The Viper Room

Bar / Live Music Venue
The Viper Room Once owned by Johnny Depp and site of everything from the overdose of River Phoenix to performances by musicians like Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, and The Strokes, The Viper Room is a treasured live music landmark in the seedy rock... Los Angeles United States 34.090472 -118.384667
3.98 23
The Viper Room - Bar | Live Music Venue in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Once owned by Johnny Depp and site of everything from the overdose of River Phoenix to performances by musicians like Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, and The Strokes, The Viper Room is a treasured live music landmark in the seedy... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 8pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

The Viper Room Videos

OWATA 06.30.2010 - The Smashing Pumpkins ; The Viper Room, Los Angeles, CA
0:000:00
OWATA 06.30.2010 - The Smashing Pumpkins ; The Viper Room, Los Angeles, CA
8,755 views
Erykah Badu Live @ The Viper Room
26,550 views
The Stuns - Live At The Viper Room - With Or Without It 10/10/10
199 views
As Rome Burns 06.30.2010 - The Smashing Pumpkins ; The Viper Room, Los Angeles, CA
17,740 views
neon neon - "dream cars" @ the viper room
18,986 views
United States 06.30.2010 - The Smashing Pumpkins ; The Viper Room, Los Angeles
2,359 views

Party Earth The Viper Room Review

The Scene

Once owned by Johnny Depp and site of everything from the overdose of River Phoenix to performances by musicians like Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, and The Strokes, The Viper Room is a treasured live music landmark in the seedy rock...

Once owned by Johnny Depp and site of everything from the overdose of River Phoenix to performances by musicians like Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, and The Strokes, The Viper Room is a treasured live music landmark in the seedy rock-and-roll history of the Sunset Strip.

Raucous gangs of rockers from well-dressed indie kids to black-clad metalhead roadies pile past the doormen and into an intimate one-room venue draped in black.

Before the show starts, eclectic cliques of young punks, groupies, and wannabe musicians stand around the bar or huddle in green leather booths to swill cans of cheap beer and trade concert stories, but once the amps turn on, all attention is focused on the stage, where local acts and underground legends play for the head-banging crowd.

A wild child vibe keeps ironic hipsters at bay, instead inspiring shouted toasts and friendly camaraderie among the enthusiastic young patrons.

For music lovers who can withstand its boundless energy, deafening tunes, and madcap crowd, the Viper Room is a dingy little slice of rock and roll heaven.

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Tip from Jonah:

Check out the Viper Room’s blog to learn about secret shows and unannounced special guests. And if you miss out on Prince’s performance, you might still be able to see the set list posted.

  • Crowd

    Band dependent, but usually urban, underground, punk, alternative, and indie types, 20s to 30s with some 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live local bands daily, and scheduled performances by well-known bands and artists. Genres include rock, punk, metal, acoustic, and indie. Check website for calendar of events and advance ticket sales, often cheaper than the door price.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Merchandise sold inside, including t-shirts, mugs, and shot glasses.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $8–$25. Beer $4–$7, wine $7, mixed drinks $8–$9, shots $7–$11. Merchandise $10+. Valet $10.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Varies by concert: mod, punk, goth, urban, thrift-store trendy, alternative.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    May depend on the music, but pretty much every night is a hot night for a rockin’ experience.

  • Close By

    Rainbow Bar & Grill (9015 West Sunset Boulevard) is a great dive restaurant and bar steeped in history and full of musicians, roadies, and groupies.

