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Where to Go to Find the Best Live Music.

Most of us haven't seen a live event in so long that even the filthiest black hole of a bathroom sounds appealing right now. During the pandemic, musicians have devised solutions such as livestreams and remote outdoor concerts, but the locations themselves remain crucial. Maybe it's the sense of camaraderie you'll find there, or the booker whose judgement you trust enough to show up without even looking at the schedule. Perhaps it's the flawless live sound, the bartender's strong pour, or the raggedly appealing ambiance that drives less committed customers away.

Your best bet is to start simple and google - live entertainment near me. Most cities feature an online 'What's On' website that lets you know what performers or bands are performing in the near future. It also aids in narrowing your search by identifying which genres are popular in each city. For example, because New Orleans is known for its music, you'll find more live jazz venues there. Whether you want to see Beyonce or an unknown local favorite band, you should be able to find out who is playing in town when you go online.

Brooklyn Steel, New York City

Brooklyn Steel.

The huge facade of Brooklyn Steel, which pays homage to its previous existence as a steel production facility, appears menacing at first glance. The facility, which is located in Brooklyn's Bushwick area, is quickly becoming one of the city's top live music venues. LCD Soundsystem opened Brooklyn Steel with five sold-out nights in 2017, and since then, the Pixies, PJ Harvey, and, most recently, Mitski on her sold-out Be the Cowboy tour have all performed there.

Stubbs, Austin


No vacation to Texas' capital is complete without a stop at Stubb's, a superb barbecue place on Red River Street with a great stage in the rear. The Waller Creek Amphitheater has a capacity of 2,200 people, but it's a laid-back kind of setting where you may feel like you're hanging out in someone's garden while enjoying a show by one of the world's best bands.

9:30 Club, Washington, DC

9:30 Club.

The 9:30 Club, which has been there since the early 1980s and has been at its current location for nearly 20 years, has long been regarded as one of the country's best indie rock venues. The club, which hosted gigs from famous local bands like Fugazi and Minor Threat during the city's 1980s and 1990s hardcore scene, has been the center of the D.C. music scene for generations. The 1,200-seat theater now hosts a steady stream of major touring groups, as well as a series of secret gigs from bands like Green Day, Radiohead, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers over the years. Gwar, the Roots, and Thievery Corporation are among the artists who have performed at the venue more than 20 times since it opened. When Rolling Stone surveyed musicians and industry experts in 2013 to determine the greatest big-room clubs in the country, the 9:30 Club came in first.

Hollywood Bowl, LA

Hollywood Bowl.

Year after year, artists have made history at the 17,500-person capacity theater, which opened in 1922: The Beatles performed there in 1965 and 1965, and released The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, a live album based on those performances; the Doors did the same in 1968; Monty Python staged their final full revue there in 1982; Kanye West chose the venue as the perfect place to perform his 808s & Heartbreak album in its entirety in 2015; and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played their final shows together there in 2017 before his death. Ringo Starr once observed of the Beatles' appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, "It was the Hollywood Bowl."

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