If you pass in front of the Gladstone on Queen Street on a Friday or Saturday after dinner you’re likely to catch a band on stage in the big bay windows. One of the best perks of this stage is it’s visibility from the street, giving passers-by a backstage pass to the shows and performances going on inside. Audiences inside the Melody Bar and out have lots of different events to see, including Music Bingo with Kaleb Robertson, drag performances by House of Filth, karaoke fun with a diverse group of performative hosts, and live music sets featuring a wide range of bands.
This diversity of programming means that the Melody Bar may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about where to see music on Queen West, but it does host its own unique mix of musical offerings that are a great fit for the space. Whether you love going out to see music or are in a band looking to book, here are are five things to know about Music in the Melody Bar.
1] 95% of Melody Bar Music Programming is Free to Watch
Yes, that’s right, you can catch two hours of local talent without a cover charge. Just like our Fameless Karaoke nights, the music sets that precede them are totally accessible and free to attend. It’s great for our regular guests, and also for the bands who have an easy sell to their crowds. Of course, our staff still appreciate it if you order something from the bar too 🙂
Weekly Music Sets are Friday & Saturday from 8-10pm. Check out events calendar for up to date listings.
2] Friday & Saturday Music Slots Are Paid Gigs
But just because the shows are free, doesn’t mean the bands don’t get paid. The house has you covered on that front; paying artists is important and the Gladstone is happy to do it. While we’re not selling out the ACC here, the Gladstone supports local artists by offering them a guarantee for sharing their talent with the crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s something the hotel is working on expanding too; with a Friday night partnership with Amsterdam Brewery launching this summer, we’re bringing more bands to the stage alongside drink deals and sampling stations!
Common Deer Performing at our New Years Party
3] Our Audience Loves Cover Bands
Cover bands always fit really well in the Melody Bar. From the doo-wop covers by the Redeemers, to pop and rock sets by Cover Me Badd, to high energy sets by Running Red Lights, there’s something about new renditions of the classics that seems to strike a chord. Got a unique and fun cover band that’s looking to play? Send us an email at email@example.com
4] Ticketed Shows & Showcases.
Sometimes charging at the door is the best way to go. In the Melody Bar also and the Ballroom, the Gladstone books out the space to bands and promoters throughout the year for EP Releases, showcases, special events, fundraisers, and straight-up band nights. The Ballroom makes an exciting off-the-beaten path music venue for anyone looking to host a show somewhere special, and the room is still fully equipped with a soundboard, PA, Mics and all the necessities.
5] You Absolutely Have to Experience Good Enough Live Karaoke
The Gladstone loves hosting performances that do something a bit different, so when Tim McCready brought his now-famous live karaoke band (GELK) here in 2016 we were thrilled; the act perfectly brings together the music + karaoke format the Melody Bar hosts on weekends. With a growing repertoire of over 300 songs to choose from, GELK make your teenage dreams of being the lead singer in a hit band come true. These expert musicians don’t miss a beat, guiding you through your song with ease and they win everybody over, from the shyest karaoke singers (like the author of this blog post) to the bride at next door’s wedding.
Good Enough Live Karaoke play the Gladstone once a month, check out event listings for details.
Want to have your band play in the Melody Bar? Have an idea for a performance or show that needs a venue? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love trying new things, getting creative, and experimenting.