Orlando Live Music Joints: 11 Places for Great Sounds
Do you love sitting in a cool place, hearing a great band play in front of you? Who doesn’t! Are you a concert dancer who loves to rock out? I hear ya. Orlando live music awaits you!
We’ve got some great recommendations. If you want to take some friends, or go solo, to hear great bands, check out my list below. Orlando can be tough—if you’re an indie kid, artsy type. So avoid the suburbanites and the tourists.
1. The Social— Orlando Live Music in an Intimate Setting
This is my all-time fav (as long as the band is decent.) It’s just so intimate and such a classic charm place. So many great memories of life have happened here, amongst the little stage and good little acoustics. I’ll never forget the day my sister & I wandered into a Nouvelle Vague concert here, they just took over and absorbed the venue. The nice thing about small venues is that the artists really consume the place.
Address: 54 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
Hours: Open today · 8PM–2AM
2. Backbooth—Great Band Party in a Pub Vibe
Backbook has quite a few decent bands come through. A little more downtown trash feeling than other places, but fun for grabbing a drink and seeing a good band. Sure gets loud in there, but that can be a good thing if you love the sound of the band you’re there to hear.
Address: 37 W Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801
3. Grand Bohemian—Elegant Orlando Live Music in a Classy Setting
This is more the gypsy jazz with the martini place. It’s pretty posh and high end feeling. (We usually end up here after a wedding when we don’t know where to head in our bridesmaid dresses.) It’s nice for a fancy date night. Check to see who’s playing—some really good bands do play here. If you’re into a 3 piece cello band, check out the Cook Trio. They’ve played here before & we really enjoyed them. (Very ‘Midnight in Paris’ vibe.) You can’t really check their website, but if you call, sometimes the front desk people can tell you who’s playing this evening or weekend.
Address: 325 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
4. Venue 578 (Formerly Firestone Live)—Major Bands Play Orlando Live Music
This is a big venue. Think lots of dancing. Lots of people. The big singers hit this place. If you want to rock out to Phantogram, you’ll end up here. Not intimate, not cutesy. But it serves a purpose. It lets you see Animal Collective, Foster for the People, and other big name bands. I prefer this music venue to House of Blues! (At least you can avoid I-4 and the Disney mess of traffic.)
Address: 578 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
5. Stardust—Local Band Fun
This is a small coffee shop place, but sometimes good local bands play. Think: unknown people, local (very good!) artists. And some open mic (that can be painful). It’s a fun local joint. You can meet people. Hang outside. Run into friends. Enjoy relaxing in chill Winter Park. It’s good for its own reasons.
Address: 1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Open today · 7AM–12AM
6. Plaza Theater Live—Big Names in a Vintage Theater
This is a nice theater, which is a theater, so it’s a little weird sometimes for concerts. Kinda messes with my ‘dance it up’ vibe. But if you want to see the likes of bands like Of Montreal, Modest Mouse and the like—you’ll probably find them here.
Address: 425 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 228-1220
7. Salsa Heat—Learn to Dance to Orlando Live Music
Okay hipsters, you live in Orlando now (or you’re at least visiting.) It you want to go dance your butt off salsa heat style, you can try a Friday night for $5 at salsa heat. Watch out! You may have an embarrassingly lot of fun. 🙂 I recommend taking your Spanish dancer friends you can find.
Several location. See website for details.
8. Samba Room—Best Cuban Sounds away from Miami
After you learn to dance at Salsa Heat, head to Samba Room for the best Orlando live music of the Latin genre. The food is actually really good too. The Cuban guys on bongos are just amazing though! Even if you HATE Latin music, you should at least hear it here. It’s the best thing North of Miami.
Located in: Publix Super Market at Plaza Venezia
Address: 7468 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
9. Park Avenue CDs—Cute Hipster CD Place, with Bands Playing Orlando Live Music
Really…a cd shop? Yes. It’s just fun, and the used records are well priced. You’ll find cool local gifts there. Local bands perform as they come to town at times. Call them up or drop by to check on what’s playing this week. (Sometimes you can catch the likes of Vampire Weekend here for $10ish or less.) It’s a tad pretentious inside, but come on—it’s a hipster cd & record shop. It’s bound to have that vibe. In Brooklyn it would fit right in to the woodwork.
Address: 2916 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
10. Relight Redlight—Great Beer, Great Sounds
The sweet beer shop has plenty of space for a large crowd, but retains its arty vibe. On weekends, there are some fun bands who play Orlando live music there. Check out their site or their Facebook for what’s coming up this weekend. We’ve seen good gypsy music here. Or a good beer and Orlando live music, this can be a gem on the weekends.
Address: 2810 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
11. The Sax Guy on Park Ave, Winter Park—Support a Local!
Okay, this sounds lame? Not if you’re into having an intimate date & just chat on a bench (for free.) It’s delightful to hear this guy on (most) Saturdays mournfully pour his heart into his saxophone Saturday evenings on Park Ave. Bring your own wine & cups. Sit under the twinkle lights & enjoy him. (To be a decent human, do go throw a few bucks in his music case.)
Address: Park Ave, near William’s Sonoma outside on a sidewalk
If you haven’t tried these places for Orlando live music, you should. End of story. 🙂 It’s always a good idea to check who’s playing before you drop in, but sometimes a surprise can be nice too. Enjoy!