“Saigon after-hours is a maze of musical possibility,” says the City Pass Guide. If you’re looking for something interesting to do before the bar crawl, “go for live music,” recommends Christinas. “Whether you are a rock addict, a jazz lover, a fan of indie or simply seeking for local band performances, you can easily find a place to suit your taste.”
Here are some live music choices from the critics:
Acoustic Cafe : With its lineup of Vietnamese cover bands playing mainly Western music, Acoustic Cafe “packs the young Saigonese and a handful of foreigners in every night,” says Rusty Compass, so don’t expect to find a seat “unless you arrive early.” It’s the venue of choice for “Vietnam’s up and coming rock musicians,” says Vietnam Guide. “This is the place where legends never die and you can hear amazing renditions of -- amongst others -- Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and John Lennon.” You can find it “at the end of the alley by the upended VW Beetle,” explains Lonely Planet, “and the cocktails are deceptively strong.”
La Fenetre Soleil is “a cool cafe by day that morphs into a music venue and bar by night,” writes Rusty Compass. The music varies from rock, to jazz, and “the feel changes from night to night with DJs and live music.”
Saigon Ranger, where the music selection is “as diverse as its drinks list -- artists range from jazz and blues singers to rock bands, Latin dance and hardcore punk,” says World’s Best Bars. Its exposed brick and concrete walls are “lined with modern works of art with tables and stools lining the perimeter, ensuring enough space for dancing, or, on really busy band nights, a full house.” And besides being a live music venue, Saigon Ranger Bar also hosts “a range of cultural events including exhibitions, launches, film screenings and readings.”
Yoko is a popular live music bar where “you might wander in to see a young Vietnamese Janis Joplin belting out rock classics while patrons sit around at tables and comfy lounges,” remarks Traveller. Named after Yoko Ono, it was a pioneering live music venue in Saigon in the early 2000s -- “many young Vietnamese musicians began their careers here,” explains Rusty Compass. Yoko Bar plays host to an assortment of bands playing rock and acoustic jazz pop in a smallish bar with a unique ‘lived in’ style -- “this is a true live music bar so there are bands playing every night of the week with a regular crowd of Ho Chi Minh scenesters and expats,” notes Vietnam Guide.