PHOTO COURTESY MCCALLUM THEATRE
We all have that friend who insists they don’t dance, but the second “U Can’t Touch This” wafts from someone’s speakers, they’re breaking it down with the best of them. Or maybe your ordinarily sweet-as-pie pal turns into an absolute monster in a mosh pit.
Point being, we all contain multitudes — and so does the Coachella Valley, offering nightlife for every mood. Think of this list as less of a personality test and more of a vibe check. Decide who you’re gonna be tonight, and party accordingly.
For Eclectic Audiophiles
The Hood Bar & Pizzeria, Palm Desert
Divey in a comforting way, this pizza joint in Palm Desert is a popular late-night haunt for locals who love live music (and cheap vodka sodas). The bar embraces songsters of all kinds, hosting metal band Nephilim one night and piano man Krystofer Do the next. You could check their Instagram to sus out the evening’s tone, but the surprise is half the fun.
Four Twenty Bank.
PHOTO BY BRANDON HARMAN
For Harry Houdini Fans
Marvyn’s Magic Theater, La Quinta
When watching endless reruns of Charmed gets old, trade TV tricks for the real thing at this La Quinta magic show venue. First, though, erase your mental image of bog-standard “Is this your card?” sleight of hand. Marvyn’s (the name is a nod to legendary conjurer Marvyn “Mr. Electric” Roy) brings in mind-boggling illusionists from Hollywood’s Magic Castle and America’s Got Talent.
For High Rollers
Four Twenty Bank, Palm Springs
Palm Springs cannabis outpost Four Twenty Bank is the rare dispensary with an on-site consumption lounge. Rarer still is the fact that it also operates as a venue for live music and events. Every Thursday, local musicians smoke up and rock out at Four Twenty Bank’s open-mic jam sesh.
For Modern Hipsters
The Evening Citizen, Palm Springs
Making plans with a friend who always seems to know the most exclusive spots before anyone else? Beat them at their own game with an invite to The Evening Citizen, a quiet speakeasy tucked amid the Technicolor bustle of downtown Palm Springs’ gay bar district, Arenas Road. Once you make a reservation online, you’ll learn which unmarked back door leads to the intimate, newspaper-inspired space. While themed bars can sometimes rest on their buzzy laurels, the Citizen delivers with creative and balanced cocktails.
For Theater Buffs
McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert
If flying cross-country and facing the dizzying lights of the Big Apple seems like a bit much for a Saturday night, get your Broadway fix in Palm Desert at the McCallum Theatre. From the venue’s cushy, red velvet seats, catch Tony winners like Les Misérables (Nov. 28–Dec. 3) alongside contemporary shows such as Emo Orchestra featuring Hawthorne Heights (Nov. 9).
For Anyone Who Needs a Laugh
Coachella Valley Brewing Company, Thousand Palms
The best jokes bubble up in unexpected places. In an unassuming industrial area of Thousand Palms, this laid-back brewery hosts monthly(ish) comedy nights with local and national comics. Past performers include Late Late Show alum Orion Levine, I Think You Should Leave actor Bruce Gray, and Kill Tony roast master David Lucas. And with ticket prices hovering around $5 (some events are even free), you’ll spend more on the drafts than the laughs.
for Mariah Carey Wannabes
RetroRoom Lounge, Palm Springs
The ambiance at downtown Palm Springs’ RetroRoom Lounge matches its name: walls lined with vinyl records, floors sheathed in red carpeting, disco balls reflecting cherry-hued mood lighting. Space can be tight here, which makes it all the easier to hear your friend’s rendition of “We Belong Together” during nightly karaoke.