Just like the sentiment expressed in Alicia Bridges' song "I Love the Nightlife," UM students "want to go where the people dance, want some action, and want to live." The action all starts on Thursday nights, with two-for-one well drinks at the Iron Horse. From there, students can choose the classy, pricey James Bar or hick-ish, cheap Al & Vic's, both attached to the Iron Horse. If students are ready to dance, Badlander hosts its Dead Hipster Dance Party on Thursday nights, with a $3 cover and $1 well drinks all night. The AmVets, a gay dance club, features TV screens with music videos, $1 jello shots, and a glittering, packed dance floor. A good place to end the night would be Charlie B's, a bar that Esquire magazine raved about, or The Rhino, a low-key bar that makes strong drinks and offers local beer.
For those looking for nonalcoholic alternatives, Missoula regularly offers readings by local and visiting writers, and monthly "First Friday" art events, in which downtown businesses open their doors to display both professional and student art projects. The Wilma Theatre regularly hosts independent movies and documentaries, as well as concerts with mainstream, indie, and hip-hop bands, not just country. The Decemberists regularly perform in Missoula, since the band's lead singer and songwriter graduated from UM in 1998 with a creative writing degree. Local downtown coffee shops have extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights and occasionally host small music shows, some of which are sponsored by the Missoula Folklore Society. For on-campus students, the dorms provide a lounge in which students gather to watch late-night movies or play board and card games. In addition to this, the University Center movie theater features two back-to-back movies on Fridays and Saturdays. With presentation of a Griz Card, students pay only $3 per movie or a $5 deal for both.