- Shane Ritschard
- The Black Sheep is one of our fave local venues
Those who browse the Indy's weekly Playing Around section or online concert listings may notice that on any night of the week, you're likely to find some live music worth your time and dime. Local musicians and big-name touring acts alike find eager crowds at our area's established and emerging music venues. Whether your tastes skew toward metal, blues, EDM, punk or, well, anything else, you should check out these active Springs stages.
The Black Sheep
2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com
Since 2005, The Black Sheep has brought some big talent to its small stage, promising an intimate experience with many bands who usually play way larger venues. In just the last year, they've hosted everyone from Insane Clown Posse to Reel Big Fish — more than we could possibly count, hopping genres from show to show to supply the area's demand for quality live music. What's more, The Black Sheep is an all-ages venue that has maintained a solid reputation for making sure everyone from 16-year-old punk wannabes to seasoned metalheads have experiences there that'll last a lifetime.
Pikes Peak Center
190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com
If you're looking for those big-budget, big-name touring acts, you're likely to find the spectacle of your choice at the Pikes Peak Center. This 2,000-seat concert hall has a diverse roster of programming that includes the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's full concert season, touring Broadway shows and classic rock, pop and world acts like Alice Cooper, Chicago and Celtic Woman. Yeah, like we said, diverse. Ticket prices run a bit higher than at most other local venues, but you pay for what you get when it comes to this level of national touring talent.
10 S. Parkside Drive, stargazerstheatre.com
Stargazers does a bit of everything, but you'll find they specialize in blues and tribute bands such as Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience, The Long Run: Colorado's Tribute to the Eagles, and many more. But Stargazers offers all this alongside a variety of other genres, performed by locals and touring acts alike. It's also one of the most active venues in town, with something going on at least once a week, year-round. The venue will celebrate its 10th anniversary throughout 2019, so wish them a happy birthday at the next show.
1604 S. Cascade Ave., ivywildschool.com
Locals can always count on the Ivywild School to bring in those indie-rock and indie-folk acts that you might otherwise only find in Denver — if you're lucky. This renovated former schoolhouse gymnasium hosts the big acts, but the school itself also includes a full restaurant and cocktail bar, Bristol Brewing Company's taphouse and Axe and the Oak Whiskey House, each with small stages for locals.
230 Pueblo Ave., zodiacvenue.com
It may look like a dive bar at first glance, but the Zodiac has transformed over the last decade into a hotspot for live music, burlesque, an insanely popular weekly open mic night on Mondays and plenty more.
3506 N. Academy Blvd., thesocial719.com
In 2018, The Social stepped into the North Academy location once commanded by Rawkus. Now, with multiple bars and an eclectic mix of live music and special events, The Social looks to have established itself as its own unique destination. Look through the Social calendar for hip-hop and EDM, plus monthly blues and barbecue nights, R&B and jazz and some of the area's best DJs. It's got a friendly and hip atmosphere, and a supremely fitting name.
26 S. Wahsatch Ave., facebook.com/triple-nickeltavern
In December of 2018, Triple Nickel owner JJ Grueter posted on Facebook that, hey, it had been a good run, but the Nickel would soon be closing its doors for good. For 12 years, this venue had provided a necessary home for the area's punk scene, inviting in bands that didn't have many local options after the The Flux Capacitor closed in 2016. Recognizing the need for a place like the Triple Nickel, fans and supporters stepped up and offered to pitch in to help Grueter with operations to keep the Nickel running. It has since moved into the space next door, revamped itself and reaffirmed its commitment to bringing the best punk, metal and good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll to the area.
And there's more
The Gold Room
18 S. Nevada Ave., goldroomlive.com
A snazzy Art Deco lounge offering bluegrass, blues, dance and more.
Motif Jazz Café
182 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., motifjazzcafe.com
An intimate jazz club with a slick atmosphere and tons of local and touring talent.
3970 Clear View Frontage Road, sunshinestudioslive.com
Bringing in touring acts that lean toward metal and hard rock, supported by plentiful local bands.
Soul. Community. Planet.
2850 S. Circle Drive, scphotel.com
Brand new hotel and music venue on the Southside with a cool vibe.
Front Range Barbeque
2330 W. Colorado Ave., frbbq.com
Your home for bluegrass and alt-country in Colorado Springs.
Peak 31 @ Union Station
2419 N. Union Blvd., peak31csprings.com
Touring and local bands of all genres weekly. Tip: Try the wings.
See calendar on p. 32 for some of our favorite annual music festivals.