Detroit Live Music Clubs

Maybe the source of Detroit’s live music scene is Detroit River water. Whether it’s soul, techno or punk rock, the Motown has birthed some of the most legendary and memorable names in American music history and shows no sign of stalling soon. Whatever the reason, gritty rock clubs, in-the-know underground dance venues and righteous Motown live music clubs continue to be prolific, horse-powered live music draws. When one talks about the Motor City's live music club scene, Saint Andrew’s Hall is always at the top of the discussion. Since 1980, everyone who has made it (or who’s wanted to make it) made it through St. Andrew’s Hall. For new local Detroit talent chomping at the bit, the New Dodge Lounge is an intimate, neighborhood live music club for up-and-coming music acts.
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2500 Club

2500 Park St., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.962.9077
Mainly a Punk and Rock, ear pounding, live music club, the 2500 Club lands some of the best up and coming local talent. Everything from 50's Rockabilly to modern hardcore Punk makes the stage at the 2500 Club, where the drinks and the tunes flow with equal force.

Harpo's Concert Theatre

14238 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.824.1700
Head banging live music is the staple at Harpo's and has been since the early eighties Heavy Metal movement. You can catch national acts, as well as, true Detroit Heavy Metal, so if you still sport that mullet, dig out your Iron Maiden T-shirt and join some legal rioting at Harpo's.

I-Rock Night Club

16350 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.881.7625
Being around forever doesn't mean that you're old, in Detroit it means that you're established and the I-Rock Night Club is an established place to see live music and remains one of the best in which to get your Hard Rock fix. The I-Rock is a small venue that gets jam packed when favorite local bands play and the drinks flow freely from the friendly staff. You can catch live music there most nights of the week and when a band isn't playing, go anyway, believe us you won't regret it.

Jumbo's Bar

3736 Third St., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.831.8949
This straightforward neighborhood dive is a foundation of the Detroit live music scene. The music is served up loud at Jumbo's Bar and the drinks flow cold and plentiful, you have to stop in and see what will one day be a Detroit musical landmark.

Magic Bag

22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, Michigan; Tel. 248.544.3030
A perennial "best of" list topper, the Magic Bag, is a classic, rocking club in which to catch live music in metro Detroit that just keeps getting better the longer it's around. Some of the hottest national acts and a seemingly endless flow of local talent take the stage at the Magic Bag weekly and if live music isn't your gig, the Bag (as it's known to locals) hosts a movie night where you can catch a flick and down some cocktails with a hundred or so of your closest friends.

Majestic Cafe

4120 Woodward Ave. #4140, Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.833.9700
Not only is the Majestic Cafe a great place to see live music, it's also a favorite hangout for the local after work crowd. The live music covers the entire spectrum of musical genres, literally wherever your listening tastes take you the Majestic Cafe can accommodate, that's why it's a perennial "best of" list topper. A see and be seen spot for the locals, the Majestic also serves up some pretty hearty fare and the cocktails are always flowing; if you need a break from the live music, there's the Garden Bowl bowling alley attached, which is always packed.


2764 Florian Ave., Hamtramck, Michigan; Tel. 313.875.3627
For live music and not your average DJs, Mephisto's leads the way in Hamtramck with a healthy dose of loud, pounding, live local talent. Indeed, Mephisto's offers up quality drinks and a huge array of musical acts that rivals any club in Detroit.

New Dodge Lounge

8850 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, Michigan; Tel. 313.874.5963
Those in the know travel to Hamtramck's New Dodge Lounge for a healthy dose of the best local live music talent in Detroit. The New Dodge Lounge has that quintessential Detroit appeal of a classic dive bar that feeds the souls need for local camaraderie, heavy handed pours, and pure rocking local live music.

Old Shillelagh Irish Club

349 Monroe St., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.964.0007
A trip to Detroit simply isn't complete without a visit to The Old Shillelagh, especially if it's anywhere around St. Patty's Day. The Old Shillelagh has live music seven days a week, usually in the traditional Irish vein, but it can branch out into folk or bluegrass. On the weekends, get there early because the casual, friendly crowd can get pretty raucous when the live band starts swinging, or when a sports team has a home game. Whether you're Irish or not, The Old Shillelagh has phenomenal food fare, a superb selection of brews, jumping live music, and a fantastic staff, this is a Detroit must.

Paycheck's Lounge

2932 Caniff St., Hamtramck, Michigan; Tel. 313.874.0909
Paycheck's Lounge has to be one of the coolest places to see live music, you can catch hot local talent nearly every night usually playing their first gig in front of a live audience. But don't let their rookie status fool you, this is usually one of the hardest rocking places in Hamtramck and the retro cool ambiance isn't from a designer's sketch pad, it's just what Paycheck's is. Grab a beer and a shot, pull up a red vinyl bar stool, and catch some live music.

Roadrunner's Raft

2363 Yemans St., Hamtramck, Michigan; Tel. 313.365.8727
Ever want a double whiskey rocks but don't want to leave the coffeehouse? At Roadrunner's Raft you can get serious libations and not leave the arty, bohemian atmosphere. Local artists hangout and live music acts preform, along with poetry slams and open mic nights.

Royal Oak Music Theatre

318 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, Michigan; Tel. 248.399.2980
A trendy dance club that still pulls in the major name live music shows, the Royal Oak Music Theatre has been around for years and manages to stay packed by catering to the ever changing taste of today's youth. When live music isn't being played from the ornate stage, DJs spin the latest dance tunes to keep the crowds jumping.


431 E. Congress, Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.961.6358
Some of Detroit's best alt-rock bands have gotten their start at the live music club Shelter. Shelter is an underground club with an intimate feel and features an eclectic array of live music talent before and after they hit it big.


3126 Carpenter, Hamtramck, Michigan; Tel. 313.892.6018
The only tricks being played at Shenanigan's are a steady stream of live music talent from metro Detroit.

St. Andrew's Hall

431 E. Congress, Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.961.6358
As far back as 1980, St. Andrew's Hall has been at the forefront of the live music club scene. Before bands, and not just local ones, went on to fame and fortune they played St. Andrew's Hall. The iconic bands that have played live there reads like a who's who of the alternative rock movement and the up and commers still cut their teeth on that perfect stage with the amazing acoustics. As far as Detroit live music clubs go, there is none better than St. Andrew's Hall.

The Well

1228 Randolph St., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.964.0776
A laid back spot and favorite of local college students, The Well, offers phenomenal acoustics in a basement style setting sporting live music on the weekends. The Well is a little hard to find, but the search is well rewarded by this true Detroit hot spot. Seriously, everyone from Downtown hipsters to suburbanites frequent this live music bar with the dive bar feel.

Town Pump Tavern

100 W. Montcalm St., Detroit, Michigan; Tel. 313.961.1929
The antique bar full of brass and old wood makes the Town Pump Tavern a favorite of both regulars and newcomers. The tranquil scene gets shattered by the addition of live music and revolving DJs continually pack the bar and make the Town Pump Tavern a cool place to catch a drink.
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—Detroit bar and club reviews by Ryan Osterbeck