5 Great Small Montreal Music Venues

5.O Patro Vys
Located on Mont-Royal, just a few steps away from Saint-Denis, the small wooden sign displaying the venue’s name is easy to miss when walking by. But if you happen to head upstairs to the long narrow room, you’ll be treated to a classy venue with a sweet lounge vibe. The acoustics are clear and the sound impeccable: multi-instrumental groups such as Montreal indie pop act The Golden Tribe (who are playing there Sept. 20) will deliver studio-quality sound when playing O Patro Vys. On the downside, the venue doesn’t seem to be open to more feisty types of music. Shoegaze seems to be the “heaviest” musical genre you might catch at the venue. That’s a let down for fans of harder music as this is a good-sized, very enjoyable venue.

4.TRH Bar
TRH Bar is reminiscent of what Foufounes Électriques used to be in the 80’s and 90’s: a raw, takin’-names-and-kickin’-ass, stylish, classic punk venue. The first floor has an indoor skateboarding pool for all KickFlippers to enjoy and the second floor offers a very well-designed stage and dancefloor, with a skate ramp right next to it. The experience of watching your favourite punk, rock, and hardcore bands perform while you have daredevils flying off the ramp a few feet away is one-of-a-kind. Unfortunately, the venue seems to often lack good sound, which poses a problem when the performing acts are not of the punk genre.

3.La Vitrola
This newcomer brings a concept Montreal venues haven’t seen in a long time: a big loft-style venue, a stage of the perfect height and size, a long and wide dancefloor, a bar serving up drinks to get showgoers loose and rowdy, and an elevated area to set up merch tables. This venue is all we could have ever asked for, and it’s worth sacrificing your breath walking up those three flights of stairs to enjoy the great sound quality. I have only seen one show at Vitrola so far, but I was impressed by the experience. If you want to catch a show at Vitrola, you can check out their calendar on their website lavitrola.ca

2.Il Motore (Bar le Ritz PDB)
If it wasn’t for its distant location, Il Motore would be number one. Unfortunately, the blue line isn’t the most convenient of transit points when you’re at a show that ends past 11:00 p.m. This venue offers everything you could ask for, no matter what musical genre you’re expecting to enjoy: great sound, good view of the stage from any location in the room, a long bar for all those who like to have a drink, and a long, L-shaped wooden bench on the right side of the stage if you want to sit down to enjoy the show. Il Motore will soon be changing its name to “Bar Le Ritz” and officially re-launch on Oct. 9, with a free party featuring surprise performances.

1. La Sala Rossa
La Sala Rossa has been around for a long time — I’ve seen countless shows at the venue since 2005, and it never disappoints. The victorian design, the red-painted walls, and the giant luster on the ceiling gives the old club español its particular charm. The stage height is perfect for all acrobats who like to stage dive, and the large room gives you plenty of elbow space. Go in for a great Spanish paella at their main floor restaurant, then head up to the showroom for a performance high in sound quality for any genre. Make sure to catch Twitching Tongues, Code Orange Kids, and Harriers on Oct. 6.

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