Live Music Venues in Calgary

Calgary sometimes gets saddled with specious rep for not having enough music culture. DailyXY protests — and has already done so. The live music scene in particular is thriving in Cowtown; if you know the venues to frequent, then more often than not you’ll return home smiling from your entertainment experience (possible bonus: slight tinnitus). Here: five live music venues devoted to keeping the beat in Calgary. We’ll publish five more next week.

Amsterdam Rhino

Next-door to Broken City sits the Rhino and, like its neighbour, the place attracts a devoted-but-diverse following with a loyalty to live music (especially dub, funk and hip-hop DJs) and quality microbrews. Bands set up in the back of the top floor, as the bar funnels all eyes that direction with its corridor-ish set up, and the bottom floor usually has a separate act or DJ playing, in case you want a new vibe without switching buildings. 607 11 Ave. S.W.
Upcoming: Friday Night Frenzy with DJ B. Mack and Hustle Goin’ Down with Jody Crowe and Funk Dub (Friday nights), Smash Saturday with DJ Disoriental and The Magic House Party with Kyle Morgan (Saturday nights)

Broken City

Gig-wise, Broken City is one of the busiest bars in Calgary. Nearly every night, top local and international talent set up and play for a (usually) packed house. The rooftop patio is another great selling point, if the tight quarters get to be too much for you. 613 11 Ave. S.W.
Upcoming: Japanther (Aug. 24), Natural Selection with Dan Solo, Typist (Saturdays, 9 p.m. to close), Cheap Thrills with Michael Wallace (Wednesdays 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.)

Calgary’s self-proclaimed “Rock n’ Roll Ballroom” (open Tuesday to Saturday) utilizes a wide-open floor space to provide patrons with one of the best live venues in the downtown core. Devoted to hard rock, punk, and metal, you’ll find plenty of head bangers and grungier folk in this subterranean pub (sometimes, the best people to party with). The Distillery also welcomes the occasional hip-hop, folk, or indie rock act, as well. 615 7 Ave. S.W.
Upcoming: Deimoz and Dodging Daylight (Aug. 25), Gales of Avalon, Dire Omen, Kryosphere, and Misanthropy (Aug. 26), Midwest Mindset CD release party (Aug. 27)

Drum & Monkey

The public house Drum & Monkey is a small venue (attached to another small venue, Bamboo), and it’s the soul of Calgary’s electronic music scene. Anyone who’s spent time in our city is no doubt familiar with Dub at the Pub, featuring DJ High & I and MC Ouda Ouda (Tuesday nights), a now legendary weekly ritual. 1201 1 St. S.W.
Upcoming: Hula with DJ Ladylux (Wednesday nights in Bamboo), Around the Way with DJ Audit and GSD (Thursday nights in Bamboo), Tahiti Treat with Jon Delirious (Friday nights in Bamboo), Mojo with Rob Faust (Saturday nights in Bamboo)

Flames Central

This huge restaurant and club (and official home of Calgary Flames’ viewing parties and celebrations) on Stephen Avenue is a former movie house and has state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, making it the perfect place to see bigger name acts, often on the cusp of playing arena gigs. 219 8 Ave. S.W.
Upcoming: Max Graham (Aug. 26), J. Cole (Aug. 27), DJ Adam K (Sept. 10) 

Image courtesy of D{sh}eviled.

(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)
This is a test