Art

12 Places to Enjoy Music During Phoenix First Fridays

Checking out First Friday outside The Nash in Roosevelt Row.
Checking out First Friday outside The Nash in Roosevelt Row. The Nash
Music abounds around the Valley on Friday nights. But sometimes, you want to hone in on places near the First Friday arts scene concentrated around downtown Phoenix.

Perennial favorites for live music include The Lost Leaf and The Nash, but don’t forget about other venues beyond Roosevelt Row – including several that bring in various DJs. We’ve put together a sampling of First Friday music options to help you get started.

click to enlarge DJ time at Bikini Lounge. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
DJ time at Bikini Lounge.
Benjamin Leatherman

Bikini Lounge

1502 Grand Avenue


Head to Bikini Lounge to enjoy a mix of jukebox music and DJ-spun tunes in the casual, tiki-inspired venue located near several art galleries and Maggie Keane’s giant Prince mural.


Bud’s Glass Joint

907 North Fifth Street


You’ll find a mix of several bands performing in an outdoor courtyard every First Friday at Bud’s Glass Joint, where you can also see a fun assortment of glass works by local artists.

click to enlarge Cumbia Fenix bringing the rhythm to Crescent Ballroom. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Cumbia Fenix bringing the rhythm to Crescent Ballroom.
Lynn Trimble

Crescent Ballroom

308 North Second Avenue


Experience the Witching Hour DJ event in the Crescent Ballroom lounge at no cost on Friday nights, or check out the concert calendar with upcoming First Friday shows that include President Gator, Why?, and Big Thief.

click to enlarge Live music inside El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Live music inside El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe.
Lynn Trimble

El Charro Hipster Bar & Café

1325 Grand Avenue


Every First Friday, El Charro Hipster Bar & Café presents several local songwriters and singers who give a free performance in the intimate, casual setting that’s perfect for taking a break between galleries.

click to enlarge Free music time with The Lost Leaf. - THE LOST LEAF
Free music time with The Lost Leaf.
The Lost Leaf

The Lost Leaf

914 North Fifth Street


Locals know The Lost Leaf as the place you can find live music every day of the week. In addition to their concert calendar, they have free live music in the beer garden every First Friday, and there’s always local art on their walls.

The Nash

110 East Roosevelt Street


Located in the heart of the Roosevelt Row arts district, The Nash is the go-to destination for jazz fans on Friday night. The venue presents concerts as well as free shows, and exhibits works by local artists.

click to enlarge Live music at Trans Am Cafe. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Live music at Trans Am Cafe.
Lynn Trimble

Palabras Bilingual Bookstore

1738 East McDowell


Most First Fridays, you’ll find an all-women vinyl collective called The Crate Creepers in DJ mode inside Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, where you’ll also find work by local artists and an eclectic assortment of music books.

The Rebel Lounge

2303 East Indian School Road


The Rebel Lounge delivers a steady stream of live music, including several performances for all ages. In the coming months, the First Friday concert lineup will include Brkn Love, Luna Aura, and Nilüfer Yanya.

The Rhythm Room

1019 East Indian School Road


Venture beyond downtown to experience roots, blues, and concert club music at The Rhythm Room on First Fridays, where upcoming concerts will feature Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns and Rick Estrin & The Nightcats.

click to enlarge The Nash opened at the corner of Roosevelt and First streets in April 2012. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The Nash opened at the corner of Roosevelt and First streets in April 2012.
Lynn Trimble

Trans Am Café

1506 Grand Avenue


Most First Friday nights, you can hear live original music or other types of performance art at Trans Am Café, where works by local artists with diverse styles rotate along a long exhibition space.

Valley Bar

130 North Central Avenue


Head to Valley Bar on First Friday and your choices will likely include Party With a Purpose, where you can listen to DJ-spun music for a good cause with a small donation, or the latest concert offering. In coming months, the First Friday concert lineup includes Mason Jennings and Christian French.

The Van Buren

401 West Van Buren Street


Check out the First Friday concert lineup at The Van Buren if you like to mix up your musical styles. First Friday options in coming months range from reggae to bluegrass.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble