Hot Summer Tunes
These seven venues are keeping Marin’s strong live music tradition alive.
When the weekend finally rolls around, many Marinites have only one thing on their mind: get out and hear live music. And people from all over the Bay Area cross the bridges to catch shows by bands in a county famous for names like Sammy Hagar, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, Jerry Garcia and many more. Here are seven venues you won’t want to miss visiting this summer.
For 30 years this Fairfax institution has been presenting just about any style of music you can imagine — jam band, funk, rock, reggae — seven nights a week, every day of the year. Recently renovated, the club features two bars, including the new MYK Lounge, and now offers food from its Grill 19. 17 Broadway Blvd (Fairfax), 19broadway.com
Enjoy Southern cuisine by chef Glenn “Gator” Thompson, supper club–style table service and music from a wide range of touring and local favorites at this San Rafael hot spot. The room is designed for great acoustics, so tuck into your meal and savor some tasty rock, funk, blues or jazz. 919 Fourth St (San Rafael), fenixlive.com
The Novato version of the popular tavern and restaurant chain features two live entertainment options: the indoor session room and the outdoor beer garden. You can’t go wrong with either setting for a variety of music, talks or open-mic nights. And it all goes down nicely with a bit of classic pub fare paired with one of the many beer choices (including their own brews). 224 Vintage Way (Novato), hopmonk.com/novato
Summer is the time to go to Rancho Nicasio, when the outdoor concert series is in full swing — bring your own chair and enjoy summer barbecue and wine. It’s a great venue to catch local favorites like Danny Click, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums, Jerry Hannan and more under the warm West Marin skies. Old Rancheria Road (Nicasio), ranchonicasio.com
Sweetwater Music Hall
Located in the first floor of a historic Mill Valley Masonic Lodge and reopened by a partnership group that includes the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, the new Sweetwater has been the spot for both national and local acts seeking a comfortable and intimate space. Audiences love to dance and sing along just feet from the stage. 19 Corte Madera Ave (Mill Valley), sweetwatermusichall.com
Another Grateful Dead alumnus, bassist Phil Lesh, is behind this San Rafael restaurant and live music venue (pictured). The possibilities are numerous: enjoy the luxurious Meyer sound system in the Grate Room or the who-knows-who-might-stopby (Lesh, Bob Weir, Jackie Greene, Chris Robinson) intimacy of the bar, or take it outside to the waterfront patio for live music and sun. 100 Yacht Club Drive (San Rafael), terrapincrossroads.net
The prime place to see dramatic and musical theater, comedy acts, jazz, classical and rock concerts, cabaret, dance, film presentations and other shows — all in a beautiful Mill Valley performance space more than 100 years old. 142 Throckmorton Ave (Mill Valley), throckmortontheatre.org