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Scottsdale's Old Town district has more than its fair share of dance clubs. In fact, on any given weekend, you can't swing a Kate Spade purse without hitting a DJ spinning Top 40 mash-ups or underground hip-hop. Live music venues, on the other hand, are quite a bit rarer, which is all the more reason to love Martini Ranch. The club, located just east of Scottsdale Road on Stetson Drive, plays host to local and national acts ranging from metal and indie rock to folk and alt-country. Two of the Valley's most popular cover bands, Rock Lobster ('80s pop/new wave) and Metalhead ('80s hair metal), play weekly gigs at the club on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. Its indoor bars are usually staffed by plenty of eye candy, and an outdoor bar on the spacious smoking patio means you won't have an empty drink in your hand for long. Oh, and lest you think the owners of Martini Ranch have completely forgotten where they've set up shop, there's also a DJ and dance floor on the other side of the property, in the club's Shaker Room.
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This is one of my favorite bars in the Old Town Scottsdale nightlife scene, simply for the fact it offers live music every night. There's also an upstairs nightclub, as well as a patio, so you can dance, chill or listen to bands--something for everyone! I've also seen some great artists there, including Mandy Moore and Switchfoot.
Billed as a "club within a club," the Shaker Room is located on the top floor of Old Town's Martini Ranch. Bathed in cool red lights, the whole room feels like a VIP exclusive, with plush booths, subtle anime-inspired art, and dancing poles. (Don't worry, there's a chic glass bar stocked with enough liquor to potentially convince you to actually dance on the poles, too.) The whole thing centers on the venue's monster dance floor, which gets invaded with moving Scottsdale socialites as DJ... More »
The "sound guy" is unquestionably the placekicker of the local music scene. No one -- and we mean no one -- notices when sound is good for a show, but they'll bitch forever and eternity if it's a little tinny. Ask around about who is super-good at the job, however, and local musicians (who notice these things even if their fans do not) will often point to Mike Toth. Actually, one local musician called Toth "The Messiah of Sound." Toth is the main guy at Martini Ranch, which always... More »
Martini Ranch solves the smoker's problem by having a full-service bar outside on its huge smoking patio, allowing patrons to drink and smoke in peace. Best of all, there's a movable wall behind the indoor stage at Martini Ranch that, when lifted, allows folks on the patio to see the shows from outside (albeit from behind the musicians). And several loudspeakers pour music onto the patio. There's also a massive, big-screen TV on the outside wall, a misting system to keep folks cool during... More »
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