Some venues are better equipped than others to accommodate live musical performances. Of these, an elite few actually attract performers, making them an ideal spot to discover new music. If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons, check out the best places to discover new music in Minnesota.
701 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
First Avenue has been bringing the Twin Cities the best in live entertainment for over four decades, attracting everything from nationally renowned bands to local up-and-comers. First Avenue attracts a variety of musical genres, from rock ‘n roll to indie to pop music and DJs spinning everything from Top 40s to dubstep and reggae. With such an eclectic mix of musical talent playing on a daily basis, First Avenue is an excellent place to discover new tunes. Many local bands also choose First Avenue to host album release parties which is a fun way to experience new music amidst the buzz surrounding an artist’s upcoming release.
917 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
The Cabooze showcases an eclectic mix of local and national talent, with multiple shows booked every week. From punk to hip hop, soul and funk to indie rock and nearly every musical genre in between, the Cabooze is a great place to discover new music. The Cabooze also frequently pays homage to musical greats like Janis Joplin and Bob Marley featuring local musicians playing covers of their hits. A majority of the Cabooze’s shows cost $15 dollars or less, so checking out new music won’t empty your wallet.
Triple Rock Social Club
629 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
If rock music is your scene, you’ll want to check out the Triple Rock. From punk to metal, the Triple Rock regularly features local bands from these musical genres. While the Triple Rock is primarily known for heavier music shows, it occasionally attracts the outlier, featuring acts from genres like hip hop and ska. Discovering new bands to rock out to won’t break the bank as most shows cost $8 or less. If you find yourself at a show on a Wednesday, head over to the bar side for free bacon from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
1601 University Ave. W.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
The Turf Club is a comfortable Saint Paul staple and a great place to check out new music. Accommodating a variety of musical genres, the Turf Club features talent that typically flies under the mainstream radar like jazz, experimental and even gospel. The Turf Club attracts patrons that are as diverse as its musical acts so feel free to come as you are. If you need a break from the crowd, pop on over to the Clown Lounge to grab a drink in between sets.
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
6 W. 6th St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
This Dutch-themed pub features live, local music most nights of the week. Nearly every type of musical genre has played at the Amsterdam, from mainstream styles like rock and country to more obscure genres like the blues. Most shows can be seen without paying a cover, so the discovery of new local jams won’t cost you a dime. The owners of Amsterdam Bar & Hall, the Oulman family, also own the 331 Club (located in northeast Minneapolis). If you find yourself in Minneapolis, give the 331 Club a shot as it also features a variety of local bands during the week, sans cover.
A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.