Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Phoenix

Jim Adkins of the rock band Jimmy Eat World once called Phoenix a "rock mecca." He may be partial since he hails from Mesa, Arizona but several nationally-known acts got their start in Phoenix, including Gin Blossoms, the Meat Puppets and Alice Cooper. Ready to check out the local music scene? Make a plan to visit one or more of these best venues to watch local band in Phoenix.

The Rebel Lounge

This space was formerly known as the Mason Jar and hosted legendary bands including Tool. Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine and Jane's Addiction on their way through Phoenix. In 2015, local concert promoter Stephen Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents took over the building and turned it into The Rebel Lounge.

The Rebel Lounge is a smaller venue, but it's thick concrete walls and fantastic sound system allow for perfect acoustics for the hardcore rock and punk bands that play there on a regular basis.

Joe's Grotto

This unassuming venue was founded in 1994 by local musician Joe Grotto. Joe's Grotto is tucked into the corner of a strip mall, but it has grown into a top-notch music venue hosting local, national, and international artists every night of the week.

Concertgoers can enjoy a patio with outdoor bar and an expanded stage that can be viewed from anywhere in the house while watching rock, classic rock, and metal bands perform.


Owner Neil Hounchell opened ThirdSpace with the idea that everyone has a first space (home), a second space (work), and they need a third space to relax and feel comfortable. The spot on Grand Avenue is part of a collection of small businesses occupying brightly painted historic cottages.

The hangout serves coffee, wine, and a small menu of delicious sandwiches and salads. The large patio transforms into a stage for live entertainment where they regularly host karaoke, live comedy, and local bands.

Rhythm Room

The Rhythm Room opened in 1991 and hosts local and national country and blues as well as up and coming punk bands on a nightly basis. In 2003, the club was named the "Best Club for Blues" by the Phoenix New Times. It also hosted a live recording session by American Delta blues guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr. The performance, Legend Live, was released by M.C. Records in 2004.

The venue offers large-venue sound in a small venue as well as an outdoor patio. Be aware that this popular spot fills up fast so get there early!

Janet Berry-Johnson has called Arizona home for three years. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a writer. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Scottsdale Moms Blog, BonBon Break, Guyvorce, and Kard Talk.