Perth has been the breeding ground for musical legends like Tame Impala, San Cisco, Birds of Tokyo, the John Butler Trio and many more who all started out playing gigs at small live music venues. So pop on your dancing shoes and head out in search of some great live music in Perth this weekend, you never know who you might discover (or rediscover).
Here are some of the best spots to catch live music in Perth, from awesome local musicians to renowned international acts.
A self-proclaimed mecca of dance and diversity, Magnet House has burst onto the nightlife and live music scene. With acts like Chillinit, Boys Like Girls and The Chats among the first line-up of artists to perform, you’re going to want to get yourself onto the glittering dancefloor and party the night away under the $1.5 million kinetic lighting system.
Connected to Magnet House but technically an entirely different venue, Amplifier is the perfect venue to watch loud bands and get messy. Actually… the messier you get the better. Amplifier has an indoor room where the bands play and an outdoor courtyard for boozing and schmoozing. It’s raw and grimy and has hosted some amazing gigs.
The Sewing Room
The Sewing Room will take you back to those old-school basement parties, complete with its shabby setting and underground location. Right in the heart of the CBD, The Sewing Room is a mecca for local talent, including DJs and new garage-bred musicians who dream of performing for a live audience. The location was previously the sewing room of the top-end Pierucci fashion label until 2012, so it is quite literally, a pretty trendy place to let loose. And don’t worry, your screams won’t shatter any windows in the city because the venue is practically soundproof.
When Freo.Social took over the old Drill Hall in Fremantle—giving it a $250,000 makeover—we knew there’d be some incredible bands, eats and brews coming to town. The hall can hold as many as 550 people, and with the cutting-edge sound system, there’s no shortage of good times to be had here. The line-up is always changing, and you can find announcements here.
The Bird was born thanks to a group of good friends who noticed the gap in live music venues in Perth a few years back and it’s since become one of Perth's best live music venues. This intimate and grungy venue hosts underground music and arts almost every night of the week. Perch on a church pew and listen to some beats or hang out in the cute little courtyard and chew the fat.
Jack Rabbit Slim’s
Follow the white rabbit down the hole at Jack Rabbit Slim’s and enter a 1950s Pulp Fiction inspired diner where you can feast on fries and alcoholic milkshakes before going through refrigerator doors to the live music room. Jack Rabbit Slim’s hosts a wide variety of live music including rock, indie, hip hop, R&B and electronic music.
The Rosemount Hotel has won several awards as a live music venue in Perth and hosts local, national and international bands most nights of the week. Not to name drop or anything, but some of the talent that has played at the Rosemount includes Mudhoney, Gossip and Dinosaur Jr. There’s also a large outdoor courtyard and beer garden where DJs and acoustic musicians often play.
The Astor Theatre opened in 1919 and was originally called the Lyceum. It has a long history of usages including dancing, orchestra, karate, silent movies, adult and Italian films and as a bingo hall, but now hosts a variety of shows including live music. This majestic art deco venue hosts talented local, national and international artists.
If you like your live music served with tacos and tequila, then El Grotto is the place for you. This Mexican style bar and taqueria brings some of Perth’s best local music to the venue each week. There’s a lot of talented DJ action but also some great local bands.
Rodney’s Bait ‘N’ Tackle
Rodney’s is everyone’s favourite fishing-themed bar and they host acoustic entertainment most nights of the week. The bar at this quirky nautical venue is a 30-foot long fishing boat and there’s historic fishing curios adorning the walls. It’s the perfect haven for drunken sailors to sing sea shanties.
The underground cave-like Aardvark Bar is in the basement of the Norfolk Hotel and hosts some great bands. Get stuck into the wall of alcohol and enjoy watching talented musicians up close and personal.
Mojos is the all you can eat equivalent of live music venues with bands playing throughout the week. Mojos hosts a wide variety of music genres from obvious to obscure and friendly to furious.
The Ellington Jazz Club
The Ellington Jazz Club is as smooth and slick as the hair once was of the king of jazz himself, Duke Ellington. This cosy little venue hosts the cream of the jazz crop but also has blues, soul, folk, rock and R&B bands.
Clancy’s Fish Pub
The true blue Clancy’s Fish Pub is a champion of Fremantle’s rich music history and hosts a variety of music from first time acts and school bands to indie hipsters and world-renowned touring acts. You can find their current line-up of incredible bands and solo acts straight from the streets of Perth here.
The Newport Hotel hosts live music events that showcase leading musicians playing tribute to a diverse range of bands and classic albums. On Saturdays, head to the front bar for bands and live music. Check it out for more nostalgia than you can shake a drum stick at.
Fremantle Arts Centre
The beautiful Fremantle Arts Centre is a heritage building that was previously a mental asylum in the 1800s and is allegedly haunted. Surrounding the building are three killer outdoor live music venues—the large south lawn area, the front garden and the inner courtyard. One of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in summer is at the free annual summer concert series in the front garden. We're pretty sure that loud music scares the ghosts away.
Walking into Badlands Bar is like walking into a devil’s lair crossed with Fred Flintstone’s cave. Formerly Deville’s Pad, Badlands Bar still has a main gig room but has been renovated so there’s an additional maximum voltage Hen House Live small gig room where you can see up and coming bands while ordering your drinks through a hole in the wall.
Want to explore more awesome bars? Here are the best rooftop bars in Perth.
Mojos | Image credit: Elle Borgward