closed for Business: American Junkie in Scottsdale

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Benjamin Leatherman
The sign inside the new-and-improved (and currently closed) American Junkie in Scottsdale.
So much for American Junkie 2.0. The Scottsdale nightlife hangout and day-drinking hangout for football fans, which shut down for several weeks over the summer for extensive renovations, has apparently closed again. And there's been no indication if it will be reopening anytime soon.

For the last several weekends, American Junkie, which is located along 75th Street on the eastern edge of Scottsdale's entertainment district, has been completely dark on weekend nights and other periods when most other Scottsdale bars and clubs are doing brisk business, including nearby spots like Boondocks and The Lodge.


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EDM Phoenix Opens Tonight and Brings More Dance Music to Downtown

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Benjamin Leatherman
What once was Amsterdam and Bar on Central is now EDM Phoenix.
If you're of the opinion that downtown Phoenix not only needs more nightclubs but also more outlets for DJs to perform, both of those wishes are about to be fulfilled. Later this evening, a new downtown danceteria called EDM Phoenix will make its debut along Central Avenue and will offer a prime spot for checking out -- as you might've guessed -- electronic dance music.

It's located in the former home of iconic gay lounge Amsterdam and the recently closed Bar on Central, but will feature an entirely different focus from either of those joints. Tracy Chavis, one of EDM Phoenix's general managers, says that the emphasis will largely be on dance music and DJs.

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Ice House Tavern Is Being Sold to New Owners

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Benjamin Leatherman
The Ice House Tavern in East Phoenix.
Heard a rumor lately about the Ice House Tavern and how it might be closing soon? Yeah, so have we. It turns out, however, that such gossip isn't true, which we confirmed after speaking with owner Daryl Chester.

Well, it used to be true, up until earlier this week, when certain circumstances involving the Thomas Road bar and music venue changed -- specifically, its ownership.

According to Chester, he's currently in the process of selling the Ice House Tavern to the attached Arcadia Ice Arena next door.

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Now Open: RCK CTY in Tempe

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Benjamin Leatherman
The entrance to RCK CTY in Tempe.
If you happen to be a fan of the old Big Bang in Tempe who's been patiently awaiting the opening of RCK CTY, or just dying of curiosity to see what's happened to the place, you needn't wait any longer.

The basement-level bar along Mill Avenue quietly made its debut last weekend following a month-long transformation from a piano joint into more of a nightclub and lounge. And as of last night, it also qualifies as a music venue as well, since it hosted its first-ever live gig (namely, a performance by hard rock tribute act Metalhead) on Thursday evening.

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Asylum Records Is the Latest Musical Migrant from Tempe to Mesa

Categories: Opening/Closing

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From Asylum Records website
Asylum Records has a new home -- in Mesa.

UPDATE, October 7, 1:30 p.m.: We reached Asylum Records owner Scott Robenalt, and have added his perspective at the bottom of the story.

Slowly but surely, Tempe's dying music scene seems to be drifting east. In the latest development, Asylum Records, once a Tempe fixture, has relocated to Mesa in the old Royale Theater building. Like most record stores, Asylum offers a wealth of CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes, if you're into those. Asylum plans to host regular record signings and will even host a few shows this month, such as Raven and Night Demon on October 15.

Although not primarily a venue, Asylum Records will be in good company as two other Tempe businesses -- Big Fish Pub and Club Red -- both moved east to Mesa recently. After spending close to 20 years as a part of the Tempe's live music landscape, Big Fish Pub (now Big Fish Theatre) closed its doors in June only to reopen inside of Mesa's Arizona Event Center. Club Red also seems to be thriving in their new Mesa location. Boasting they book more bands than any other Arizona venue, Club Red has a healthy handful of all ages shows. Most of their gigs are hip-hop or rap, with some of their extensive showcases being one of the few, strong examples of urban music in the valley.

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The Hidden House in Phoenix Closes

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Catherine Slye
The Hidden House
Turns out that Phoenix isn't immune to losing a cool and much-beloved music venue, as one of the city's more renowned hip-hop spots has gone down for the count.

The Hidden House, the midtown dive and lounge that's been a cornerstone of the local boom-bap and rap scene for more than a decade, unexpectedly closed earlier today, according to those involved with the place.


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El Hefe in Scottsdale Closes Until November for Renovations

Categories: Opening/Closing

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Benjamin Leatherman
The scene at one of El Hefe's infamous 4-2-10 Sundays.
If you're itching to spend Sunday afternoon and evening going hard at one of El Hefe's signature 4-2-10 ragers, you're gonna have to hold off or party elsewhere, at least for the next six weeks.

Currently, El Hefe is el cerrado from now until early November as the day-drinking spot, nightlife haven, and "super macho taqueria" is being completely renovated from top to bottom. It's been described by one El Hefe employee as a "complete overhaul" that will give the place an entirely new appearance and decor.

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