In recent years, the music scene in Cabo San Lucas has trended towards club-style DJs rather than live music, but there are still several great rock and roll venues in town, as well as scores of wandering musicians who drop into the local restaurants to play traditional Mexican music for the patrons. Cabo Wabo Cantina is a name almost everyone knows, even those who haven’t visited the area, but lesser known venues such as Jungle Bar, Cabo Lounge, and Cabo Blue likewise feature excellent bands and entertainers. Jazz lovers should also enjoy some of the local offerings, such as the superb Daline Jones Group at Cerritos Beach Club & Surf and The Office, and Cuban-style jazz at San Jose del Cabo fine dining fixtures Deckman’s at Havana, and Don Sanchez.
Cabo Wabo Cantina – Cabo San Lucas is still relatively young as resort towns go, and very few restaurants and bars have lasted twenty years or more. Cabo Wabo Cantina celebrated their twentieth anniversary last year and is still going strong. It remains one of the most popular destinations for visitors, and diehard Redheads flock down every October for Sammy Hagar’s birthday concerts. Former Van Halen frontman Hagar is an iconic figure in San Lucas, as associated with the town as Jimmy Buffet is with Key West, or Bob Seger with Detroit. Celebrity guests usually show up for the birthday bash, including Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani, and Kenny Chesney for this year’s festivities. They also have a hard rocking house band when Sammy and friends are otherwise occupied, and the drop-off in quality is negligible. A visit to this local landmark is a must, not only for music fans, but any visitors to Los Cabos.
Image: Cabo Wabo Cantina
Cabo Lounge – This beloved local bar generally doesn’t feature live music more than twice a week, but hard rock fans should never miss a chance to see frequent performer Brian Flynn, Flynn is a transcendent guitarist, and has performed with some of the greatest names in popular music, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, Greg Allman, ZZ Top, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Hagar, The Guess Who and Waylon Jennings. The Brian Flynn Band was also the house band at Cabo Wabo for five years, and he and ace sidemen Felix and Mauricio play high-energy sets heavy on blues and classic rock standards. Watching him grab a beer out of someone’s hand and use it to play an scorching slide guitar solo would alone be worth the price of admission, if in fact the Cabo Lounge charged admission. Pick up a beer at the bar and settle in for one of the best musical values anywhere.
Jungle Bar – This is sort of the Cabo version of an old-school Sunset Strip heavy metal bar. Lots of hair, attitude, concert shirts, Harley Davidson apparel, and an all-night rock and roll party ethos. There is nowhere in town you would rather be when it is 3 a.m., you’ve had a few beers, and feel like taking your vacation to the next level. The band here is very high energy. Lead singer Monster and guitarist Juanito know how to keep the crowds at a fever pitch as they roll through a set list of popular hard rock and heavy metal standards.
For something a little more mellow, head up to Cerritos for a Sunday afternoon of Bloody Marys, mariscos, and cool jazz from singer Daline Jones and keyboardist Diego Ramirez. It is one of the better ways to spend a day in paradise, and if the band takes a break, you can rent a surf board and try your luck with the local waves.