Sedona After Dark: 7 Days of Nightlife

Continued (page 5 of 7)

Since June 2005, Radio Dogma has been a staple of the Sedona music scene. In December they released their second album, Acoustica, and tonight they are playing songs from it including “Walk Away” and “Won’t Stop.” They are also mixing in a few well-known songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer for those who want to hear something familiar. Guitarist Andy Schulz says the group has regulars who show up to each show.

“We have all ages at our shows but I think we bring out the younger crowd, the ones that work nights, show up around 11 p.m., and stay out all night,” he says. “The nightlife around here is getting better. Two years ago all you could find was blues and then we came out and now you’re starting to see more rock bands. There are more young people coming to Sedona.”

Nick Pajic and Kristina Keefe of Scottsdale are vacationing in Sedona – Nick says he’s been coming north for 20 years and thought nightlife was hard to come by in Red Rock Country so he was pleased when he heard about the Martini Bar.

“I like the atmosphere,” he says, shouting over the music. “The drinks are good and, so far, the music is right on the mark.”

The Martini Bar offers eight specialty martinis, 11 draft beers, a wine list, and any cocktail you can think of. The bar is attached to an Asian restaurant; you can order off the sushi menu and have the food brought to the bar. Tonight, a group of women are feasting on Dragon Rolls at a table for four while young men in jeans and black blazers and women in studded belts and J-Lo hats lean up against the bar with beers and martinis, swaying to the music. By 9:50 p.m. the bar is packed with about 50 people.

Keri Crick goes outside for a break from the music. Keri lived in Sedona for the first 20 years of her life before moving to New York – she returned to Arizona nine years later. She says since she’s returned she’s noticed a big difference in Sedona after dark. Keri knows a bit about nightlife – she ran several nightclubs while living in New York.

“The nightlife in Sedona is up and coming,” says the tall blonde. “It’s yet to be discovered by the younger crowd who thinks there isn’t anything happening in Sedona. It’s beautiful to see all the nightlife and it’s a fun and eclectic place to be.”

Martini Bar – 1350 W. Hwy 89A in West Sedona 928-282-9288. Radio Dogma plays at 9 p.m. every other Thursday – call for schedule.

Friday, 9:15 p.m. – Dragonfly Lounge at Cliff Castle Casino

When we walk ibnto Dragonfly Lounge in Camp Verde, a three-piece reggae/rock band, Ambiguous Tone, is playing a funked-up version of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” under four JBL speakers and colored lights while an older woman with perfectly coifed white hair and black leggings moves around the dance floor. For now she’s the only dancer and she’s undeterred when the band’s lead singer, Tim Triplett, puts on a black hoodie and hangs a large clock around his neck a la Flavor Flav, performing a medley of ’80s rap hits.

The lounge has a distinctive decor for a nightclub with its adobe walls and Native American artwork. Dragonfly candleholders flicker on tables arranged on the dance floor; a large, horseshoe-shaped bar and one pool table fill the back of the room. A group of college students drinking Red Bulls gather on one side of the stage in the dark, smoky club, most of them friends of the band who’ve come from Phoenix and Flagstaff.

“I had no idea the casino was even up here,” says V Reber of Phoenix. “It’s fun. There are a lot of different people here and that makes it interesting.”

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