Hey there, music lovers! Are you tired of going to the same old bars and clubs to listen to the same old music? Do you long for the soulful sounds of the South and the electric energy of live performances? Well, look no further than Memphis, Tennessee! In this article, we’ll explore the vibrant music scene that Memphis has to offer and help guide you on your journey to experiencing the best live music in the area.
By reading this article, you can expect to discover some hidden gems in the Memphis music scene, such as intimate venues for up-and-coming artists or famous spots where music legends once played. You’ll also gain insight into what makes Memphis music so special, from the city’s rich history in blues and rock n’ roll to the diverse range of music genres you can find here.
Through our research and personal experiences, we know that live music is one of the best ways to connect with others and create lasting memories. That’s why we’ll provide you with insider tips on how to find the best live music events in Memphis, so you can take advantage of everything this amazing city has to offer. So, grab your friends, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to experience the heart and soul of Memphis through its live music!
The Best Live Music Venues in Memphis TN
Memphis, Tennessee, is a city filled with soulful rhythms and rich musical heritage, home to world-renowned musicians like Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash. It is a city that comes alive with music, and countless venues offer live performances throughout the year, showcasing the best of blues, rock, soul, country, and jazz. In this article, we explore some of the best live music venues in Memphis TN.
1. Beale Street Music Festival
Beale Street is one of the most iconic streets in Memphis, famous for its music, entertainment, and nightclubs. It has been the heart of the city’s music scene for decades, and it becomes even livelier during the annual Beale Street Music Festival. This three-day event is held every May and attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry. Here are some of the key features of the Beale Street Music Festival:
- The venue: The festival takes place at Tom Lee Park, a picturesque 30-acre park located on the banks of the Mississippi River.
- The lineup: The festival boasts an impressive lineup of over 60 artists from various genres, including rock, blues, hip-hop, and pop. Past performers include artists like Neil Young, The Black Keys, and Kings of Leon.
- The food and drinks: Beale Street is known for its delicious Southern-style cuisine and drinks, and the festival offers a wide range of food and beverage options.
- The atmosphere: The festival creates a lively and fun atmosphere that is perfect for music lovers to enjoy live performances and soak up the city’s vibrant energy.
The Beale Street Music Festival is a must-visit event for music lovers who want to experience the best of Memphis’s vibrant music scene.
2. The Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre is a historic venue that has been a part of Memphis’s cultural landscape since 1928. It has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, and it remains one of the best places in the city to experience live music and entertainment. Here are some of the highlights of the Orpheum Theatre:
- The venue: The Orpheum Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Memphis and offers a stunning setting for live music performances. The theater boasts a capacity of 2,300 seats, making it a medium-sized venue that offers an intimate and immersive experience.
- The acoustics: The Orpheum Theatre is renowned for its exceptional acoustics, which ensure that every musical note and sound is delivered with clarity and precision.
- The performances: The theater hosts a variety of musical acts and events, from Broadway shows to concerts by top artists. Many of the world’s most celebrated musicians have performed at the Orpheum Theatre over the years, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Aretha Franklin.
- The history: The Orpheum Theatre has a rich history, and its walls are filled with stories of legendary performances and cultural significance. The theater has been a part of Memphis’s cultural heritage for almost a century.
The Orpheum Theatre is a unique and unforgettable venue for music lovers who want to experience live performances in a historic setting.
3. Levitt Shell
The Levitt Shell is an outdoor amphitheater that offers free live music performances throughout the year. This venue is perfect for those who want to enjoy music in a relaxed, informal setting. Here are some of the key features of the Levitt Shell:
- The venue: The Levitt Shell is located in Overton Park, a 342-acre park in the heart of Memphis. The amphitheater has a seating capacity of 3,500 and offers stunning views of the park and its surrounding areas.
- The performers: The Levitt Shell hosts a variety of musicians and performers, many of whom are local to the Memphis area. The venue is committed to showcasing diverse and talent musicians, and it offers a platform for emerging artists to gain exposure and recognition.
