Skip to main content

Omaha Magazine

Omaha, Lend us Your Ears! The Metro's Concert Venues Offer Music For All

Jun 23, 2023 01:02PM ● By Kim Carpenter
obviously omaha concert venues

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Summer is in full swing, and that means Omaha’s concert scene is heating up. Whether you’re into classic rock, southern soul, heavy metal, country, funk, rap, blues, pop, indie, R&B, or smooth jazz, there's a place to get your groove on. Here, we introduce you to some of the metro’s newer venues to catch the latest tour, as well as a few old favorites that always deliver when it comes to showcasing a broad swath of musical genres.

1100 Dodge St. | 402.345.0606
Omaha’s latest jewel on the concert scene just opened in May and is a state-of-the-art venue designed to accommodate up to 3,000 music lovers. Part of Omaha Performing Arts’ entertainment campus—that already includes the Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center—the $104 million venue is in the heart of downtown. Steelhouse is transforming the local music scene by bringing in acts that typically bypass Omaha for cities like Chicago, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Taking to the stage this summer and fall: Fleet Foxes, Tom Keifer (of Cinderella fame), W.A.S.P., and Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton. Standing room only with VIP seating on the upper level. 

Gene Leahy Mall, 1001 Douglas St.
Part of the $400 million remodel effort by the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA) to revitalize downtown, RiverFront Pavilion is the latest place to catch an outdoor concert while simultaneously serving as a gateway between the historic Old Market and north downtown Omaha. Reminiscent of old-fashioned bandstands, the pavilion has hosted heavy hitters like Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth, as well as local youth. Concerts this summer run the gamut, including the Live on the Lawn Summer Concert Series in July featuring Lemon Fresh Day and Finding Dixie and acoustic jam sessions by The Great Plains Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association in August. Grab a blanket or lawn chair and settle in for a summer of great music. 

2234 S. 13th St. | 402.706.2205
New but old, the Admiral already hosted its fair share of concerts as the Sokol Auditorium. Rebranded and renovated, this venue, situated in the heart of Little Bohemia, was built in 1926 as a place to host events for the local Czech community. It’s evolved with the times, and today hosts a line-up of established and up-and-coming artists. Taking to the Admiral’s stage this summer: Andy Grammer, Orville Peck, Steve Earle, and A.J. Croce (son of the legendary Jim Croce). Standing room only with some VIP seating upstairs. 

6212 Maple St. | 402.884.5353
Long a favorite on the Omaha concert scene, this venue is located on Benson’s main drag in what started as a 1920s car dealership. Roughly a century later, it has a well-earned reputation for bringing in future stars like Matt & Kim, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Sara Bareilles, and Macklemore before they hit it big—as well as music legends like the Psychedelic Furs. With floor space for 250, this is the place to see on-stage talent in an intimate setting. Hitting The Waiting Room Lounge this summer: Green Jelly, White Reaper, and Devon Allman & Donavon Frankenreiter. Grab a beer and settle in for a standing-room-only show.

729 N. 14th St. | 402.345.7569
Affiliated with Omaha’s own Saddle Creek Records (renowned for indie bands like Bright Eyes, Cursive, and The Faint), this NoDo anchor venue, which includes two stages, is small enough to feel intimate, yet large enough to pull in established talent. The close quarters allow the crowd to connect more immediately with the musicians for an unforgettable concert experience. Featured on stage in July and August: Cowgirl Eastern, The Frights, Julia Jacklin, Youth Lagoon, The Regrettes, and James Bay. Mostly standing room only with some seats and tables available in the bar area.

3110 Farnam St.
Located in the heart of Midtown Crossing, the bandstand at Turner Park hosts an eclectic array of music from the beloved Jazz on the Green concert series to pop-up performances by Opera Omaha. This summer’s concert highlights include the free Playing With Fire concert series, held two weekend nights in both July and August. Featuring international blues-influenced bands, the lineups include: Sugaray Rayford, a Texas blues singer; Atlanta-based Eddie 9V; Twelve Bar Blues Band from Amsterdam; Dom Martin Band from Northern Ireland; Montreal-based Justin Saladino; Danish blues-rock band Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado; Toronto blues band Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar; and British singer-guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor. The verdant setting is ideal for a cooler full of cold drinks, and a night full of choice tunes. 

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To subscribe, click here. 
Evvnt Calendar