The Best Spots for Live Music in Sacramento, California

Josh Wright

Sacramento’s music scene is as diverse as it is thriving. From international megastars to local bands, heavy metal to indie, and everything in between, the venues here in California’s capital have it all. Whatever your musical taste, there’s sure to be something for you here, so let your hair down and take a look through The Culture Trip’s guide to the top spots for live music in Sacramento.

The Airborne Toxic Event on-stage at Ace of Spades

1. Ace of Spades


The stage
Courtesy of Blue Lamp
Pollstar ranked Ace of Spades as 30th in the world (and 2nd in California) for worldwide ticket sales in the first three quarters of 2015, an indication of the club’s popularity. This all-ages venue in Sacramento’s historic R Street Corridor has four bars, a VIP area with bottle service, and a family-friendly dining area to ensure that all their guests are accommodated. Every spring Ace of Spades hosts Heavy Fest, billed as a “Local Music Showcase” that also attracts international artists like Machine Head, Lights, George Ezra, and Escape the Fate.

2. Old Ironsides

Nightclub, Beer, Pub Grub

Downtown Sacramento
© Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr
The oldest bar in Sacramento has been run by the Kanelos family since 1934, and so can rightly lay claim to being the city’s premiere music venue. With its vintage décor and collection of antique nautical equipment, Old Ironsides has maintained an old-fashioned charm through its decades of service to the local music scene, hosting bands like Pavement, Cake, and Death Cab for Cutie in its illustrious history. The Lipstick Weekender features indie rock, Britpop, and 60s soul, while Tuesday is karaoke night.

3. Fox & Goose Public House

Pub, Bar, American, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, Vegetarian

The Fox & Goose Public House has brought live music to Sacramento in a traditional English pub setting for some 40 years now. The city’s longest running open mic night takes place on Mondays, while Wednesdays are dedicated to funk, soul, and old-school vinyl. Acoustic singer-songwriters take center stage on Thursdays, and full bands on Fridays and Saturdays. A range of genres can be heard, from bluegrass to reggae and rockabilly to indie pop. British and Irish draft beers are available to lend some added cheer to proceedings.

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