By Sharon Damon

The Strip is a great place to visit, but when you want to get more real and enjoy the true Las Vegas vibe,  you simply have to visit one of these bars/music joints, where the brews flow, the atmosphere is authentic, the bands raw and you can enjoy a crowd of your peers (and some true individuals) who are just there for the tunes. The indie music scene is definitely alive and well and living in Vegas.

The House Of Blues
Mandalay Place
3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 632-7600

This is the real deal: the authentic, original and possibly the best-known music joint in Vegas. From Indie to mainstream, The House of Blues has seen it all. Launched by Dan Aykroyd (yes, that Dan Aykroyd),  it caters to the most eclectic crowd, featuring great food, a friendly atmosphere and some of the best sounds in town. Many bands have gotten their start here, performing to an enthusiastic crowd in the perfect setting, “where music feeds the soul.”

Double Down Saloon
4640 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 791-5775

Since opening in 1992, this bar is the spot in Las Vegas for those looking for live indie bands and booze. The calendar is always full and you will be treated to punk, stoner folk and hardcore artists looking for their big break. It’s dark, it’s noisy, it definitely has atmosphere and sometimes you can actually catch a diamond in the rough before their big break. So “shut up and drink,” already at this 24/7 watering hole.

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The Beauty Bar
517 Fremont St., Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 598-3757

Situated on the famous East side of Fremont Street, this bar is known as the true home of indie music in this town. Gigs take place on the backdoor patio and it’s always booked with bands playing everything from ‘mathcore chaos’ (as one reviewer described it) to classics such as the Walkmen. There are DJ’s, comedy nights and the whole vibe is Retro. Drinks are cheap and the crowd is real. You can’t get any better than that.

The Velveteen Rabbit
1218 S Main St
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 685-9645

If you are looking for the unique and a very different experience, visit the Velveteen Rabbit. The well-traveled sisters who created this venue has meshed the magic of art and sound with the appeal of some very popular liquid libation. The musical magic takes place on a lit outdoor stage on the patio, perfect for those lazy summer evenings and even better in fall and spring before the heat truly hits. This is a hidden treasure waiting for you to discover.

The Griffin
511 Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 382-0577

It’s been described as being dark, brooding and Goth/”Lord of the Rings” in atmosphere, but ah, that indie music. If you visit the front section, there’s a comfy hipster vibe with the whole couches and fireplace thing, but in the back there’s a DJ and a small dance floor where you can dance the night away. This is where bands are sometimes featured. Drinks are plentiful and inexpensive and the crowd is definitely unique to the Vegas scene: real and there for the tunes, with no pretensions or need to impress, plus the jukebox really rocks. Fremont Street has done it again.

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