Rocking Out Your Guide To The Best Live Music In Phoenix

Welcome to the vibrant city of Phoenix, home to amazing culture, art and of course, music. In this article, we are going to explore the live music scene in Phoenix and take you on a journey through the best places to catch a live show. Whether you are a local or a visitor, this guide will offer you a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the city’s thrilling music culture.

If you’re a music lover, you know there’s nothing quite like seeing your favorite band or artist perform live. The energy, the emotion, and the connection you feel with the music and the crowd is an unmatched experience. In this article, we promise to provide you with all the necessary information you need to find the best live music venues and performances in Phoenix. With this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the most out of your next live music experience.

From intimate jazz bars to large outdoor arenas, Phoenix has plenty of options when it comes to live music. We’ve gathered insider tips, expert advice and researched the best spots to listen to the most talented musicians in town. Whether you’re after country, rock, pop, indie, or something entirely different, there’s something for everyone. Get ready to discover a diverse music scene and the coolest venues Phoenix has to offer.

Best live music venues in Phoenix

Phoenix also known as the Valley of the Sun, has a thriving music scene with a diverse range of venues to experience live music. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, hip hop, or country, Phoenix has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best live music venues in Phoenix and what makes each of them special.

The Van Buren

The Van Buren is a state-of-the-art, 1,900-person capacity venue located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. This music behemoth was opened in 2017, and it’s already one of the most popular music venues in the city. The Van Buren has a spacious main floor with plenty of room to dance and an expansive balcony area with great views of the stage.

  • Atmosphere: The Van Buren has a hip, modern atmosphere that makes it a great spot for live music lovers of all ages. The venue features high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a sleek stage design that gives the space an industrial-chic feel.
  • Tech: The sound and lighting systems at The Van Buren are among the best in the city. The venue is equipped with a 45-foot-wide stage, a state-of-the-art sound system, and a lighting rig that can accommodate any type of performance.
  • Food and Drink: In addition to exceptional live music, The Van Buren also offers a full bar and a great menu of snacks and bites.
  • Special Events: The Van Buren frequently hosts special events including album release parties, record-signing events, and more. The venue has also played host to a variety of high-profile musical acts including Beck, Janelle Monáe, and Gary Clark Jr.
Pros Cons
– State-of-the-art sound and lighting systems – Limited parking available
– Large capacity that can accommodate most shows and performers – No outside food or drinks allowed in the venue
– Great selection of food and drinks – Limited seating in balcony areas

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind live music experience in Phoenix, then The Van Buren is definitely the place to be. With its cutting-edge technology, spacious atmosphere, and great food and drinks, it’s no wonder that this venue is quickly becoming one of the most popular spots for live music in the city.

Top Phoenix neighborhoods for live music

Phoenix, Arizona is home to a thriving nightlife scene that features a wide range of live music options. Several neighborhoods in the city have become the go-to spots for music lovers looking for a fun, entertaining night out. In this article, we explore the Top Phoenix neighborhoods for live music.

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is the central hub of the city’s night scene, featuring a multitude of bars, clubs, and venues. The neighborhood has undergone a significant transformation in recent years and now boasts a vibrant, artsy atmosphere that caters to diverse musical tastes. Here are some things to know about Downtown Phoenix’s live music scene:

  • The majority of venues in Downtown Phoenix feature indie and alternative rock music, but also offer a mix of other genres, including electronic, hip-hop, and jazz.
  • Well-known venues in the area include Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, and The Van Buren, which are popular stops for national touring acts.
  • The neighborhood also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, such as the McDowell Mountain Music Festival and the Phoenix Lights Festival.

Downtown Phoenix’s bustling scene caters to music lovers of all genres and ages, making it a top destination for live entertainment.


Tempe is a lively college town near Phoenix that has become one of the city’s top spots for live music. The area is home to Arizona State University, which infuses the local scene with youthful energy and diversity. Here are some things to know about Tempe’s live music scene:

  • The city is home to popular venues such as The Marquee, Yucca Tap Room, and Tempe Tavern, which showcase a mix of local and national acts.
  • The Yucca Tap Room, in particular, has a long history of supporting local musicians and hosting intimate shows.
  • Tempe also features a wide range of musical genres, from indie and rock to country and blues.
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Tempe’s college town vibe and diverse music scene make it a must-visit location for locals and visitors alike.


