From an early age, I was introduced to many different genres of music. Dad listened to folk, bluegrass, and jazz. Mom listened to 80s pop. My brothers listened to rock and heavy metal. My grandmother sang hymns and spirituals. I listened to Christian radio and pop radio. My aunt currently sings opera in Madrid, Spain. She started before I was born. And I am classically trained in opera, as well. (But I am definitely not at her level.)
Needless to say, I love ALL KINDS of MUSIC. And guess what? Colorado Springs offers just about everything!
My husband is also a musician. So over the six years we have lived in the Springs, we have discovered a lot of really cool live music venues around our beautiful city. There are many out there, but I will highlight my top five.
Top Five Live Music Venues in the Springs
The Pikes Peak Center: The Colorado Springs Philharmonic
The Pikes Peak Center is one of the most popular places to see live music. They feature Broadway musical, new artists, popular artists, ballet, and classical music. The venue is very large, seating almost 2,000 people. If you are looking for a more sophisticated night out, this is the place to be.
I want to highlight the Colorado Springs Philharmonic because they are a fabulous local professional group. The yearly programs they put on are fantastic. If you are a big fan of classical music, you will love the variety they perform year-round. And if you are new to classical music, they have some more modern concerts throughout the season that are sure to please. There is a wide range of seat pricing between $30 and $80 per ticket. Grab a nice dinner at any of the eateries downtown and then head over to the Pikes Peak Center for a wonderful night of music.
The Ent Center for the Arts
Have you ever wondered about the strange modern-shaped building off of Nevada and Garden of the Gods Road? That is the Ent Center for the Arts, built by the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). It is a new public venue for the arts, including visual art, dance, and music. Having just opened this past February (2018), it will host hundred of events and programs every year.
I had the pleasure of taking my three-year-old daughter to the Ent Center to see “Singing in the Rain, Jr.” performed by a local youth theatre group. It was wonderful. The show was fun, the music was great, and the venue is eclectic. The design of the building is fascinating. Everything, including the bathrooms, have a modern vibe. The building contains four separate music venues and a visual arts gallery. There are a couple of small cafes to buy food during the intermission of the programs. UCCS hosts many events at their venue, but other local groups rent and perform at the Ent Center. You can find out about tickets for specific events at UCCS Presents.
Motif Jazz Café
Motif Jazz Cafe honestly makes me feel like I am at jazz club in New Orleans, Chicago, or New York. This small jazz café is classy and intimate. There are no bad seats, and you feel like you are stepping back in time when you walk through the door. My husband and I have only been there once, but the music was intriguing and fun. You can tell that the musicians who play here (and they have a different jazz band every week) love what they do. Even if it wasn’t a full house, they would play wholeheartedly because they love jazz.
And don’t even get me started on the food and drinks. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Motif makes all the food from scratch, and even the liquors they use in their cocktails are homemade. Their menu changes every few weeks, so there are lots of menu items to try. Make sure to call in your reservation at least a week or two ahead of time because they book out in advance. Motif requires a $13 minimum food and/or drink purchase per person during live performances, but it is totally worth it.
Third Space Coffee
One thing that Colorado Springs is not lacking is coffee shops. And I’m not just talking about the Starbucks on every block, but local, small business coffee shops. There are a lot of them, and it can be hard to choose which one to go to. Well, one of my top favorites is Third Space Coffee. They make great coffee (which is a must), but they also host live bands and musicians just about every week. The music varies in genre, including folk, indie rock, jazz, and blues. Most artists are either local or from places within a few hours of here. If you are looking for a casual, relaxing evening of coffee, dessert, and music, this is the place to be. Check the Third Space Facebook page for all their events.
This doesn’t relate to music, but they also have an indoor kid’s play area. It is separate from the rest of the coffee shop, so you don’t have to feel like your kids are being too loud. You can even reserve this private space for a special event!
The Golden Bee
Now this place is just fun. The Golden Bee is one of several dining options at the Broadmoor Resort. This Irish-style pub is probably the most casual and the cheapest (with menu items within the $15-$30 range) dining option at the resort, but it is no less worthy of mentioning. When you arrive, they literally toss a little bee sticker on your shirt. (You won’t really know what I mean by that until you go there.) The live piano music starts at 7:30pm every night. And then at 9:00pm starts the piano sing-a-long. They hand out books with the lyrics to over 100 popular folk songs and pop songs. You can write down your songs requests and give them to the piano player. Almost everyone in the restaurant joins in the singing while they enjoy their beer and Irish eats. It’s a great time for everyone, even kids.
There are many other live music venues in the Springs. I just highlighted the ones I have personally been to. As a musician myself, it’s not surprising that I love going to live music events. But I want to assure you that you don’t have to be a musician at all to enjoy all genres of live music. The Springs has a lot to offer, so don’t let your lack of musical experience keep you from trying some of these places out. And if you aren’t keen on some of the types of music played at these venues, it is definitely worth it to go for the food! Enjoy!