When you need to take a break from practicing your American Idol/The Voice/X Factor audition songs in the shower, or should you be a traveler who's tired of making small talk in microbreweries and craft cocktail bars and just wants to stand in a crowd of strangers, gripping a sloshing well drink and decimating your hearing, or if you just like concerts and realize that you really should patronize more of them, living in such a live music-friendly city and all, here are a few of the city’s best venues for that sort of thing.
A supremely elegant venue for a live show, this gorgeous downtown concert hall makes you want to trade your skinny jeans in for, gasp, a dress and heels.
After a long day at work and a long hour of waiting outside to get into the more popular shows here, it's great not to have to stand the whole time--there's theater seating. Post-show, pop across the street to Tastebud, one of my favorite PDX restaurants.
It's hard to choose my favorite Crystal Ballroom memory, be it the night my best friend choked on a mouthful of red wine and sprayed it all over an already very uptight girl in a white button down, or maybe that one time we all got kicked out on New Year's Eve. The point being, this is the sort of place where you make pretty great memories.
This Pearl District jazz bar is a swank little spot to relax and listen to great live music, plus there are tons of good spots for pre- and post-show dining and imbibing just blocks away.
Start to finish, a concert here is a bit of a wild ride, but if you see someone you can't miss on the calendar, just do it.
I don't know if it's all the glass and lights, or the buzzy downtown location, but going to a show at this popular performing arts center always feels like something special. Afterwards, walk to Higgins or Raven & Rose for a bite, have a drink in the Heathman's elegant lounge, or, if you are being dragged to the show against your will and need a pickmeup beforehand, get a drinking chocolate at the little Cacao annex at SW Broadway & Salmon.
This is where the big boys and girls play when they come to town, so if you simply have to cross Britney or Lady Gaga live off your bucket list, keep your eye on the calendar.
Super hip little spot to catch live music in the heart of the Mississippi District, love the upscale saloon atmosphere and the very tasty adjoining Bar Bar burger joint.
One of the city's best spots for a live show--the log-lined downstairs lounge is intimate and in my experience, you can almost always get a drink in three minutes or less. Upstairs, the sexy low lit bar is filled with attractive minglers, and there's even a fire pit, just past the smoking patio. Great late night nosh stop, they serve food until last call.
This venue has a spacious, friendly feel to it, and you can either stand downstairs by the stage, or if you're early enough, go upstairs and claim theater seats. There's a bar on either level, which is a lovely feature. After the show, head downstairs to Trigger for seriously large margaritas and Tex-Mex.
Wear your (faux) mink to this fun Sandy Blvd supper club, where you'll dine on comfort food favorites like meatloaf and stroganoff while letting the jazz, swing bands and tribute singers on stage take you to a bygone era.
Nicely situated in the heart of the eclectic Alberta Arts District, this theater is perfect for date night--take in a show, then walk to any number of great restaurants and bars in a few-block radius, like Natural Selection, La Bonita, and Dar Salam.