Scottsdale is known for its luxurious resorts and high-end dining, but it also has a thriving nightlife scene that features live music. The upscale neighborhood offers a sophisticated atmosphere and a variety of music genres to choose from. Here are some things to know about Scottsdale’s live music scene:

  • Scottsdale features several venues that cater to a more upscale crowd, such as Talking Stick Resort and the W Scottsdale, which offer live music from a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, and Latin.
  • The city also boasts venues such as The Rogue Bar and The Rhythm Room, which feature a mix of local and national acts playing indie, rock, and alternative music.
  • Scottsdale is particularly known for its country music scene, with venues such as Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Buffalo Chip Saloon hosting regular country-themed events.

Scottsdale’s sophisticated yet diverse music scene offers something for everyone, making it a top destination for live entertainment.


Phoenix’s live music scene is diverse and thriving, with several neighborhoods that offer an array of options for music lovers of all genres. From Downtown Phoenix’s indie music scene to Tempe’s college town bars to Scottsdale’s upscale venues, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to check out one of these top Phoenix neighborhoods for live music.

Phoenix music festivals to attend this year

Phoenix is known for its vibrant music scene, with a variety of festivals taking place throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of rock, hip-hop, EDM, or something in between, there’s a festival for you. In this article, we’ll explore the top three music festivals to attend in Phoenix this year.

1. Pot of Gold Music Festival

Pot of Gold Music Festival is one of the largest and most popular music festivals in Phoenix. The festival takes place over two days, with multiple stages featuring a diverse lineup of national and local artists. Here are some key highlights:

  • Headliners: Past headliners have included Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne, and Lana Del Rey.
  • Lifestyle Village: A separate area featuring yoga, art, and wellness activities.
  • Food and Drink: A wide selection of food vendors and craft beer options.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, Pot of Gold is the festival for you. The festival offers a combination of music, art, and entertainment, making it the perfect way to spend a weekend with friends.

2. M3F Fest

M3F Fest is a nonprofit music festival that takes place in Phoenix every year. The goal of the festival is to raise funds for local charities, while also providing attendees with an amazing music experience. Here are some things to look forward to:

  • Eclectic Lineup: The festival features a wide variety of musical genres, from indie rock to hip-hop.
  • Community Involvement: The festival partners with a variety of local charities and community organizations.
  • Green Initiative: M3F Fest is committed to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact.

Attending M3F Fest is not only a great way to enjoy music but also to give back to the local community. The festival provides a platform for local charities to raise awareness and funds, while also promoting sustainability.

3. Country Thunder Arizona

Country Thunder Arizona is the ultimate festival for country music fans. The festival takes place over four days, with some of the biggest names in country music taking the stage. Here are some reasons to attend:

  • Top Country Artists: The festival has featured artists such as Luke Bryan, Eric Church, and Miranda Lambert.
  • Camping: Attendees can camp on-site and enjoy a variety of activities, including tailgating and late-night parties.
  • Photo Ops: The festival features a giant cowboy boot, photo booths, and other fun photo opportunities.

Country Thunder Arizona is an immersive experience, allowing attendees to fully embrace the country lifestyle. With camping, tailgating, and top country artists, it’s the perfect festival for anyone who loves all things country.

Pot of Gold Music Festival M3F Fest Country Thunder Arizona
Headliners Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne, Lana Del Rey Empire of the Sun, Kurt Vile, Bon Iver Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert
Number of Days 2 3 4
Location Steele Indian School Park Margaret T. Hance Park Canyon Moon Ranch
Ticket Price $149.50 and up $125 and up $89 and up

In conclusion, Phoenix has no shortage of music festivals this year, and each one offers a unique experience. Whether you’re a fan of rock, hip-hop, or country music, there’s a festival for you. From the diverse lineup at Pot of Gold to the charitable focus of M3F Fest, and the country lifestyle of Country Thunder Arizona, each festival has its own special features that make it worth attending.

Discovering hidden gems in Phoenix’s live music scene

If you are tired of watching the same popular bands performing in Phoenix every week, it’s time to dive in and discover hidden gems in the city’s bustling live music scene. Phoenix boasts a diverse range of live music venues, from intimate clubs to iconic amphitheaters, providing music lovers with an unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll explore the top hidden gems in Phoenix’s live music scene that you may have not heard of.

Crescent Ballroom

The Crescent Ballroom is located in downtown Phoenix and has quickly become a popular destination for music lovers seeking an intimate music experience. The venue not only boasts great acoustics and an eclectic design but also offers a fantastic menu and drink selection. It is no surprise that the Crescent Ballroom has played host to various high-profile artists, from Meghan Trainor and Sam Smith to Fleet Foxes and The Lumineers.

