Live music is becoming more and more popular among people visiting bars and clubs in Vancouver. Whether you want to dance the night away, attend a rock concert at the local rock bar, listen to some quality jazz, or let the blues take your mind away, there is a place for you in Vancouver. The city’s nightlife will pleasantly surprise you with its variety and number of quality venues. There’s nothing like a great musician sitting on the bar chair tuning in the atmosphere, or a young rock band giving you the opportunity to jump for two straight hours and clear your head completely. This week, we start the series with the live music bars and clubs that play rock.
Most music experts would agree on the origin of rock music in country and rhythm’n’blues. These are, however, far, far away from what rock music sounds like today. Rock history and its most important figures can’t be described easily simply because of their vastness. For some exposed to British music more than to American, Moody Blues and David Bowie are considered to be foundations, whereas the “American” group would sell their car to see The Eagles or Creedence Clearwater Revival. Each one of us has his or her own idols. The thing all rock fans have in common, whether they love Led Zeppelin or Doobie Brothers, is that they rock! And there is no place for rocking out better than a live music bar!
Here are some of the most interesting bars, pubs, and clubs in Vancouver where you can experience the most amazing live rock performances.
The casual atmosphere and friendliness of staff made The Roxy one of the most popular clubs in the city. This bar has been offering classic rock concerts for eighteen years now, and it still has its way of attracting the clientele. Despite the fact that clubs on the Granville Strip are no longer experiencing the hype they used to enjoy, The Roxy still offers great rock nights. The dance floor is a bit smaller and usually packed with people, but that’s part of its charm. The crowd is usually fun-loving and casual — everybody is trying to have as much fun as possible. There are three bars and a stage for a band with a dance floor in front of it. There is also a coat check by the entrance, and the bouncers are quite helpful. The Roxy club also throws very impressive Halloween parties.
Address: 932 Granville Street, Vancouver
Do you remember The Cobalt as a place you swore you’ll never ever visit again? Well, you might start thinking about changing your mind because this club has definitely turned itself around! The Cobalt de-punked and de-vamped a great deal, but it still kept something that gives it a necessary edge. The staff is friendly, helpful, and very sweet. The stage is very well placed — you can see it from everywhere, and the bar is also very accessible. The music could be a bit less noisy, but that’s the way rock clubs are. The cabaret giants of East Van, The Biltmore and The Waldorf, have mild but persistent competition here. Everybody seems to love the live music here. If you want, you can sometimes discover very surprising pieces played here!
Address: 917 Main St, Vancouver
The Cellar Nightclub
If you decide to check out The Cellar, walk around a bit first if you don’t want to pay for the entrance. There are usually free admissions handed out about one block away from the club. The prices for drinks is reasonable, and the staff is friendly if you’re patient enough to wait for them to take your order. The Cellar covers a wide range of music styles, so you should check if they play rock the night you decide to go there, but it’s worth the wait. There are usually quite young but brilliant bands playing so loud that you can feel the music vibrating your bones. Another great thing about dancing in The Cellar is that there is a big group of couches near the dance floor where you can chill out for a moment or two.
Address: 1006 Granville Street, Vancouver
Grand Union Hotel
The Grand Union Hotel is a place you’ll either love or hate. The people you’ll meet in this bar are not the usual crowd you might come across in your regular bar. This is a place that might give you an idea about how rock and country music sounded back in the days of its biggest boom. This is not in any way a high-class bar: this bar gets by on its eccentric charm. The people here are happy to make your acquaintance, offer you a drink at the bar, or invite you to enjoy the music with them. The friendliness might partially be explained by the insane cheapness of drinks.
If the band’s not playing for a while, you can always go to the jukebox happily hanging on the wall. This is the place to go for a real dive bar experience. The live music is either country or rock, so you should check what style will be played the night you choose to pay Grand Union Hotel a visit. However, if you’re not up for a really strange night in a really strange smelling, strange looking, and strange feeling place, you might reconsider your choice.
Address: 74 West Hastings St, Vancouver
These are just a small portion of the vast amount of Vancouver’s rock clubs that offer you an incredible night out with your friends, listening and dancing to amazing live bands from all over Vancouver and Canada.