(credit: 3 Kings Tavern)
Denver has a huge and thriving local music scene. There are so many amazing venues that you can visit throughout the city, all featuring lots of incredible music and plenty of stiff drinks. With low ticket prices/cover charges, these local music institutions are a great place to find your new favorite band or make some new like-minded friends. Make sure to check the websites for the best deal on weeknights to check out new bands. Expect headliners and larger crowds on the weekends.
2721 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
The Larimer Lounge is a popular spot for pretty much every new up-coming band in town. You can often check out your friends as they jam on the small stage or you can enjoy some bigger name groups as they rise to stardom or stop by on a tour. There is something going on here just about every night of the week and you’ll enjoy low covers and a small enough venue that you won’t be able to miss each and every person on stage. The back patio is also the perfect place to enjoy a beer when the weather is warm.
3 Kings Tavern
60 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
If you are looking for variety in the heart of the South Broadway district, then you must stop in at 3 Kings Tavern. It is one of the premier rock spots in town with a huge variety of shows. Plus, with comedy, burlesque, karaoke and even rock and roll bingo, you’ll find so many different fun things to enjoy here that you will want to return night after night. There are two bars serving up drinks, a few pool tables and plenty of dancing space, so bring your friends and enjoy this South Broadway icon.
1578 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
For more than 30 years, Herman’s Hideaway has been one of the premier venues for bands throughout Denver. Just about all of the local groups want their shot at this stage and some huge names have played here such as 311, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Opie Gone Bad, Phish, The Fray and Dave Matthews Band. You’ll find a mix of smaller, local favorites and large touring shows at this spot, with a huge dance floor and plenty of stiff drinks. The ticket prices are usually very low, though some of the bigger-name shows can be a bit pricey.
140 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
Rockabilly fans love the Skylark Lounge, another popular spot along the South Broadway corridor. With two floors of music and a billiard room on the second floor, there is a lot to enjoy in this intimate rock spot. Just about every swing, ska and rockabilly band plays here, so if you like to get your jitterbug on, this is your spot. Also, be sure to check out the chalkboard when you are here, as it’s lovingly crafted into a work of art by local artist Joshua Finley.
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The Toad Tavern
5302 S. Federal Circle
Littleton, CO 80123
As one of the more spacious music venues and one of the only bars of its kind in Littleton, The Toad Tavern draws a crowd just about every night of the week. It is another popular spot for local musicians looking to get some exposure on stage. There is a lot of room here for both sitting and standing. The prices are always quite reasonable and you can even enjoy some munchies from a small bar menu. However, it is the music that makes this place rock so be sure to check out all the great bands that stop by.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.