While the Xcel Energy Center is the largest and best-known space for concerts, these smaller spaces are great for grabbing a bite, a drink and a show.
The Palace Theatre is the mack daddy of iconic Saint Paul concert venues. Reopened in 2017 after sitting idle for 40 years, the freshly renovated theatre has quickly become a favorite spot for national artists and music fans alike.
One of the most intimate music clubs in Saint Paul is the Turf Club, a staple to the music scene on University Avenue. This club is known for pulling in talent before they hit it big, but that doesn't stop big names from stopping in every once and awhile.
Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Grab some Dutch frites and settle in for an act at Amsterdam Bar and Hall. If you like the 331Club in Northeast Minneapolis, you’ll fit in just fine here. Amsterdam regularly hosts live music, album releases, podcast tapings, drinking spelling bees and more.
If the patio seating that overlooks the lake at Como Dockside doesn’t draw you in (it won CityPages Best Outdoor Dining category in 2016), then let the promise of live music every day sway you. Come early in the afternoon to check out the dock’s farmers market, too!
Black Dog Cafe
This Lowertown favorite is expanding its space this summer to include a larger stage and more seating. Steps away from the light rail and right next to CHS Field, the Black Dog music lineup hosts a healthy blend of local favorites and traveling musicians.
Minnesota Music Cafe
If you’re near Payne Avenue, stop by the Minnesota Music Cafe. It’s known for some of the best live music in town, but don’t expect anything glamorous—it’s all about the stage, the sound and the dancefloor. If the mismatched tables are going to bother you, then you aren’t here for the right reasons.
Wilebski’s Blues Saloon
It might be odd for a bar to only be open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but that’s just the way it is at Wilebski’s Blues Saloon. Blues takes the stage on Tuesdays until close and Fridays until 10 p.m., and then old school hip-hop and R&B play until close.
If you live for live jazz, you need to visit Vieux Carre—a speakeasy-style jazz club. The menu and the music is inspired by New Orleans, so make sure you enjoy some gumbo, a beignet and a craft cocktail as you take in the melodies.
If you love quirky coffeehouses and live music, then check into who’s playing at Gingko Coffeehouse, located off of University and Snelling. In addition to concerts, there’s often family storytelling, art hours and other creative events.
Of course, there’s plenty of live music venues around the city that we haven’t listed. Don't forget our summer festivals, Music in Mears and all the other concerts in Saint Paul's Music in the Parks series. We’d love to hear about your favorite capital city venue on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL.