Montreal's Music Scene
Collected by Isa Tousignant , AFAR Local Expert
Montreal is famous for its music scene, and not just because of exports like Arcade Fire, Halfmoon Run, Grimes, Stars and, yes, Celine Dion. There is an inordinate number of bands here, and enough people interested in seeing live music to fill bars, clubs and concert halls literally every day of the week. The scene is vibrant and enthusiastic, running the gamut from world-class electronic music (this is the birthplace of the Mutek festival) to renowned classical music, and everything in between.
175 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H2X 3X5, Canada
When it isn’t occupied by the Grands Ballets Canadiens or Opéra de Montréal, this largest concert hall in Montreal’s Place des Arts cultural complex has been known to host big musical names, including Maria Callas, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Luciano...
1201 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S6, Canada
The name makes it sound like the driest place in Christendom, but the SAT, as it’s known by locals, is at the forefront of coolth. This giant building on Boulevard Saint-Laurent near Rue Sainte-Catherine is dedicated to electronic culture and...
1225 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S6, Canada
On Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue Sainte-Catherine, Club Soda is at the epicenter of the downtown core, and hosts appropriately on-point acts accordingly. Its intimate 800-people capacity makes it a favorite for comedy shows, especially during...
4234 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Z3, Canada
This inviting bar on the Plateau is open every day of the week and serves a nice selection local brews, but most days (as in 300 a year) it also offers live music for your listening pleasure. The raised stage at the back of the long space projects...
59 Rue Sainte-Catherine E, Montréal, QC H2X 1K5, Canada
One of Montreal’s only true mid-range venues, between the intimate 500-people spaces and the mega-sized 25,000 arenas, Métropolis is smack bang on downtown’s main artery, Rue Sainte-Catherine, between the glitter-and-gold entertainment district of...
2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3J 1N5, Canada
Almost unchanged since 1912, the Théâtre Corona (Corona Theatre) in Little Burgundy was built to host showings of silent films accompanied by live music and comedy shows by local troupes. You can still find an orchestra pit and the original...
1220 Rue Sainte-Catherine E, Montréal, QC H2L 2G9, Canada
This large room in the Gay Village, erected in 1900, oozes old school charm with its red painted walls and gilded detailing. Its past as the preeminent venue for francophone theatre in the city has made way to a present drenched in live music. Its...
179 Rue Jean-Talon Ouest, Montreal, QC H2R 2Y9, Canada
On Jean-Talon near Parc Avenue in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood between Mile End and Park Ex known as Mile Ex, Bar Le Ritz PDB is a large open space with a few tables by the big front windows (always open in summer afternoons so that the...
4873 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R6, Canada
Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa, across the street from each other on Boulevard Saint-Laurent on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Joseph, have been at the epicenter of Montreal’s independent music scene for the last 15 years, bringing international...
5175A Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4G3, Canada
This vegan restaurant would be note worthy for the food alone, but it’s also music club that hosts live music every evening. Enjoy performances by local luminaries and unknowns alike in a welcoming, slightly happenstance atmosphere as you munch...
32 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2S 1P8, Canada
Regulars at this Little Italy joint (and there are lots of regulars) flock here more for the friendly atmosphere and the cheap drinks than for the two bowling lanes that gave it its name (“quilles” is “bowling” in French). Games do happen though,...
407 Rue Saint-Pierre, Montréal, QC H2Y 2M3, Canada
Located right across the street from Olive et Gourmando, Centre PHI is a great place to wander before or after gorging on sandwiches and pastries. The PHI Centre is a versatile space that adapts to accommodate various events: launches,...
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