Beyond the Oval
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Beyond the Oval

Looking for a change? 5 Underrated Music Venues in Fort Collins.

Photo courtesy of google labeled for reuse

Live music is a college-town staple, and Fort Collins doesn’t differ from anywhere else in that regard. However, the main few spots tend to get overplayed after a couple months, and you find yourself feeling like you’re at the same venue night after night. Thankfully, Fort Collins features a lot of smaller music venues that feature local acts and feel more apart of the Fort Collins community. Check these five spots out when in need of diverse styles of music and unique settings.

5. Ace Gillet’s Lounge

Photo courtesy of “Ace Gillet’s Lounge”

Ace Gillet’s, a jazz lounge and restaurant, serves up delicious small plates and live jazz 5 nights a week. The lounge has a rotating list of jazz-artists who play plenty of different styles of jazz music to keep it unique and different every night. Ace Gillet’s gives the impression of being in a New York jazz club in the 1940s with its swanky decorations and dark lighting, as well as the fact that it is located in a subterranean basement. It is located on 239 S. College Ave. in downtown Fort Collins where all the action is.

4. Avogadro’s Number

Photo courtesy of “Avogadro’s Number”

Avogadro’s Number is another restaurant-music venue combo that has bands from various styles of music most nights, as well as some comedy open-mics and free jam sessions. For example, each Wednesday there’s a bluegrass jam, where people can eat great food and play their own bluegrass. It’s always a good time at Avogadro’s number. Located at 605 S. Mason St. just off campus, this spot is perfect for students looking for some filling grub and entertaining music.

3. Magic Rat

Photo courtesy of “Magic Rat”

“Magic Rat” is a real smorgasbord of a lot of different entertainment; trivia nights, comedy, and local live music are some of the things Fort Collins locals come to see nightly. The venue highlights a lot of local acts, which is a nice gesture as a lot of the larger venues get acts with no FoCo connection. Unfortunately, the venue us 21+ for shows, eliminating some of the student crowd. However, after turning 21, it is definitely worth it to catch a show here. The venue allows renting the space for private events, a nice touch around graduation time. “Magic Rat” is indeed an intimate space unlike many other live music venues, located at 111 Chestnut St.

2. The Armory

Photo courtesy of “The Armory”

Looking for a more intimate space? Look no further as “The Armory” will provide. As an acoustic venue, “The Armory” features a small amount of seating rather than general admission, which lets people relax and get into the feeling of the small venue. Being in a historic building also adds to the unique feeling. The venue is also a major part of the Fort Collins music community at large, providing educational options for aspiring musicians as well as connecting more-established local musicians with the greater community. “The Armory” is a place for musicians to congregate, perform, and network for the future. This is why it feels so good to spend time here, and it really fits in with Fort Collins’ image. “The Armory” is located at 314 E. Mountain Ave. in bustling Fort Collins old town.

1. Jay’s Bistro

Photo courtesy of Google labeled for reuse

A quick look at “Jay’s Bistro” and it seems like a high-class restaurant. Even better, when you go inside you learn every Friday and Saturday there is a rotating schedule of smooth jazz musicians. While the musicians change weekly, you’re sure to here some great jazz-guitar at “Jay’s”, a highlight of their performances. The food, being delicious on its own, is complemented by the relaxing music and mood. However, you don’t need to come here for food, as the restaurant fills up with non-diners as the night grows older, all coming for the smooth jazz. A great place for a fancy occasion or impromptu jazz listening-session, “Jay’s Bistro” is located at 135 W. Oak St.

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