The Viper Room User Reviews

Average rating:
A Living Monument to the Slow Death of Rock
Daniel B. Apr 1, 2013
My Take: The Viper Room is a rock venue that mostly showcases emerging indie, metal, and rock bands. The stage is small and the room is intimate so it’s perfect for checking out a smaller group. For bigger bands, the space can start to feel really claustrophobic, really fast. The Scene: This rock venue brings out diehard rock fans, metalheads, and a spattering of Eastside indie kids that have somehow made it west of Vermont. The headlining bands tend to be smaller and bring out their own crowds that leave as soon as whatever band they came for is done. Cocktails & Cuisine: Standard beers, shots, and mixed drinks with heavy pours and not much else going for them. Supposedly they have wine too, so if you really want to be the kind of person that sips a glass of bad cab while staring down your nose at the headbangers drowning their Scandinavian sorrow in guitar solos (aka a big, steaming d-bag), go wild. Prices: Shows typically cost about $10 a night with some headliners costing from $20 to around $30. What to Wear: Girls look like they all pair dresses, skirts, and tops from Nasty Gal with boots or studded flats. Guys typically wear skinnies, studs, and concert shirts they stole from their dads. Essentially, if it’s leather, spiked, studded, and looks like it came from Hot Topic, it’s probably part of the uniform at The Viper Room. Insider Info/When to Go: Weekends have the best bands and most energetic crowds. If you come to see a smaller band during the week and they don’t bring out their own following, it can make for a pretty sad show, especially with some of the strange lineups The Viper puts together. Nothing’s more pathetic than a band having to play in front of a room of five after a headliner just left with the majority of the crowd.
Not Living Up to its Reputation
Caity H. Mar 6, 2013
The Viper Room may be a treasured venue in Los Angeles' musical history, but age and reputation don't always stand for quality. To be fair, I only have one visit to judge from, but my experience there was not ideal. It's an easy enough spot to find and the cover charge is standard, but beyond that I really wasn't impressed at all by this venue. For starters, it's a tiny bar venue, which means you're in close quarters with drunk people all night long. This isn't always a bad thing but it definitely can be. The hallways and restrooms also have a strangely pungent odor of sweat and vomit and who knows what else. I've been going to small venue concerts for years, so I'm no stranger to standing room only, but I happened to be with my mother the night I visited The Viper Room so I had the pleasure of learning their table policy as well. In order to occupy a table, you and or your party have to spend $90 at the bar. My mother was about as pleased with this venue as I was after being told this rule. I'm not saying I wouldn't give The Viper Room a second chance, but even if I did, I'm already quite certain I'd enjoy it about as much as my first time there and that wasn't much at all.
Welcome to the Jungle: The Viper Room At Twenty
Lauren R. Mar 4, 2013
The Viper Room's seasoned recipe of sparsely lit, matte black walls and nightly aural debauchery from a diverse array of musicians may be turning 20 this year, but it still operates like a well-oiled, secretive speakeasy where the possibilities of who you'll see and hear are endless. The club embodies the spirit of rock & roll, from the beguiling bar-staff, all of whom perform in up-and-coming or established music acts, to monthly band residencies from the likes of Billy Howerdel's Ashes Divide, Greek punk outfit Barb Wire Dolls, and heralded local rockers, the jovial Warner Drive. Buckcherry, Filter, Joe Perry, Our Lady Peace, and a slew of other popular artists pop in to play for a room of packed, frenzied fans to demo new material or simply play for the joy of it. The Viper Room nurtures the essence of rebellion and freedom of the choice; you have the options of dancing with abandon in the downstairs lounge or rubbing shoulders with the night's acts outside the Sunset Boulevard-adjacent door, or if you're feeling low-key, take it easy and imbibe a drink in one of the welcoming, oversized booths tucked along the club's perimeter. A competent DJ hand-selects deep cuts and beloved classic tunes between sets, with sound presided over by some of the Sunset Strip's finest audiophiles, ensuring a quality sensory experience that's been refined in concert with the rest of the club's general operations, maturing and enduring in quality and execution. Some things do improve with age, which The Viper Room proves on a nightly basis. What happens at The Viper Room doesn't have to stay there - bring home a T-shirt or glass emblazoned with the club's iconic patron saint, Serpent Sirena, and don't do anything she wouldn't do.
Love for the Viper Room
Brian M. Feb 21, 2013
Like I said, I love this venue. It's dark, sexy and has one of the best. if not the best sound system on the LA club circuit. While the bar prices aren't cheap, you will have a good time with great live acts, a DJ in between bands spinning all types of rock, metal, goth and punk tunes. Also, the Viper has the occasional star hanging out at a table checking out new local acts. Get on twitter and facebook for all those last minute details!!
Still Got It
Joseph W. Feb 19, 2013
