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10 Best Live Music Venues in the Lake Tahoe Area



Visiting a local bar in a casino or tucked away in the mountains for some live music is a great start (or end) to your nights up at Lake Tahoe. Many local bars offer all different kinds of live music to choose from including Blues, Jazz, Rock, Bluegrass and Country. You only have to take your pick or do some bar hopping.

If you want an intimate venue with some low-key tunes, visit Moody's Bistro in Truckee. They offer a lot of blues and bluegrass bands on the weekends or the Fat Cat in Tahoe City. On Thursday nights, you can be the star during their Karaoke nights or just listen to some local lounge or jazz bands. The Divided Sky is tucked out of the way in Myers and offers great drinks, food and independent bands.

For something larger and louder, try the concerts at the Crystal Bay Club & Casino on the North Shore or the MontBleau Resort Casino & Spa or Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the South Shore. Each of these venues offer larger names and the Blu Nightclu at the MontBleau will feature celebrity DJs. If you want your own choice of music, head to Whiskey Dick's Saloon for their Internet-ready jukebox which plays a nice range of Joe Cocker and Metallica.


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This Baja California favorite is nestled in the woods of the lovely Lake Tahoe. Situated in Harvey's Casino Resort, Cabo Wabo promises a good time, with great food and a lively vibe. Fridays and Saturdays boast live music. Drink specials all week long. Never a cover charge. The Cabo Wabo Cantina serves breakfast, lunch and dinner beginning at 8:00 AM. The lounge opens at 4 PM and stays open well into the late night hours with live entertainment five nights per week! Dining room is dark on Monday and Tuesday but Bar Menu is available in the Bar and Lounge.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Cabo Wabo features local rockers like Audioboxx, Dane Rinehart and Cash Only.

Christina's expert tip: Keep an eye out for the owner, Sammy Hagar!

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The comfortable and mellow bar is a little off the beaten track in Meyers, but is a popular locals spot for their drinks, food and live music. Come in for one of their famous sandwiches and stay later into the night for live entertainment and some fun with the friendly bartenders. Their sandwiches (both meat and vegetarian) are healthy and filling and you can get a salad (e.g. Caprese, Greek or Organic Spinach) on the side. Order the Amsterdam sandwich with goat cheese, black olives and artichoke hearts or the Kiva with smoked salmon, onions, greens and ricotta cheese. They also offer desserts such as the Mud Pie and the Teddy Bear Picnic with cheddar, organic apples, carrots and peanut butter. The bar includes several organic microbrews on tap, various cocktails with homemade juices and fruit and wine.

Recommended for Live Music because: Local independent bands have made their home at the Divided Sky.

Christina's expert tip: There are usually live music acts at the Divided Sky several times a month.

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The Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar in Truckee is located on a small hillside overlooking downtown Truckee, the Truckee River and the railroad that runs through town. This might be one of the reasons why this is such a popular night spot in both summer and winter. The other reasons might be because of the warm and intimate ambience with great lighting, log cabin styling and the great food and bar. Both locals and visitors will hang out here on snowy nights while waiting for the roads to clear, so there are plenty of people to talk to. The restaurant serves various entrees featuring sustainable seafood along with the best organic produce and grass-fed meat from the foothills and the nearby Sierra Valley. They include favorites like the Niman Ranch New York Steak, Pine Nut Crusted Southeast Asian Basa, and Butternut Squash Enchiladas (vegetarian), Dave also lets his creative juices flow with up to five different nightly specials. The bar serves a small selection of beers and wines and some great cocktails including the Frenchy Margarita. Happy Hour is daily from 4:30-6:30 daily and all day on Winter/Storm Watch days. The bar can get loud and crowded farther into the evening. The Cottonwood features live acoustic music on Thursday and Friday evenings. Music starts at 7 p.m. in the fireplace room during winter months and moves to the deck with a 6 p.m. start time during warmer months (weather permitted).��"Acoustic Thursdays" feature the best in FREE live acoustic musical entertainment coupled with discounts on libations and select menu items all night long in the Bar and Fireplace Rooms.

Recommended for Live Music because: In the summer, live bands will play on the deck overlooking Truckee.

Christina's expert tip: Reservations for the live music nights are recommended.

Read more about Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar →


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This small cafe in Tahoe City is a mix of everything: sports bar meets lunch place meets gathering area meets live music venue. It is a beautiful, little place with comfy places to sit and plenty of parking. The decor is a mix of dark wood, nice stained glass and local artwork as well as big screen TVs. The friendly, quick staff serves up tasty sandwiches, soups and salads and has a generous happy hour. The Fat Cat Cafe in Tahoe City is a cool and laid back restaurant, bar, artists space and performance area for local and regional bands. Come here during the day for great sandwiches and salads and stay into the night for appetizers, a fun bar and live entertainment. The Fat Cat has special events for the holidays and usually has a band playing on the weekends. Past performances have been by Horsemouth, Drop Theory and the On the Spot Trio. They have open mic night every Tuesday and karaoke every Thursday. Their bar features wine, beers on draught and a full selection of cocktails.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Fat Cat has local blues and rock bands as well as Thursday night Karaoke

Christina's expert tip: The Fat Cat has free wifi.

