See live music in Portland at one of these venues during your next night out.
Portland is celebrated for its vibrant music scene. Although this city does not always get the headliners that stop by our west coast neighbors like San Francisco and Seattle, Portlanders go all out for bands that do stop by our intimate venues.
If you are new to the city, you soon may realize that you can quickly fill your social calendar with concerts on the daily, considering the plethora of music venues.
However, concert ticket prices add up quickly, so you may feel like you cannot see as much live music as you would like. Do not fret because we’ve compiled a list of 5 cheap alternative ways to see live bands play around town without hurting your wallet!
Sure you may not be able to go to the Crystal Ballroom multiple times a week, but that does not mean you cannot see some awesome live music in Portland. And who knows, maybe the band playing a $10 show will become “the next” Decemberists.
Looking for more deals on live performances? Check out our list of half price tickets.
Live Music in Portland
1. Mississippi Studios
Mississippi Studios is in a building that used to be a Baptist Church. The floor covered with Persian rugs and the balcony above the bar help create an intimate and comfortable space to watch local and national bands play shows.
Lots of concerts are priced under $20, and the crowds are typically energetic Portlanders that range from the early 20s to mid-30s (note that shows are usually 21+). The proximity to BarBar (excellent cocktails and Cajun fries) makes this an ideal place to grab a bite to eat before a show.
You may not always recognize the names of all the bands stopping at this venue, but it’s rare that you will not have a great time catching a show at Mississippi Studios.
2. Doug Fir Lounge
This place somehow encompasses everything Portland. Doug Fir Lounge has live music every night of the week. Tickets for many shows are $18 or less. With log cabin coziness and a retro vibes, this is one of the most unique venues in town.
They have a great late night happy hour with many $8 options. So if the music doesn’t end up being your thing, swing by the bar and get some grub.
3. LaurelThirst Public House
The Yelp! reviews call Laurelthirst “everything a neighborhood bar should be”, and it is true. The warm setting and good beer are enough to make this place a worthwhile visit, but the live music takes it to the next level.
The shows are usually free or at the most cost $7-$10. This is a great place to go if you are looking to enjoy a relaxing evening while listening to talented local musicians!
4. White Eagle Saloon
With unlikely stories of record-breaking tequila consumption, Shanghai tunnels and paranormal residents, the historic White Eagle Saloon serves up tales just as big as its pints and performers.
Located in North Portland’s industrial district, the corner stage comes to life almost every night of the week. Just like its varied past, you’ll discover musicians from all genres performing at the White Eagle Saloon.
Tickets range from $10-$15 per show. And if you get a bit swept away by the music, there’s an 11-room hotel right upstairs.
Although Holocene frequently features electronic artists, which some may argue as not being “live music,” they have incredibly fun dance parties that feature local Portland pop and electronic groups. The vibe at this venue is always energetic and upbeat.
Most shows will cost you $15 at the most, and they do not disappoint. Drinks are not the cheapest here, so if you are looking to get tipsy without spending a fortune, you may want to pregame the show or plan on sticking to PBR for the night.
Enjoying a night of live music does not need to be something you cut from your activities when you are trying to save money. You may not be able to see Beyoncé in the first row, but luckily Portland has so many venues and bars that feature live music, you can get your concert fix on a budget.
Try going to a band you have never heard of for a spontaneous date night, or catch an up and coming group at Mississippi Studios that will probably be charging $40 plus for tickets in a year.
In Portland, the live music possibilities are endless.
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