Live music and clubs in Rio de Janeiro
First came the restaurants, then the arts and now the live music and underground club scenes have exploded in Rio de Janeiro – and it’s well known that a night you’ll never forget but struggle to remember is one of the mandatory things to do in Rio de Janeiro. In the wake of the city’s renaissance it seems that no disused space is safe from the plugging in of a few thousand watts of impromptu late-night fun.
Two beautiful converted mansions – Bar Bukowski and Casa Rosa – offer a more accessible insight into the city’s alternative scene playing everything from indie, samba-rock and hip hop to Balkan beats, but it is to the glitzy 00 (‘Zero Zero’) or the grittier, more underground Fosfobox you must head for a weekend slice of house music hedonism, Brazil style.
Live sounds will always hold a cherished place in Rio’s musical make up, and Carnival’s numerous bloco bands, attracting tens of thousands for their annual seasonal blowout, take to stages like the outdoor, palm-lined weekend favourite Circo Voador throughout the year.
Similarly mixing live music and diverse parties from Tuesday to Saturday, the beachfront Studio RJ has developed an untouchable reputation among Ipanema’s surprisingly scarce nightlife, and the beautifully restored villa Casarão Ameno Resedá is boldly leading an after-dark revival in Catete with a strong live music line up and excellent, French-helmed restaurant.
For its part, Lapa by night, particularly on a Friday or on the eve of a public holiday, is the epicenter of all things samba and street party. Just beyond the iconic white aqueduct stands Carioca da Gema, where every night of the week bands play and locals dance like they’re floating on air. Back towards the port zone, Trapiche Gamboa combines a stunning setting with impeccable samba sounds, and for a nearby outdoor adventure, the weekly Pedra do Sal roda de samba offers up an unbeatable slice of the city’s nightlife.
Bar Bukowski Rua Álvaro Ramos 270, Botafogo. +55 21 2244 7303.
Casa Rosa Rua Alice 550, Laranjeiras. +55 21 3079 0550.
00 Avenida Padre Leonel Franca 240, Gávea. +55 21 2540 8041.
FosfoboxRua Siqueira Campos 143/22a, Copacabana. +55 21 2548 7498.
Circo Voador Rua dos Arcos, Lapa. +55 21 2533 0354.
Studio RJ Avenida Vieira Souto 110, Arpoador. +55 21 2523 1204.
Casarão Ameno Resedá Rua Bento Lisboa 4, Catete. +55 21 2556 2427.
Carioca da Gema Avenida Mem de Sá 79, Lapa. +55 21 2221 0043.
Trapiche Gamboa Rua Sacadura Cabral 155, Centro. +55 21 2516 0868.
Pedra do Sal Largo João da Baiana, Rua Argemiro Bulcão, Centro.
For in-depth and up to date coverage of all that’s going on in Brazil by local experts – from food and drink to arts and entertainment – visit our local edition at Time Out Rio de Janeiro.