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10 Great Venues for Live Music in Scottsdale



Scottsdale is a nightlife kind of town. When the sun sets over the desert hills, the city's hip constellation of dance clubs and live music venues come alive.

Country music lovers also won't want to miss the Rusty Spur Saloon. It has the distinction of being the oldest saloon in town. Along with great food and drinks, you can count on a toe-tapping country band taking the stage every weekend.

For free dance lessons on Wednesday nights and live music every night of the week, Handlebar-J is the place to go. 

If you're ready to rock the night away, try Pub Rock Live. This downtown Scottsdale destination can host up to 350 patrons and features weekly live music in a relaxed bar setting.

For nationally recognized live music events in an award-winning venue, be sure to see who's scheduled to play at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

 


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Coach House


Established in 1959, this family-owned bar is one of the oldest nightlife venues in Scottsdale. The Coach House is a friendly neighborhood tavern located in Old Town Scottsdale, where locals and visitors mingle in an unpretentious spot known for its long history and Southwestern hospitality. Hang out on the patio, or lounge inside where football or baseball, depending on the season, is playing on the televisions. If you're looking for a quiet spot away from the glitz and expensive cocktails of Scottsdale's trendy club and bar scene, the Coach House tavern is the place to go. A great place to enjoy a beer and watch the game.


Casablanca Lounge


This elegant cocktail bar features barrel-aged beverages, exotic highballs, and spectacular panoramic views of Scottsdale and Camelback Mountain from atop the lounge balcony. An appealing mix of old-world ambiance and Scottsdale-chic, the Casablanca Lounge makes for a fine spot to cozy up to your date or chat the night away with friends over cocktails. The Casablanca Lounge often hosts special events, such as "sip and dine" nights, paint nights, and live music on the weekends. The venue is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but you'll usually find a live band playing smooth tunes on Fridays and Saturdays. Just follow the sound of the music to the third-floor lounge.


Pub Rock Live


Pub Rock is the newest incarnation of the venerable Chasers nightclub, a staple in downtown Scottsdale for over 20 years. The newly remodeled live music club can host up to 350 patrons and features weekly live music in an unpretentious bar setting. Pub Rock is a destination for Big 10 football and NFL ticket, and of course, you'll find great live music here at least four times week. For fun entertainment--or to be the entertainment--drop by on a Monday night for the free open mic night. Pool, foosball and friendly bar service round out this popular Scottsdale venue. A great place for large groups.


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Rusty Spur Saloon


This casual, relaxed, C&W spot attracts a loyal following of locals and out-of-towners with live music most afternoons and evenings. Regional and local acts perform primarily country tunes with a little rockabilly and blues thrown into the mix. Peanut shells crunching underfoot and a collection of dollar bills tacked to the wooden walls are accurate indicators of the completely laid-back atmosphere of the Scottsdale favorite. Check out the renovated vault of this one-time bank; liquor, not cash, is now carefully guarded within. As one of the oldest bars in Scottsdale, this local institution has seen its share of celebrity visitors, including Clint Eastwood and Vince Vaughn.


Buffalo Chip Saloon


This country western saloon is not in Scottsdale proper, but it's worth the scenic drive to neighboring Cave Creek to soak up the desert and country vibes. Buffalo Chip Saloon boasts all the essentials of a good country western saloon, offering live music, a spacious dance floor, and a well-tended bar. This is where to master, or at least perfect, your country two-step. Dance lessons are offered for free every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. Ever wanted to ride a mechanical bull? Show up on Wednesday and Friday nights for bull riding sessions. This is an all-ages venue, although minors under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.




Rockbar Inc. in Scottsdale bills itself as the city's top rock 'n roll destination, and this boast may not be too far off. The club, lounge and music venue features live music, rock DJs and exclusive performances from local and national acts. Rockbar is also home to one of the most popular rooftop bars in the city, perfect for taking in the glittering lights of downtown Scottsdale. Doors open at 4 pm and the bar is open seven days a week and 365 days a year. When you're looking for a party in downtown Scottsdale, head to this always-rocking live music venue.


Handlebar J Restaurant & Saloon


This Scottsdale legend, a local favorite for over 30 years, caters to cowboys and townies alike with a lively bar, country and western music that gets your boots moving, and a down-home restaurant that dishes up hearty grub. The combined bar and patio allows you to take advantage of temperate weather as you knock back cold ones or chow down on a steak. Inside, take a turn on the dance floor, or just tap your toes to the house band who entertain with a variety of upbeat, country-flavored favorites. Handlebar-J offers live music seven nights a week, making this one of the best places in Scottsdale to go two-stepping with your favorite partner.


Musical Instrument Museum


The Musical Instrument Museum, also known as the MIM, celebrates art, music and culture by documenting the history of musical instruments from around the world. Everyone from Carlos Santana to Tony Bennett has sung the praises of this bright, open museum, which also hosts a full calendar of live music events. The museum collection includes instruments from 200 countries from around the world, with emphasis on ethnic, folk, and tribal music. Guests are given wireless headsets so they can hear instruments being played at each display, and flat-panel monitors throughout the museum give guests the opportunity to see instruments being performed live. Whether you love Chinese opera or Big Band jazz, the MIM celebrates the joy of musical expression in all its forms.


Wasted Grain


Wasted Grain is a laid-back restaurant, bar and dance club that has something for everyone. Want to play a round of corn hole with friends while drinking your favorite beer? Check. Looking to burn up the dance floor with your hot moves? Head to the second story, where a DJ is pumping out the latest EDM hits. Or maybe you just want to relax on the patio and enjoy a cocktail with friends? Wasted Grain is a nightlife destination that will appeal to most people looking for a fun-filled night out with friends. Come as you are to Wasted Grain: there's no cover charge and no dress code.


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is Scottsdale's premier performance venue. The hall regularly hosts nationally and internationally recognized actors, writers, musicians, dance troupes, orchestras and other arts performers. Whether it's jazz, blues or classical string quartets, you'll probably find it on the schedule. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts encompasses several performance areas. Most live music events take place at the 853-seat Virginia G. Piper Theater, a state-of-the-art facility that's known for its intimacy and good acoustics. The other major performance venue is the Amphitheater, which accommodates up to 1,800 people on a sloped grass lawn. The Amphitheater hosts a Concert Under the Stars series.


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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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