Rolling Stone Declares 10 Best Live Music Venues in America

Rolling Stone just declared the 10 Best Live Music Venues in America. If you’re a fan of all types of music, then make sure to put these down on your bucket list.

From small clubs, to big rooms, up to epic amps and arenas, all of the amazing nightlife in which we thrive in is narrowed down to just 10. As with any venue, it’s all about the overall experience and the memorable performances engrained in our minds after the lights go down.

Nasvhille’s iconic Ryman Auditorium, the glamorous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, down to the gritty El Club in Detroit, there’s something here every music fan can enjoy. See Rolling Stone’s top 10 list and excerpts from the article below and read the full write up here.

First Ave, Minneapolis

First Ave is the premiere venue for national touring acts small and large. With great sightlines, attentive crowds, and bands that are consistently thrilled to be performing on the Mainroom stage, there’s no better venue for hundreds of miles to catch bands at the top of their game.

9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.

For generations, the D.C. music scene has revolved around the venue, which played a central role in the city’s 1980s and 1990s hardcore scene, hosting shows from influential local bands alike. Today, 1,200-capacity venue plays host to a constant stream of prominent touring acts, and over the years has also been host to a series of secret shows from bands like Green Day, Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Tower Theater, Philadelphia

With an ornate ceiling dotted with glow-in-the-dark stars, a concert at the theater becomes a full-sensory experience. And some of its most celebrated acts live on forever: both David Bowie and Thin Lizzy recorded concert albums on the Tower’s stage.

Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

The country’s most famous band shell, the Hollywood Bowl has hosted concerts by everyone from Judy Garland and Louis Armstrong to Elton John and Black Sabbath. Since the 17,500-person capacity venue opened in 1922, artists have been making history there year after year, from The Beatles to Kanye West.

El Club, Detroit

Detroit’s vibrant music scene welcomed El Club to their streets in 2016, and since then it has become a go-to spot for music lovers of all ages to congregate safely to enjoy a wide range of music. The city was sometimes skipped over during U.S. tours in the past — when artists would frequently go from Chicago to Toronto — so El Club has bridged the gap, making Detroit a rising city for touring artists to be welcomed into.

Red Rocks, Morrison, Colorado

Red Rocks is the ultimate concert venue. The stage is situated between two ginormous sandstone boulders, making for top-notch acoustics, and it creates a jaw-droppingly beautiful backdrop. Artists want to give their all at the Denver-area venue, which seats close to 10,000, and fans give the energy right back.

Brooklyn Steel, New York City

Brooklyn Steel’s massive exterior seems intimidating at first glance, staying true to its first life as a steel fabrication shop. Located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, the venue is becoming one of New York’s best sites for live music. The venue’s designers took cues from the failures of the city’s similarly-sized mainstay Terminal 5, bringing this space great sight lines and an impressive speaker system that allows for a wide range of genres to shine.

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

Known as the Mother Church of Country Music, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry (and a onetime actual place of worship) is Nashville’s most hallowed stage. Hank Williams raised a ruckus there, Johnny Cash hosted his TV variety show behind its footlights and Emmylou Harris recorded the stunning Live at the Ryman album on its stage, highlight the importance and history of the once endangered venue.

Stubbs, Austin

There are tons of great venues in Austin, whose tourism-board designation as “Music Capital of the World” only sounds like an exaggeration until you spend an evening on Sixth Street. Some memorable SXSW performances here have made national headlines, like Metallica’s secret gig in 2009 — but you’re just as likely to see a great show at Stubb’s on any random night.

Ottobar, Baltimore

Ottobar opened in 1997, making it one of Baltimore’s longest-operating venues. Ottobar offers much more than consistent live music — It’s become an important community pillar, a home base and an undeniable hidden gem of the I-95 tour circuit.


Read more via Rolling Stone

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