My top pics for Live Music on Oahu

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Podcast > My top pics for Live Music on Oahu

When you’re on vacation, a bit of live music always helps add to the ambiance of a good time. Listening to some fun cover songs at a beach side restaurant during cocktails, some mellow jazz for dinner, or even a band or DJ for a night on the town can make your Hawaii vacation exciting and adventurous. Here are a list of the top spots you can find some live music around Oahu. Unwind and enjoy the musical quality of some live beats while relaxing in the islands!

The Republik, Honolulu- A popular music hall and lounge, The Republik is notorious for its underground bands and party scene. Known as Oahu’s best concert venue, it offers a full bar, food, and standing room by the stage as well as a lounge by the bar. If you’re looking for some fresh music and a fun night, check out this swanky Honolulu spot.

Gordon Biersch, Aloha Tower- This place is cool for live music because the bands will set up in a couple different locations. For mellower music, the 1 to 3 member bands will set up directly across from the inside bar, where you can find a cocktail table and enjoy one of their fine menu options. When a band sets up outside by the outdoor bar, it’s going to be a louder, more rockin’ type of performance. On some occasions they even set up a stage outdoors with tables surrounding it. It’s a fun place for dancing, drinking, and just enjoying the warm tropical air.

Mai Tai Bar, Ala Moana- Located on the top floor of the Ala Moana Shopping Center, Mai Tai Bar is one of the liveliest spots for music on the weekends. A local spot, this restaurant and bar boasts live music seven nights a week, which is great for vacationers because you don’t have to look high and low for some live jams on a Tuesday night. With an open-air atmosphere, you come here for a drink, some live music, and a conversation with some friendly bar folk.

Lewers Lounge, Waikiki- This dim jazz lounge is the ideal place to grab a cheeky cocktail. And not the tropical kind either. I’m talking an old fashioned or some scotch; this is a seriously cool lounge located right in the Halekulani hotel of Waikiki. With a classy vibe, Lewers Lounge plays live music every night of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Maggie Herron and Rockford “Rocky” Holmes entertain guests, while Sundays and Mondays Noly Pa’a tickles the ivories with classical and light jazz renditions.

O’Tooles, Honolulu- If you’re into Irish pubs then you gotta check this spot out. Located in the quaint streets of downtown Honolulu right at Nuuanu and Ala Moana Boulevard, just wandering these streets will get you in the beer-drinking, river dancing kind of mood! O’Tooles has a stage for large bands and you’ll usually find a mix of funk, rock, and cover bands gracing the mic. With a very Irish drink menu, you can enjoy an authentic beverage while listening to some upbeat bands on the weekends. Check their website for week day performances at and stroll the streets of Honolulu for even more live music venues.

Banzai Sushi, North Shore- Mixing it up between DJ’s and live bands, this small sushi joint sure brings the crowd. And not only do they play live music on some days, but they also run surf movies on their projector big screen every night of the week. So you can enjoy sake AND music AND movies; where else can you enjoy all three but at Banzai Sushi?!! With late night happy hours on weeknights, make your way to the north shore for a fun evening at this popular sushi bar. And when the music starts, be sure you’ve got a table reserved otherwise its standing room only.

Surfer The Bar, North Shore- North shore’s premium lounge, Surfer has entertainment seven nights a week. From speak easies to live bands to DJs, movies, karaoke, open mic night and more, Surfer is a great place to hang if you’re on the north shore. Drop in guests like Jack Johnson, Gerry Lopez, John Cruz, and Matt Costa frequent the stage too, so you’re sure to see a pro surfer if you stick around long enough. With food, a full bar, and an ocean view, Surfer is a fun music venue and a great destination for vacationers.