Best Live Music in Scottsdale

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



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.

Recommended for Live Music because: If you're looking for a laid-back destination for live music in Old Town Scottsdale, look no further than Coach House.

Patricia's expert tip: Come enjoy live music on the weekends, and nibble on the complimentary buffet on Sunday afternoons.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Casablanca Lounge is a great place to unwind with live music in downtown Scottsdale.

Patricia's expert tip: The lounge is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Pub Rock Live is one of Scottsdale's best live music venues for hard rock.

Patricia's expert tip: Be sure to check the calendar. This is a popular live music destination for indie rock.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale is the city's oldest saloon and a great place to catch live country music acts.

Patricia's expert tip: The Rusty Spur Saloon features live music every day of the week, with acts varying throughout the week.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Buffalo Chip Saloon is a Cave Creek destination for live country-western music and dancing.

Patricia's expert tip: Swing by Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 p.m. for live music.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Rockbar is the place to go in downtown Scottsdale for rock, metal and reggae.

Patricia's expert tip: Enjoy the $3 happy hour daily from 4 pm to 7 pm.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Handlebar J Restaurant and Saloon, a favorite neighborhood restaurant and bar in Scottsdale, boasts live music seven nights a week.

Patricia's expert tip: Come on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm for free dance lessons.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Musical Instrument Museum is one of the most unique museums in the country and national touring acts regularly perform in the museum's live music venue.

Patricia's expert tip: Check the daily schedule for Museum Encounters, thirty-minute musical demonstrations that allow musician-teaching artists to perform for and interact with museum guests. Museum Encounters are free with admission.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Wasted Grain is a sprawling nightlife destination with live music in the main "front of house" showroom.

Patricia's expert tip: Metalheads will want to stop by on Sundays when there's a-rockin' 80s metal band playing the hits.

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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.

Recommended for Live Music because: Serious live music aficionados will want to check out who is on the schedule at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Patricia's expert tip: For a memorable evening, arrive early and enjoy the view in the Catwalk Lounge overlooking the Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium. $12 admission includes light hors d'oeuvres and one alcoholic beverage of your choice.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.