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Bengaluru is growing out of its rock ‘n’ roll roots into becoming a genre-bending musical hub, attracting international artists from The Vaccines to Avicii and David Guetta. But if you’re looking for something a little more indie/retro, the city has a crop of music spaces (not just Plan B and Pecos) that confirm there’s life outside of 100 Feet Road.
Second home to Bengaluru’s indie scenesters, The Humming Tree has raised the bar drastically for music venues in India over the past two years. The crew at the Tree pride themselves on their good taste, so you can count on them to bring down great artists and new talent every week, make you special cocktails (named after tracks by artists like Pearl Jam, Laura Marling and the F16s) and desserts like the Bacon Whiskey Chocolate Tart.
Address: 949, 3rd Floor, 12th Main, Off 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar
Meal for two (with drinks):Rs 1,700
Launched over several events last month, ranging from an “artists only” party to a full-blown concert with British electronica act Dub Pistols, blueFrog hops onto Church Street after conquering Mumbai and Pune. With three bar areas, a decent-sized stage and signature attention to space, it’s every bit as snazzy as you expected it to be. The opening week saw resident DJ AXO spinning some sick tunes, and a performance by the one and only Kutle Khan. In the coming weeks, they’ll have Thermal and a Quarter, Leon Russell and The Raghu Dixit Project on stage. Will the Frog go all out and destroy other music venues in the city? Visit and you’re entitled to make a wager.
Address:3, Church Street
Meal for two (with drinks): Rs 2,000
Call: 080 69999549
Indigo Live Music Bar
At Radio Indigo’s live music space, you can expect bustling salsa nights during the week and live music on the weekends. The programming ranges from rock and indie to house, techno and dance music. There’s also a Karaoke night every Wednesday if that’s your cup of tea (though we’d recommend a beer instead). Gigs have included Mikey McLeary — India’s jingle king — and Rachel Varghese of ‘Get Gorgeous’ fame, performing some jazzy tunes, to more powerhouse performances by Skrat and Junkyard Groove. Indigo Bar’s nothing if not versatile.
Address:5thFloor, 6th Block, Elite Building, Industrial Layout, Jyoti Niwas College Road, Koramangala
Meal for two (with drinks): Rs 1,600
Call: 080 25535330
Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café in Bengaluru is, like any other HRC in the world, replete with glitzy memorabilia and guitars. And even though recent attempts at being the ‘bastion’ of rock might be questionable (a Puddle of Mudd tour, really?), give them credit for keeping at it ever since they launched in 2008. Indie bands like Swarathma, Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets, the F16s, Greyshack, and a Carnatic rock outfit called Agam have all played here; so you can expect good music on most days. Do line your stomach with their Legendary 10 pound burger before deep-diving into their lethal cocktails.
Address:40, Opposite LIC Building, Off MG Road, St. Marks Road
Meal for two (with drinks):Rs 2,000
Ever since Palace Grounds shut its doors to live events and festivals, Pebble has taken on that mantle. Quite the experimentation ground for a whole wave of electronica/tech/house/psytrance artists, Pebble’s seen international acts like Shpongle, Grouch and Pleasurekraft perform here. It has also hosted DJ and live sets at the artisanal bazaar ‘Kitsch Mandi’ and the electronic night ‘The Pink X.’ Go to Pebble to soak in the music, jump around, and dance with some serious vigour — because it’s one of the few places in Bengaluru with the space for it.
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