Music indeed dominates the most part of our fun appetite and Mumbai, the showbiz hub of the nation doesn’t disappoint when it comes to live music. The city has always been catering to different forms of music and we have always been loaded, irrespective of the genres, languages, and spots. After nine odd years, the iconic venue Blue Frog was shut last year in August. It is not easy to describe Blue Frog’s contribution to Mumbai’s, rather, India’s independent music scene. Moving on from there, in the last few years, Mumbai has seen a rise in the number of live music venues. From Electronica to Trap, Alternative Rock to Sufi, from DnB to Techno, these hotspots have got you covered. This piece about the city’s excellent live-music venues is a perfect guide for all your melodic escapes. Have a look.
I was surprised to realize that a lot of people from Mumbai itself, actually didn’t know about this hidden gem (Good in a way, though). Started in March 2016, antiSOCIAL is literally an underground spot. This interesting space holds a capacity of around 300 people and is too cold for comfort at times when it’s not crowded. The bar is lit and drinks are pretty reasonable. I wish they served tea coffee instead of just alcohol! Not necessarily everyone is there for drinks. Perfect for music showcases, live acts, music conferences, right in the basement of the ‘oh-so-cool’ Social (Khar), antiSOCIAL justifies its name and has a stellar warehouse vibe. Do keep an eye on their events section on Facebook, as antiSOCIAL hosts some buzzing gigs in the city.
Location: Rohan Plaza, 5th Rd, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West, Mumbai.
Reopened after a long time in March this year, Razzberry Rhinoceros has reinvented itself to become a hip open-air lounge along with a wooden deck and a beach facing café that will melt your heart. The décor, the lights, the draperies, the cool breeze under the palm trees during full moon gives you a feeling of Goa in a concrete jungle like Mumbai and that is rare! Oh yes, this is a perfect place for a date too!
The place is a bit overpriced but that’s fine as it serves you with such great ambience. Do go on Sundays to be part of their wild sundowner’s event. Been to some amazing sundowners featuring some finest international artists such as Cid Inc, Gab Rhome, Joseph Ashworth, Loud alongside homegrown artists such as Praveen Achary, Vinayaka, Blot, Kohra, Sandunes, Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator among others.
Note: Whenever, there is a gig happening, mostly the setup is outside till 10 p.m. Post that, Mumbai police department takes the control and the organisers are forced to shift the whole thing inside as the neighbourhood is residential.
Location: WING C, Juhu Tara Rd, Uditi Tarang Housing Colony, Theosophical Housing Colony, Juhu, Mumbai.
This hip rooftop spot in Bandra frequently hosts the country’s most exciting DJs and producers, as well as several popular themed nights’ series. It has an indoor (air-conditioned area with the stage) as well as outdoor space (terrace with mushroom-shaped tables) and makes for a fine dining experience alongside some great high energy live music, beatboxers and karaoke nights. And, talking about taste buds, one can’t afford to miss the gourmet meals and extensive bar snacks with influences from around the world.
Note: They encompass excellent visuals along with Live acts, DJ sets as well. A/V sets at Bonobo are actually a treat to the eyes.
Location: 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Off Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.
The Den is home. Every day they have a different theme. It’s a place where you can go to chill on your own or with friends. Like I said, it is home. They organize Karaoke nights on Tuesdays and I would like to mention about Mixtaped, a series of ongoing weekly ‘micro parties’, conceptualized and curated by Reji that happens on every Wednesday, since 2013. Mixtaped has been the only night in the country (where besides DJs) established singers and musicians too get a night to take control of the decks and dish out their favourite music in an intimate environment. However, The Den is subtle and secluded, so if you are looking for an open-air bar, it’s probably not the best choice. Diverse music, reasonably priced food, vibrant decor, cosy vibes, unpretentious crowd and the personal attention to customers take the entire experience to the next level! If you want to witness rave on a Wednesday night in the maximum city, head to The Den.
Location: Ground Floor, Prabhat Kunj, 24th Road, Off Linking Road, Khar West, Mumbai.
