From Iconic Venues to Outdoor Concerts, Catch Live Tunes All Across the City
Live music always sets the scene for a summertime soirée. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away in Hollywood or enjoy golden hour on a sprawling golf course in Venice, live tunes are definitely the move this summer. Though LA is home to some of the most iconic concert venues in the world, there are also plenty of bars and clubs that host talented local performers. From iconic speakeasies and desert-themed bars to cozy plazas at popular retail centers, here’s where to enjoy live music in LA this summer.
Summer Concerts in The Plaza is bringing groovy tunes and great vibes to Manhattan Village all summer long. The performances will take place every Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. until Aug. 31 and will range from rock music to country. Enjoy pre-show dinner and drinks at Mercado or pop by the summer concert Cocktail Garden for zesty margaritas. You can even commemorate the evening with a cute photo at the center’s Selfie Station. Those that spend at least $50 at any on-site shops or restaurants will also win a free Manhattan Village picnic blanket that’s perfect for all of your summer outings and beach days.
Location: Manhattan Beach
There’s no better way to spend a summer Friday than at the Penmar’s Sunset Sessions. Kick back on the lush green golf course with some pillows and blankets as you enjoy beachy tunes from low-key bands and singers. If you get hungry or thirsty, stop by one of the concessions and pick up a can of Flying Embers margarita and some barbacoa tacos. Tickets are only $11, making this a budget-friendly activity that also happens to be one of the most beloved summer events on the Westside. Pro tip: Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and you’ll want to get there as early as possible to beat the crowd.
Since opening at the end of 2021, Desert 5 Spot has become one of the hottest rooftop bars in LA. This Palm Springs-inspired bar transports you to the desert disco of your dreams. Slip on your cowboy boots for live music on Fridays and Saturdays, featuring Johnny Travis Jr. and the Desert 5 Band. End the night with upbeat tunes from resident DJ Corey Biggs. Desert 5 Spot is the ultimate bar for a girls’ night out, and best of all, you can sip on some amazing cocktails. Don’t skip the Ring of Fire, which is made with mezcal, prickly pear and a zesty ginger honey.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s is one of the coolest speakeasies in Hollywood. Upon arrival, guests walk through a refrigerator and into a bar that feels more like a classic house party. In addition to DJ performances on the weekends, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s also hosts live music on Wednesdays. The musicians typically set up inside, but if you need a minute to catch your breath, simply head out to the cozy patio and kick back in one of the hammocks or daybeds. The Honky Tonk Happy Hour also starts at 8 p.m., so you can enjoy discounted drinks during the show.
Delilah, in West Hollywood, is a modern supper club that has hosted the likes of Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber and Drake. Located on Santa Monica Blvd, Delilah boasts an exclusive vibe and vintage decor that’ll transport you back to the 1920s. While you may come for dinner, you’ll definitely want to stay for the late-night live performances. If you’re looking to live in luxury, splurge on bottle service while you watch talented dancers groove to a live jazz band. As the night continues, expect hip-hop and party tunes to take over.
Location: West Hollywood
Winston House switches between live performers and DJs Wednesday through Saturday. This Venice Beach hot spot acts as a restaurant, bar and music venue, and it’s without a doubt one of the most favored bars on the Westside. Wednesday nights feature either a live piano performance or vinyl tunes during dinner, resulting in a timeless ambiance. Expect a shift in vibes at 9 p.m. on Thursdays since the music changes from mellow sounds to vibrant beats with a live band or DJ. Fridays and Saturdays both get pretty rowdy after 10 p.m., and getting in can be a hassle. If you visit for a late dinner, however, you can transition into the rest of your evening with ease.
Location: Venice Beach
The Hollywood Bowl is one of, if not the most iconic concert venue in LA. Having been around since 1922, it has hosted some of the industry’s biggest stars, including The Beatles, Sonny & Cher and Adele. However, in addition to all of your favorite artists, the Hollywood Bowl also throws an array of more low-key live music events, like shows by the LA Philharmonic and Reggae Nights. Reserve a box seat and let the music take you away. Though guests are able to bring their own food, sitting in the box seats also means getting premium access to tasty meals and an extensive wine list. You can even plan ahead and pre-reserve your meal and enjoy dishes like diver scallops with saffron risotto and fresh ceviche.
The Greek Theatre is a one-of-a-kind amphitheater that places guests in the heart of Griffith Park. Sit surrounded by nature and trees while listening to legendary artists along with smaller, up-and-coming groups. This summer, the Greek Theatre is set to host everyone from Ziggy Marley to Dominic Fike. No matter where you sit, the stage view is great, and the sound quality is top-notch thanks to the architecture of the amphitheater. Grab some tasty pork and cabbage dumplings from Dumpling House in the Star Lounge or visit one of the concession stands for chicken tenders and an ice-cold beer.
Location: Los Angeles
Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.