Live Music

The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of Detroit night clubs. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that Detroit does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like D'Amato's Neighborhood Restaurant, or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like Majestic Theater, which is known for its Blues 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 Detroit.



An intimate, upstairs music venue, this adjunct of Jacoby's is known for its underground music and its rock 'n roll stylings. You'll find a host of emerging bands testing the city's musical waters, much to the pleasure of regulars, who appreciate the alternative quality and the heartfelt passion. A bar is available to take care of liquid refreshment requests; German food is available, too. Call ahead - they may be open upstairs only a few weekends each month.

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For several decades now, busy Flood's has been a top destination for live music, well-mixed drinks, and fantastic soul food. Its bustling bar is a terrific place to mix and mingle, and talented performers regale guests with jazz, soul, and R&B tunes. Well-dressed patrons make the place a frequent haunt, and they appreciate the classy scene. You'll want to match them, even as you down fried catfish or a Flood's burger.

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This movie theatre-turned-nightclub still shows alternative movies along with performances by live regional and national blues, rock, and rockabilly musicians. Movie nights (Brew & View) are Wednesday and Thursday; concert dates and times vary.

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The Fillmore Detroit

Once a movie theater, this 1920s-era Italian Renaissance building changed its focus from dance club to live music venue when it was transformed from the State Theatre. The elegant space, which boasts Corinthian columns and dramatic chandeliers, holds up to 3000 guests and expands the realm of San Francisco's original Fillmore. It also hosts a variety of artists; past performers have included the Flaming Lips, Massive Attack, and Fergie.

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This historic, three-level brownstone is a hot spot for live alternative, hip-hop, rap, house, and techno music. Parties here have been known to go well into the night, especially when the bands are good – and they usually are. Among the "names" who've wowed packed houses at St. Andrew's are Depeche Mode, the Cure, the Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, and Pearl Jam. When Friday rolls around, the place really gets pumping with its "Three Floors of Fun," one of Detroit's largest and loudest dance parties.

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One of Detroit's premier performance venues, the historic Majestic has featured the likes of Buddy Guy, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, Johnny Winter, and Los Lobos. Originally a movie and vaudeville performance theater, the Majestic dates from 1915 and was the final place that escape artist Harry Houdini ever performed. Featured music styles include rock, jazz, blues, reggae, and world.

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Think you've got stick? Test your skills against some of the Motor City's beautiful people at Magic Stick, a pool hall that's home to ten billiard tables and one of downtown's more intimate stage areas. Trendy pea green and bright blue tones dominate the decor at the upscale venue, where young, trendy patrons congregate during weekly romps through the downtown nightlife scene. The nearby Majestic Theater is a live music venue that has featured the likes of Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, and Los Lobos. The Garden Bowl, located below Magic Stick, offers bowling and DJs.

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This famous Greektown Irish bar guarantees a rollicking good time. Enjoy live Celtic folk music or traditional Irish drinking songs both upstairs and down – all the while, surrounded by the cozy confines of a traditional Irish pub. Shoot pool or throw a few rounds of cricket in the game room.

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A prominent neighborhood presence, Small's is full of character, from its mahogany bar to its well-stocked jukebox to its architecture (the building was originally a bank). Typically, folks congregate in the front room to indulge in premium liquors and beers, while in the back room, live performers take the stage. Rock is the music of choice – catch good local bands Thursday through Saturday – although DJs occasionally spin as well. Other attractions include punk rock bingo, drink specials, and WiFi.

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Traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine is enjoyed by young professionals and the young-at-heart of any age at this lively restaurant. Appetizers include lamb chops, poached salmon ravioli and beef carpaccio. The entrée menu features chicken marsala, sea scallops, and Arctic Char. D'Amato's also serves excellent pasta, pizza, soups, and salads. Every Monday through Saturday groups play jazz, blues and spin music at Goodnite Gracie, D'Amato's adjoining jazz and martini bar.

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