  • The venue opened in 2011 with an outdoor patio, music hall, and restaurant.
  • The club has three levels, including the music hall, a VIP balcony, and an open-air lounge on the roof.
  • It has won several awards, including Phoenix New Times’ Best Downtown Venue and Best Music Club.
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Valley Bar

Nestled in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Valley Bar is a speakeasy-style basement venue that is hailed as being one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The venue’s intimate and underground ambiance creates a unique experience for music lovers who want to enjoy live music in a more personal setting. The lineup includes up-and-coming indie bands, as well as local favorites.

  • The venue has a capacity of approximately 250 people.
  • The bar serves up a range of cocktails, beer, and wine.
  • The venue has hosted various national acts, including Deer Tick and The Sadies.


The Van Buren

The Van Buren is a larger venue with a modern industrial design, located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The venue has been converted from an old vintage car dealership and is now one of the city’s hottest spots for live music. The Van Buren provides music lovers with a massive space for concerts, complete with fantastic acoustics and state-of-the-art lighting.

  • The venue can accommodate up to 1,800 people.
  • The building was designed by the same architects who worked on the famous Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • The venue has hosted various high-profile acts, including Lizzo, Hozier, and Greta Van Fleet.


Lost Leaf

The Lost Leaf is located in Phoenix’s historic Roosevelt Row neighborhood and is a popular spot for beer and music lovers. The venue is small, dark, and intimate, making it a great place to discover local bands in the city. The Lost Leaf is all about supporting the local arts scene and has a laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy great beer and indie music.

  • The venue serves up over 300 craft beers, all from local breweries.
  • The bar is cash only, so don’t forget to hit the ATM before you visit.
  • The venue has provided a launchpad for many local bands, including The Senators and Banana Gun.


Crescent Ballroom Valley Bar The Van Buren Lost Leaf
Ambiance Eclectic Intimate & Underground Modern Industrial Small & Dark
Capacity 500 250 1,800 N/A
Drink Selection Fantastic Menu & Drink Selection Cocktails, Beer & Wine N/A Over 300 Craft Beers
Notable Performers Meghan Trainor, Fleet Foxes, Sam Smith, The Lumineers Deer Tick, The Sadies Hozier, Lizzo, Greta Van Fleet The Senators, Banana Gun

In conclusion, Phoenix has plenty of hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered in its vibrant live music scene. From the intimate Crescent Ballroom and Valley Bar to the larger Van Buren, you can experience a range of musical styles and atmospheres. So, the next time you’re looking for something new and exciting, be sure to check out one of these hidden gems for an unforgettable experience.

The Evolution of Live Music in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is a vibrant city that has always had a thriving music scene. Over the years, the city has hosted a diverse range of concerts, from small clubs where local bands perform to large arenas where internationally renowned artists take the stage. Here’s a breakdown of how live music in Phoenix has evolved over the years:

1. Jazz in early Phoenix

Phoenix’s music history dates back to the days when jazz clubs were the go-to venues for live music. African-American musicians like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday were regular performers in Phoenix. These clubs also served as important community gathering spaces for the city’s black population.

  • Phoenix’s first jazz club opened in 1915 and there were more than a dozen by the 1950s.
  • The Phoenix Union Colored High School band was the first high school band in the Southwest to integrate.
  • Jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie played at the Riverside Ballroom in the 1950s.

2. Rise of Country Music venues

With Phoenix’s proximity to Nashville and the popularity of country music, it’s no surprise that country music became a staple of the city’s live music scene. Rodeos and bars became popular venues for country music performances.

  • The Buckhorn Baths resort in Mesa, AZ was a favorite hangout spot for country music stars like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
  • Phoenix’s famous rock and roll venue, The Celebrity Theatre, began as a country and western club in 1963.
  • The western lifestyle-oriented bar, Handlebar J in North Scottsdale, has been a favorite venue for country music performers since 1975.

3. The Rock Revolution

Rock and roll took over the live music scene in Phoenix during the 1960s, as youth culture began to dominate mainstream culture. The city’s music venues shifted away from country-themed venues and moved towards rock venues instead. This period brought classic performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the city.

  • The original Alice Cooper band started playing in Phoenix in 1965 and, by the late 1970s, was one of the biggest bands in the world.
  • The Van Buren, built in 1939, saw everyone from The Moody Blues in 1967 to Fall Out Boy in 2017.
  • The Marquee Theatre opened in 1993, bringing in top-notch acts like Radiohead, The Roots, and The Black Keys.

