One of the many reasons to love New Orleans is that you can see live music on any day of the week, any time of year, in any neighborhood, at any hour, night or day. I dare say there is not one waking moment in New Orleans when there is not live music playing somewhere in the city. The following venues are some of our favorites where you are sure to find a band going strong into the wee hours, and then some.
1. Le Bon Temps
Le Bon Temps Roule is a fitting name for the Uptown bar and venue, as the good times are always rollin’ here. One of my favorite times to go to Le Bon Temps is Thursday nights for the Soul Rebels Brass Band who always bring the party with everything from second line originals to Jackson 5 covers and everything in between.
2. Maple Leaf
I’ve always thought the perfect Tuesday night would be spent on Oak Street, first with a ragin’ Cajun dinner from Jaques-Imo’s and then walking a cool 50 ft (give or take) to the Maple Leaf Bar to hear Rebirth Brass Band, their resident Tuesday night talent. They have regular bands every other night of the week as well including the Sunday triple threat with Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste.
3. Howlin’ Wolf
This New Orleans music haven has survived three different locations, but its draw and spirit always stays the same. Named after the legendary New Orleans blues musician, Chester Burnett, the venue hosts traditional New Orleans artists as well as nationally touring indie and hip hop groups. Following the trend with the other venues on the list, the Howlin’ Wolf has a regular weekly brass night with none other than the Hot 8 Brass Band. The Wolf’s adjacent sister bar is The Den, a smaller but equally fun venue with a full bar menu available till at least midnight on weekdays and at least 2 am on weekends!
Tipitina’s or Tip’s, as locals call it, is a New Orleans institution that boasts stellar acoustics and a perfect venue to see music veterans or touring bands. You can’t miss it – it’s the big, yellow building on the corner of Tchoupitoulas with a Dixie Beer sign hanging from its second story.
5. Blue Nile
We would be remiss if we didn’t include Frenchmen Street in the list of late-night venues. Blue Nile is one of our favorites with double the stages, thus double the music. On a nightly basis bands like Washboard Chaz and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes play and house DJs spin a full range of dance music.