The Viper Room has history - so much so that it hardly needs to be repeated here. But despite the crazy/tragic/legendary things that went on here in the 90's, there is something perhaps more quietly amazing about the place: it hasn't sold out. Somehow, it's still friendly, unpretentious and accessible. If your band is up to a reasonable standard, you can get yourself a gig at the Viper Room - something to tell your friends back home, no? And it's this sense of optimism, the sheer rock and roll, get up and get on with it attitude, that has kept this place relevant and important in an otherwise candy coated West Hollywood. It's not dirt cheap, but staff are friendly. The crowd ranges from early twenties to the upper forties - all largely nonjudgmental and thankfully hipster-less. Depending on which night you go, you'll see anything from an avant garde electronic duo to a local AC/DC cover band. The only certainty is that it will be loud and you'll be close to the stage - it's a pretty small venue. But you came to see a show, right? You'll get one. The movie gods and rock stars are no longer in such plentiful supply, and it's now possible (thankfully) to go to the Viper Room without hearing the name River Phoenix every ten minutes. But the place is still exactly what an old school music venue should be - and in the spirit of rock and roll, it doesn't give a ****. Long may it continue.
Luis Campos
Luis C. Jan 5, 2013
Its decadent black painted tile and white broadway style lettering defines the atmospheres of the mid-90s when describing The Viper Room. The historical building has been an 'it' place for multiple genres from alternative through punk rock wear black, have fun and famous for being the death scene of River Phoenix and partially owned by Johnny Depp. The small venue nightclub epitomized an era the ideal venue for young Hollywood like Jared Leto and Lisa Marie Presley during the mid-90s and continues to have the be the ideal place for individuals to have intimate gathering with friends on a Friday night. If anything, who would get tired of having a fun time rocking to there favorite indie-rock musicians playing in what most would label a "dirty music club." The Viper Room is anything but dirty, it is self-described as the club in West Hollywood where you can escape the 'poppy, fresh and OMG' scene and go back through time --- it is the club where you won't feel like a tourist in West Hollywood. For those planning on going to The Viper Room for the first time, do not get lost in the sea of standing room only individuals but simply have fun, party to live music and buy a $10 strong alcoholic drink, while you are there.
Nice venue, decent priced drinks, Hollywood.
Jessica B. Dec 5, 2012
Viper Room is a relatively nice venue, located in Hollywood. I have only been there a handful of times, each for a different genre of entertainment. The first time I went was for a local bands album release party, so the crowd was very bias, while the music was mediocore, however, the bar had pretty cheap drinks, with heavy pours, so I was ultimately okay with the experience. The next time I went for a christian event, which was packed out to my surprise, and I had a great time. The most recent time I went, there was a pretty dope Dj in attendance, and a nice amount of individuals to take up room, without it being overly packed. All in all, the venue is nice, it all depends on who is performing that will determine if you will have a good time or not Possibly whoever books talent, needs to be a bit more selective, but overall Viper Room is cool with me.
History...Rock...Exclusive...yep...it's all there
Chad F. Nov 28, 2012
Yeah, yeah, yeah...it's small. You can see the bands up close and personal. The sound will make you deaf for a few hours. History...Rock...Exclusive...yep...it's all there. The thing I really like about the Viper Room on Sunset is the service. The waitresses, bartenders, door men....all unusually friendly, chatty and NICE. I know! LA? NICE??? Yep, it's true. I went to see the Terminator Too Live Show (which is awesome by the way) a few weeks ago and the waitress bent over backwards to get my friends and I drinks during the entire show with zero attitude. Even chatted with us during intermission. We gave her a huge tip. She earned it.
Great venue
Julie T. Nov 20, 2012
I went here once so far to see my friend's band, Sea Over Eli, play and I loved it. The bartenders and the bouncers were nice and fun, and the place was intimate and small. The stage reached the audience and made it so that the band and audience were more connected with each other. They also had some pretty good drink deals and a great selection of liquors from what I remember. Sound was great, crowd was great, decor was awesome and the history of the venue is pretty schnazzy too. I had a great time and will be back again for more concerts!
Unique Spot
Rachel G. Nov 17, 2012
Everyone who knows West Hollywood or of rock n roll music knows about The Viper Room. The first time I went here was with my dad to see one of his favorite bands called Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers. I was young, but I still remember that show because of how vintage and unique The Viper Room is. The place is kind of small, but that makes the show more intimate between performer and observer and that's what I love so much about this place. Big name bands play here and you get to be close to their every sweaty song lyric.
Smallllll!
Ross S. Nov 5, 2012
This is one of the smallest venues in Los Angeles and one of the best too! There is no food menu, but plenty of drinks to order from either the upstairs or downstairs bar. The stage is so small that you almost feel like you are in the band. Acts of all sizes perform here and this has become a staple on the Sunset Strip. There is a Breathalyzer machine over by the bathrooms too!
Great Music
Kristen P. Oct 5, 2012