The Little Door:
Started in 2012, the little blue door at the main entrance greets you with its warm quaintness and simplicity. The ambience of the Little Door will definitely make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Mediterranean retreat.
This place is quite spacious and hosts varied musicians, artists throughout the week. Talk about some organic jazz, electro, funk, blues, ska, reggae, dancehall, afrobeat and a whole heap of energy to loosen up, you got to hit this place. Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have All That Jazz showcases featuring some celebrated musicians of the country and some of the coolest gigs in the town.
Location: Ground Floor, Plot B31, Shree Siddhivanayak Plaza, Opp. Citi Mall, Off New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai.
The Summerhouse Cafe:
This Delhi based gastro-pub/lounge/gig venue Summerhouse Cafe opened its doors in Mumbai in April (2017). Located in Kamla Mills in Lower Parel, the place has high ceilings, a huge space with seating and a stage downstairs dedicated to live gigs, DJ nights, open mics and stand up performances. The upper deck of the café has extra space, an open smoking zone and you can be slightly away from the bustle while enjoying the gigs. The bar, being one of the attractions runs end to end on the lower portion of the cafe. They host some varied musicians from different genres as people like Mike Posner, Patrick Watson on the other hand, 1200 Micrograms, Ajja, Fat Sushi, Emancipator have performed among others.
Location: Todi Mill, Mathuradas Mill Compound, N M Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai.
Raasta, a funky Caribbean gig venue/lounge located in Khar represents the free spirit of Bob Marley and the Rastafari beliefs. It brings alive the riotous movement that promotes music and free thinking. Add to that, a Rooftop space with seating, rooftop garden, fairy lights and elusive lampshades hosting some of the coolest sundowners in town. Chill out and relax along with some groovy tunes and good vibes. That’s what Raasta is all about.
Location: 4th Floor, Rohan plaza, Ram Krishan Nagar, Road no. 5, Khar, Mumbai, Mumbai.
The brand-new venue of the city The Quarter started in October 2017. The newest cultural nerve centre comprises four distinct venues situated at the iconic Royal Opera House. Founded by music industry veterans Ranjit Barot and Ashu Phatak, the place is reminiscent of a 1950s art deco jazz bar. Live at The Quarter hosts performances every night, curated by the co-founders themselves, the special one-night-only sets are by the best live acts from across India and around the globe. A music venue that puts music first, go check out The Quarter if you haven’t already.
Location: Royal Opera House, Mathew Road, Opera House, Girgaon, Mumbai
Mojo’s Bistro is a place full of exquisiteness and you will be in love with the sheer beauty of Mojos once you enter this place. The spacious rooftop, exquisitely built with high tables, subtle drapes and the DJ console above the seating area are just perfectly arranged. The place also has the entry from four-sides to give a faster way for folks to get their spots and a 360-degree view to the LED bar. Shankar Mahadevan’s son Siddharth turned restaurateur with Mojo’s aiming to host live gigs and to provide exposure to established and emerging talents around the nation. They have been gradually stepping into live gigs and recently hosted Dosem for Corona Sunsets during the end of November which was off the hook.
Location: Level 2, Kamla Trade House, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai.
FLYP, a chain of MTV themed cafes (started with New Delhi about two years back), opened its door for Mumbaikars on 27 October 2017 at Kamala Mills. The cafe possesses mysterious colours, wall graffiti’s, art/sculpture establishments and a capacious bar which conveniently flips from a co-working space in the day to a perfect party place in the night. FLYP is all about combining the best of live music and great food with a space for creative thinkers and upcoming artists to showcase their talent.
The café is growing rapidly with three locations running followed by six more to be operational by the end of next year. In the last two months, they have hosted live gigs featuring musicians like Raja Kumari, Nikhil Chinapa (DJ Set), Teri Miko, Loons The Band, Nawed Khan, Nanok, SaaR, Ladies Compartment and Bluegrass Journeymen among others. FLYP is fresh, electrifying, and a place you’ll want to be seen at!
Location: 1st Floor, Kamala Mills, Trade View Building, Lower Parel, Mumbai.
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