Rock The Night Away With Live Music Peoria IL

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Greetings music lovers! Are you tired of the same old playlists and mundane music events? Do you crave the excitement and energy of an unforgettable live performance? Then, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll be exploring the vibrant live music scene in Peoria, IL. From rocking concerts to intimate acoustic sessions, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, relax and get ready to discover the musical gems of Peoria.

Are you ready to experience music like never before? By the end of this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of the live music scene in Peoria. You’ll learn about the best venues, upcoming concerts, and how to find the perfect performance for your taste. You’ll also have a glimpse into the musical culture and community that surrounds these events. So whether you’re new to the area or a lifelong Peoria resident, get ready to be a part of something special.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right live music event for you. But fear not, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions. We’ve done the research and talked to the locals to bring you an insider’s guide to the best live music Peoria has to offer. You’ll learn about the different genres, the top performers, and even the best food and drinks to accompany your musical journey. So get ready to join us on a musical adventure like no other.

The Best Live Music Venues in Peoria, IL

Peoria, IL offers live music enthusiasts a lot of options where they can immerse themselves in local and national talent. With a diverse selection of venues, anyone can find the perfect place to enjoy a night of live music. Here are some of the best live music venues in Peoria, IL.

The Apollo Theatre

The Apollo Theatre is Peoria’s most iconic venue and has been the center of the local music scene for many years. Located in the heart of Peoria’s theater district, The Apollo Theatre has featured some of the biggest names in music, including Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., and Aerosmith. With a seating capacity of 900, the venue has a warm and intimate atmosphere with great acoustics.

  • The Apollo Theatre originally opened on April 15th, 1917, showing silent movies with live music accompaniment. It was one of the first purpose-built movie theaters in the Midwest.
  • The theater is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was remodeled in 2006 to become a live music venue.
  • The venue has hosted a wide variety of musical acts such as Rhett Miller, The Mountain Goats, and The Devil Makes Three.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Apollo Theatre shifted its focus to hosting drive-in concerts in its parking lot.

If you want to experience a spectacular live music performance while also enjoying a historic building, then The Apollo Theatre is the perfect destination for you.

Pros Cons
Historic venue that adds to the overall experience of a live concert With a seating capacity of 900, it may be difficult to find a spot with a clear view of the stage.
Great acoustics for a live music venue Most concerts have assigned seating, which may not appeal to those who enjoy standing close to the stage.
Intimate atmosphere that creates a sense of community among concertgoers Since it is a historic venue, it may not have some of the modern amenities of newer music venues.

In summary, The Apollo Theatre’s rich history, fantastic acoustics, and intimate atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a live music experience in Peoria, IL.

Top Bands and Musicians to Look Out for in Peoria, IL

Peoria, Illinois has a vibrant music scene that has been thriving for many years. The city is home to a variety of talented bands and musicians that are sure to entertain and inspire. Whether you are a lover of rock, country, blues, or jazz, there is something for everyone in Peoria. Here are some of the top bands and musicians to look out for in Peoria, IL.

The Heavy Sounds of Captain Quirk

Captain Quirk is a rock band that has been making waves in Peoria for several years. The band members consist of Eric Wilson (vocals), Bill Kohl (guitar), Tim Hammel (bass), and Steve Daniels (drums). Their music is influenced by classic rock acts like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Who. They play a mix of original songs and covers that will get the crowd moving.

  • Captain Quirk has played at many festivals and events in Peoria, including the Peoria RiverFront Market and the Peoria Heights Art Fair.
  • The band has released two albums, both of which have received critical acclaim.
  • Their song “Dead Man Walking” was included in the soundtrack of the independent movie “The Breakout.”

The Bluesy Grooves of The Brazillionaires

The Brazillionaires are a blues band that has been gaining popularity in Peoria in recent years. The band members consist of Chuck Grady (vocals), Tim Brickner (guitar), Alan Steiner (bass), and Jim Markum (drums). Their music is a mixture of classic blues covers and original songs with a Brazilian twist.

