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Old 01-24-2013, 08:17 PM
1 posts, read 1,878 times
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Hello. My wife and I (both 26 yrs old) are thinking about relocating to Tucson for my job and we wanted to know what the nightlife is like. We are currently in the Nashville, TN area and love the downtown scene here. Not sure if Tucson is the same, but wanted honest opinions of the nightlife and maybe other nice places to hang out after work.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:29 AM
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 616,030 times
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If Nashville is your measuring stick, you're going to be disappointed by Tucson (as well as a LOT of other cities). Nashville has become such a cultural center that it is very cosmopolitan in nature and offers a wide variety of entertainment and nightlife. Tucson is no slouch but much more of a second tier entertainment mecca. We get culture, but it's the roadshow version (but priced accordingly) and there is a decent college age nightlife because of the university. But if you're looking for world class restaurants, top tier entertainment, and well known nightclubs, you're going to be disappointed IMHO. Tucson is pretty laid back and although they don't roll the sidewalks up at midnight, it's not a Vegas style town that is still partying at 3:00AM (well, maybe some of the college bars but don't know).

Of course, you're 26 now but trust me, in a few more years your idea of nightlife will start to change. When I was 26, I didn't even go out for the evening until 11:00PM, by time I was 40 it's when I was leaving the bar, at 50 it was my bedtime and at 60 I'd already been asleep for an hour Then I started writing posts on forums that sounded a lot like "why when I was your age......".
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:53 AM
Location: Oklahoma
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Fourth Avenue and downtown have some places for 20 somthings and there are some places all over Tucson that cater to the young adult crowd. Also, a lot of people enjoy the options for mexican food in south Tucson.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:53 PM
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You'll find the Tucson nightlife scene somewhat different. I think Tucson has a very good nightlife but it won't be as plentiful as in Nashville, just because you don't get the tourists coming and actually going out. They tend to stay out by their golf courses, resorts and Foothills vacation rentals. Live music is actually more common than most cities, with a very good local scene, but it's not like Nashville where you can see live music 365 days per year (I saw a live band in Nashville on Christmas night a couple of years ago). At the least though, you can bar hop a bit without driving. And don't think it's just college kids everywhere. They kind of have their own bars, while the mid-20's and grad students have theirs, and then the older crowd has theirs. There's some mixing.
One thing that was huge for me in my mid-20's was happy hours. I've never been to a city where it was bigger than it is in Tucson. Once you meet some people, you'll find yourself eating at 5pm to make the happy hours. Happy hours are actually pretty good ways to meet people in town.
If you need specific suggestions, feel free to ask. Happy to list off my favorites.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:59 AM
Location: Tucson
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I would say, probably a step down from a place like Nashville. Not that there is never anything to do here, but you may have to wait around for it to happen. Thankfully, plenty of artists come through Tucson. Seemingly, they like the attitude of the people here. There are more and more microbreweries springing up in town as well, though you probably try them all within six months. October and November usher in many weekend festivals and markets with the cooler weather.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:39 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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I disagree that "plenty of artists come through Tucson." I'm not saying there's nothing to do here but there is nowhere near the entertainment you are enjoying in Nashville. Tucson is not "on the way" to anywhere except Mexico. So if national acts stop in Phoenix, they're not going to come here. And honestly many big acts think that if they are playing in San Diego and Las Vegas, that's enough for the Southwest so they don't even go to Phoenix. Not to say no superstars ever come here, Elton John was at the convention center last year ... but do you want to hear music in a convention center?

No doubt the closest venue to Nashville-style is the historic Hotel Congress. I have no idea who claimed it to be "One of the 10 best rock clubs in the United States,” but the Congress really has succeeded in its mission to "be a catalyst for art. In addition to showcasing music’s cutting edge, the ClubCongress has earned repeated accolades as the city’s best dance club." There's a good restaurant there, too — the Cup Cafe.
Music Archives - Hotel Congress

There are lots of older rock and roll and country acts at the casino showrooms, but I can't imagine you'd be interested in classic rock at your age. The casinos also book many different kinds of Latino music like ranchero and corrido from Mexico or Dominican merengue. Pitbull is popular and has played Tucson several times, but I'd guess his Latino crossover gets him more attention in Arizona than many rappers. In pop world, The Jonas Brothers had a freakishly active following here even before they were a household name, but it was because they have relatives here. And now, adios, here as everywhere else.

For my money, the best place to attend a concert in Tucson is the beautiful Fox Theater, with its peerless modern acoustics. The venue had contentious management and, therefore, booking issues since its inception, but perhaps things have finally come together. The Fox announced a 2013 spring line-up that is far beyond anything they've had since the the theater was saved from a wrecking ball and restored to its former splendor. Dwight Yoakam is there tomorrow and I got tickets for the Mavericks in March. I understand Los Lonely Boys are on their way, too.
- Fox Tucson Theatre -

The Fox was originally a movie theater and classic films are still shown there irregularly. Tucson IS a good movie town mainly thanks to the Loft Cinema, which bills itself as "Tucson's nonprofit independent arthouse." It features many things like one-night-only independent movies presented by the director and special-topic film festivals.
The Loft Cinema
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:30 PM
Location: Tucson
12 posts, read 18,932 times
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I-10 runs from LA, CA to Jacksonville, FL. It also happens to come through Tucson.

With regards to artists, I suppose it depends what you are looking for. I don't really go for "big acts" and for that reason, I don't really feel like I am missing out on much. On the other hand, I lived in Vegas for a year and was appalled by the lack of decent shows. From my perspective, Tucson does have plenty of artists coming through, and many of them avoid Phoenix if they are coming through AZ. On the other hand, if you really want to go see something huge, PHX is a short distance away.
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