Minneapolis: The City of Live Music

Minneapolis live music: feel the vibes…

If you live in or around Minneapolis, you know that it’s one of the best places in the country for music. Some of the biggest names in the game have come from here, and it boasts a vibrant scene where you can catch great live music of all kinds nearly any day of the week. If you’re going to be in Minneapolis and want to get a listen to some popular local acts, or if you’re a local yourself and are looking to pump some excitement into your boring summer, keep reading to learn all about some of the most happening venues for live music in the city. 

Bunkers Music Bar & Grill

Located on Washington Avenue in the North Loop, Bunkers Music Bar & Grill has been a mainstay of Minneapolis’s live music scene for decades. If you’re into history, you can’t skip this self-described “working-class, shot-and-a-beer joint” where Prince made a habit of dropping in to jam. This summer, you’ll find performances from some of the city’s favorite local stars like Dr. Mambo’s Combo (Sundays and Mondays) and the International Reggae Allstars (Tuesdays). So come have a beer at their daily happy hour and see what all the fuss is about. By the way . . . the food is great too, so come Monday to Friday for their hot lunch specials. 

The Fine Line Music Café

Also located in the hip Warehouse District on First Avenue North is The Fine Line Music Café. Housed on the main level of the historic Consortium building since 1987, The Fine Line features classy two-level showroom that functions just as well for cabaret-style seating for a wedding or jazz show as it does for a standing-room-only rock concert. The Fine Line has hosted some of the biggest names in music, too, including The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, John Mayer, and Lady Gaga—just to name a few. And yeah, it had its fair share of Prince sightings as well. They’ve got music seven nights a week, so be sure to take a look at their calendar. Torche, Junior Browne, Hinder, and The Alarm, and many other names you’ll recognize are playing there this summer.

The Cabooze 

If you’re looking for something in the West Bank, look no further than The Cabooze: a longstanding Minneapolis music institution. Inside the venue, you’ll find that no matter where you’re standing, you’re never that far from the performers. The long and narrow standing room hugs closely to the stage, and the low light and low ceiling lend the place a blue-collar, bluesy vibe. They also have a large outdoor plaza area for larger shows. The Cabooze has seen some of the biggest stars in the country, too, including Snoop Dogg, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, and James Brown. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards even came to watch Peter Tosh play once, so you know the place is worth a visit. Coming soon, they’ve got Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (July 19), a Jerry Garcia tribute concert (August 3), and UB40 (September 14), to name a few.

The Pourhouse Downtown

Rounding out this great list is us: The Pourhouse Downtown. We’re a spacious two-storied Prohibition-themed bar with more than just an upscale atmosphere, delicious food and drinks, and bottle service—we’re also your go-to spot for a summer full of live music from some of Minneapolis’s best musicians. As a music venue, we define ourselves by our ability to bring you a distinctly versatile lineup, and our packed July and August calendar proves it. For the rest of July, many of our weekends will feature The Sh*tshow, where you can come see a variety of musical acts while you enjoy 2-4-1 deals on food and drinks from 9-11 PM (with $5 cover starting at 11 PM). This month, we’ve got Sh*tshows with DJ Matty Matt, Junk FM, DJ Dudley D, Willie Wonka, and more. 

Minneapolis live music and hottest acts – only in the Pourhouse

But that’s just some of our shows at The Pourhouse Downtown. You could also join us on July 18, when Minneapolis rock band The Only will celebrate the release of their new album “CHAWSK” on the Pourhouse Downtown stage. Then on July 26, we have Minnesota’s own Kyle Skye taking the stage. Finally, we’ve got Kelz Musik and Marc E. Bassy to finish up our spectacular July. August is no slouch either, with shows from Apathy, Celph Titled, Rey Ross, Pleezer, Magnacupid, and Vision Pains—so be sure to browse through our calendar so you don’t have to regret missing an amazing show.

Listen up

There are plenty of worthwhile venues in and around downtown Minneapolis to grab a drink and listen to a widely diverse set of local and national musicians, but these four are among the best. If you feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities, you shouldn’t! The key to your summer of music is taking it one show at a time. That’s a huge part of enjoying music in the first place, after all: discovering the new. So don’t waste the opportunity. Get out of your house and come visit us at The Pourhouse!