Without music, life would be a mistake.
There is nothing that can ignite my spirit like music. Living without live music in my life is no longer an option for me. Before settling in Munich, I lived in Asia… Bangkok to be precise. Bangkok has many live performances…ahem…but mostly these performances involve ping-pong balls, underage Thai girls, and least we forget the old pot bellied white male sexpats with pink faces drooling from the sidelines. The entire 3 years that I lived in Bangkok I went to exactly 4 concerts, Kool and the Gang, Green Day, Tom Jones (Sexbomb!), and Blind Pilot (in Singapore actually and simply amazing and not just because they are from Portland, Oregon even though that certainly helps). Averaging 1.3 live shows a year was entirely not enough music for a music lover like me and I suffered. I really suffered. All of this suffering from lack of music options made the delight I experienced when I moved to Munich all the more sweeter. I can still remember walking my dog on Ludwigstrasse my first week living in Munich when a flyer posted on a large round column caught my eye. It read ‘Ben Howard live’. My heart swelled and a wide grin spread across my face. I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance right on the bustling sidewalk as hurried Germans rushed passed me. Live music, good live music, was mine at last!!! Suffering over. That was the start of what’s been a beautiful 1.5 years and counting of live music, music, and more music! Since I arrived I have seen many live shows and I am a much happier and more inspired person for it. Some of the artists I’ve been lucky enough to see perform in Munich are: Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Langhorn Slim, Bruce Springsteen, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Bombay Bicycle Club, Sigur Ros, Jack Johnson, Omara Portuondo, Buena Vista Social Club, Pink Martini, among others. Some upcoming shows that I’m looking forward to are; John Butler Trio, Brett Dennen, The Mighty Oaks, Chvrches, Habib Koité, James Blunt, Franz Ferdinand, and The National just to name a few. There are so many good tunes to be had in Munich, so please get yourself to a show because, after all, life without music would be a mistake.
Here, some helpful hints to get you started on seeing live music in Munich…
1. How do I find out about artists coming to Munich?
Lists ALL events in Munich including sports, literature, exhibitions, theater, movies, and music concerts.
Songkick allows you to track all of the artists you want to see live and a personalized concert alert will be sent to you when there is a tour date in your city. Perfect way to never miss your favorite artist!
2. Where do I purchase tickets?
**There is also a ticket kiosk in Galeria (the kiosk used to be in the Marienplatz ubahn/sbahn station). At the kiosk you can buy most any concert ticket. It’s in a great location, easy and quick, and the service is always friendly. You can also get a monthly guide here for other concerts and events occurring in Munich.
3. What are some of the concert venues in Munich?
It used to be a former power station. Nice size, intimate enough yet room to dance. Food carts serve small snacks outside. The Muffatwerk consists of the Muffathalle (concert venue) and Ampere (nightclub), a café, and a beer garden. Next to Deutsches Museum. Cell Strasse 4. It’s the big yellow building with the steeple-like thingy on top.
On the grounds of Kultfabrik. Long open air room. Looks like a modern barn. Sbahn Ostbahnhof.
I saw Sigur Ros here. I was a bit disappointed with this venue. It actually has an interesting history, an old railway reparation hall that is now a protected building. In my opinion, it is a bit too big, and acoustics aren’t great. Zenith has the capacity to hold 7,000 people. There is a large round bar in the middle and a bar on the side. It’s located at Lilienthalallee 29. U6 direction Garching-Forschungszentrum.
Newly re-opened. This is one of my favorites because there is no pretense and it’s completely chilled out. Perfect for a small intimate crowd. There are a lot of good local and international bands booked here. Located at Lindwurmstrasse 55. U3 Poccistrasse. .
This is one of my favorite venues. It’s roomy, yet feels intimate and has a great vibe. There is a beer garden with bbq’s in the summer. Located at Friedenheimer Brucke 7, Neuhausen. U1/7 Rotkreuzplatz.
Nightclub, cocktail bar, and concert venue. The space is designed to look like a nuclear survival bunker… hence the name. Located in the city center. Neuturmstrasse 5. U/S bahn Marienplatz.
I saw Pink Martini here and what an amazing theater! Exquisite. It’s a dramatic neoclassical style building that was originally built as a festival house for Richard Wagner operas. Today there are live concerts and it is also the home to the Bavarian Theater Academy. They rent the building the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Ballet as well as concert organizers. It’s located in Bogenhausen. Prinzregentenplatz 12.
The Feierwerk-Gelände houses two of Munich's top clubs for rock and indie music: Hansa 39 and Hansa Palast. Both feature a mix of no-name and big-name bands from home and abroad. The clubs can accommodate 500 and 200 respectively and the acoustics are excellent. Hansastraße 39-41.
Substanz is a small venue where there is live music almost every day of the week. It caters to the “alternative” crowd and caters to both local and international bands. There is also a regular poetry slam here. Rupperstrasse 28 U 3/6 Poccistrasse
I saw Bruce Springsteen here (one of the best shows I’ve seen. The Boss played for over 3 hours in the pouring freezing rain and never lost his infectious energy). This stadium is a lot bigger than what I typically like, but it’s a great stadium, has the added bonus of being able to accommodate 80,000 people (amazing crowd energy). It’s worth shelling out the big bucks for a ticket if it’s an artist you really love. This is where the big names go.