The Viper Room is small (which is cool when you’re seeing a band, it’s intimate), but it's very cool. Drinks are expensive, as expected in the Sunset area, but the live music makes up for it. Part of the rock and roll history of Los Angeles, if you’re into awesome bands, you will like this club. The music gets very loud, so it takes center focus. It brings in definitely more of a trendy, alternative crowd; The Viper Room is not your typical Hollywood club with house music and dancing. If you appreciate rock music, you need to go here at least once.
The better live music venues in Los Angeles
Deepak H. Oct 4, 2012
I actually went to the Viper room last Saturday and it was pretty awesome. It made me wonder why I have not been here for past 3 years. It is a very small place. Very intimate indeed. There is a fee of around $15 to get in. People have to get in through the door at the side, get past the bouncer, pay the fee and walk up to the stage area. The stage is very small so don't expect to see the band moving around a lot. The drinks are average, $6-$7 beer. The place can get quite crowded so make sure you do arrive early to get a good spot. They had nearly 5 bands playing that night. The setting is pretty awesome! Definitely worth going to if you like live music.
Dream come true
Sandy S. Oct 1, 2012
Who hasn't heard of the Viper Room? As far as I remember all I wanted to do when I stepped foot into LA was to get into the Viper Room and soak a bit of the rock-n-roll history and I finally got a chance to do so last weekend. What I totally and absolutely loved about the place is that I am pretty sure that nothing has changed here since the 80's except maybe the prices. Viper Room is definitely one of the smaller places as compared to Key Club or Whisky -a gogo which are all a stone's throw away but even though it is small it was quite comfortable and airy. The small setting actually makes it that much more cooler since you have a chance to get upclose with the band playing. They also have a lounge downstairs which I didn't get to go to as they were planning to play some kinda electronic music. I had a pretty awesome time as watching 5 bands for the price of 15 bucks was pretty decent and I was lucky to have a witnessed atleast a couple of the bands who were pretty good. The parking was 10 bucks at the Viper room but if you want to save yourself the hassle of looking for street parking since most of them require street permit, you would rather just pay those 10 bucks and have an awesome night.
High Five the Band
Victor H. Sep 19, 2012
Get ready to pay the Viper. Since parking on Sunset is non-existing, you'll find yourself paying $10 to park at the parking lot located in back of the venue. This is probably how they make up for not having a cover charge. Once inside you'll walk a stair case to the main room and 5 steps later you've walked to the end of the room. Yep, this place is ridiculously small which has its ups and downs. One of the downside is that this place gets too hot for comfort and crowded so kiss your personal space goodbye. On the upside this is as close and personal as you can get to a band. If a band you love is playing here, get tickets! The crowd is usually great despite the discomfort and paying the cover charge...I mean parking fee is not so bad considering the very intimate show you will experience.
An institution...in the best and worst ways
Jayson M. Aug 15, 2012
Look, if you love music, you have to go the the Viper Room. Not hitting this place up at least once is like being a tourist and not hiking up to the stupid Hollywood sign. It's small, dark, crazy intimate, and the music is always good. Prices are very very reasonable, especially considering it's location. Parking around here, of course, is a nightmare on weekends, but that's The Sunset Strip for ya. Pretty sure I picked up some horrifying, as-of-yet unknown disease in the Chernobyl-esque bathrooms. But there's no drink minimum (a rarity at any music venue), which makes up for the fact that I'm always a little concerned that the ornery doorman is going to murder me.
Up Close and Personal
Paul F. Aug 14, 2012
I've been to many a show at the Viper Room and you would be hard-pressed to find a spot where you can get closer to the band. There's no barrier between the crowd and the stage and the deafening noise blasts throughout the the small space. There is some VIP seating off to the left of the stage and a decent sized and cheap bar in the back. It never costs a lot to get in to the place as I think tickets at the Viper Room probably run between $10 and $20. Some of my best experiences at the venue is when I'm with a friend who manages the band and you get to hang with the group backstage. Always a good time.
As Intimate as A Rock and Roll Show Gets
Daniel H. Aug 2, 2012
The Viper Room is one of my favorite places in the world to see a concert. If the nearby Roxy and Key Club are intimate music venues, then this place is as up close and personal as it gets. The space inside the historic Viper Room is absolutely tiny, yet they still have some really impressive lineups of up-and-comers and famous musicians. I came here recently to see one of my favorite bands, “The Henry Clay People”, and it was unbelievable, I only paid $5 for a ticket, and I was so close that I could literally touch them had I wanted to. What I really like is there is no where to sit aside from a few barstools and some booths reserved for the musicians/help/reservations, so everyone is forced to be up on their feet and moving – not that they wouldn’t be anyway. The crowds here are all hipsters and music lovers who come to jam. Only at the Viper Room can I rock out five feet away from one of my favorite bands and then get to chat them up and talk to them afterwards…oh, and the drinks are super cheap too!
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