Though locals will attest that it isn’t quite back to pre-pandemic levels, there is undoubtedly a rich music scene bubbling in Taos. Read on for the lowdown on our favorite Taos venues.
A member of the National Independent Venue Association, (NIVA) Taos Mesa Brewing has long been the keystone of the music scene in our valley. During 2020, Taos Mesa Brewing experienced a tough double-whammy of pandemic related shutdowns and a fire in their beloved Mothership location on Highway 64. With a lot of hard work and community support, they are in the process of rebuilding and began hosting music events again in the fall of 2022, including a legacy local heavy metal music festival, Monolith on the Mesa. Progress is slow but steady at TMV. Newcomers, keep an eye on this venue! Between Taos Mesa Brewing, the music programming at Taos Center for the Arts, and the summer concert series from AMP Concerts, you’re liable to catch sizable acts coming through town.
Located north of the plaza, Revolt Gallery is a hub for the artsy party scene in Taos. Along with offering a selection of the finest art from local legends and boasting a growing sculpture collection, Revolt gallery will generally have live music and community centered events and fundraisers every Thursday throughout the summer– often catered by culinary icon Lee Cooks. Rowdier and more experimental bands tend to play here. Come for the music, stay for the vibe.
The Old Montgomery, built in an old woodshop, and The Cortez Theater, Dennis Hopper’s old screening room and hideaway, are new on the scene and somewhat underground. Jump on a chance to see a show in either of these venues- the ambiance and history are consistently matched with excellent performances.
There are a number of local eateries and watering holes that host live music too. The Sagebrush Inn and The Historic Taos Inn are excellent places to sip an old fashioned and listen to local folk, bluegrass, and country singers croon about the wind over the mesa and the ache of a broken heart, &c. Plant Base Cafe is a staunch supporter of local music, and you can count on The Lounge by Rolling Still Distillery for excellent lofi grooves and the occasional DJ. You can even dance to live rockabilly and bluegrass at Gutters Bowling Alley as you bowl strikes!
Want to get involved in Taos’ famously openhearted and collaborative music scene? There’s no better place to meet local musicians than the Alley Cantina’s open mic. Go share your talents with a warmhearted crowd at this Taos nightlife standard.
As per usual in this town, there’s much more to the music scene than meets the eye, or fits in a single blog post. Galleries, yoga studios, and small festivals host excellent music almost consistently. If you’re ever at a loss for what to do on your evening off, the bulletin board at Cid’s and the updates on https://livetaos.com/ are a great place to check out the night’s offering of live music.