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In the ’zona

Headed west, sports fans? Tote this Arizona agenda along for your OU and OSU bowl season touring.

Matt Carney December 28th, 2011

Pokes and Sooners, riding together! Mass hysteria!

No, it’s not a disaster of biblical proportions. It’s a New Year’s miracle.

The BCS-bound Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Insight Bowl-relegated University of Oklahoma Sooners play just four days apart in Arizona suburbs, and on a holiday weekend, no less!

With the sting of Bedlam behind us (I tip my cap in congratulations to you Pokes), might I suggest we join forces to paint Phoenix reddish — some odd mix of Sooner crimson and Cowboy orange?

If you’re game for a good time, then nab this handy list of goings-on in the Phoenix area between bowl games.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party
Mill Avenue District, Tempe

Who said your team has to be in the game to join the festivities?

One Andrew Jackson buys you access to one of the biggest party town’s biggest parties of the year. This 28th installment is amped up by the addition of a BMX bike demonstration and electronic dance music stage.

Hometown boys the Gin Blossoms also will help ring in 2012 with a show starting at 10:30 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” 
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday
U.S. Airways Center
201 E. Jefferson, Phoenix


Ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show?

Guarantee that it doesn’t compare to one inspired by the late King of Pop’s double-album’s worth of No. 1 hits and a truckload of improbable dance moves. This crazy show stops in Tulsa in February, but never will make its way to the 405. Now’s your chance.

Kevin Nealon
7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9 Saturday
Tempe Improv Comedy Club
930 E. University, Tempe


Like to laugh? Comedy vet Kevin Nealon (also known as Franz, one half of “Saturday Night Live”’s Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired duo Hans and Franz) brings his years of experience to Tempe Improv on Friday and Saturday, for two sets each. Once The Subliminal Man, his topical humor changes as events are current.

Meat Puppets
8 p.m. Saturday
Clubhouse Music Venue
1320 E. Broadway, Tempe

It would appear that Tostitos’ official block party headliners Gin Blossoms have some competition for the best New Year’s Eve local show.

Hillbilly punks Meat Puppets came up in the ’80s through SST Records’ stable of noisy, DIY acts, becoming known for their wild shows and a certain lack of fear for pissing off their audience. Thirteen albums and two reunions in, they’ve scaled it back a little.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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