- The atmosphere: The Levitt Shell creates a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, where music lovers can sit on the grass or bring their own chairs and blankets to enjoy the music.
- The community: The venue is known for its strong community spirit and its commitment to promoting music and the arts in Memphis. The Levitt Shell is run by a non-profit organization that relies on donations and community support to continue its work.
The Levitt Shell is a welcoming and inclusive venue for music lovers of all ages and backgrounds, and it offers a unique opportunity to experience live music in a free and informal setting.
|Beale Street Music Festival||The Orpheum Theatre||Levitt Shell|
|Large-scale, lively festival with over 60 artists||Historic indoor venue with exceptional acoustics||Outdoor amphitheater with free live music performances|
|Takes place at Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River||Located in the heart of downtown Memphis||Located in Overton Park|
|Offers a wide range of food and beverage options||Hosts a variety of musical acts and events||Hosts diverse and talented performers, many of whom are local to Memphis|
|Creates a lively and fun atmosphere||Renowned for its exceptional acoustics||Offers a relaxed and informal atmosphere|
|Famous for its rich cultural heritage and legendary performances||Known for its strong community spirit and commitment to promoting music and the arts in Memphis|
In conclusion, Memphis is a city that is steeped in music history, and there are many venues that offer live music performances throughout the year. The Beale Street Music Festival, the Orpheum Theatre, and the Levitt Shell are just a few of the best places in the city to experience live music and entertainment. Whether you are a fan of blues, rock, soul, country, or jazz, there is something for everyone in Memphis’s vibrant music scene.
Exploring Live Music in Memphis TN
Memphis, Tennessee, is a hub of culture, history, and music. The city is home to some of the most iconic music venues in the world and was the birthplace of many greats, such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, experiencing the live music scene in Memphis is an absolute must. Here are some tips to help you explore and enjoy the music scene in Memphis.
Types of Live Music Venues in Memphis
Memphis is known for its diverse music venues, ranging from large arenas to intimate clubs. Here are some of the types of live music venues you can find in Memphis:
- Bars and Clubs: Memphis has an extensive range of bars and clubs that offer live music. These venues range from small, intimate bars with local talent to larger clubs that host bigger acts. If you’re looking for a lively night out, head to Beale Street, where you’ll find an array of bars and clubs featuring local and national acts.
- Outdoor Venues: During the summer months, Memphis comes alive with outdoor music events, such as the Levitt Shell Concert Series, featuring a mix of local and national talent. The series is free to the public and takes place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer months.
- Large Venues: Memphis has several large music venues, such as the FedEx Forum and the Orpheum Theatre. These venues attract big-name acts and offer a more formal setting for concert-goers.
- Festivals: Memphis is home to several music festivals throughout the year, such as the Memphis Blues Festival, Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, and the Memphis in May International Festival, which celebrates the city’s music, food, and culture.
Live Music Hotspots in Memphis
Memphis is home to many famous music venues, each with a unique atmosphere and rich history. Here are some of the city’s famous live music hotspots:
- Beale Street: Known as the birthplace of blues, Beale Street features a range of bars and clubs with live music, including B.B. King’s Blues Club, Rum Boogie Cafe, and the Blues City Cafe. The street also hosts several music festivals throughout the year.
- The Levitt Shell: The Levitt Shell is an open-air amphitheater that hosts free concerts every summer. The venue has played host to several famous acts, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
- The Orpheum Theatre: The Orpheum Theatre is a famous venue that hosts a mix of Broadway shows, concerts, and comedy acts. The venue has been the site of many famous performances, including Elvis Presley’s first professional paid performance.
- The Rumba Room: The Rumba Room is a Latin music club that features live music, dancing, and a vibrant atmosphere. The club is known for its salsa dancing and also hosts live bands that play a mix of Latin and jazz music.
