Luckys Indoor Outdoor817 North Second Street
It’s about time the Roosevelt Row Arts District had a place to enjoy live music. Although Luckys Indoor and Outdoor has been open for less than a year, people come back again and again to chill, have a drink, and have a good time.
“Adding live music to the mix completes the whole experience, especially when people can come to support a local band that they follow or discover a new one,” says Nick Nitz, operating partner at Luckys’ Indoor Outdoor. “One of our goals when opening Luckys was to support the local arts scene and really engage with our community. We have been able to do so by providing musicians the space to perform in a fun venue.” Order a twist on the classic cocktail with the Lucky Negroni, which includes strawberry-infused gin, while kicking back and listening to Fayuca or The Hourglass Cats.
Boondocks4341 North 75th Street, Scottsdale
1024 East Broadway Road, Tempe
There’s a reason why both locations of Boondocks are always hopping. The key to their success is the high-energy atmosphere combined with live music.
“Live music provides a connection to the guest. It’s art, it’s happening right in front of you in real time and you’re present for the experience,” says Boondocks’ owner, Jake Kory. “If the show is good, the guest responds with their energy which feeds the artist back, causing a snowball effect. ... If conditions are right, there’s nothing else like it.” Order the whiskey maple glazed spare ribs and pair with an adult slushy while listening to one of their favorite bands in rotation: DayWeather, Rose Colored Eyes, Wyves, Mr. Mal Band, Black Bottom Lighters, or People Who Could Fly.
Old Town Tavern7320 East Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale
Old Town Tavern, tucked into a corner of Old Town Scottsdale, isn't easy to find. But once you know how to find it, you'll be back. The vibe is distinctly down-to-earth and friendly — the many regulars welcome the tourists with gusto. And no matter what night you show up, you'll catch great sets by local musicians like Daylon Greer of Elvis Before Noon, Corey Gloden of Wyves, and country-rock band Honeygirl. Order yourself a cheap drink, introduce yourself to the person on the next barstool, and enjoy.
Yucca Tap Room29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
Yucca Tap Room, Tempe’s original live music venue, has been a staple of the music scene for over 40 years. The eclectic bar boasts the Electric Bat Arcade and its tropical drinks, plus it serves Asian-fusion cuisine like fried chicken baos and Blasted from Bangkok bulgogi fries.
Yucca’s goal is to be friendly and approachable all-around. “Most artists know they can talk face-to-face with the folks in charge of the show if they have any concerns or suggestions,” says Ben Talty, Yucca Tap Room’s music director. “We’re a place to hang out, not just see a show.” Past bands you could hang out with include Less Than Jake and Death South, and look forward to Guttermouth and Ignite in the upcoming year.
Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen50 West Jefferson Street
Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen has been bringing good food and live music to listeners and diners for over 10 years.
“Live music is a 360-degree experience. The artists on our stage feed off of the energy from the room and vice versa. It’s something that dj’s and regular piped-in music can’t re-create,” says Ryan Handlesman, marketing and business development director for Copper Blues. Artists like Fitz and the Tantrums, Rock Lobster, The Pick Up Lines, and The Insta Classics and other musicians of all genres have graced the stage. Order the enormous nachos — they're built to share with a dozen ingredients and house-made beer cheese smothered on top.