The Portland/Vancouver area benefits from a thriving live music scene. In addition to the many permanent musical companies like the Oregon Symphony or the Portland Opera, national and regional touring musicians come to perform at a number of great local venues. Here are a few of Portland's hottest places to hear live music:
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209 503-225-0047
"Dancing on air" is the key phrase for the nationally recognized Crystal Ballroom. Located three floors above street level, the ballroom's unique mechanical floor sways with the audience, bringing crowd participation to a new level.
Originally opened as a ballroom in 1914, this historic venue hosted many dance revivals and cultural celebrations. In the 60's the ballroom was reinvented as a home for soul and rock & roll. The McMenamin brothers reopened the venue in 1997, and today it hosts top acts in genres ranging from hip-hop to country. Read more at www.mcmenamins.com.
320 SE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214 503-235-4424
Jimmy Mak's is the kind of jazz club that can convert even non-believers into jazz fans. The cozy upstairs jazz lounge presents top-notch musicians, and the downstairs smoking bar is a popular weekend spot. The kitchen features American and Greek cuisine, and a full bar prepares cocktails. If you don't want to stand during a show, book a table for dinner or show up at least an hour in advance. Read more at www.jimmymaks.com.
300 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 503-295-6542
The surroundings more than live up to the name of this decadent bar and music venue. The dark atmosphere is complemented by red velvet curtains, glowing red bars, candles, and even a fire pit. The stage attracts a wide variety of acts, and an "eclectic" crowd frequents the club. Dante's makes the most out of its namesake by hosting a number of appropriately titled theme nights such as "Karaoke From Hell" and "Soul Kitchen". A popular spot, but not for the faint of heart.
2280 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210 503-228-6178
A casual nightspot with a small stage and bar alongside, the Green Room features local talent throughout the week, with bigger acts on the weekends. A full kitchen and bar serve a wide variety of food and spirits, and the spacious back patio can be reserved for private parties.
8 NW Sixth Ave, Portland, OR 97201 503-219-9929
The theater hosts an eclectic mix of acts, and the audience varies accordingly. The main floor is all ages, but the 21 and up crowd can retreat to the balcony for better views and a full service bar. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but the Roseland remains a great place to hear quality live music.