Local Guide: The Best Minneapolis Venues for Concerts & Live Music

Minneapolis is home to a music scene that’s just as notable as the icons who called Minneapolis home, thanks in large part to the influence of Grammy winner Prince. This half of the Twin Cities has a plethora of live entertainment settings to choose from, both large and small. If you’re looking for the best venues for concerts in Minneapolis, you’re in the right place.

Fillmore Minneapolis

fillmore-minneapolis

 

Address: 525 N 5th St., Minneapolis, MN 55401
Box Office Hours: Two hours prior to show time on event days only.

The Minneapolis outpost of the legendary Fillmore chain of concert venues opened in February 2020 with three nights of shows featuring Grammy winner Brandi Carlile. Since then, the Fillmore has held up its parent venue’s tradition of presenting some of the best names in music. Situated just a mile and a half from the Minneapolis Convention Center and less than a mile from Target Field (the home of MLB’s Minnesota Twins), this state-of-the-art concert hall offers a 1,500-capacity entertainment setting along with the intimate BG’s Lounge — named after Bill Graham, the legendary concert promoter behind the San Francisco Fillmore. At the Fillmore Minneapolis, you’ll see a dynamic lineup of artists as varied as Sidepiece, Bush, Ella Mai, Key Glock, Rick Springfield, Debbie Gibson, The Revivalists and more.

Varsity Theater

varsity-theater

 

Address: 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Box Office Hours: Approximately two hours prior to showtime.

Known as the University Theater when it opened in 1915 because of its close proximity to the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus, the Varsity Theater was originally a vaudeville showplace. It was eventually made into a movie theater and operated that way until the ’80s, when it became a photo studio. It was renovated and reopened as a concert hall in 2005. The theater is the entertainment crown jewel of Minneapolis’ Dinkytown District. With a capacity of 750, the theater is a great choice for an intimate live entertainment experience. At the Varsity Theater, you’ll see a wide array of top-notch performers. Performers who have graced the Varsity Theater stage include Dave Chappelle, Stephen Lynch, Tritonal, The Minimalists, Carly Pearce, Marc E. Bassy, Martin Sexton and more.

Orpheum Theatre

Address: 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
Box Office Hours: Only open on event days. Tickets can also be purchased at the State Theatre box office (805 Hennepin Ave.) on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Orpheum Theatre sits in the Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis. One of four restored theaters on this historic street, the Orpheum opened in 1921 as the Hennepin Theater, with the Marx Brothers being the first headliners. The opulent lobby contains terracotta sculptures and an ornate selection of garlands, swags and medallions. The ceiling is designed with a dome adorned with 30,000 squares of aluminum leaf. Once owned by Bob Dylan, the Orpheum was sold to the city of Minneapolis in 1988 and renovated and reopened in 1993 with a concert by Heart. The Orpheum has also been the location for live tapings such as Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy’s 2016 Netflix special We’ve Been Thinking. Musicians who have graced the Orpheum stage include Diana Krall, Barry Manilow, John Prine, Celtic Woman, Joe Bonamassa, Amos Lee, Darius Rucker, Randy Travis, Johnny Gill and more.

Armory

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ArmoryMN (@armorymn)

Address: 500 South 6th St., Minneapolis, MN 55415
Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A former National Guard armory in downtown Minneapolis, the Armory was built in 1936 by the Public Works Administration and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was previously the part-time home arena for the Minneapolis Lakers (now the Los Angeles Lakers) and later as a parking facility. In 1982, Minneapolis native Prince used the building to shoot the music video for the song “1999” and Aerosmith shot the video for “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” there in 1998. Hennepin County bought the building in 1989, intending to tear it down and build a county jail, but the Minnesota Historical Society took legal action to stop the demolition and the Minneapolis Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the structure could not be torn down because of its historical status. A local development firm bought the building in 2015 and renovated it to become an 8,400-person event and concert venue. Today, the Armory is host to some of the top acts in music and entertainment, including the Arctic Monkeys, Subtronics, Glass Animals, alt-j, Alison Wonderland, Ben Rector, Olivia Rodrigo, Kehlani, New Order, Arcade Fire, Maren Morris and more.

State Theatre

state-theatre

Address: 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55402
Box Office Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The State Theatre is a bright, dynamic showplace with a rich history that dates back to its opening in 1921, when it was considered the most technologically advanced and extravagant theater in the United States. A stage floor made of glass provided spectacular visual effects, and when the theater installed a Wurlitzer pipe organ in 1925, it began offering concerts every day for 25 cents. With its original chandeliers and artwork still in place, the State Theatre’s interior offers plenty of photo-worthy opportunities. The current marquee is a modern remake of the original that spanned the front of the building. Used primarily as a movie house between 1921 and 1978, the theater’s movie screen was the largest west of the Mississippi River at the time. Since it reopened in 1991 as an event venue, the State Theatre has hosted several Broadway productions, including Avenue Q and Sweeney Todd, and concerts by acts like Patti Smith, John Mellencamp, Joe Satriani, Ryan Adams, The Mavericks, Lyle Lovett and more.

You Might Like

Music

Step Inside: The Van Buren in Arizona

The Van Buren in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona turns every performance into one long joyride. Once an alluring auto showroom built almost 100 years ago, the mode...

Music

Step Inside: The Newly-Renovated Brooklyn Paramount

The wraparound marquee is shining again at the Brooklyn Paramount. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Paramount houses a staggering, nearly century-l...

Music

Step Inside: Warsaw in Brooklyn, Where Pierogis Meet Punk

Nothing pairs quite as well as pierogies and punk, at least that’s how performances are delivered at Warsaw in Brooklyn, New York. Located in the borough’s n...