  • The Brazillionaires have played at many local festivals and events, including the Riverfront Blues Festival and the Blues and Heritage Music Festival.
  • They have released two albums, “The Brazillionaires” and “Samba Blues.”
  • Their music has been featured on several local radio programs, including WPNV and WCBU.
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The Country Twang of The Mennonite Boys

The Mennonite Boys are a country band that has been a favorite in the Peoria area for many years. The band members consist of Dan Oest (vocals), Terry Benedict (guitar), Jon Martin (bass), and Bill Lippold (drums). Their music is a mix of classic country covers and original songs that have a distinct Midwestern flavor.

  • The Mennonite Boys have played at many local bars and festivals, including Crusens and the Morton Pumpkin Festival.
  • They have released three albums, “The Mennonite Boys,” “More Mennonite Boys,” and “Even More Mennonite Boys.”
  • Their song “My Tractor” has become a fan favorite and is often requested at their shows.

The Smooth Jazz of Millikin Jazz

Millikin Jazz is a local jazz band that is made up of students and faculty from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. The band is led by Dr. Randy Reyman and plays a mix of classic jazz standards and original compositions. Their music is sophisticated and polished, and they have a loyal following in the Peoria area.

  • Millikin Jazz has performed at many local events, including weddings and corporate functions.
  • The band has released several albums, including “The Millikin Jazz Lab,” “Live at Bradley University,” and “Spring Has Sprung.”
  • Many of the band members have gone on to successful careers in the music industry, including Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano.
Band/Musician Genre Venues Played Albums Released Notable Achievements
Captain Quirk Rock Peoria RiverFront Market, Peoria Heights Art Fair 2 Song featured in independent movie
The Brazillionaires Blues Riverfront Blues Festival, Blues and Heritage Music Festival 2 Albums featured on local radio programs
The Mennonite Boys Country Crusens, Morton Pumpkin Festival 3 Popular song “My Tractor”
Millikin Jazz Jazz Weddings, Corporate Functions Several Grads include Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano

In conclusion, Peoria, IL has a diverse music scene that offers something for everyone. The bands and musicians listed above are just a small sample of the talent that can be found in the area. Whether you prefer rock, blues, country, or jazz, you are sure to find a band that will get your toes tapping and make you want to dance. So, grab your friends and head out to one of the many local venues to experience the live music scene in Peoria for yourself!

The History of Live Music in Peoria, IL

Peoria, a city in the state of Illinois, has a rich history of live music dating back to the early 20th century. In the early days, live music in Peoria was a part of the culture and was often performed in the city’s many bars, nightclubs, and theaters.

The Early Days of Live Music in Peoria

In the early 1900s, Peoria was a hub for live music performances, with touring musicians making frequent stops in the city. Live music was often performed in vaudeville theaters, which were popular venues in which an audience would be treated to a variety of performances, including live music, comedy, and dance.

Peoria’s historic theaters, including the Madison Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, and Palace Theatre, were popular destinations for live music performances throughout the early 1900s. These theaters often featured big-band performances, featuring popular jazz and swing bands of the era.

One of the city’s most popular venues during this time was the Apollo Theatre, which was a staple in the Peoria music scene throughout the 1920s and ’30s. The theater hosted popular touring jazz and blues musicians, such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and B.B. King, and was a hub for live music in the city.

The Evolution of Live Music in Peoria

As the music industry evolved, so did the live music scene in Peoria. The rise of rock and roll in the 1950s and ’60s saw a surge in live music performances at bars and nightclubs throughout the city. During this time, many local musicians and bands began to gain popularity and perform regularly in the city’s music venues.

In the 1970s, Peoria saw the emergence of several popular local music venues, including the Madison Theatre Building, which housed several music clubs, including T.J. McFly’s and The Long Branch. These venues hosted a variety of live music performances, ranging from rock and roll to blues to country music.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Peoria’s live music scene continued to thrive, with the city hosting several music festivals throughout the summer months. The annual Steamboat Classic music festival, which began in the early 1980s, featured popular local and national acts and drew large crowds to downtown Peoria.

