“If you have to ask, you’ll never know.” This was Miles Davis’ answer to the question “What is Jazz?”
In the same vein, if you have to ask what Taiwan’s music scene is like, it might do you some good to do a little online research. Yet most often than not, it’s hard to wade through all that you’ll find on the internet. This is why going to a live music venue is one of the easiest ways for someone to get up to date with the local music scene. Here is our list of our favorite live music venues – regardless of what music genre you prefer or what kind of experience you’re seeking, everyone is sure to find something here.
To feel the vibe of 1,000 people rocking out to both local and international acts, head down to Legacy, which opened in Taipei three years ago. Partly owned by Harlem Yu, a well-known Taiwanese artist, the sound quality here is top-notch and we can attest to that. There are not many options in Taipei if you want to enjoy a mid-sized concert so definitely check out their calendar of events and clear your schedule. You can go to any nearby convenience store to purchase your tickets as tickets at the door are usually 25% more expensive. Legacy’s location in 1914 Huashan Creative Park means that there are treats for the eyes too in the many art exhibitions taking place around the park.
Riverside Music Café plays host to more relatively unknown local musicians than any other venue listed here. Its small and cozy setting keeps the ambiance easy-going and accessible to just about anyone. What’s especially great about this place is that they have live music almost every single night and they never run out of tickets — even if it means that the place is jam-packed and you have to stand throughout the gig. Check their schedule here.
Also conveniently located in the university district is Blue Note, the indisputable choice for jazz lovers in Taipei. Unlike Brown Sugar which has transformed itself into a classy lounge, Blue Note remains a humble destination for for jazz and jazz only. Unfortunately, a calendar for their live music performances cannot be found online. So do give them a call to check what’s going on for the evening!
From edgy hard rock music to country pop, Pipe has it all. The only downside to this venue (if you don’t own any means of transportation of your own) is that it is a little far away from the nearest metro station (Gongguan). On the other hand, many local folks come to this area for a stroll in the garden with their dogs, or a bicycle ride along the river (bikes can be rented from various places in the vicinity). Why not breathe in some fresh air before knocking yourself out with booze and music? Check their schedule here.
Sometimes, food is needed to fill that tummy before the heart can start to appreciate good music. If you happen to be hungry, go to Bobwundaye (which means no problem in Taiwanese)! It combines Western-style food, with various genres of music for different nights, to cater to a more international crowd. Check what’s going on on their blog.
Last but not least, there is always an all-time favorite stage in a city where many big stars first started out on. EZ-5 is the one for Taipei. Huang Xiao Hu (黃小琥) and Peng Jia Hui (彭佳慧) are some of the names that you must know about that got their start here. Currently, singers who have gained recognition for their powerful or beautiful vocals, but who probably are not yet widely popular, take their turns on this stage, belting out both originals and covers. If you are in the mood for classic or current Mandarin and English songs, look no further. Tickets are a little pricey though, at 800 NT per night, but it includes 2 drinks. Check their schedule here.
For a view (not comprehensive, however) of what’s going on for the night, refer to gigguide.tw!
Feature image courtesy of Legacy Facebook Page