A Saturday night on Vancouver’s neon-flashing Granville strip might resemble any other city’s rowdy, booze-filled main drag, but Vancouver’s local music scene constitutes one of the city’s most outstanding cultural offerings. With shows happening most nights of the week at venues large and small, historic and modern, Vancouver caters to the music lover. Here are some of the best spots to see your next show in this Canadian city.
Formerly North America’s last-standing 35mm porn movie theater, the Fox Cabaret on Main Street has since been restored as a hip, unique club and modern live music venue. Bringing independent music, art, performance and entertainment together in one place, the Fox Cabaret is a beautiful cultural space. Upstairs in the former cinema’s projection booth, there’s a cocktail and snack bar. Prepare yourself for leopard print walls, a sparkle-inlaid bar, pink mirror tables and moody pendant lights.
A renowned music venue, Commodore Ballroom is known for its great dance floor and lengthy list of iconic performers, such as Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr., U2, Kiss and Weezer. The ballroom opened its doors in 1929 and has since been synonymous with Vancouver entertainment and nightlife. Spacious yet intimate, Commodore also boasts two floors and multiple bars, which helps speed up lines while waiting to order a drink.
With pub grub, craft beers and a bohemian vibe, the Railway Stage and Beer Café is one of Vancouver’s oldest continually operating stand-alone music venues, occupying the same space uninterrupted since 1931. The venue has distinguished itself among others by hosting some of the world’s most innovative touring acts as well as local bands, and it has an unmistakable club feel from a bygone area. Honest and a little rowdy with lots of character, this venue is a must-see when in Vancouver.