Whether it’s an open mic session, enjoying some of the best international and home-grown talents around or grooving to some juicy beats on the weekend, KL’s live music scene has it all.
Established venues like No Black Tie have for years been the birthplace of many Malaysian independent artists and now with the emergence of conceptualised muso-friendly (muso *slang for music friendly) bars, cafes and clubs, the depth of KL’s talent pool is booming.
Here’s some of the best live music venues in town to catch a gig or dance your night away.
No Black Tie: We’ll start with the obvious. No Black Tie has been the city’s leading jazz bar and most popular live music venue for the last 14 years. All aspiring musicians salivate at the chance to play here. Besides jazz performances, it features bands that play lively Brazilian beats as well as blues and roots. And as the name suggests…strictly NO BLACK TIES!
Merdekarya: This unassuming, suburban Indie music shack hosts open mics nightly from Tuesday to Saturday before the featured performer of the evening. While it’s located slightly out of town in a quiet PJ neighbourhood, it’s certainly worth the effort with its homely feel bringing musicians and audiences closer together.
Elysium Bar + Terrace: Home to some of the best deep house, funk and soul beats in town, Elysium’s lavish lounge bar is a favourite among KL’s elite. The two-story venue regularly features KL’s top DJs as well as international acts such as Joey Negro and Chus & Ceballos, with guests often seen still dancing on the terrace as the sun rises.
Gaslight Cafe & Music: This quaint, 60s themed space is a throwback to the legendary American establishment in New York of the same name. Staying true to the original café’s roots, performances here are folk, country, jazz, blues and soul with open mic nights and billed performances from Monday to Saturday.
Pisco Bar & COMO: Popular late night haunt Pisco Bar is renowned for attracting some of the biggest international DJs and producers in the world. Their new sister bar COMO is also making headlines with regular DJ sets and live gigs.
Live Fact: This DIY venue and self-sustaining space for gigs, band rehearsals, meetings and more is one of KL’s best kept secrets. Located in the south of the city five minutes’ drive from Mid Valley, Live Fact has already played host to a number of Indie gigs, including a two-day showcase of Swedish bands.
The Bee Publika: The Bee is making a name for itself as one of the best international live music venues in KL, with a mix a vibrant talents gracing the stage across many genres including Hip-Hop and R&B. It and original establishment The Bee Jaya One also hosts regular open mic nights, giving young artists a chance to shine.
Online Bar: One of the grand ole dames of the KL pub scene, Online Bar in Damansara has been in existence for 23 years and is well-known for its nightly live music with alternating bands and musicians performing anything from classic rock, heavy metal and folk.
Privi: If you love secrets, you’ll love this lavish and decadent space. Privi, taken from the word privy meaning sharing in the knowledge of something secret or private, is an invite only, hidden boutique night club that hosts wicked DJ sets, live international recordings and one off exclusive events. The challenge is finding out how to be in the know! Hosting international DJ’s, local music and artists committed to the performance of music.
Find out more here.