4. The Birth of Alternative Music

Alternative music emerged as a new genre that would completely change the face of the live music scene. Alternative music was characterized by a DIY ethos, independent record labels, and experimental sounds. Phoenix became a hub for underground music during this period and paved the way for alternative music to become a mainstream genre.

  • Famous alternative acts that started out in Phoenix include Jimmy Eat World, The Meat Puppets, and Gin Blossoms.
  • The Saint, now shuttered, was local journalist and author Jason P. Woodbury’s favorite underground music venue.
  • Crescent Ballroom, opened in 2011, focuses on indie acts and emerging artists, and has become a favorite venue for both audiences and performers alike.

5. Future of Live Music in Phoenix

As Phoenix continues to grow and evolve, so does its live music scene. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, live music venues are constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of music fans. The future may also see an even more diverse range of musical genres being performed in the city.

Pros Cons
Availability of music events throughout the year Traffic and parking issues near venues can be problematic
The music scene is diverse and has something for everyone Venues can be expensive to rent and operate
The live music culture is thriving in Phoenix Noise complaints from residential neighborhoods can limit the music events
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The success of the local music festivals such as M3F Fest and McDowell Mountain Music Festival shows that the future is bright for live music in Phoenix. Local initiatives like the Opening Minds Through the Arts program are also bringing music education to underprivileged children in the city.

  1. There are plans for a renovation of the historic Sun Mercantile Building which will bring about new music venues supported by the city.
  2. The resurgence of vinyl records is bringing more people than ever into record stores and, inevitably, to the local music scene.
  3. New music technology like the ability to stream live events is also bringing in new younger audiences who want to engage with events in a more modern way.

As we’ve seen through the evolution of live music in Phoenix, the city’s music scene will always be changing and adapting. However, one thing is for sure – the love for live music in the city will always be alive and thriving.

FAQs about Live Music in Phoenix

What are the best places to enjoy live music in Phoenix?

Phoenix is home to some excellent live music venues, including the Crescent Ballroom, Ak-Chin Pavilion, Comerica Theatre, and The Van Buren. Each of these venues offers a unique experience and showcases a variety of music genres.

What kind of music can I expect to hear in Phoenix?

Phoenix has a diverse music scene, with everything from rock and pop to jazz and blues. The city hosts numerous music festivals each year, including the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, the Arizona Jazz Festival, and the Phoenix Lights Festival.

How much does it cost to see a live music show in Phoenix?

The cost of a live music show in Phoenix can vary depending on the venue, the artist, and the day of the week. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 for a ticket to a live music show in Phoenix.

Can I find free live music events in Phoenix?

Yes, there are several free live music events that take place in Phoenix throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include the First Friday Art Walk, the Phoenix Festival of the Arts, and the Downtown Phoenix Concert Series.

What is the age limit for attending a live music event in Phoenix?

The age limit for attending a live music event in Phoenix can vary depending on the venue and the event. Many venues require attendees to be 18 years or older, while some events may be restricted to those 21 and over.

What are the best times of year for live music in Phoenix?

Phoenix has a vibrant music scene year-round, with events and shows taking place throughout the year. However, some of the best times to catch live music in Phoenix are during the fall and spring months when the weather is mild and outdoor venues are more enjoyable.

What should I wear to a live music show in Phoenix?

The dress code for a live music show in Phoenix can vary depending on the venue and the event. However, most venues allow casual attire, such as jeans and t-shirts, but some events may have a dress code or require more formal attire.

What are some tips for attending a live music show in Phoenix?

Some tips for attending a live music show in Phoenix include arriving early to secure a good spot, bringing earplugs to protect your hearing, staying hydrated, and following any rules or guidelines set by the venue.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to a live music show in Phoenix?

The policies regarding outside food and drinks can vary depending on the venue and the event. Some venues may allow you to bring in outside food and non-alcoholic beverages, while others may only permit purchases from their onsite vendors.

Are there any famous musicians or bands from Phoenix?

Yes, there are several famous musicians and bands that hail from Phoenix, including Alice Cooper, Jimmy Eat World, and the Gin Blossoms.


Phoenix has a thriving live music scene that caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. From small intimate venues to large outdoor arenas, there is no shortage of places to catch live music in Phoenix. Some of the best times to enjoy live music in the city are during the fall and spring months when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor events are more common. If you’re planning on attending a live music event in Phoenix, be sure to arrive early, stay hydrated, and follow any rules or guidelines set by the venue. And, if you’re looking for more things to do in Phoenix, be sure to check out our other articles for more ideas and inspiration. Thanks for reading and enjoy the music!