Pros and Cons of the Memphis Music Scene
Here are some pros and cons of experiencing live music in Memphis:
|– Memphis has a rich history when it comes to music, and the city offers a wide range of music genres to choose from.||– Depending on the venue, tickets can be expensive.|
|– Many venues in Memphis offer an intimate setting, allowing you to experience the music up close and personal.||– Parking can be challenging, especially in popular areas.|
|– The city is home to many famous music venues, with each offering a unique atmosphere and history.||– Some venues have a minimum spending requirement or charge a cover fee.|
|– Memphis hosts several music festivals throughout the year, making it easy to plan your visit around an event.||– Some venues can be too busy or too noisy, making it difficult to enjoy the music.|
Overall, the pros of experiencing live music in Memphis far outweigh the cons. The city offers a unique and diverse range of music venues and festivals that cater to every music taste. Memphis is a must-visit destination for music lovers, offering a rich and culturally significant music scene that draws people from all around the world.
The Top Live Music Performances in Memphis TN
Memphis, Tennessee is often referred to as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and blues music. The city is known for its rich musical heritage that dates back to the late 1800s. Even to this day, Memphis continues to be a hub of top-notch live music performances. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best live music performances in Memphis TN.
1. Beale Street Music Festival
Beale Street Music Festival is an annual event held in the heart of downtown Memphis. The festival takes place over three days and features famous artists from different genres of music. The festival had its first edition in 1977 and has gone on to become one of the most celebrated events in Memphis.
Beale Street Music Festival is known for featuring artists from different genres of music such as rock, pop, country, and blues. The festival has had legendary performers such as BB King, the Black Keys, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others.
- It is an opportunity to see famous artists perform live.
- It is a chance to experience different genres of music.
- It is an excellent opportunity to mingle with music lovers from all over the world.
- Tickets can be expensive, especially for VIP packages.
- It can get crowded, making it challenging to navigate the space.
- The weather can be unpredictable, and it may rain, leading to a cancellation of some performances.
|2017||Snoop Dogg, Kings of Leon, Soundgarden|
|2018||Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, Erykah Badu|
|2019||Cardi B, Dave Matthews Band, G-Eazy|
|2020||Cancelled due to Covid-19|
2. Levitt Shell Free Concert Series
Levitt Shell is an outdoor performance venue located in the Overton Park area of Memphis. It is known for hosting free concerts during the summer months. The concerts are held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Levitt Shell’s mission is to provide free entertainment to people of all backgrounds. The concert series features artists from different genres of music, including rock, blues, soul, and jazz.
- It is an opportunity to see live music without spending money.
- It features artists from different genres of music.
- It is an excellent opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family.
- It can get crowded, making it difficult to find a good spot to view the performances.
- The weather can be unpredictable, leading to cancellations of some performances.
- Some of the performances may not be suitable for children.
|June 2021||Chris Milam||Indie|
|July 2021||Stone Crush||Blues|
|August 2021||Memphis Latin Jazz Orchestra||Jazz/Latin|
3. Memphis Music Showcase at the Halloran Centre
Memphis Music Showcase is a monthly event that features some of Memphis’ best up-and-coming artists. The event takes place at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education. The venue is known for its excellent acoustics, making it an ideal location for live music performances.
The showcase features artists from different genres of music, including rock, soul, and blues. The event is an excellent opportunity to discover new artists and support the local music scene in Memphis.
- It is an opportunity to discover new artists.
- The Halloran Centre provides an intimate setting for live music performances.
- It is a chance to support the local music scene in Memphis.
- Tickets can sometimes be expensive, depending on who is performing.
- If you’re not a fan of discovering new music, the event may not be for you.
- It is not a suitable event for children due to the time of night.
|June 2021||The PRVLG||Pop/R&B|
|July 2021||Band Camino||Rock|
|August 2021||Laney Jones and the Spirits||Folk/Soul|
In conclusion, Memphis TN is a city that has a lot to offer in terms of live music performances. Whether you’re a fan of rock, blues, soul, or jazz, there is something for everyone. From the famous Beale Street Music Festival to the free Levitt Shell Concert Series, there are numerous options to enjoy live music in Memphis. Additionally, the Memphis Music Showcase provides an opportunity to discover new artists and support the local music scene. Whatever your preference, Memphis is undoubtedly a music lover’s paradise.