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The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Stateline is the lake's newest casino and nightlife hotspot and the music venue, Vinyl, features various singer/songwriters, local and tribute bands, open mic nights, comedy routines and late night dancing, as well as national touring acts. Featured acts include Night Ranger and The Blues Monsters. During the summer, the hotel has an outdoor music series. The rest of the hotel contains several restaurants and the casino features 500 state-of-the-art video gaming machines and table games like Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Three Card Poker and Pai Gow. The casino will also feature a Sports Book.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is music centered with plenty of rock memorabilia.

Christina's expert tip: You can purchase your music tickets for Vinyl online.

Read more about Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino →


Crystal Bay Club Casino


The Crystal Bay Casino has been voted one of the best casinos in the Lake Tahoe area, but they don't let it go to their head. This casual and friendly casino on the North Shore has become known for its excellent selection of live shows as well as for their lively casino. Many locals hang out at the Crystal Bay on the weekends to enjoy the numerous entertainment that the Crystal Bay books. Acts include legends like Dick Dale and Los Lonely Boys as well as fun bands like Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers, the White Buffalo, Super Diamond and Tainted Love. The Crystal Bay also has comedy acts and special events with bands like the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars. And the best thing? A lot of these music events are free. During the shows in the Crown Room, there is no smoking allowed, but dancing is. The Crystal Bay's Sports Book offers full-service action on HD Plasma monitors, the casino has table games like Blackjack, Double Odds Craps, $2 and $4 Texas Hold'em and Roulette as well as numerous slots.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Crystal Bay Casino is probably the friendliest casino in the area where you can meet locals.

Christina's expert tip: Their weekend concerts are fun and lively.

Read more about Crystal Bay Club Casino →


4
South Lake Tahoe


Whiskey Dick's the one of the original South Tahoe dive bars frequented by both tourists and locals. The saloon features live music on most weekends by alternative, rock, bluegrass and classic tunes. When the stage is not occupied, a jukebox is always loaded with classic and new music. The bar is low-key and a popular place for pool, shuffleboard, darts and some classic video games. The bar also has a patio for summer nights. The bar serves over a hundred beers and cocktails including the toxic Alice in Wonderland for $6.50 and the Red Bull and Vodka for only $5. Each of their cocktails are generously served in 12 or 16 ounce cups, so be sure to pace yourself. You can also grab some simple pub food like burgers, chicken wings, dips and nachos.

Recommended for Live Music because: The live music nights at Whiskey Dick's are popular but not over the top.

Christina's expert tip: The jukebox is full of music from all genres.

Read more about Whiskey Dick's Saloon →




7800 Bar & Grill is the only family owned restaurant and bar in the Kirkwood area and it shows. The place is packed on winter ski weekends and at night�especially during one of their many special events which includes free live bands, wine and beer dinners, karaoke night and Pray for Snow bonfires. The menu might be another reason so many people flock to this out of the way bar and grill. The lunch and dinner menu feature comfort food like gourmet Mac 'n Cheese, Grandma's Pot Pie, Fish Tacos, Chili, Clam Chowder and a great kid's menu. Their dinner items include several fish dishes and an amazing Cacao and Espresso Rubbed Filet Mignon. The bar features various beers on tap, local and regional wines and various cocktails.

Recommended for Live Music because: The 7800 Bar & Grill features free live music on Saturday nights.

Christina's expert tip: 7800's Happy Hour is Monday through Thursday from from 3:00PM to 5:30PM and offers a $4 cocktail special.

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The Montbleu has 437 luxurious hotel rooms, many with spectacular lake and mountain views. The suites are designed for conferencing and entertaining, and feature a living area, big screen TV, dining and wet bar. Wireless internet access is available throughout the resort for a nominal fee. The resort also has several areas for dining including the award-winning Ciera restaurant which features an exquisite array of steaks and chops, fresh seafood and vegetarian entrees, complemented by an international selection of 300 wines and champagnes. The resort has a high-class casino with various table games, slots, tournaments and special clubs for participants. The full service spa includes a fitness center, private relaxation rooms, saunas, whirlpools and eucalyptus steam rooms.

Recommended for Live Music because: The MontBleu in a stylish and fun resort casino that offers great concerts and special events.

Christina's expert tip: The Blu nightclub at MontBleu offers weekend special events.

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Moody's has become one of the best places for lunch, dinner and drinks in downtown Truckee. Their menu has been Zagat rated and they also offer a great selection of live music in their classic lounge.They are known for their season, organic and regional dishes and wines. They offer comfort dishes like Crab Toast with Dungeness Crab on sliced Ciabatta, their famous Tomato Soup en Croute (delicious!) and thin crust Neopolitan pizza. Moody's also offers sandwiches, salads and burgers. Their main dishes from the grill and rotisserie include Pan Roasted, Free Range, All Natural Chicken Breast with Purple Potatoes, Wild Arugula and Fava Beans. Moody's also has a great wine list that includes wines from around the world like Caposaldo from Italy, Elyse from Napa Valley, Paul Jaboulet from the Cote du Rhone and Pierre Spar from Alsace. You can also get wines on tap like Caldera from the California Central Coast. Their beer list is just as extensive with selections from New Belgium, Black Butte and Pyramid.

Recommended for Live Music because: Moody's live music lineup includes local and regional jazz and blues musicians.

Christina's expert tip: Moody's Happy Hour is from 4-6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and selected items have a discounted price. The Happy Hour also includes $2 off all wine by the glass, beer and well cocktails.

Read more about Moody's Bistro & Bar →


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Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina

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