The 10 Best Live Music Venues in Nebraska!

Looking for live music in Nebraska? Rock, hip hop, or blues—no matter your musical taste you can find it live in Nebraska almost any night of the week. Nebraska is home to iconic and historic venues as well as modern bars where you can catch both national and up-and-coming talent. The diverse scene is a paradise for live music lovers. Here are the best places to catch a show in Nebraska.

1. The Waiting Room Lounge, Omaha, NE

The Waiting Room is a perfectly-sized venue to catch national and local talent. From rock and pop to alternative and folk music, there is always an upcoming show that fits everyone’s tastes. The bar also has a great selection of drinks, including craft beers on tap! Don’t be surprised to find this place packed, it has become an Omaha staple for good reason.

2. Duffy’s Tavern, Lincoln, NE

Duffy’s Tavern in Lincoln is known for a lot of things, but one of its best traits is its line-up of live music. Many national acts have graced the stage at Duffy’s Tavern, but there’s no shortage of local acts to catch too. Head to Duffy’s Tavern any night of the week to catch some of the best original music around.

3. Heartland Events Center, Grand Island, NE

The Eihusen Arena, part of the Heartland Events Center at Fonner Park in Grand Island, seats 7,500 people and hosts a variety of concerts throughout the year. The arena also serves as the concert venue home for the Nebraska State Fair. The crowd is always ready for a good time.

4. Slowdown, Omaha, NE

Located just north of the Old Market in North Downtown Omaha, the Slowdown accompanies both bigger shows with a balcony as well as smaller, more intimate performances with its two stages. The bar is one-of-a-kind and sells everything from craft brews to kombucha. From concerts to pub quiz nights, Slowdown is the go-to spot to spend the evening with friends.

5. Cunningham’s Journal, Kearney, NE

Cunningham’s Journal in Kearney is one of the coolest bars in the area. It provides the perfect combination of good food, cheap drinks, and live music. It also features a great outdoor patio area for dining and partying all night. With music and a wide selection of beer, there’s no reason to go anywhere else!

6. Caffeine Dreams, Omaha, NE

As a smaller, nontraditional music venue, Caffeine Dreams in Omaha is a coffee house that welcomes live music on Saturdays and usually opts for acoustic, or subdued, musicians to play in a relaxed, intimate setting. Caffeine Dreams is also home to one of the largest beer gardens in Omaha, making it the ideal spot for a low-key, relaxed night out.

7. The Zoo Bar, Lincoln, NE

The legendary Zoo Bar in Lincoln has been a staple in the city since 1973 for its live blues performances. Styled like the blues bars in Chicago, big artists have graced the Zoo Bar stage, including Otis Rush and Buddy Guy. If you’re looking for a slice of history with your music, this is the place to be. 

8. Orpheum Theater, Omaha, NE

The Orpheum Theater is a stunning venue in Omaha and former vaudeville house constructed in 1927. Its ornate decor and excellent acoustics have made it a prime venue for world class performances. Matching the Orpheum’s lavish decor is a rich lineage of legendary performances ranging from opera to appearances by top orchestras.

9. Bourbon Theater, Lincoln, NE

The Bourbon Theatre in Lincoln is in an entirely remodeled 1920s movie theater in the Haymarket and has become one of the top music venues in the state. Unlike most venues that specialize in one or two genres, Bourbon books shows across genres. You can catch anything from a hip hop or country artist to death metal or electronic DJs.

10. Sokol Underground, Omaha, NE

Sokol Underground in Omaha is a leader of the city’s music scene. The always-reliable schedule is diverse with established musicians and local talent. Sokol provides an intimate setting and unpretentious environment where everyone can have a fun time. Get cozy and you can easily spend an entire night in this low-key space.

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