Montreal’s variety of gritty, intimate, eclectic live music venues can’t be beat, and neither can the underground music scene in this city. Where should you go to see local bands? Discover new independent artists? Dance all night to live music? Here are 7 of Montrealers’ favourite venues you should definitely check out.
Casa Del Popolo
A grungy, hipster bar with cheap beer and food, Casa Del Popolo is a café by day/music venue by night. Showcasing up-and-coming indie artists, this place is one of Montreal’s most popular music venues.
Place: 4873 St Laurent Blvd
2. La Sala Rossa
By the same owners of Casa del Popolo, and located just across the street, La Sala Rossa is a third floor music venue with chandelier-style lighting, plush stage curtains, and intimate seating. Entertainment ranges from spoken word to indie rock to gypsy bands. Some nights you’ll find a relaxed and seated crowd, at other times, a packed and crazy dancefloor.
Place: 4848 St Laurent Blvd
3. La Vitrola
Also on St-Laurent Boulevard, just a stone’s throw from both Casa del Popolo and La Salla Rossa, and also by the same owners, La Vitrola is an upstairs venue for live shows featuring independent bands. Its one large room has both seating and a dance floor.
Place: 4602 Boul St-Laurent
4. Divan Orange
This small venue is mostly a standing room type of place, with free foosball, and local art on the walls. If you’re a teetotaller, they have locally brewed, non-alcoholic Kombucha tea on tap. Programming includes slam poetry nights, DJs, local bands, and all kinds of independent, experimental, and new artists. This place can turn into a raging dance party, or be relatively chill, depending on the night.
Place: 4234 St Laurent Blvd
5. L’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
This small, semi-basement bar on St. Denis is a fixture in the underground scene, with live shows drawing lovers of rock n’roll, garage, fifties and sixties, punk, seventies and eighties, as well as country and folk. It’s long and narrow, with exposed stone walls, and a stage at the front. Shows here can get LOUD. There are also a couple of outdoor terraces.
Place: 4467 Saint-Denis
6. Quai des Brumes
Quai des Brumes is another tiny Bar-Spectacle with great live shows. The stage is pretty small and it can be hard to get close because of the long narrow shape of the room, but since it is raised, you nonetheless get a decent view. Lots of stained glass, wood panelling, and old moldings give a quaint and cozy vibe. This place is popular with the francophone crowd.
Place: 4481 St Denis
7. Le Ritz PDB
Le Ritz is a new addition to the nightlife scene having taken over the Jean Talon Street concert venue that used to be known as Il Motore. It’s one of Montreal’s only wheelchair accessible venues, and has a cool vintage bar, and cozy atmosphere. Montreal’s most popular promoter, Blue Skies Turn Black, handles booking and the venue’s calendar is usually stacked with exceptional shows.
Place: 179 Rue Jean-Talon-Ouest