Few things speak to an area’s location like its live music venues. A city or state’s vibe can be felt the minute you step through the door of their most popular clubs. Whether you are into country or rap, jazz or pop, North Dakota has a music venue for you. Peruse the following to determine where you can best feel the beat as you take in the local scene.
The Windbreak has been a party favorite for many years by offering some of the best drink specials, blackjack, and music around. Located next to the Flying J, the Windbreak features live bands weekly from Thursday to Sunday. A multi-genre venue, the club is known for bringing the hottest bands to Fargo and providing one of the most energetic atmospheres anywhere in the state. The Windbreak also offers pool, darts, and bingo nightly. The bar was recently remodeled, including a new and improved sound system that will ensure you don’t miss a beat.
One of the newer players in Fargo’s music scene, Shotgun Sally’s has quickly proven themselves to be the place to be for a night on the town. In addition to its live music offerings, the bar also has a delicious menu that will pair nicely with their unique drink specials. Located close to the West Acres Shopping Center, Shotgun Sally’s boasts some of the best live music in the Red River Valley. Plans are in the works for a full outdoor bar with Las Vegas style lounging, which will add another dimension to the versatile nightclub. With a second location in Grand Forks, a visit to Shotgun Sally’s is now easier than ever.
Located above the legendary Dempsey’s Public House in the heart of downtown Fargo, The Aquarium is one of the city’s hottest night clubs. The intimate atmosphere makes the venue an ideal location for hearing both nationally known and local artists. Voted the best venue for live music several years running, The Aquarium has made a commitment to support unique and diverse musical genres, making it a great place to step out of your comfort zone and experience new and intriguing musical acts, particularly those representing punk, hip-hop, electronic, folk and alternative rock.
The iconic Fargo Theatre is a must visit the next time you are in Fargo. Built in 1926, the recently restored theater provides an intimate setting that is perfect for enjoying acoustic music at its finest. You will not find over-the-top pyrotechnics or large musical set-ups at its concerts. Rather, the theater is a unique environment that allows concertgoers and musicians to interact on a personal level. It will feel as if the musician is singing right to you. To make a visit even cooler, the Fargo Theatre was recently added to the National Register of Historical Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
Located on the beautiful Missouri River, Rock Point is much more than just a music venue. With a full menu featuring everything from pizzas and burgers and a drink menu full of signature drinks such as the Rock Point Red Alter Ego or the Plum Ice Hole, a visit to the club is an experience that is one-of-a-kind. You can even part your boat on the pier and enjoy a relaxing burger or beer while taking in some of the best local music in all of Bismarck/Mandan. An upstairs party room also serves as the perfect place to entertain guests at your next party.
Opened in 2012, Laughing Sun Brewing Co. is in the historic Laskin Building in the heart of downtown Bismarck. The mission of the brewery is to make the best beer possible, a challenge achieved with the services of more than one professional brewer on staff. The atmosphere of Laughing Sun is eclectic and intimate. Work of local artists adorn the walls and the stage is open to more than just music. On any given night, you can hear local musicians, poets, and writers share their musings. A quarter of the 1,500-square foot brewery is devoted to the glass brew house, giving you the opportunity to see how your beer is made. Laughing Sun also serves a full menu of delicious items that will ensure that you can feed your appetite while you enjoy the music.
The Landing has been Minot’s premier destination for those interested in hearing the best live music the area has to offer. In addition, a full dance floor and a stellar DJ service gives visitors the opportunity to groove to their favorite sounds even when live music isn’t playing. With a full drink menu, including nightly specials, The Landing is the place to go when visiting Minot.
Previously known as Friday’s Lounge, The Rockin’ Horse Saloon is a country bar that plays much more than just country music. Live bands entertain visitors from Tuesday through Sunday. What about Monday, you ask? Monday is devoted to karaoke, which gives everyone the opportunity to try their hand, or voice in this case, at being the next big act on the local music scene. In addition, the Rockin’ Horse has daily drink specials that will give your wallet a break as you party the night away.
With a focus of highlighting local music, Brick and Barley is the perfect venue for those looking to expand their musical horizons. If you are interested in visiting a place that combines exceptional music with inimitable craft beers, this is the place for you. Brick and Barley has over 48 beers on tap, many of which are unique to the business. Seasonal, craft, and small batch brews change on a regular basis, providing for a new and distinct experience each time you visit.
The Diamond Lounge has been a staple of the Grand Forks live music scene for many years. For those interested in a relaxing place that combines live music, dancing, gambling, food, and great drinks, a visit to the Diamond is in order. Give yourself an authentic Grand Forks experience and visit one of the only venues in the state that has stayed true to its roots despite the changing landscape of live music and nightclubs.
If you are looking for an intimate musical experience in an historic venue, add the Empire Arts Center to your itinerary. Built in 1919 and renovated in 1998, the Empire hosts a variety of concerts, theater productions, and community events. It is also the permanent home of the University of North Dakota’s art collection, which allows you to combine art and music into one magical experience.