The music scene in the Quad Cities has, in my opinion, been going through a renaissance period. From many new venues opening up to different people booking talent on both sides of the river, there is a diverse mix of talent being featured all over.
This is a question I get often from people – where do I like to go see shows. So I put together a list.
And while I frequent some establishments more often than others, each place on this list has given me a cherished memory and feeling that I hold dear.
1. Rock Island Brewing Co. (RIBCO) – 1815 2nd Ave. in Rock Island, IL
This is one of the oldest music venues around. It is of a smaller capacity, and has a great craft beer selection. They also serve really good food.
2. River Music Experience/The Redstone Room – 129 Main Street in Davenport, IA
The River Music Experience (RME) is home to shows in several spots all over the building, ranging from small acoustic sets in the café to larger, bigger name bands upstairs in the Redstone Room. It is a nonprofit dedicated towards music access and education. Plus, they bring in really good bands.
3. Daytrotter – 324 Brady Street in Davenport, IA
Daytrotter is the physical manifestation of what was once an online website for streaming music from short recorded live sessions of bands traveling cross-country. The music site still operates and recordings now take place in their live music venue in downtown Davenport.
4. Rozz Tox – 2108 3rd Ave. in Rock Island, IL
Rozz Tox started out as a small coffee shop, which we all know is often an epicenter of creative minds. It has since grown into just that, a gathering of different kinds of art, from photography to video to music, and where one can catch a fantastically artistic experience.
5. Adler Theater – 136 E. 3rd Street in Davenport, IA
The Adler Theater is a long-running downtown staple to see more bigger name events. This is where you can enjoy the Ballet, Symphony, Broadway shows, catch a stand-up act from names like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, or listen to Ben Folds or Kansas.
6. Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel – 304 E. 3rd Street in Davenport, IA
This venue has recently opened and it features smaller shows as well as comedy acts. It has a 70’s lounge vibe and features over 100 types of whiskey. There are games to play and a nice seating area outside where you can continue to enjoy the music.
7. The Village Theater – 2113 E. 11th Street in Davenport, IA
Located in the Village of East Davenport, the Village Theater is home to many different types of events, from music to dance parties to theater. It is surrounded by all sorts of different shops and restaurants, making it a great place to center around a night out.
8. Rascals Live – 1419 15th Street in Moline, IL
Rascals is a venue geared towards rock and roll. The bar side of the business is filled with rock memorabilia from the owner’s travels in a band. The other side is a great music venue, where they do have rock artists as well as electronica, burlesque, and the occasional cover band.
9. TaxSlayer Center – 1201 River Drive in Moline, IL
The TaxSlayer Center is the Quad Cities large arena venue. This is where the biggest name acts come to play, musicians such as Janet Jackson, Bob Segar, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Elton John. This is also where the Quad Cities Mallards hockey team plays, and the new Steamwheelers arena football team.
10. Codfish Hollow Barnstormers – 5013 288th Ave. Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa, IA
I saved the best for last. (And also some might say it doesn’t count because it’s technically not in the QCA, but guaranteed if you go a show, you’ll see someone you know.) This is my favorite place to see a live show, period. It is on a farm in the middle of nowhere and has acts that contend with the TaxSlayer Center’s line up, such as Nathanial Rateliff, the Night Sweats, and the Counting Crows. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, do so soon.
*Also, I have to make a couple of footnotes here to recognize other great places to catch a show:
There are certain establishments that do occasionally have live music shows, but didn’t make the list: the Col Ballroom in Davenport, the Bierstube in Moline, or the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. My top 10 is a list specifically geared towards businesses that regularly have live music several nights of the week.
There are also many outdoor concerts at Bass Street Landing in Moline, Schweibert Riverfront Park in Rock Island, and at several different venues in downtown Davenport, that are all wonderful. Because these places are seasonal though, they get an honorable mention but do not make the list.