The Live Music Scene Today

Today, Peoria’s live music scene continues to evolve, with many popular venues hosting a variety of musical acts throughout the year. From country music to rock and roll to blues to jazz, there is something for everyone in Peoria’s live music scene.

One of the city’s most popular music venues is the Peoria Civic Center, which hosts a variety of live music events throughout the year, including concerts by popular national acts. The Center also houses the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, which performs a variety of classical and contemporary music throughout the year.

Other popular music venues in the city include the Limelight Eventplex, which hosts a variety of local and national acts, mainly in the rock and metal genres, and the Kenny’s Westside Pub, which hosts live music performances throughout the week, ranging from jazz to blues to rock and roll.

Peoria’s live music scene is also supported by several local music festivals, including the Peoria Blues and Heritage Music Festival, which features a variety of blues musicians from around the country, and the Festival of Lights Folepi’s Winter Wonderland, which features live music performances throughout the holiday season.

Table: Live Music Venues in Peoria, IL

Name | Type of Music | Capacity | Pros | Cons
— | — | — | — | —
Peoria Civic Center | Various | 11,330 | Large capacity, hosts national acts | Can be expensive
Limelight Eventplex | Rock and metal | 1,500 | Intimate setting, hosts popular national acts | Limited parking
Kenny’s Westside Pub | Various | 200 | Cozy atmosphere, hosts local acts | Limited capacity
Madison Theatre Building | Various | Varies | Multiple music clubs, historic venue | Some clubs may not cater to certain genres

In summary, Peoria’s live music scene has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. From vaudeville theaters to local bars and nightclubs to modern music venues, the city has been home to a variety of musical performances throughout the years. Today, Peoria’s live music scene continues to thrive, with a variety of venues and music festivals showcasing the city’s diverse musical offerings.

How to Enjoy Live Music in Peoria, IL on a Budget

Peoria, IL boasts a vibrant live music scene, with a variety of venues hosting regular shows featuring local and touring acts. However, attending live shows can sometimes be expensive, and for those on a tight budget, it can be challenging to enjoy the live music experience frequently. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to enjoy live music in Peoria, IL on a budget.

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1. Explore Affordable Venues

Peoria has several live music venues that offer affordable or even free shows. These venues provide an opportunity to catch some great live music without breaking the bank. Some of these venues include:

  • The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill
  • Kartville
  • Knuckleheads
  • Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery

The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill, for instance, offers live music shows almost every night of the week. Located in the heart of downtown Peoria, it features a variety of genres, including rock, hip hop, and country.

Kartville, on the other hand, is a family entertainment center with an indoor arcade, go-karts, mini-golf, and a venue for live events featuring local artists. The venue also has a reasonably priced menu of food and drinks.

Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery is a popular hangout spot that serves its own beer and food menu crafted with locally-sourced and fresh ingredients. They also offer a variety of live music shows for free.

2. Attend Open Mic Nights

Peoria has several open mic nights that offer affordable entry fees or are even free of charge. These open mic nights provide an opportunity to witness raw talent and discover new artists. They also offer chances and platforms for aspiring musicians and performers to show off their skills. Some notable open mic nights in Peoria include:

  • Broken Tree Café
  • First United Methodist Church of Peoria
  • Monarch Music Hall

Broken Tree Café offers free open mic nights every second and fourth Thursday of the month, and it’s known for its cozy and relaxed ambiance. It’s also a perfect spot for a coffee date.

First United Methodist Church of Peoria offers Open Mic Nights on the first and third Fridays of every month, and it’s free to attend. The venue is not only a live music hub but also offers various programs to foster a healthy, nurturing environment.

The Monarch Music Hall offers weekly open mic nights, featuring some of the best talent in Peoria. The venue has state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and its stage has hosted world-renowned artists like the Violent Femmes and the Toadies.

