5 Live Music Lounges in Scottsdale
DJs spinning the latest music mixes at larger-than-life volumes above throngs of patrons are a dime a dozen in the Valley of the Sun. So, it begs the question: where’s the best place to catch live music? A spot to lounge with a friend or two, chat without losing your voice, and sip and savor the local flavors—as well as the local sounds. In this list of live music lounges in Scottsdale, there’s something for everyone. Admission is almost always free, and the music showcases it all: jazz, blues, American folk, bluegrass, popular covers, hip hop, and more. So arrive on the early side, find a cozy corner, and make a night of it.
Tucked away from the Talking Stick Resort casino floor is Shadows Lounge, an intimate spot with low lighting, cozy armchairs, velvet couches and vintage décor. Free, live music (think Americana, folk, R&B, jazz) ensues every evening from 8:30 p.m.- midnight. When the weather’s nice, listen from the large patio that connects by way of tall, retracting windows. A square overhang covers dozens of seating options, surrounding an open center courtyard with desert sky and sunset views. Keep in mind that this is a smoking lounge, with an impressive cigar list to boot. The beverage menu includes wine, martinis, and more than 70 scotches and whiskeys categorized by regions—Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands, the Isles—starting at under $10 a glass.
Pronounced “kaz-meer-ehz,” one of the only identifying signs at this tucked-away lounge in the heart of Scottsdale is a plaque above the castle-like wooden door that reads The Truth is Inside. And from Tuesday-Sunday starting around 9 p.m., what patrons find inside is live jazz, Latin, R&B, and world beats. Stacks of wine barrels, flickering candles, family photos and coin collections (paying tribute to owner Peter Kasperski’s father, a Chicago stone mason) overlook over a dozen small tables and cozy couches, while a few feet away, musicians perform against murals and golden stained glass. This worldly wine cave vibe is no joke: with more than 2,000 wines listed in a menu the size of a college textbook (a.k.a the “Bacchus Bible”), you can sip and savor flights, fondue, and flatbreads.
Walk through the Omni Scottsdale’s large courtyard to find the candlelit Mbar lounge, where live bands, including popular jazz and indie rock, play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Lounge in the large seating area and enjoy the fire pits, smoky mesquite fare from the kitchen (menu favorites include smoked salmon and calamari), and a full-service bar while chatting and enjoying the music.
Mastro’s is known for bringing upscale steakhouse and seafood spots to some of America’s most cosmopolitan cities, and Scottsdale, with a total of three locations, is no exception. But sitting in the extravagant dining room isn’t required to enjoy those chilled seafood towers and tender-as-buttah steaks. City Hall Steakhouse, in the heart of downtown, and Oceans Club in north Scottsdale, both offer elegant lounges where you’ll find similar menus and cocktails, as well as live music. Live entertainment starts every night at 6:30 p.m., and acts range from a single pianist/singer to a three-piece band, and include instrumental sets, jazz, covers of decades’ hits, and more. The lounges have fewer than 20 tables, so get there early—they often fill up by 7 p.m.
Looking for a little Southwest ambiance? Sip house-made infusions, sangria and signature margaritas while enjoying the live music at RBar. Located off the resort’s main lobby, this relaxed yet spirited lounge offers live music – often Western or Latin-inspired – every night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Settle in around one of the firepits on RBar’s spacious patio, or head inside where you’ll find soft lighting, flickering candles, and plush high-top, table, and bar seating.