Great Places to Hear Live Music in St. Louis

A Music Venue for Every Taste

••• Photo © David O'Brien

Want to see a concert or show in St. Louis? No problem. The Gateway City's live music scene is going strong. From entertainment districts like Washington Avenue and the Delmar Loop, to urban neighborhoods like Grand Center and Soulard, there's a music venue to suit every taste. Whether you're in the mood for jazz, blues, hip-hop or rock, St. Louis has a place for you.  

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    Taking its name from an infamous riverfront saloon that once attracted steamboat captains and the likes of Mark Twain, the Old Rock House is today one of St. Louis' most attractive live music venues. Located in a beautifully renovated turn-of-the-century tavern, the Old Rock House is part southside bar, part restaurant, part swanky nightclub, part basement wine cellar, and many parts music hall.

    Both the main floor and a mezzanine balcony offer great views of the stage, and a state-of-the-art sound system ensures everyone can enjoy the music, even those lounging in the cozy basement wine cellar. Top-notch local and national musicians play nightly, including an accoustic set that coincides with happy hour.

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    ••• Photo © David O'Brien

    Blueberry Hill is a legendary bar and music space in the Delmar Loop. It's been bringing in top national and local musicians for decades. Concerts are held in Duck Room, a small space that accommodates just 340 people. It's a great venue for those who enjoy a more intimate music experience, rather that a big stadium concert.

    Over the years, the Duck Room has played an important role in St. Louis music history. It's where rock-n-roll legend Chuck Berry used to play his monthly shows in St. Louis. Anyone who got to experience one of those concerts knows what a unique experience it was.

    Blueberry Hill is open every day of the year and has live music most nights. For the current schedule of performers, see the Blueberry Hill calendar of events.

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    ••• Photo © David O'Brien

    Joe Edwards, who also owns Blueberry Hill, did St. Louis a favor when he opened The Pageant in 2000. Built from scratch, The Pageant looks like a renovated art-deco theater. Its vibrant facade effectively extended the Delmar Loop by another block, and the nightclub filled a much-needed niche for a mid-sized venue for local and national rock acts. The main floor is like a large cabaret, with tables and chairs to the back, but room for those who want to stand and dance closer to the stage. A large balcony offers reserved seating, although the best place to be is standing at the railing. Acts include nationally-known musicians, as well as up-and-coming local bands. 

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    ••• Big George Brock plays at BB's. Photo by Jim Monsour, courtesy BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups
    A night at BB's is everything you'd hope for from a blues house. Exposed brick walls, great acoustics and some of the best blues this side of the Mississippi make BB's a great place to spend an evening. Cover charges are usually reasonable, especially considering the quality of acts BB's brings in and the proximity of your seat to the stage. There are certainly local blues bars that take pride in being more rustic, or more true to the back-room spirit of the blues, but BB's does the blues exceptionally well. And, as the name implies, it's nearly as famous for its soups. Those soups, and the rest of its menu, are definitely worth a separate visit for lunch, even when daylight's streaming in and the stage is empty.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    McGurk's Irish Pub

    ••• Photo by Jason Greene, courtesy McGurks

    McGurk's never seems to age or go out of style. It is arguably the most attractive Irish pub in St. Louis, with massive brick archways, decorative tin ceilings and elaborate woodwork that still looks brand new. But McGurk's has been churning out pints of Guinness and great Irish music for more than 20 years. Expect it to be packed most weekend nights with folks eagerly singing (or shouting) along to their favorite Irish drinking tunes and ballads. The bands are always top-notch groups straight from the Emerald Isle, and don't mind catering to rowdy crowds. For a more relaxing experience, catch a performance on a Sunday evening.