Four Best Venues to Hear Local Bands in Springfield, Illinois

There's no shortage of places for up and coming bands to play at in the Springfield area. Bands that have gotten their start here have gone on to open for national touring acts. Whatever your musical tastes, below are four of the best venues to come hear local artists.

The Alamo

If you love the blues, there's only one place to be on Monday nights. Blue Monday has become an Alamo tradition and this downtown bar features the best local, national and international blues musicians and has been rated one of the best blues bars in the country. The Illinois Central Blues Club has been bringing live blues to The Alamo for 30 years and more than 4,220 musicians have played here from as far away as Texas, New York and London, England. Blue Monday is the city's longest running weekly music series.

The Club supports local musicians. Every August area bands compete at the Old Capitol Blues and BBQ Festival to represent the Club at The Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

Boondocks Pub

Boondocks Pub was recently awarded the 2015 Nightclub of the Year Award from the Academy of Country Music. The club bills itself as central Illinois' largest live music venue, according to its website, and brings in live music every week. Among the best local and national acts that have played here include Charlie Robison, Lick Creek with the Clayton Shay Band, Sawyer Brown, Travis Tritt, The Kentucky Headhunters and Zane Williams with the Blue Water Highway Band. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Paris-Belle House Concerts

Terry and Becky Killian of Williamsville have been hosting small, intimate house concerts for their closest friends in their living room for the past three years, with all ticket proceeds going to the musicians. The couple named the concerts Paris-Belle after the people that built their home.

Concert goers enjoy folk and classical music performances and have the opportunity to interact with the musicians. Past local and national performers include Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Ben Bedford, classical violinist Devorina Gamalova, Harpeth Rising, Heritage String Quartet, Switchback, The Balkan Trio, The Blue Eyed Bettys The Tall Trees and Tom Irwin.

The couple offers light refreshments and guests are encouraged to bring a covered dish to share. Drink selections include wine, beers, lemonade and water. Reservations are required and tickets are also available at the door.

The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep is an all-ages, drug and alcohol-free establishment that a group of local musicians opened in 2005 to give kids a place to come hear music in a fun, safe environment. Located in Springfield's historic South Town neighborhood, it started out as a place for local bands to come and play and now hosts concerts by both local and national touring bands. Its roots lay in the punk, hardcore and metal scene, and today shows feature a wide range of genres, including indie, jazz, metal, noise, pop, rap and ska. For the past seven years, the venue has strived to improve the city through the arts and music scene.

Roberta Codemo has lived in Springfield for more than 20 years and loves searching out new places to explore. A freelance journalist, she owns Codemo Writing Services.