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The 5 Best Places for Live Music in Milwaukee

The 5 Best Places for Live Music in Milwaukee

Picture of Michelle Schmid
Updated: 9 February 2017
Known for the colossal music festival, Summerfest, Milwaukee is a city of budding musical talent and wonderful venues to meet the musical cravings of locals and visitors alike. Check out the following five joints to hear some great tunes while in town.

The Packing House

A family-owned seafood restaurant, the Packing House holds to a tradition of quality food in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Get classy with the wide offering of cocktails and a full bar. Live music at this restaurant tends to focus on Milwaukee’s jazz scene, so its a nice and easy sound on the ears while still presenting pleasant melodies and experimental songs. Four nights of the week are devoted to live performances, so be sure to check the calendar for band information before arriving.

Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall

Historically a polka bar, this music venue keeps up a long tradition of providing Polish and German beers on tap, while remaining forever rooted in Milwaukee’s ancestry. Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall is the only venue to feature duelling stages, which offers an exciting prospect for music lovers. Music here can vary from local to national bands, while still maintaining attention to the best music out there. The beer hall is also intent on keeping up tradition, so it is not uncommon to experience a night of polka dancing and other more traditional styles.

Milwaukee Ale House

Fans of beer love this bar located in the city’s Historic Third Ward. Milwaukee Ale House is the tap house for the local microbrewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company, meaning beers tasted here will give visitors a good sense of local Wisconsin flavors. However, beer is not the only allure: Milwaukee Ale House also schedules national and local artists for many nights of the week. It’s a mix of the award-winning beer offered, the eclectic atmosphere, a river-front location, and good music that makes Milwaukee Ale House such a fantastic visit!

The Jazz Estate

For more than 30 years, the Jazz Estate has been a hotspot for Milwaukee’s jazz scene, featuring a variety of up-and-coming jazz musicians and nationally renowned jazz singers. Amidst the cool and soulful atmosphere of this classic club, visitors will encounter a modern speakeasy feel as well as friendly bartenders and staff. The Jazz Estate offers an intimacy that will welcome travelers of all sorts, especially jazz enthusiasts. Browse a nice selection of wines and bourbons, and settle in for a good time at this classic music bar.

The Cactus Club

The Cactus Club

Featuring all sorts of music varieties and musicians from local, national and international backgrounds, The Cactus Club is a necessary visit for music fanatics in Milwaukee. This chill and cozy bar has an extensive drink menu to satisfy thirsty guests and keep visitors hydrated during the fantastic concerts put on within its friendly walls. There’s a separate room for concerts, so the space is nicely distributed. The Cactus Club has seen an extensive number of fantastic bands play on its stages, so really is worth the attention it gets!