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Top Colorado Live Music Venues in the Mountains
You don’t have to deny your live music fix when visiting or living in a Colorado mountain town. Some of the best Colorado live music venues reside high in the Rocky Mountains and feature Colorado concerts thought only to happen on large stages in populated cities. These intimate live music bars will warm you up as you shake your groove thing with locals and tourists. The next time you visit Frisco, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Steamboat, Durango, Grand Junction, Buena Vista, Keystone and Crested Butte make it a point to check out a show at one these great venues.
Ladies and Gentlmen, the Top Colorado Live Music Venues in the Rocky Mountains
Belly Up, Aspen – The Belly Up sets the highest standard for Colorado live music venues and bars anywhere. The fact that this 600 capacity room is located in downtown Aspen adds to its stock. Open 7 days a week (with a few days off thrown in), The Belly Up features over 300 live concerts a year and is also a restaurant. Bands who’ve played there include Widespread Panic, John Prine, The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Thievery Corporation, Ben Harper, B.B. King, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Pitbull, SEAL, ZZ Top, Chris Isaak, Gomez, G Love, Bassnectar, John Legend, Damian Marley and Nas, Stephen Marley, Lucinda Williams, Snoop Dogg, Tiësto, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Wyclef Jean, Ice Cube, Umphrey's McGee and more. Everyone, including the artists, agrees this is a special place.
10 Mile Music Hall, Frisco – The 10 Mile Music opens in the fall of 2018. It's new to the Colorado live music venues list is the live music list. The owners used to produce shwows at Barkley ballroom in Frisco and are looking to make the 10 Mile Music hall the new gem of Summit County, Colorado’s largest resort community. Schedule of bands coming up is already better than anything ever presented around Summit County and looks to only get better. Be sure to check this new venues out on your next vist to Summit County.
Schmiggity’s, Steamboat Springs – Located in Downtown Steamboat, Schmiggity’s is one of the more intimate Colorado live music venues. Here, you’ll surely rub elbows, shoulders and butts with anyone else in the bar. Normal business hours during the winter and summer are 7 pm to 1:30 am. Specials include 1/2 price on all drinks during happy hour (7-9 pm daily). Live music is featured Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Bands that have performed there include Reverend Horton Heat, Nappy Roots, Afroman, Twiddle, Kyle Hollingsworth, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Andy Frasco and Fruition. Unique: The sound is awesome both on stage and in the audience.
The Lariat, Buena Vista – The Lariat is relatively new to scene of Colorado live music venues. It’s open Sunday - Thursday 11am-midnight AND Friday and Saturday 11am-2am. An open mic is served up every Wednesday and live bands play on the weekends. Over the last year the Lariat has featured Brother’s Keeper Feat. John Popper, Grant Farm, Trout Steak Revival, Hazel Miller and the Otis Taylor band. The Lariat serves seasonally inspired gastropub fare and is known to have dinner friendly music on Thurs-Sat. It’s located in Downtown Buena Vista, a town known as a summer meca for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Moon at O'Bannon's, Telluride – This is another one of those intimate Colorado Live Music Venues with an underground feel has been one of the go-to Colorado live music venues for over 28 years presenting over 3500 shows. $2 Rolling Rock Pints and $4 well drinks are always on special and it’s always open from 1pm to 2am. A few bands to play there include: Sheryl Crow, Phish, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Jefferson Starship, Jack Johnson, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Gov't Mule, Sublime, Yonder Mountain String Band and more. Unique: Many a story has been told of a ghostly encounter or two, in our hundred + year old basement pub.
Steve’s Guitars, Carbondale – Located between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, downtown Carbondale is always worth a visit. The intimate Steve’s Guitars venue is like a house party with famous people showing up to entertain you. It’s not exactly a bar, but you can BYOB. Live music happens 3 to 5 nights a week and shows start at 8:30pm. It’s been open since 1993. Bands that have played there include Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival, John Oates, Steep Canyon Rangers, Gregory Isakov, Band of Heathens, Lloyd Maines & Terri Hendrix, Trampled by Turtles and Ramblin Jack Elliott. Unique: Live music has happened for close to 900 consecutive Friday Nights.
Animas City Theatre, Durango – The Animas City Theatre brings some cultural love to Durango, home of Fort Lewis College, Purgatory Ski Resort and the Durango Silverton Railroad. It’s open year around from 12 noon to 12:30am and features live music 7 nights a week. Bands that have recently played there include: Robert Randolph & the Family Band, KRS-ONE, Matisyahu, Julian & Stephan Marley and more! The intimate 270 capacity venue also features movies.
Snake River Saloon, Keystone – Established in 1975, the Snake River Saloon features great local and semi-famous bands on the weekends with the emphasis on dancing. Off season, on season and even on some Thursdays you can catch a great regional act at the Snake River Saloon. The restaurant serves fantastic steaks and seafood and is a must stop before you mosey over to the authentic bar for the music.
The Eldo, Crested Butte – The Eldo is a restaurant/brewery that features an occasional band you probably know. The Eldo is open 7 days and week. Bands that have played there include: String Cheese Incident, The Gladiators, Head for the Hills, Shakedown Street and Sweet Lillies.
The Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern, Keystone – The Goat is another intimate room that features big talent when it works out. Andy Frasco & The U.N., Dyrty Byrds, Magic Beans, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Jerry Joseph and Dead Phish Orchestra are just a few bands that have played there.
I Bar Ranch, Gunnison – The I Bar Ranch is a covered outdoor summer only venue. It’s probably known best for its country shows, but has presented bands like The Motet, The Wailers, Firefall, Sawyer Brown, Asleep at the Wheel, Pure Prairie League, The Subdudes and many more.
Shakedown Bar, Vail – Located in Vail Village, the Shakedown bar is a small bar (160 Cap) that packs a big punch. Well known regional and national touring acts perform there. The bar is owned by Scott Rednor, who has toured as a guitarist with bands like Dave Matthews and Lenny Kravitz. He’s currently a member of Dean Ween Group as well as Brothers Keeper (feat. John Popper and John Oates band members). Rednor and pal Rob Eaton Jr. play most nights but other bands like Bonfire Dub, Dumpstaphunk, Dean WEEN, Brothers Keeper Featuring John Popper, WhiteWater Ramble and Dragondeer also play there.
Club Red, Telluride – This is a bigger venue than most on this list and has a small theatre feel. It was named by Skiing magazine as one of the country’s best concert venues and features many bands that play large festivals and venues throughout the world. Bands who’ve recently played there include: Dawes, Blitzen Trapper, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Deer Tick, Matisyahu, Lettuce, Tanya Tucker, Keller Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Lucero, Jackie Greene, Dirty Dozen brass Band, Jenny Lewis, Elephant Revival and more.
Mesa Theater, Grand Junction – The Mesa Theater rocks. Their music calendar has a slight lean toward the heavy but they also feature comedy shows, country music shows, EDM, rap and just good old rock shows. The Mesa Theater is on this list because they consistently present great entertainment like Steve “Mudflap” McGrew, (Hed) P. E., Flobots, Matisyahu, Leftover Salmon, Cash'd Out, Trevor Hall, Barb Wire Dolls, Tantric, James McMurtry, Lynch Mob, Cryptic Wisdom and more.