Live Music

The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of Minneapolis night clubs. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Minneapolis does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like 400 Bar, or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like Mayslack's, which is known for its Varies music. While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the Downtown area, know that terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout Minneapolis.

The Shout! House
Sure, live music is fun, but dueling pianos? Now that's something else. The Shout! House features piano players performing in front of large mirrors so that the audience can see and really get into the scene. And, with multiple teams of talented and charismatic pianists, the music goes on all night long! Expect classic rock 'n roll hits from the 1950s to the present. Singing along is definitely encouraged. (612-337-6700)

Professional wrestler Stan Myslajek unleashed his monstrous roast beef sandwiches at Mayslack's in 1955, and ever since, this bar has been a neighborhood favorite. Local hipsters flock here to enjoy the old-school atmosphere, the drink specials and terrific live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. (612-789-9862)

Gluek's Restaurant & Bar
Four nights of the week are dedicated to an array of live music at this laid-back venue with the feel of a European beer hall. Wednesdays and Thursdays find the best local and national acts pleasing crowds while Friday is much-anticipated live band karaoke night. Backup singers and musicians take the place of a television monitor with scrolling lyrics in Gluek's version of the sing-along favorite. On Saturday nights, a DJ takes over with a mix of rock and pop. Add in a menu of hearty, German-inspired grub and 17 draft beers, and there's something for everyone. (612-338-6621)

The Cabooze
Befitting its name, The Cabooze, a popular venue for live music in the Twin Cities, is located near an expansive railroad yard and is shaped like an oversized railroad caboose. Local and national bands offer rock, world beat, reggae, blues, and alternative music in a funky, bohemian atmosphere. Early arrival is recommended if you wish to be seated during concerts. (612-338-6425)

Fine Line Music Café
This sophisticated venue presents live music — local and national jazz, folk, rock, blues, reggae, and gospel groups. The early 20th-century brick building in which the club is located offers tables next to the dance floor and second-level seating overlooking the small stage. John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Alanis Morissette, and Ben Harper have played here. The kitchen is open only for special performances, so call ahead. (612-338-8100)

Calhoun BBQ & Blues
Part of a chain of Famous Dave's restaurants, this establishment took a Chicago-style blues club as its model rather than the usual Southern eatery. Sandwiches and platters include Texas beef brisket, North Carolina chopped pork, and notable St. Louis-style ribs. You'll also find a full bar, along with live jazz almost every night thanks to local bands. National acts appear several times a month. On Sunday and Monday, the music runs from 8pm till 11pm; otherwise, performances are from 9pm till 12:30am. (612-822-9900)

  • Order Online

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
Come for a late dinner and conveniently bypass the cover charge at this simple yet elegant music room and restaurant. A respectable roster of jazz and blues acts keeps folks, especially couples, coming back, as do the chef's innovative takes on Midwestern specialties. Sip a selection from the above-average wine list while you ease back amid smooth grooves in the relaxed atmosphere. An outdoor mezzanine provides opportunity to mix and mingle without disturbing diners and musicians. Call for jazz club schedule and pricing. (612-332-1010, 612-332-5299)

400 Bar
From his previous life as a producer, the owner of 400 Bar still has connections in the music biz, ensuring that quality local, regional, and national acts take the stage. Alternative, punk, indie, and straightforward rock are the genres of choice, and recent renovations mean improved quality and better views of the stage. Covers vary according to the act, and a cash-only policy is in place. While regulars occasionally grumble about drink prices, pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon are always on special, and mixed drinks tend to be on the strong side. (612-332-3844)

Maps and Directions

The Shout! House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Mayslack's 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Gluek's Restaurant & Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music, Pub
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
The Cabooze 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Fine Line Music Café 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Calhoun BBQ & Blues 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: Uptown
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
400 Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music
Neighborhood: WEST BANK
comments powered by Disqus