Tag Archives: xcel center

7 Great Places to See a Concert (Indoors) in the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities are renowned for a wide variety of things; hamburgers infused with molten cheese, a great theater district, oh so many bicycles and, amongst other things, one of the best music scenes in the country. While great live music is played all year-round, we look towards warmer venues to congregate as winter rolls in.  While the options of where to see live music in the Twin Cities are varied and vast, we’ve tried our best to name seven of the best venues to catch an indoor concert.


First Ave – Downtown Minneapolis

This historic spot is consistently named as one the country’s best music clubs and not much can be said that hasn’t been said before.

Also, Purple Rain.


Cedar Cultural Center – West Bank, Minneapolis

With an incredibly intimate sound, this venue seems to always be in the top of the ranks for local music venues. The Cedar hosts a great variety of musicians and performers and is a great place for those on a budget with many shows under $15. Another unique note, the Cedar is a non-profit organization that’s run by volunteers.


Xcel Center – Downtown Saint Paul

If your looking to see a national headlining act, the Xcel has the unique distinction of having arena capacity (around 18,000) without the drawbacks of having arena sound thanks to a superb sound system and surprisingly great acoustics.


Varsity Theater – Dinkytown, Minneapolis

I love seeing the expressions on the faces of newcomers when they first step inside the Varsity.  The Varsity is completely uncharacteristic of what you picture when you think of a venue in a college neighborhood.  You know some effort was put into a place when the lead singer of a rock band mentions how nice the bathrooms are in between songs. Pick a day to go if have yet to visit this Dinkytown gem and prepare to be wowed.


Skyway Theater – Downtown Minneapolis

A newcomer in the bunch, the Skyway Theater is a former cineplex that’s been renovated into a concert venue with booking powerhouse Live Nation at the helm of the scheduling and has so far been getting great reviews since its unveiling.


Dakota Jazz Club – Downtown Minneapolis

Quiet, cozy and intimate are great attributes for a music venue and the Dakota Jazz Club has them all. With stage-side table seating and a consistent schedule of world-class performers coming through the doors, the Dakota Jazz Club is the ideal spot for a refined night out on the town.


The Artists’ Quarter – Downtown Saint Paul

Okay, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that this Saint Paul jazz club will be closing its doors for good come New Year’s Day. The good news is that there’s still time to catch a great performance, or one the very last great performances on news year’s eve weekend, which the club’s owner promises to be a blowout featuring performers from the club’s historic past.


Did we forget to include your favorite venue? It was bound to happen. Leave a comment and let us know!