Exploring the History of Live Music in Memphis TN
Memphis, Tennessee, is famous for its cultural and historical contributions, especially in the music industry. Its live music scene boasts of a rich history that spans several decades, making it one of the most iconic cities to experience live music. In this article, we dive deep into the history of live music in Memphis TN, exploring its impact and evolution over the years.
The Early Years of Memphis Music Scene
The early years of Memphis music date back to the early 1900s, where Memphis was known for its blues music scene. Most of the talented musicians were African Americans who performed in the Beale Street clubs. The street was dubbed as the ‘Black Bourbon Street,’ hosting various bars, nightclubs, and gambling houses.
In the 1920s, blues music started to gain popularity, especially with the ‘Father of the Blues,’ W.C. Handy, who made his mark in the genre. He wrote and performed several blues songs in Memphis, paving the way for blues music in the city.
The Rise of Sun Records
Sun Studio, located at 706 Union Avenue, marked its place in history when it began recording rock-and-roll music artists since the early 1950s. The studio would go on to launch the careers of several legendary musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King.
Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, was a visionary who had a keen ear and knew what would sell. He scouted and signed undiscovered talents and gave them a platform to showcase their music. He achieved this without being influenced by race or religion, which was a massive leap forward for the music industry.
The Impact of Stax Records
Stax Records opened its first studio in Memphis in 1959, focusing mainly on R&B music. With Otis Redding, Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Aretha Franklin signed to the label, Stax Records quickly became a hit with the masses. They also had their in-house production team, who would write and produce songs for their artists.
Stax Records played a crucial role in promoting integration at a time when segregation was still rampant. Plus, it was a significant part of the Civil Rights Movement, with its music being used as a form of protest.
The Evolution of the Beale Street Entertainment District
Beale Street has come a long way from its early days as a haven for African American musicians. The street was revitalized in the 1970s, turning into a tourist destination and entertainment district.
Today, Beale Street boasts a wide range of music genres, such as blues, jazz, country, and rock n’ roll. The street also has numerous bars, restaurants, and clubs, making it a must-visit spot for music lovers.
The history of live music in Memphis TN is a rich tapestry that continues to evolve. From the early days of blues on Beale Street to the legendary studios of Sun Records and Stax Records, Memphis has left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Through music, Memphis has managed to overcome social issues, pave the way for race relations and provide a platform for talented musicians to share their art with the world. Visitors can still enjoy an authentic Memphis music experience today, thanks to the bustling Beale Street district and myriad of venues dotted around the city.
Tips for Finding the Best Live Music Events in Memphis TN
Memphis is not only famous for its BBQ and blues, but also for its rich music scene. From the birthplace of rock and roll to the home of the blues, Memphis has a lot to offer for music lovers. However, with so many live music events happening in Memphis, finding the right ones can be overwhelming. In this article, we will provide you with some tips for finding the best live music events in Memphis TN.
1. Research online
The internet is a great resource for finding information about live music events in Memphis. Here are some websites to check out:
- The Madison Rooftop Lounge: This luxury hotel has a rooftop bar and lounge that features live music every weekend.
- Darelle Anderson Blues Band: This award-winning blues band posts their upcoming shows on their Facebook page.
- Memphis Flyer: This weekly newspaper covers the latest news and events in Memphis, including live music shows.