3. Plan Your Music Outings

Planning your music outings in advance can help you avoid overspending on events. Have realistic budgets and expectations, and stick to them. Consider cutting costs by:

  • Purchasing tickets as soon as they go on sale
  • Buying tickets in advance gets you the best prices, and you can also take advantage of early-bird deals.
  • Setting limits on food and drinks
  • Venues often have a markup on food and drinks, so setting a limit on the number of drinks or types of food you’ll have will help you avoid overspending.
  • Carpooling
  • Gas, parking fees, and other expenses can add up quickly. Carpooling with friends or utilizing public transportation can help you save on transportation costs.

4. Utilize Online Deals and Promotions

Many online deals and promotions can help you save money on live music. The following are some ways to find the best deals and promotions:

  • Check websites like Groupon, LivingSocial, or Goldstar
  • This websites offer deals and discounts on all types of events, including live music shows. They can help you access discounted tickets or other perks like VIP seating, early entry into show venues, and more.

  • Sign up for the venues’ newsletters and social media accounts
  • Following your favorite live music venue on social media accounts or subscribing to their newsletter will keep you in the know with what shows and events are upcoming. Often times, venues will offer exclusive deals and promotions to their subscribers or followers.

  • Check out Peoria Music Live
  • Peoria Music Live is a local organization that offers free concerts and subsidies for underpaid live musicians. Their goal is to showcase and support local artists while providing affordable entertainment options to Peoria residents.


Live music is an integral part of in Peoria, IL’s culture, and its accessibility should not be limited to those with deep pockets. The above tips show that having a tight budget should not hinder your ability to enjoy and explore the live music scene in Peoria. From finding affordable venues and attending open mic nights to utilizing online deals and promotions, you can still enjoy live music without breaking the bank.

The Evolution of Peoria’s Live Music Scene

Peoria, Illinois has a rich tradition of live music that dates back several decades. It has created a vibrant culture, and several popular artists over the years have hailed from this city. In this article, we will explore the history, current state, and future prospects of Peoria’s live music scene.

A Brief History of Peoria’s Music Scene

Peoria’s live music scene underwent significant changes in the past century. During the early 1900s, Jazz was the primary style of music that dominated the city. Artists like the Apollo Theatre and the Louis Armstrong Band regularly performed in the city’s entertainment venues. But the music scene changed sharply in the 1970s and 1980s when rock music later took over from jazz.

Peoria has nurtured some of America’s most celebrated musicians, including the legendary Richard Pryor, who began his stand-up comedy career in the city’s nightclubs. Other famous artists from Peoria include Dan Fogelberg, who had an illustrious music career that spanned several decades, as well as rock band Cheap Trick, which has sold millions of records worldwide.

The Current Music Scene in Peoria

Today, Peoria offers an eclectic mix of live music venues, catering to all tastes and ages of music fans. From pubs and nightclubs to outdoor festivals, the city offers plenty of options to experience live music.

1. Diversity among Live Music Venues:
Peoria’s music scene is particularly noted for its diversity in live music venues. Some of the popular spots include :

– Limelight Eventplex: This venue hosts live music shows for all types of genres, including rock, pop, country, and EDM, among others.

– The Monarch Music Hall: This venue has gained massive popularity in recent times because of the quality of performers it attracts. Famous artists who have performed here include Smooth Hound Smith, Dirty Honey, and others.

– Jukebox Comedy Club: This venue specializes in stand-up comedy shows, but also offer live music performances.

2. How COVID-19 has Affected Live Music in Peoria:
The pandemic in 2020 brought the live music industry to a standstill as venues had to close, cancel live shows, and stop musicians from performing the gigs. Like other U.S cities, Peoria’s music scene has been devastated economically over the past few months. Few venues are taking extra precautionary measures and implementing safety protocols, such as social distancing and sanitization measures, to reopen safely.

The Future of Peoria’s Music Scene

Although the city’s music scene has been hit hard by the pandemic, the industry is showing signs of returning to normalcy. With the gradual reopening of venues, artists are expected to return to the stage and light up the city’s live music scene.

