Downtown Memphis does alright in my opinion. There is usually something "major" going on downtown at least two nights out of the week. During basketball season, you have the Grizzlies and the University of Memphis basketball games and various concerts, during the spring you have Memphis in May (Beale St. Music Fest, BBQ Fest, etc), during the summer you have Country on Beale, and Redbirds games as well as other concerts. Overall Memphis does fairly well, at least Thursday thru Saturday/Sunday on some occasions.
I easily get burnt out on Beale St. mainly due to all the tourists and other people that put on a front when they come down, mainly people from Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, or other suburbs of Memphis that don't want to admit that they're suburbs of Memphis. Plus I don't want to wait 20 minutes for a $7 drink that I could get quicker and cheaper somewhere else in town.
Cooper/Young in Midtown is a legit place to go get drinks or hear live music, actually I'd much rather go there than go downtown for just the regular Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night.
"He's got two chances: slim and none, and slim's out of town." -Don King