Bars & Pubs

Is Live Music The Ticket To A Good Date?

By Susannah George
29th May 2013

On a recent Saturday afternoon, an intelligent, beautiful, and cultured young lady ended up chatting to me (why, I'm still not sure) about all things you chat about on a random first meeting over a few drinks. As we shared stories, the topic of music arose and, unwittingly, I named a band that was coming to Brisbane the following week. Acting on instinct alone, I made a very tentative and anything-but-smooth suggestion that perhaps we could go together, and somehow found myself with a date to The Tivoli the following Friday.

I thought dinner and a show could be a little over-the-top for a first date, so I thought a few drinks before was the perfect way to start. The valley offers a plethora of drinking spots, but Alfred and Constance, just 'round the corner, (before the Friday night rush, and after the suits) provided the perfect spot for a couple of music goers to have a couple of drinks. 

This is where the beauty of the live music show began to show itself. The anticipation of the show, the band, the genre, past shows, future shows, travelling stories, all flowing from something that hadn't even begun. 

As we entered the venue, it was not too busy and, as the show played out, there wasn't the need to talk jobs, futures, past relationships, or show off any below par dance moves (mine), which was a great relief. The relaxing, positive energy radiated throughout the room and the date. It was an experience rather than a meeting, and with a few choice words here and there, a bit of sway, and a  couple more drinks, we've had a great night. 

Brisbane's fantastic live music venues offer a range of music, and provide options for all budgets, tastes, and relationships. Here are my picks of the live music venues in Brisbane:

The Tivoli
Offers a range of different styles of music and international acts to impress your date. There are plenty of fantastic bars close by to have a drink, including Alfred and Constance, Limes Rooftop Bar, and The Waterloo Hotel, as well as the Emporium for a great meal to start the night.

The Zoo
A true rock-and-roll live music venue. It may not be flash, but it's all about the music here —the ambience will only add to the experience. They have a variety of acts, which play there on a number of different nights of the week. You might find a hidden gem in her favourite genre that will cost $20. Not mention you'll seem awfully hip and cool.

Black Bear Lodge
Tucked up in the Valley mall (where the old Troubadour used to be) and a quick stroll from so many of the Valley's favourite restaurants, Black Bear Lodge is an intimate venue that has a relaxed, hip atmosphere, with a great bar and music throughout the week. Funky beats, rocking bands, mellow acoustic, you name it. Black Bear has something to cater to whoever you are and however you want your date to feel. You can dance, sit and look out over the mall  and chill, or rock out—just find your night.

The Hi-Fi
Located in the heart of West End, The Hi-Fi attracts some of the biggest acts in town, but also has many up-and-comers and internationals that you won't hear on the radio. There are always events over the weekend and during the week, and West End provides so many options for delicious bites to eat beforehand and a perfect wind-down beverage after.

Beetle Bar
The Beetle Bar is found near the top of Milton Road and around the corner from Caxton Street. It is committed to live music in a variety of sounds and styles. Perhaps you won't find the biggest names, but there is a guarantee of live, local music and a great atmosphere. The Barracks lies just across the road, so pop into Cabiria for a drink beforehand, If you like. 

Brisbane Powerhouse
I could not leave the Powerhouse off this list. Its location is perfect—surrounded by restaurants (Bar Alto is one of our favourite spots, in Brisbane), and featuring all types of musical acts—big and small names alike.

Brisbane Jazz Club
Between the Powerhouse and the Brisbane Jazz Club, I know you jazz lovers can certainly find yourself a good time. All that dancing frightens me, I'm just not that smooth, but for those who are game, there is no better place to strut your stuff. 

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