From massive venues like BC Place or Rogers Arena, to more intimate spots like the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver has an event space to suit audiences of any size. The city hosts endless streams of musical tours and events from around the world, but it also nurtures its own army of local artists and musicians. Huge concerts happen regularly throughout the city, but you can catch smaller shows any night of the week by popping into one of the many bars that feature live performances. Within Metro Vancouver the live music options are endless but these are a few of the best spots within the city to go for a show.
The Revel Room is a laid back, Southern style joint that features live boogie piano every afternoon and live shows every night. Here you’ll find anything from grassroots country to rockabilly jive. This is a great place to grab dinner and a show, especially if you’re into to good ol’ fashioned Southern cooking with a generous helping of cajun and creole flavors. Their cocktail menu features classic favorites and signature creations, or you can play Cocktail Roulette and let the bartender create a custom concoction for you.
Guilt & Co.
Guilt & Co. is an intimate space to settle in, sip cocktails, maybe grab a bite, and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Their food menu consists mainly of share plates, snacks, and a few different dessert options. Live musical performances may include anything from swing and jazz to soul and R&B. check out their event calendar to see which bands are playing on any given night. Admission is usually a “pay-what-you-can” kind of deal, with all proceeds going towards that night’s performers.
Tucked away on the shores of Granville Island, you’ll find the Backstage Lounge. Whether you want to watch a sporting event, enjoy the gorgeous views of False Creek, or listen to some of the best live music in the city, this is the place to be. The waterfront patio is the perfect place to enjoy a cold beer on a hot summer day. When the evening rolls around you’ll be treated to performances from local artists almost every night. Their food menu is filled with all the best classic pub eats, such as burgers, nachos, and chicken wings. You can also choose from a wide selection of local craft beers, imports, and ciders.
The Roxy Cabaret
The Roxy Cabaret is the place to go if you’re looking for a club scene kind of party. Check their calendar to see the schedule of featured performers. When no featured band is scheduled, one of their incredible house bands can be found on stage every night of the week, putting on outstanding shows to keep the crowd moving. The music genre you’ll find here is typically pop and rock, but every Sunday they close out the week with a good dose of country.
At the Biltmore Cabaret you’ll find everything from burlesque shows, to punk bands, to comedy acts. Some nights you’ll see a DJ spinning popular party hits, other nights you’ll be treated to live performances by both local and international artists. On Rewind Fridays they play an endless stream of hits from the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. Every night is something different at the Biltmore Cabaret, with shows and acts from a very wide range of musicians and other performing artists. For over 50 years they’ve been hosting all types of acts and talent, establishing themselves as an iconic spot for entertainment within the community.
Railway Stage and Beer Cafe
The Railway Stage and Beer Cafe is an intimate pub style spot that regularly features local performers and entertainment. Every Tuesday they host a musical bingo night and every Wednesday is pub trivia. The food menu is simple but satisfying, consisting of soups, salads, and Italian-style pressed sandwiches. The beer selection, much more extensive than the food menu, is comprised of 24 local craft beer taps and rotating cask brews.
Frankie’s Jazz Club
Located directly across from BC Place Stadium, Frankie’s Jazz Club is one of the best spots to go for dinner and a show. The menu is an exquisite feast of classic Italian cuisine, with fresh house-made pastas, signature pizzas, and mouth-watering entrées. Working with the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Frankie’s Jazz Club features both local and international artists from Thursday to Sunday every week. You’ll find Italian and BC VQA wines on the wine list, as well as local craft beers and classic cocktails on the drink menu.
LanaLou’s Restaurant is all about rock ‘n’ roll, community, and comfort food. The decor consists of church pews, antique furniture, picnic benches, book shelves, and other quirky additions to this fun establishment. Live music and DJs are scheduled for most nights and the vibe is always warm and welcoming. Lana, the owner of this fine establishment, is also the drummer for “The Furniture”, a local Vancouver band.
Pat’s Pub can be found within the Patricia Hotel, a historic building constructed in 1910. The pub was previously called the Patricia Café and was one of Vancouver’s jazz hotspots during the early 1900’s. The rich jazz history of this place simply cannot be forgotten so every Saturday Pat’s Pub hosts a Jazz Music Night. You can also catch a sporting event, play some pool, pop in for a trivia night, or check out their other events and live performances. The menu is full of classic pub grub, such as burgers, sandwiches, wings, and deep fried pickles, as well as a selection of breakfast items for Sunday Brunch.
The Blarney Stone
For an Irish pub vibe with live musical entertainment, head to the Blarney Stone. This pub has been around since 1972 and is among the most famous pubs in the Lower Mainland. With Irish food, Irish entertainment, and Irish atmosphere, this spot if a favorite for locals and tourists alike. They’re open 7 nights a week and have live music every Friday and Saturday night, with their house bands playing Irish classics, party favourites, and top 40 hits.
Vancouver has not only a vibrant nightlife scene, it is also home to many talented musicians and performers. Local musicians can be found entertaining the masses, all around the city, every night of the week. Many of the venues in Vancouver also book performers from across Canada or from around the world. Some spots are lively and loud, others are more relaxed with mellow sounds. Whatever you mood, it’s easy to find the perfect place to sit back, sip a cocktail or craft beer, and catch an awesome show.