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1. Business Outlook for Peoria Music Venues:
Peoria’s music scene is an essential part of the city’s tourism and hospitality industry, which suffered from the pandemic’s effect. However, hotels, bars, and music venues still intend to remain in operation. The Peoria Civic Center is creating adjustments by offering indoor and outdoor spaces for concerts and events.

2. Live Music Festivals:
Peoria hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Illinois Blues Festival, the Red White and Boom Music Festival, and the Peoria Latino Film Festival. The city also hosts the Peoria Park District’s annual summer concert series that draws large crowds.

Name of Festival and Venue Number of Attendees Year Established
Red White and Boom Music Festival, Festival Park 50,000 1985
Illinois Blues Festival, Riverfront Park 10,000 1985
Peoria Park District’s Summer Concert Series, State Park 5,000 1979

In conclusion, Peoria’s live music scene has evolved significantly over the years, and many music lovers have reasons to be happy with the current available options. The city has a long-standing reputation for nurturing artists and performers across multiple genres, and the current crop of talent in the music industry represents a bright future. Ultimately, Peoria’s live music scene is poised to continue its long-standing tradition of entertaining audiences for generations to come.

FAQs About Live Music Peoria IL

What are the best places to see live music in Peoria IL?

Some of the best places to see live music in Peoria IL include Limelight Eventplex, Crusens on Farmington, Peoria Civic Center, and Red Barn. These places usually have a calendar of events that showcase different live music genres.

What type of music can I expect in Peoria IL?

Peoria IL has a diverse music scene that caters to different tastes. You can expect to see live performances of jazz, country, rock, indie, pop, and classical music, among others. There is always something for everyone in Peoria’s music scene.

What is the cost of seeing live music shows in Peoria IL?

The cost of seeing live music shows in Peoria IL varies depending on the venue, artist or band, and event. Ticket prices can range from free to several hundred dollars. It’s best to check the venue’s website or contact the box office for more information on pricing.

Can I find live music shows for all ages?

Yes, there are live music shows for all ages in Peoria IL. Most venues have age restrictions for certain events, so it’s a good idea to check their websites or call them in advance to confirm if a show is age-appropriate.

Are there any outdoor venues for live music in Peoria IL?

Yes, there are several outdoor venues for live music in Peoria IL, including Peoria Riverfront, Glen Oak Park Amphitheater, and Festival Park. These venues host outdoor concerts and events during the summer months.

What is the music scene like in Peoria IL?

The music scene in Peoria IL is thriving and diverse. It’s home to many talented musicians and hosts a range of musical events throughout the year. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or country, you’ll find something that suits your musical taste in Peoria.

Are there any live music festivals in Peoria IL?

Yes, there are several live music festivals in Peoria IL, including the Riverfront Jazz Festival, Peoria Blues & Heritage Festival, and Summer Camp Music Festival. These events draw thousands of music lovers from around the country.

Can I book a live music act for a private event in Peoria IL?

Yes, there are several local musicians and bands in Peoria IL that offer live music services for private events such as weddings, corporate events, and parties. You can find them by searching online or contacting local music agents.

What is the best time of year to see live music in Peoria IL?

The best time of year to see live music in Peoria IL is during the summer months when many outdoor music festivals and concerts take place. However, there are also live music events happening throughout the year, including indoor concerts and performances during the winter months.

What COVID-19 safety measures are in place at live music venues in Peoria IL?

Most live music venues in Peoria IL are following COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure the safety of staff and guests. These measures may include mandatory masks, social distancing, limited capacity, temperature checks, hand sanitizing stations, and contactless payment options. It’s best to check with the venue beforehand to confirm their specific safety policies.


If you’re a music lover in Peoria IL, you’re in luck. The city has a vibrant and diverse music scene with something for everyone. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or classical music, you can catch live performances at different venues throughout the year. You can also attend music festivals or book local musicians for private events. Make sure to check out the different live music venues and events in Peoria, and don’t forget to stay safe by following COVID-19 protocols.

After reading this article, you might want to check out our other informative guides on things to do in Peoria IL.

Thanks for reading, and have fun exploring Peoria’s live music scene!