Where to hear live music in Montréal

  • Osheaga, Music and Arts Festival
  • Osheaga, Music and Arts Festival
Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

This article was updated on November 16, 2022.

There's nothing like live music in Montréal, any time of the year, at an outdoor festival or an intimate venue. Every band might say it in every city, but in Montréal, it’s true: we’ve got the best audiences. Not just on Friday and Saturday nights but every night of the week.



Going to a live music show here is a glimpse at life as a Montrealer: enthusiastic applause, appreciative hooting and plenty of dancing are pretty much the norm, whether at a small venue or an arena. Since the 1920s, Montréal has been a musical mecca and nightlife destination, welcoming prohibition-era Americans to burlesque and jazz clubs that evolved into rock venues and dance clubs as the century wore on.

Today, the city is home to incredible festivals that showcase not only touring bands but local musical geniuses. Some of summer’s highlights include massive outdoor festivals Osheaga and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the electronic eclecticism of MUTEK and EDM of ÎleSoniq, the global diversity of Mundial Montréal and Festival International Nuits d'Afrique, the indie-rock and hip hop of POP Montréal International Music Festival and many more! On top of Montréal’s festivals, you can see live music all year round at the following venues dedicated to brilliant music and quality sound.


Bell Centre


Place des Arts, the Bell Centre and Place Bell: Some of the most legendary acts in the world perform in the elegant theatres of Place des Arts, located in the heart of downtown Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. Meanwhile, when the home of the Montreal Canadiens isn’t hosting games, the Bell Centre arena transforms into a laser-lit venue for the world’s biggest pop, rock, hip-hop, country and international stars. You’ll also find major names playing Place Bell just a metro ride away in Laval.

Corona Theatre


Beanfield Theatre, La Tulipe, Le National, L'Olympia and Rialto Theatre: Among several venues that were at one time glitzy theatres, these four stand out for maintaining their theatrical charm – you can even go relax up in the balcony – while welcoming some of the latest and greatest indie-rock bands to their large stages.


Club Soda


MTELUS and Club Soda, the Society for Art and Technology (SAT) and Foufounes Electriques: These four big music venues are almost next door to each other in the Quartier des spectacles, near the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Sainte-Catherine Street. While the SAT specializes in electronic artists from Montréal and around the world and Foufounes is all about punk and heavy rock, MTELUS and Club Soda host huge concerts by the hottest acts in pop, rock, metal and hip hop, yet they’ll also open their doors to local acts of all stripes, especially during the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and winter all-nighter Nuit blanche à Montréal.


Théâtre Fairmount, Le Ministère, Le Studio TD and Phi Centre: Though Théâtre Fairmount is far from small, its wide layout and open stage let audiences get close to the band, providing an intimate concert-going experience. Located in the Mile End neighbourhood (and above one of the area’s best grocery stores), Théâtre Fairmount regularly hosts well-known rock bands, world music, hip hop, electronic and more. You'll recognize nearby Le Ministère by its imposing concrete columns on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, but indoors it's all up-to-date and ready to indie-rock. With its wide stage and balcony, downtown's stylish Le Studio TD also boasts an intimate vibe even at popular rock, pop, blues and Festival International de Jazz de Montréal shows. Located in Old Montréal, the Phi Centre is home to worlds of multimedia and virtual reality artistry as well as eclectic live music in its state-of-the-art performance space.


Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill


Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, Dièse Onze and Le Balcon: These jazz, blues and soul institutions host live music almost every night and serve up a mean meal too. Depending on the night and the show, all three venues can range from casual to glam. Downtown, Upstairs recalls once-smokey dark basement clubs where the greats play – expect to hear incredible music while rubbing shoulders with the locals. Dièse Onze hosts Montréal jazz stars and out-of-town talents in its cozy downstairs space on St. Denis Street in the Plateau. In a historic location on Ste. Catherine Street, decked out in red curtains and with a menu inspired by Mediterranean, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, cabaret music hall Le Balcon features ultra-talented local musicians for nights of soul, R&B, Motown, jazz, flamenco and more.


Casa del Popolo and La Sala Rossa: Started by Montréal musicians in the 1990s, the now infamous Casa del Popolo grew to include La Sala Rossa across the street – together, this duo is responsible for showcasing internationally touring bands as well as local artists before and after they get big. It also doesn’t hurt that Casa serves great vegetarian bar grub and Sala boasts an affordable Spanish tapas restaurant downstairs.


Bar Le Ritz P.D.B., l'Escogriffe Bar Spectacle, Turbo Haüs, Quai des Brumes, and Barfly: If you’re looking for known entities in garage rock, psych-rock, punk, alt-folk-country innovation or dark-wave electro – and a few sounds in between and outside – these are your places. Located in the Mile-Ex neighbourhood, Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. also hosts dance parties, karaoke nights and film screenings, while L'Esco, Turbo Haüs, Quai des Brumes and Barfly in the Plateau are also local watering holes for happy hour drinks with patios that fill up in spring and summer. 

Find even more live music in Montréal at these 10 great places to see indie bands, the city's best jazz and blues clubs and in our guide to electronic music in Montréal and guide to Montréal's independent music scene. If you're visiting in 2022-23, here's your guide to must-see concerts for every taste. And if you want to bring the music home with you, go record shopping at Montréal's excellent vinyl stores. It's time to get your nightlife on in Montréal!


Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

See articles by Robyn