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The best live music venues in Singapore

At these live music venues, facing the music has a much more exhilarating meaning

esplanade, baybeats
By Time Out Singapore editors |
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The nightscape of our city is filled with an endless array of bars, cafés, and restaurants ready to tug at your heartstrings or urge the old-school headbangin’ and foot-tapping with some live tunes. Scream your heart out at Wala Wala, or meditate with the soul enriching Jazz from Astor Bar. These are the best live music venues in Singapore that you’ll want to clear your evening schedule for – with a beer or cocktail in hand, of course.

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Restaurants

Rookery

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

Rookery has the makings of a perfect night-out: a wide variety of hearty grub, affordable drinks, and entertaining live performances. Grab a seat near the stage, and get ready to be serenaded by local pop-rock duo Sandz and Gideon as you enjoy affordable drinks and signatures like its crispy pork belly ($17) and har cheong gai wings ($16). The duo takes the stage every Thursday and Friday evening to help you unwind with a tipple in hand – the perfect way to get ready for the weekend.

Time Out Singapore in partnership with Rookery

Restaurants

Le Noir

icon-location-pin Marina Bay

Showing no signs of slowing down, Le Noir opens its second doors at the Marina Bay Sands. This live music venue shines its spotlight on an array of local talents alongside signature bands, taking you from chill acoustic sets to hand-clapping singalongs from 6.15pm daily. Guests can also enjoy all-day and all-night dining menu including tantalising starters and sharing plates like crab cakes and salmon ceviche, delectable mains like steak tartare and handmade pizzas, and more, while soaking in the sweet sounds of live music.

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Bars and pubs, Members' clubs

Maduro

icon-location-pin Tanglin

Bring your appetite tipples and tunes to Dempsey's latest addition. Besides shelving a variety of scotch and whiskeys from all around the world, the cocktail bar and listening lounge also hosts two live music nights –1819 Tuesdays and Tiara Friday Club – dedicated to all your favourite classics from swingin' jazz to classical music. On May 24, 25 and 28, indulge in its opening weekend specials featuring jazz songbird Melissa Tham, jazz veteran Alemay Fernandez, acclaimed jazz pianist Tan Wei Xiang, The Steve McQueen’s former percussionist Aaron James Lee and freelance bassist Kenji Nakano.

Cool Cats
Photo: Raymond Toh
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Cool Cats

icon-location-pin City Hall

Jazz things up at Cool Cats, the NCO Club's live entertainment lounge, which sees a rotation of resident artists gracing its stage. Lay eyes on the secretive speakeasy that exudes the enigmatic charm of the prohibition era. Plus, its cocktail menu is inspired by moments in music. There are 14 tipples available that cover everything from 1800s ragtime to legendary jazz artists Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington.

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Restaurants, Italian

Monti

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

Over at Fullerton Pavilion is this swanky Italian restaurant and bar that's pulsing with life by the bay. Jazz up your musical romantic escapade and let the restaurant’s resident jazz band carry you through the night from 7.30pm with soothing blues and funk as you dig into hearty plates of Italian dishes. The lineup changes monthly with regular appearances by jazz stalwarts Jeremy Monteiro and Stephan Francis.

Music

Esplanade Theatres on the Bay

icon-location-pin City Hall

When it comes to catching a live music performance, the Esplanade is a no-brainer. Make a beeline for its series of free live sets by local artists at its various venues happening daily. Soak up the stunning view of the bay at the spacious outdoor theatre or chill at the air-conditioned indoor concourse, either way, you're in for a riveting evening.

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scape
Photo: *Scape
Shopping, Shopping centres

*SCAPE

icon-location-pin Orchard

More than just a lifestyle hub for Singapore's youths, *Scape also makes an ace spot for budding musicians to hone their skills and flex their chops. Graduates of the *Scape's music programmes include indie darling Linying and our March cover star YAØ have performed at the Orchard hotspot. For a taste of the local music scene, check out *SCAPE Indie Series: Crossroads Vol. 1 on May 25.

Attractions, Parks and gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

icon-location-pin Tanglin

Grab a picnic basket and head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage hosts a myriad of free music performances, including the NParks Concert Series in the Park, Garden Sounds and Music Day Out. The Symphony Lake also makes an ace spot for an evening of classical music, acapella shows, intimate acoustics and throwback tunes. Remember to BYOB (bring your own blanket) – because grass stains are a no-no.

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Hard Rock Cafe
Photo: William Lai
Music, Music venues

Hard Rock Café

icon-location-pin Orchard

Well, its name says it all. This Orchard hideout is one of the longest-standing live music venues in the city. It's not all hard rock as well. Hard Rock Café consistently rotates a variety of genres like rock and reggae to keep its line-up fresh. It also maintains strong ties with the local music scene and champions up-and-coming artists.

 

Bars and pubs

Crazy Elephant

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

More than two decades. That’s how long this institution has been around. With its interiors reminiscent of American dive bars – graffitied walls, silly jokes on screens, wood everywhere – it shouldn’t shock you that good, old-time rock ’n’ roll rules the stage. The blues start at 10pm, when a cavalcade of cover bands with serious chops belt out your favourite Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes.

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Get in the groove

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