Best live music venues in KL: Great spots to groove to jazz, folk, indie rock, and more

Photo: The Bee/Facebook

In need of some soul-soothing melodies during the weekend? Real, live music that’s not coming at you through your phone or your laptop screen?

There are plenty of great places in the city for that — here’s the lowdown on some of the top live music venues in KL, where ‘80s disco and acid jazz play alongside indie rock and R&B. Whether you’re looking for a casual scene to chill or a chic place to get fancy, check out these hangouts for some sweet Malaysian melodies.


 

Alexis Bistro Ampang

Photo: Alexis Bistro/Facebook
Photo: Alexis Bistro/Facebook

Known for putting on slick jazz performances, the brand’s Ampang outlet is the kind of classy cool hotspot that brings crowds of music lovers flocking over on Fridays and Saturdays. So brush aside your worries of the week and tuck into wood-fired goodies while the grooves of funk, soul, and blues lull you into a reverie.

Lot 10 & 11, Great Eastern Mall, 303 Jalan Ampang. +60 3 4260 2288. Mon-Thurs 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 10am-midnight. 

 

Bobo KL

Photo: Bobo KL/Facebook
Photo: Bobo KL/Facebook

Get wined and dined at this elegant restaurant and speakeasy-style piano lounge for a cozy night out filled with the tinkling melodies of classics and oldies. Previous events include a tribute night to Aretha Franklin, a session by KL’s The Frankie Sixes featuring tunes by Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole, and international guest vocalists bringing their signature styles of jazz to the stage.

65-1 Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar. +60 3 2092 5002. Tues-Sun 5pm-midnight.

 

Gaslight Café

Photo: The Gaslight KL/Facebook
Photo: The Gaslight KL/Facebook

An American coffeehouse in NYC’s Greenwich Village, the original folk music hangout opened in the ‘50s and shuttered in 1971. This KL version, done up by indie band The Cotton Field Scarecrowes’ Johann Sultan as a tribute of sorts to the retro icon, brings you back a couple decades with its vintage decor for evenings of poetry and the sounds of jazz, blues, and soul.

15-2 Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1. +60 17-858 6399. Wed-Sat 6pm-1am.

 

Merdekarya

Photo: Merdekarya/Facebook
Photo: Merdekarya/Facebook

Aspiring singer-songwriters will know Merdekarya as the go-to space for musicians to take their shot at open mic sessions or fill in for opening act slots. All genres are welcome here, from indie rock to jazz, making it a chill place to immerse yourself in good vibes and Malaysian music.

352, first floor, Jalan 5/57 Taman Petaling, Section 5 Petaling Jaya. +60 16-207 1553. Tues-Thurs 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am.

 

No Black Tie

Photo: No Black Tie/Facebook
Photo: No Black Tie/Facebook

At No Black Tie, jazz is the word. And a sacred one, at that. It’s been around for about two decades, hosting homegrown talents and international maestros who serenade you in a cozy space that’s heralded for its glorious acoustics and sound quality, so you get to luxuriate in every single note and riff.

17 Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagasari. +60 3-2142 3737. Tues-Sun 6pm-1am.

 

The Bee

Photo: The Bee/Facebook
Photo: The Bee/Facebook

Whether you’re a disco diva, a jazz cat, or a hardcore rocker, The Bee’s got you covered. From retro beats to pop synth grooves, its love for music knows no bounds. Plus, on occasion, you’ll find it transformed into a place for quiz nights, comedy shows, and even theatrical dining.

36, Block C, Level G2, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1. +60 3-6201 8577. Tues-Sun 3pm-1am.  


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