Explore Phoenix-Scottsdale

Best Live Music on the Cheap in Arizona

Pay low or no cover charges to enjoy a music performance at these restaurants and lounges in the Valley of the Sun and beyond.

Pay low or no cover charges to enjoy a performance at these restaurants or lounges in the Valley of the Sun and beyond.

The Vig
Radio-rock covers and jangly originals by Elvis Before Noon have become a Sunday-afternoon (3-6 pm) tradition at this affable neighborhood tavern. Locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale; free. (Also free for House of Stairs, a jazz/funk band, 6-9 pm Wednesdays.)

The Lost Leaf
A house built in 1922 plays home to a performing singer, instrumentalist, band or DJ every day. The walls feature the work of a different visual artist each month. Phoenix; free.

Valley Bar
A 250-capacity room plays host to comedic and spoken-word shows in addition to local and touring bands. Phoenix; free three to four times a week; $5-$20 at other times.

Kazimierz World Wine Bar
A logical destination after dinner at Scottsdale’s Cowboy Ciao, this not-quite-secret lounge sets “wine groove” musicians in front of a world map inlaid with pennies almost nightly. Scottsdale; $5.

Yucca Tap Room
Head here any night for live alt-rock, cowpunk or death-metal bands, both local and passing-through, in an atmosphere of long-celebrated seediness. Tempe; usually free; sometimes $5.

The Shout! House
Performance pianists lead crowds in singalongs to rock ’n’ roll songs from the 1950s to the present day. Rowdiness is commonplace. Glendale; free Wednesday-Thursdays; $7 Fridays-Saturdays.

The Shout! House
The audience is part of the show at The Shout! House. (©The Shout! House)

Sound Bites Grill
Exemplifying Sedona’s mellow, upscale vibe, this hilltop spot provides soothing live jazz, blues and world music a few nights per week, and refined lunch, dinner and wine daily. Sedona; usually free Wednesday-Thursdays; $5 Sundays; higher Fridays-Saturdays.

Flagstaff Brewing Co.
If it’s Friday/Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, patrons can catch a set by a roots, blues or jam band while taking down a house-brewed Agassiz Amber or Sasquatch Stout. Flagstaff; usually free.

Hotel Congress
As mild weather permits, the plaza outside this hip hotel in Tucson is the place to hear flamenco/folklorico musician Salvador Duran on Thursday evenings. Tucson; free. (The indoor venue, Club Congress, stages touring indie acts several times weekly for $10 to $24.)

The Hotel Congress
The Hotel Congress (©Joshua Barnett/Flickr, Creative Commons)