When it comes to live music in Oklahoma, there’s more than a fair share of cracking venues to choose from. Whether you prefer an intimate bar, veritable stadiums, dimly lit backrooms, or strobes, lasers, and all, there’s a venue for every occasion. Little and large, these are our very favorites.
There’s nothing quite like watching a concert under the stars
The Blue Door
The Blue Door is a local favorite in Oklahoma City. This small venue hosts plenty of American Roots music, which ranges from bluegrass to alternative country most nights, with the occasional wild card thrown in. They bill themselves as a ‘listening room’ which is an accurate way of putting it. The venue is informal, but very personal, allowing singer-songwriters to come to life in this intimate space.
When you think of the Downstream Casino, chances are you think of glitzy slot machines and a long line of poker tours. In fact, the venue only recently held the enormous Run Good Series. Anyway, it’s perhaps not the first place you’d think of as a brilliant live music venue, but it has plenty of exciting shows coming over the next couple of months.
They have not one, not two, but three different venues all within the same complex. If you’re after a sports bar that serves excellent fast food, plenty of beer, and rock n’ roll bands every weekend, then make your way to Legends. The Pavilion hosts bigger bands in a particularly beautiful setting; expect to see international groups take to the stage here and some beautiful light shows.
Finally for the bands that draw the crowds in, The Venue is the place that’ll be hosting them. Bring a blanket (and on colder nights wrap up warm) because this open-air experience is not like any other.
Chesapeake Energy Arena
If you want to watch the big hitters, then this is the place to do it. The Chesapeake Energy Arena tends to be the ‘go-to’ spot for the big bands. In its time, it has seen acts as varied as The Who, Coldplay, and Evanescence grace its stage, and it continues to make big bookings. At nearly 600,000 square feet, it is truly massive and regularly seats tens of thousands of fans. Thankfully you can tell that some time and money have been spent on the sound system here, as it is great at reaching every last bit of the arena.
This little venue has seen more than it’s a fair share of name changes over the past few years. It was well-loved as the Conservatory just a couple of years ago, but since its transition to 89th Street, it’s continued to serve the city well.
One of the real draws of this venue is its all-ages policy, making this a friendly (and smoke-free) place to watch live music. It’s not massive, and crowds can find themselves a little squished in, but if you’re after a proper live music experience, it’s all the better for it. Music is played most nights of the week, from local bands up to some promising talent from further afield. If you hit a night where it’s a little quieter then there’s a dance floor to make the most of, which is great fun!
Photo by Maxime Bober
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