10 Best Spots to Catch Live Music in Denver

The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of Denver night clubs. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Denver does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like El Chapultepec, or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like Charlie Browns, which is known for its Piano music. While many venues on the local music scene are clustered in the Lodo (Lower Downtown) area, know that terrific places to hear live music can be found throughout Denver. Take spots like Golden and Evergreen where live music takes on a more Western approach with classic instruments and a cowboy atmosphere to go with it. Other spots like Soiled Dove Underground take the music experience a step further by offering classes with some of the cities top musicians. Of course dancing and music go hand in hand which are always a go at places like The Grizzly Rose and Beta Nightclub. No matter which spot you choose, you are sure to find a host of both local entertainment and big name acts. 


El Chapultepec

El Chapultepec has been hosting jazz and blues notables since 1951, including the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. The place is small and usually crowded, but it's known throughout Denver as the city's best venue for live blues and jazz. A limited menu of drinks and Mexican food is offered, and you'll want to try the burritos, which are almost as legendary as the performers. Live music every single night, and never a cover charge! Two-drink minimum per set. The club is located in the heart of downtown where parking meters have a 2 hour limit, which means you are better off spending more by parking in a garage or taking a cab.

Smack in the heart of Downtown Golden, CO, The Buffalo Rose is a local hang out, bar and nightclub, and a venue often featuring open mic and live music – sometimes even national acts. Music varies greatly, ranging from blues to hip-hop to rock n'roll and everything in between. Open 7 days a week and ready to offer you a cold one and a full menu. The historic building might not make your list of upscale nightlife, but if you're in Golden, chances are you'll stop by this historic, dive nightclub for some entertainment. The history of the building dates back to 1859.

North Denver
Grizzly Rose
Photo courtesy of Grizzly Rose

Country music fan? You've got to visit Grizzly Rose. In fact, it's won the Country Music Association's "Best Country Music Club" award. Old-time favorites like Willie Nelson and more recent names like LeAnn Rimes appear on the roster of previous performers. Pool tables, a mechanical bull, and a video game room round out the entertainment options. Country-western duds are the way to go! Call ahead to find out when they offer free dance lessons. Live music six nights a week, and Sundays are family friendly. The space is intimate (though of course can get crowded) but offers one of the most up close music experiences in the city.

Fadó Irish Pub

Fadó offers authentic Irish pub atmosphere with food, drink, and entertainment to match. Inside, the place features a quintessential dark-wood bar and plenty of "pub" ambiance, which is especially accommodating after the sun goes down and the place gets packed. Fadó frequently features live music – dancing is always encouraged! – as well as special events to celebrate football and rugby matches. When a big match is on TV, expect to find plenty of competitive spirits and rival teams making this an incredibly festive atmosphere full of cheering. When it comes to the jams- the bagpipes most always make an appearance.

Guests at Beta move to a wide spectrum of music played on the main floor and in the Beatport Lounge--house, techno, dubstep, trance, hip-hop, trap and everything in between. Beta is by and for DJs though there are live acts as well, which might include vocalists, instruments, turntablism or controllerism. The owners firmly believe that if you haven't been to Beta you have not experienced music as it's meant to be heard. "With our system processors constantly adjusted, acoustic treatment fully dialed and every aspect down to the wiring and placement fine-tuned, you can expect the best sound in Denver with the best artists." While there's no food served at the club, there are street vendors and food trucks all night long.

Mead Street Station Pub & Grill

Mead Street Station is widely considered one of Denver's best British pubs. The large food menu includes pub fare as well as more innovative offerings, although it's hard to compete with a pint of Guinness and a serving of requisite fish and chips. The drink menu is sure to please as well, thanks to a diverse supply of beers (on tap and bottled), wines, and single malt scotches.The popular pub also offers live music five nights a week, most usually rock or jazz. This spot knows how to mix it up with everything from open mic nights to Rock 'n Roll Bingo.

Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill

Local beatnik legend Neal Cassady and his good friends Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg once called Charlie Brown's a favorite watering hole. During the week, enjoy the casual atmosphere with young residents from the Capitol Hill neighborhood. For a real treat, experience a weekend sing-along with the pianist, Paulie, who has been playing Rat Pack favorites here for years. Come weekends, parking in the Capitol Hill neighborhood can be tough, so consider taking a cab, Lyft or Uber. Head out on a Saturday night and find a crowd around the table singing to some of the most classic songs like Sweet Caroline.

Soiled Dove Underground

This one-time LoDo venue has migrated east to Lowry, the quickly growing residential and commericial area on the outskirts of the city. A warm color scheme with wood accents makes the spot below the Tavern Lowry an intimate, cozy space in which to hear live music, be it blues, jazz, or even big band. You will also hear from plenty of classic tribute bands who often take the stage. First-rate acoustics and free parking are improvements on the old location. Available for private parties too. The concept is owned by Tavern Hospitality Group which is also the owner of several other nightlife concepts in town.

Photo courtesy of George Blosser

Loud and fun. Those are the definitive words to describe this neighborhood bar and music venue that has drawn crowds since 2003. According to one bartender, "It's a classic dive bar with dark lighting that's perfect for watching fun bands and drinking with your friends in an unpretentious atmosphere." The fun bands tend to be up-and-coming local and national bands and the place is intimate enough that you can often meet the band members and buy all or one of them a drink. Musician-bartenders own Hi-Dive, and thus it appeals to musicians and those in the service industry, especially if they live along South Broadway.

In the Zone Sports Bar & Grill features live music Friday and Saturday nights year round – and Wednesdays April to September – with local bands playing classic rock, country, and all danceable tunes. Take the fun outside (weather permitting) on the 5,000 square feet patio. Located 5 minutes from downtown Golden and Miller-Coors Brewery, In The Zone Sports Bar & Grill is a haunt of many locals and Coors employees. Sporting a "Cheers" atmosphere with its120-foot bar, 20 beers on tap and a full bar, kick back and enjoy your favorite sports team play on over 90 flat screen HDTVs. The menu is also a favorite, with comfort pub grub, such as sandwiches, burgers, nachoes, pizza, and wings. Mix in a spicy Mexican menu with housemade green chili, and you have a winner.


Meet Carri Wilbanks

Carri Wilbanks ( is a Denver based freelance writer, producer and TV host  for Xfinity Comcast who is always on the hunt for the next adventure. Whether climbing a volanco in...  More About Carri