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From Indie Rock to Smooth Jazz, Vancouver's Live Music Sings



There’s nothing better than seeing your favorite band perform live, especially if it's in an intimate venue where there isn't a bad seat in the house. Vancouver’s music scene brings up-and-coming bands and famous musicians to the stage. From cozy venues that fit 350 people to huge stadiums, the city's got it all.

For live tunes, tasty food and yummy cocktails head to Calabash Caribbean Bistro. This restaurant and lounge serves up Caribbean culture in the form of food and music and art - it's a chill space with a good mix of people.

The Commodore Ballroom and Vogue Theatre on Granville Street attract well-known artists, along with up-and-coming bands from around the world. The limited capacity means that you’re guaranteed a good view from any spot in the house. The Granville Street Entertainment district is where you'll find a handful of different venues, many of which are rich in history and have been around for decades. 

If you like a laid back atmosphere, a solid section of craft beer, and indie bands, head to The Cobalt on Main Street for a fun night. An added bonus? The tickets are inexpensive and the drinks are reasonably priced. When they're not hosting concerts, they're busy hosting pinball tournaments and dance parties.

When your feeling fancy, head to the Fairmont Pacific Rim's Lobby Lounge & Raw Bar. This hotel lobby is always busy, especially with the after work crowd during the week. Pair the live music with cocktails and delicious sushi and you've got a winning recipe for a good night.

Whether you're in the mood to fire it up on the dance floor or enjoy a casual drink with chill tunes, these venues are worth checking out.


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Formerly known as the Railway Club (until 2016), the Railway Stage & Beer Cafe has been around since 1931 and has hosted live music since 1981. Not long ago, the fate of this beloved venue was up in the air until new owners could secure its future. Locals loved this space because it was comfortably worn after multiple decades of service and the Railway Stage & Beer Cafe pays homage to the historic roots, while reviving it into something that is right for Vancouver. Along with cold beer, cocktails and wine, the Railway Stage & Beer Cafe also has a small selection of food to enjoy. When it comes to music, they host a variety of bands throughout the month.




Look for the bright neon sign that says "Patricia" along East Hastings Street and you're in for a special surprise. This hidden gem of a brew pub offers a charming atmosphere that's complemented by cold beer and hearty food. While this pub is known for their micro-brews they craft on-site, they also pack in plenty of live music. In fact, in the early 1900s, this locale was a popular spot to catch a live jazz show. Today, they host live jazz every Saturday night and feature special events throughout the week. Feeling peckish? The menu has a range of nibbles and starters include pub fare items like chicken wings, burgers, and a very Canadian classic, poutine. Pat's Pub is a short walk from Gastown and parking is available out front.


Calabash Caribbean Bistro


For years now, Calabash Caribbean Bistro has been a mainstay for Caribbean food and live music in Vancouver. After a visit, you'll see why. Head downstairs to the lounge where you'll find a cozy venue that hosts live music and DJs, depending on the night. Music is so deeply rooted in Caribbean history and Calabash brings this culture to life. What makes Calabash so special is that you can come for a delicious meal and then stay for drinks, music and a night of dancing. For food, tuck into comforting classics like braised oxtail, free-range jerk chicken and jerk pork belly with coconut dumplings. Wash it all down with one of their specialty cocktails like the Calabash Dark and Stormy or the Bordertown Swizzle. The latter's made with house-made vanilla rum, churned with soursop, pineapple and a tamarind syrup and then topped with Baron Samedi.


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Fortune Sound Club


Most nights, Fortune Sound Club brings local and international DJs to the stage to create an all-night dance party, but you'll also find live music too. Perched at the top of a dimly lit staircase in Vancouver's Chinatown, Fortune is a local favorite because of the diverse types of music they bring in. From rock to punk to hip hop to electronic, you'll find all sorts of known musicians from around the world here. It's not a massive club, which makes catching a live show here even better. They typically have their shows listed a couple of months in advance so you can get tickets ahead of time and not sorry about missing out.


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East Side


This small venue attracts some of the best up and coming bands and DJs from around the world. With a capacity of 350, it may be one of the best shows you will see before the band makes it big. The atmosphere is dimly lit with rich reds and velvet seating that creates a sultry boudoir feeling. The Biltmore is a favorite amongst Vancouver's hip crowds and music connoisseurs. Check out their website for dates and special nights they have on tap each week. The location is slightly out of the way, but public transportation and cabs make getting to it very easy.


The Lobby Lounge and RawBar


If there's one hotel that's a good time every night of the week, it's the Fairmont Pacific Rim. This luxury hotel is home to the Lobby Lounge and RawBar, where live music and fancy cocktails make for a chummy pair. With its sprawling ceilings, modern fireplace, and open concept, the grand lobby makes for a chic space to get comfy, grab a drink, and order some nibbles. Adding to the atmosphere is live music seven nights a week. From soulful singers to lively bands, The Lobby Lounge and RawBar is a fun place to be. Feeling peckish? The RawBar serves incredible sushi. The fish is melt-in-your-mouth fresh and Chef Taka's skill and passion compliments the beautiful ingredients.


Guilt & Co.


Along the cobbled streets of Gastown, you'll find an underground lounge where live music and cocktails mingle. Located below The Local Gastown, you'll find the space is cozy and intimate. Feeling peckish? There are plenty of casual bites that are great for sharing. The drink list is packed with plenty of tasty wine, beer and cocktail options. With something going on every night of the week, there's never a dull moment. Grab a seat and enjoy an eclectic mix of musicians. Guilt & Co. is easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for so keep your eyes peeled for the sandwich board and a set of steps on the side of the building this space shares with The Local.


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Granville Street
Commodore Ballroom


Located on the Granville Street strip, the Commodore Ballroom can hold about 1000 people inside the 75-year-old building. Though the venue isn't huge, you would be surprised at the big names that have played there over the years. Everyone from Nirvana to Bob Marley to Coldplay to Adele to Lady Gaga have been booked here before they made it really big. The intimate setting is perfect - regardless of where you are in the room, you won't miss a beat and can see the band's every move. This licensed venue hosts events that are mostly for 19 years and older. Shows can often sell out ahead of time, but if it hasn't, you can get tickets at the box office or online.


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Granville Street


Established in 1941, the Vogue Theatre Vancouver has become a landmark amongst the city's performing arts. Nuzzled along the bright lights of Granville Street, Vancouver's entertainment distract, the Vogue is a popular venue that attracts acts from around the world. It's one of the best venues to go and see a show because there really isn't a bad seat in the house. The intimate setting connects the audience to the artist on stage and gives fans a chance to be up close with their favorite act. The stage sees all types of musicians and bands and it isn't limited to one genre. In fact, the Vogue hosts theater, live music, and cinema. The space itself has a warmth that's inviting, complete with old-school, yet well maintained, velvet folding theater style chairs.


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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha

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