Melbourne is the musician's dream city: there's a vibrant independent music scene, and our live venues have become launching pads for bands and solo artists alike.
As music fans, it also means we're spoiled for choice. We've rounded up a list of places to see excellent live music any night of the week. If you're after a feed and a drink beforehand, check out our 50 best pubs in Melbourne. And if you want to pull some shapes, here are the best bars for dancing.
Don’t have to be in bed early on Monday? Head to Monday Night Mass at Northcote Social Club. This long-running event showcases three underground talents for free every week. The best part is, your gig comes with $15 parma and $15 jugs of Draught all night.
There are regular band residencies at The Gasometer, which means it’s not unusual to walk into a live gig mid-week in the plush-carpeted bandroom. The bands tend toward (but aren’t always) more chilled out electronic and indie acts on Tuesdays, perfect for a quiet night out.
The Tote has been booking a thrashing roster of local and international rock and punk bands for many years and this is what they do best. This is the place to be if you want to be part of Melbourne’s rock history and listen to music with real edge mid-week.
Every Thursday, the Toff hosts a cracking set of indie talent on its intimate stage. Stick around after the live acts for another Toff tradition: the Midnight Express. Here, expect killer DJ sets from 10pm way past midnight.
There seems to be an album launch nearly every other night at the Grace Darling and for good reason – the pub is a great launching pad for Melbourne’s edgiest up-and-coming bands. Fridays are especially good nights to catch a loud gig in the low-ceilinged downstairs bandroom.
If you want to feel like you’ve gone back in time to your high school formal, go to The Curtin on a Saturday night. The gold streamer curtains behind the stage always give performances a nostalgic feel, plus they consistently book ace young bands that often go on to bigger things.
Young bands seem to love playing at the Workers Club and its not hard to see why. Nearly every day of the week, bands can play to a crowd of music lovers who are up for listening to some fresh tunes over a few pints. Expect anything from surf-rock to electronic.