Temple Nightclub
Aaron Thackeray

Over the past decade, San Francisco's Temple Nightclub has built up a strong following, and last year, CEO and founder Paul Hemming opened an outpost in Denver, in the former City Hall location. The super-futuristic three-story venue, which Hemming calls "a love child of Burning Man and Las Vegas," has presented heavy-hitting EDM talent like Fedde Le Grand and Benny Benassi, who play jams pumped through a booming Funktion-One sound system. The club's LED-covered walls and laser light shows give the space a sci-fi-flavored ambience.

Readers' Choice: The Black Box

The Black Buzzard
Courtesy Oskar Blues Black Buzzard Facebook page

The folks behind Oskar Blues have a two-decades-long history of hosting live music at their various spots around the state, so it's not surprising that they did a superb job renovating the downtown basement space that was once home to the original Brendan's Pub and, more recently, Pat's Philly Steaks & Subs. Since opening late last year, they've filled the stage at Black Buzzard with local acts at least three nights a week. The Delta Sonics host a weekly blues jam, and the venue hosts comedy shows and comedy open-mic nights, as well.

Readers' Choice: Levitt Pavilion Denver

Although Denver lost its oldest blues club when Ziggies closed last year, Lincoln's Roadhouse has long been home to a steady stream of primarily local blues talent — most notably, the Delta Sonics, Maynard Mills and David Booker — as well as the occasional national touring act. Any time is a good time at Lincoln's, which serves up some mean Southern fare alongside the tunes, including po' boys, grilled Louisiana hot sausage and Cajun popcorn — but things can get downright rowdy on the weekends.

Readers' Choice: Dazzle

Dazzle

Dazzle already had a great thing going for nearly two decades at its former location at 930 Lincoln Street, but since moving downtown to much bigger digs in the old Baur's building, the jazz venue has grown into even more of a world-class establishment. With more than twice the capacity and a much bigger stage and sound system than those at the former space, the new Dazzle offers a better listening experience all around. The venue continues to book the finest local jazz talent as well as internationally known luminaries; in March alone, the club brought in the Bad Plus, Dr. Lonnie Smith, James Blood Ulmer, Jane Monheit and Chris Speed.

Readers' Choice: Nocturne

La Rumba
Eric Gruneisen

While La Rumba is the best place in town to get down to a variety of Latin music, the venue is also a great place to learn how to dance through its salsa and bachata classes and workshops, which are offered most nights of the week. Whatever level dancer you are, La Rumba also puts on popular Latin nights, especially Thursdays through Saturdays, when the club heats up and the dance floor is packed with people dancing to some of the best salsa and bachata DJs in town.

Readers' Choice: La Rumba

Grizzly Rose
Eric Gruneisen

For nearly three decades, the Grizzly Rose has been the city's main outpost for country music, and the Country Music Association named it one of the best clubs in the U.S. The 40,000-square-foot venue, which hosts live music six nights a week, has seen rising stars on their way up — like Taylor Swift, who was still a teenager when she played there — as well as such seasoned veterans as Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. With its massive dance floor, the Grizzly Rose is also an ideal place to learn how to line-dance or two-step during monthly classes.

Swallow Hill Music
Swallow Hill Music

The fact that Swallow Hill has not only survived, but thrived over nearly forty years says a lot about the nonprofit's dedication to folk, roots and acoustic music of all kinds. Since its beginnings in 1979 as an outgrowth of the Denver Folklore Center, Swallow Hill has hosted local, national and international artists on its stages and taught countless students through its music school and, more recently, its outreach programs. Here's to another forty.

Lost Lake

Since opening in 2010, Lost Lake has gone through a few changes, both in ownership and aesthetics. Nearly a decade ago, the club's interior sported a cabin vibe, but after renovations, the feel is more industrial, with exposed brick behind the bar. Welcome upgrades to the stage and sound system have made it the best intimate spot to see live bands most nights of the week, from acts that tour nationally to the best in local talent.

Readers' Choice: hi-dive

The Black Box
@JVPhotography11

The folks behind the Black Box have shown time and time again that they've got dubstep down. That could be because Nicole Cacciavillano ran Sub.mission, a successful dubstep production company, for nearly a decade before opening the club in November 2016. But even though that music sounds amazing run through the Box's specially designed Basscouch sound system, there's a lot more than just dubstep here: The dual-room venue also hosts a wide variety of EDM acts at least four nights a week.

Readers' Choice: The Black Box

Beta

With Beta nearing its ten-year anniversary in May, it's safe to say that the venue is the king of dance clubs in Denver. Beta consistently pulls in the biggest names in dance music and electronica, like the Crystal Method, Infected Mushroom, Cedric Gervais and Ferry Corsten. But you don't have to take our word for it: Billboard named Beta one of the 25 Best Dance Clubs of All Time in 2015, and world-class DJ Paul Oakenfold, who has spun at the club multiple times, has called it one of the best venues in America.

Readers' Choice: The Black Box

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