2. Ask the locals
Memphis is known for its friendly locals, who are always happy to give recommendations for a great night out. Whether you’re at a local bar, restaurant, or hotel, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and ask for suggestions. You may even discover some hidden gems that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
3. Check out the music venues
Memphis has many different types of music venues, from small dive bars to large stadiums. Here are a few notable ones to check out:
|Music Venue||Genre(s) of Music||Capacity|
|The Orpheum Theatre||Varies, but mostly Broadway shows and concerts||2,308|
|The Hi-Tone Café||Rock, indie, punk, and alternative||300|
|Lafayette’s Music Room||Blues, rock, soul, and Americana||450|
|Beale Street Music Festival||Rock, blues, soul, and hip-hop||270,000 (total for 3-day festival)|
4. Attend festivals and events
Memphis is home to a number of music festivals and events throughout the year. These can be great opportunities to see multiple acts in one place, discover new artists, and experience different genres of music. Here are a few popular festivals to check out:
- Beale Street Music Festival: This 3-day festival takes place in May and features a diverse lineup of rock, blues, soul, and hip-hop artists.
- Cooper-Young Festival: This free, one-day festival takes place in September and features multiple stages of live music, as well as arts, crafts, and food vendors.
- Mid-South Fair Music Series: This annual fair takes place in September and October and features performances by national and local artists.
5. Take a music tour
Memphis has a rich musical history, and taking a music tour can be a great way to learn more about it while also experiencing live music. Here are a few tour options:
- Backbeat Tours: This tour company offers several different music-themed tours, including the Memphis Mojo Tour, which covers the city’s blues and rock and roll history.
- Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum Tour: This museum offers a guided tour that explores the evolution of Memphis music and its impact on American culture.
- Sun Studio Tour: This legendary recording studio offers guided tours that take visitors behind the scenes of some of the most iconic recordings in music history.
In conclusion, finding the best live music events in Memphis TN can be a fun and exciting experience. By researching online, asking locals, checking out music venues, attending festivals and events, and taking a music tour, you can discover new artists, genres, and venues that you may not have known existed. So, get out there and start exploring the music scene in Memphis!
FAQs: Live Music Memphis TN
What are the famous music venues in Memphis?
There are several famous music venues in Memphis such as the Beale Street Historic District, Levitt Shell, Minglewood Hall, and the Orpheum Theater.
What is the best time to visit Memphis for live music?
The best time to visit Memphis for live music is during the spring and fall seasons, as there are many outdoor music festivals happening during these times.
What genres of music are popular in Memphis?
Blues, rock and roll, soul, and gospel are some of the most popular genres of music in Memphis.
What is the history of music in Memphis?
Memphis has a rich history of music, especially in the realm of blues and rock and roll. Artists like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash are just a few of the many musicians who got their start in Memphis.
Are there any free live music events in Memphis?
Yes, there are many free live music events happening in Memphis throughout the year, including the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival and the Levitt Shell Summer Concert Series.
What are some recommended live music bars in Memphis?
Some recommended live music bars in Memphis are The Bar-DKDC, Lafayette’s Music Room, and the Blues City Café.
What are some famous music events in Memphis?
Memphis hosts several famous music events such as the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Can visitors see live music performances in Memphis during the week?
Yes, visitors can see live music performances in Memphis during the week as well as on weekends. Many bars and music venues have live music performances scheduled throughout the week.
Where can visitors find information about upcoming live music events in Memphis?
Visitors can find information about upcoming live music events in Memphis on various websites such as MemphisFlyer.com, MemphisTravel.com, and Eventbrite.com.
Are there any record stores in Memphis that sell vinyl records?
Yes, there are several record stores in Memphis that sell vinyl records such as Goner Records, Shangri-La Records, and Spin Street.
In conclusion, Memphis is a music lover’s paradise with a rich history of blues, rock and roll, soul, and gospel. Visitors can take in live music performances at numerous venues throughout the city, including during many free music festivals. By visiting recommended live music bars and finding information on upcoming events, visitors can immerse themselves in Memphis’s vibrant music scene. After enjoying the live music Memphis has to offer, visitors can explore other highlights of the city such as the National Civil Rights Museum or the Memphis Zoo. Thank you for reading and enjoy your time in Memphis!