The unique tapestry that is Portland, Oregon offers locals and visitors alike much to appreciate by way of everything from food carts, museums, outdoors spaces, galleries, local brews and much more. But for many Portlanders, it’s the vast selection of venues located throughout the city that provide a music experience that is truly Portland. For certain, Portland is stocked well with places to enjoy good music. And, if we could, we’d mention them all by name.
So, to get things started, here are 11 (of many) favorite places in Portland to enjoy live music. Since we can’t name all of the great live music venues in Portland, we’ve decided to create a list of 11 unique options that are truly what make Portland’s music scene cool.
Music Venues In Portland For Live Music
Located just across the Willamette River from Downtown Portland, Doug Fir quickly made an impact on the city’s music scene after opening in October of 2004. Doug Fir is not only a concert venue, but also a restaurant and lounge presented in 50’s modernism fashion. Doug Fir is located on the Jupiter Hotel property.
Located in Portland’s Historic Mississippi District, this intimate concert setting was once a neighborhood Baptist church. On the Mississippi Studios Facebook page, the venue describes themselves as a venue built by musicians, for musicians and music lovers alike. And based on the many reviews Mississippi Studios has received over time, they are just as they claim to be.
While attending a concert recently at this converted old high school, a long time Portland concert goer told us that Revolution Hall was his favorite of all venues in Portland to enjoy live music. Located in SE Portland and just a few minutes from Downtown Portland, Revolution Hall opened in February of 2015 in the old Washington High School.
During construction, which renovated the auditorium into a music venue, two bars and a roof deck were also added to this space, but the original wooden seats were preserved.
The 1905 is quickly making a name for itself. Located on the eastside of the Willamette River, the 1905 offers craft cocktails and artisan pizza along with the best jazz and blues Portland has to offer. The name is reference to the year the first Italian pizzeria opened in the United States.
The concept behind The 1905 is to provide a culturally inclusive venue so the community can connect through experience, atmosphere, food, and drink.
Located in the heart of Downtown Portland and near the gates to Old Town Chinatown, Dante’s offers rock shows, cabaret and karaoke and an experience that plays up to Portland’s reputation. Dante’s first opened in 2000 and has received various awards over the years.
The Goodfoot Pub and Lounge
The Goodfoot is a unique two level pub and lounge that came on the scene in 2001. Located in SE Portland, The Goodfoot provides a spacious pub upstairs while downstairs is both lounge and music venue supporting both live music and DJ’s.
White Eagle Saloon
The White Eagle Saloon or as its also known, White Eagle Rock and Roll Hotel and Bar is owned by McMenamins. Set in North Portland’s industrial neighborhood, the legendary White Eagle Cafe and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel echoes with tall tales of resident spirits, reverberating rock, and Shanghai tunnels, as it has since its opening in 1905.
You can easily navigate your way to The White Eagle by taking the MAX Yellow line from the Moda Center.
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
This historic venue is one of Portland’s most well-known. The Crystal Ballroom itself is over a century old and is a longtime favorite of may concertgoers due to its unique floating dance floor. Located in Downtown Portland’s West End, this venue is also owned by McMenamins which offers the neighboring Crystal Hotel. This part of Portland is also uniquely named The Crystal Blocks.
Laurelthirst Public House
The Laurelthirst Public House is the oldest independent music venue located in Portland, Oregon. Averaging 14 shows each week, this venue has been serving up live music every day for 28 years. The commitment to Portland’s music scene can be seen in a statement found on the Laurelthirst Public House Facebook page, “Portland is blessed with one of the best musical communities in the the country and it is our mission to expose you to it.”
The Laurelthirst Public House is in NE Portland just minutes from Downtown.
Wilfs is a family owned business that has been operating for 42 years. Wilfs is located in the historic 1898 renovated Union Station and has become arguably Portland’s best venues for local live jazz.
The Perfect Ingredients To Enjoy Live Music
From jazz to rock to blues, acoustic, hip-hop, cabaret and everything in between, Portland has it all when it comes to both eclectic and uniquely historic places to enjoy good live music. It also doesn’t hurt that Portland is widely known and recognized for its food and beer scene as well. All of which combine for what makes up the perfect recipe for any local music scene.
What are your favorite places for enjoying live in music in the Rose City?