New Orleans is a place all its own, the city has a pulse and a vibe about it that when you are there it just draws you in. One of the biggest things that this city relies on to bring people in and get them to see the beauty that lies under the surface is the music that comes from one of the many live music venues in the city. With so many live music venues, it can be a bit troubling to find the best of the best. This list will give you an idea as to some of the best places to catch live music in New Orleans.
This is a venue that is almost as much of a legend as some of the names that have played here. First opened in 1977 when a group of music lovers that called themselves “The Fabulous Fo’teen” made the decision to open a place where local music legend Professor Longhair could play in the last years of his life. The way that the place got its name was from one of his most loved songs Tipitina. The stage at Tipitina’s has been home to some of the biggest names over the years, including Willie Nelson, Wilco, and Pearl Jam. Along with the amazing décor inside, there is the Walk of Fame on the sidewalk outside of the venue.
Rock ‘n’ Bowl
Here is a venue that will take a person by surprise as being a music venue. Few places can mix the sound of Jazz along with the sounds of pins of a bowling alley. Rock ‘n’ Bowl is able to take these two and make them mix without any issues. Opened in 1988, the spirit of the venue has even survived a hurricane. When Hurricane Katrina hit the city, many thought that it was the final frame for the Rock ‘n’ Bowl. In 2009 the new venue opened just a mere 12 blocks from where the original was located. With the theme nights that the venue has, there is something for everyone. Here is a venue that has been able to take bowling, amazing food, and live music and turn it into a must visit for any person coming to the city.
This is one of those places that if you don’t know it exists, then you will overlook it. Located in a building that dates to the 18th century. The building is very much the definition of the word ramshackle. Preservation Hall does not have any real seating unless you count the wooden benches that are inside. In the summertime, there is no real air-conditioning that can be utilized. All of this being said, people will still line up outside of the venue as early as 6 pm to ensure that they are able to be allowed inside. Shows are held three times a night and feature some of the hottest jazz that the city has to offer.
This is not really a venue as much as it’s a set of venues that are located on this iconic street. One of the most recognizable of these venues is the Spotted Cat. Here is a venue that features live music on a nightly basis as well as a bar that serves up the best drinks that NOLA has to offer. The Spotted Cat is so iconic, that CNN, in 2017, visited for part of their New Year’s coverage broadcast from the city. Another spot that you may want to check out as well is actually located across from the Spotted Cat. Snug Harbor is another venue that offers amazing food as well as live music nightly.
Maple Leaf Bar
If Jazz is not quite what you are looking for, then you can head to the Maple Leaf Bar and take in some of the best of the rest in music that New Orleans has to offer. Zydeco, funk, and blues are all offered at this little venue that was the first venue to reopen its doors after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.