There’s no shortage of things to do when visiting Sacramento. From casino gaming to local bars and restaurants to live music, you’re sure to have a great time. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure (or a little bit of both), we want to share some of the best places to catch live music in Sactown. According to Eventbrite, Sacramento is the fastest-growing city in the nation for live music, with a 177% increase in ticket sales from 2015-2016. In their report, titled 5 Unexpected Cities Experiencing a Live Music Renaissance, they wrote that Sactown “has a rich arts community, and the music scene has a prominent indie vibe, particularly when it comes to metal and punk.”
Read on to learn more about the live music scene in this lively city!
Harlow’s has an event chock-full of great concerts and brings together independent artists from not just the Bay Area, but around the nation, as well. Their concerts are as eclectic as the venue itself and include everything from rap and R&B to metal and blues. They also hold fun events like variety shows, comedy sets, and more.
Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades is one of Sactown’s newest live music venues and is an all-ages space that brings intimate, memorable concert experiences to Downtown Sacramento. Not only is Ace of Spades the spot to catch big names like Tyler, the Creator, Snoop Dogg, and Against Me!, but guests can also enjoy smaller names and get to know local acts with a delicious drink in hand.
Blue Lamp is a 21+ music venue and nightclub where the party never stops. You can catch some great shows, but you can also have a little fun with Naughty Trivia on Wednesdays, happy hour from 5-7pm Monday-Friday, or any of the other exciting events. Sacramento is known as a heavy metal mecca and Blue Lamp proudly shows that off.
Old Ironsides is one of Sacramento’s original bars and restaurants and is celebrating its 84th birthday this year! In fact, it was the very first business to obtain a liquor license in Sacramento after Prohibition. Visitors can steep in this venue’s history and enjoy open mic nights, free live music, parties, karaoke, and more. Whether you’re a Sactown OG or are just visiting for the weekend, this is one live music venue you’ll have to add to your list.
Crest Theatre is a Sacramento icon. The venue originally opened in 1912 and was later remodeled in 1949 to reflect the styling you’ll see today. Crest Theatre is home to some of Sacramento’s best art films, live music, film festivals, comedy shows, and more. In fact, it’s the city’s last intact movie palace. You can often find classic films, like Pretty in Pink or The Breakfast Club playing. You can also catch live shows from indie artists and experience everything from revolutionized gospel music to funk to everything in between.
Shady Lady Saloon
The Shady Lady Saloon is a Sacramento speakeasy reminiscent of the 1920s with a modern feel. Shows include jazz, funk, and Big Band vibes. If you want to get your Gatsby on, Shady Lady is the place for you. Swing on the dance floor, enjoy one of the venue’s artisan cocktails, or grab a bit to eat while enjoying “a glimpse into the past, with a contemporary twist.”
Holy Diver has been a staple in the Sacramento live music scene for ages and has gone through a few facelifts throughout its time. Today, it brings together some of the city’s top talent. And with local $5 showcases, the deals are hard to beat. There’s no telling what you’re going to see (emo and trap DJ sets often grace the lineup), but you’re always in for a good time. Let the music and adventure take you away at Holy Diver.
Many big names came out of Sacramento and the city is known for its array of nightlife. On your next visit, make sure to catch some live music at one of these (or the many more) live music venues in Sactown. Or, with Hard Rock Sacramento’s Signature Audio Experience, you can enjoy personalized playlists, iconic vinyl records, or Fender guitar delivery right in your room.