3 live music cafe in Hanoi for rock music diggers

THE DOORS CAFE (11 Hang Chinh St., Hoan Kiem)

An amazing place for young Pink Floydians. Something like this was still a myth ten years ago. Having Pink Floyd music reenacted and the band guitarist is older than your dad. There’s another, younger and more complete, playing Pink Floyd, and I’d say old or young, they are all impressive (if you’re not too much of a conservative or hard going fan) but having old men playing old men’s music is just a different chill in and of itself. Come every Saturday for Pink Floyd and classic-country acts by Old Boy Blues band.

The young band did a few cover shows before. I know sometimes Pink Floyd people get way too sensitive and they worship the band too much to enjoy a cover show. But the band did great both in terms of skills and feels, I mean yaas they managed to reenacted the radio sound in Wish You Were Here, and the woman voice in The Great Gig In The Sky.  And the vocals were all done by a Caucasian artist – a note for those who never trust a Vietnamese singer attempting English songs.

An amazing place for Red Hot Chili Peppers fans as well, making it the perfect place for ME. I used to have that kind of thought, like ‘Am I a bit weird to be digging both Pink Floyd and RHCP at the same time?’. Yes or no, but probably the owner of this cafe was asking the same question ten years ago.

The cafe is very small and often covered with smoke. Quite crowded and suffocating at around 11pm, but if you’re used to it you’d be even enjoying more, because you know you can’t live Pink Floyd without smoke. I’m planning on bringing my dad here someday, because he is a dedicated Pink Floydian as well.

the doors cafe

This picture is borrowed from their Facebook Page.

HANOI ROCK CITY (27 To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho)

The name says it all. Hanoi Rock City is a great and modern place for young people in their 20s and early 30s.  Full of Caucasian folks chilling with beer on the first ground. Their stage is no doubt the best one in Hanoi, so it’s not necessarily a cafe but whatever you call it yaas it’s a place for music manias. The area is large enough for a large pool of audience, especially when they get excited and start head-banging and swaying and swinging and doing all the weird stuff. The sound system is great, the lighting system is great. Nothing to complain about except for the location, which is quite off the city (and even worse for me as I live in the farther side of the city). The Doors band did a Pink Floyd cover show here, and I don’t think they could choose a place otherwise.

There music acts vary a great deal, mostly performed by Caucasians. A great place for friends gathering, if you’re the modern and sociable type. Comfortable parking (I think cars can do), a plus point compared to The Doors.

POLYGON MUSIC (36 Cat Linh, Dong Da)

Polygon has my frequent visits, because it’s simply a chill place with less hardcore and more contemporary music. There popular acts include live hard rock every Friday, and … to be honest I don’t really care how the rest shows are doing because they’re mostly acoustic and pop music which are not my stuff.  Back to the Friday hard rock show, I must say it’d not a very good idea to be a frequent guest because they’ll be playing the same setlist weeks after weeks, with just prompt and little changes, and some few extra songs upon request. Mostly they perform popular 80s slow rock and, like, you know, Bon Jovi works, Guns n Roses, the famous Joan Jett’s I Love Myself For Loving You, or Carrie, and stuff. Anyway, my favourite place thanks to the band. They look like having so much fun on the stage and really enjoying the music they’re doing. Minus point is limited seats, and the annoying beams (-___-), and the seats at the back are pretty useless can see nothing.

Polygon is a pretty commercial place due to the varieties it offers. They did lots of cover shows before (I think the most successful one was the Ballad cover show last year).

Follow their Facebook Page for show updates.

polygon music
polygon music – credit to my friend Louis Vu

Honorable mention: HOLYLAND

I don’t really dig Holyland nowadays but it used to be my only choice ten years ago. Now Lan (the owner) mostly offers homemade rock music. I’d consider it a part of my childhood memory, but sorry to Lan, the place is not the same slumdog, poorly set yet lovable place it was ten years ago.


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