Best Cities for Live Music in the U.S.

Best Cities for Live Music in the U.S.

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Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheatre

America is home to some legendary music venues, indoors and out. Fodors notes places like Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, The Gorge at George in Washington and Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland as the top outdoor venues, while Travel + Leisure names San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville as to of its indoor favorites.

Boston, Massachusetts

Beantown offers a rich and eclectic music scene having birthed many renowned artists from The Cars, Pixies and Aerosmith to James Taylor and, of course, Boston. You’ll find everything from local bands playing at intimate venues like Harpers Ferry and the House of Blues to pop culture greats at TD Banknorth Garden and the classics, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s most versatile ensembles, at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Not matter what your favorite genre, you’re sure to find the experience you’re looking for among this city’s exciting live music scene.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is well-known for producing a practically endless list of rappers like Nelly and Ludacris, but you’ll find just about every other music genre here as well. If you’re looking for an intimate rock venue, head to The Masquerade on Kenny’s Alley in Underground Atlanta with its signature stages: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, or for big-name recording artists, Philips Arena has hosted everyone from Lady Gaga to Fleetwood Mac. The Tabernacle, a former church transformed into a club, hosts a diverse range of artists in a variety of genres and has been named by Billboard as one of its “25 Most Popular Music Clubs in the U.S.”

Seattle, Washington

Famous as the birthplace of grunge, while the Emerald City still embraces that genre with a permanent exhibit celebrating Nirvana at the Museum of Pop Culture, a wide range of live music can be enjoyed in Seattle today. Sup Pop Records, known for launching the grunge movement has also produced greats like The Shins and hip-hop artist Macklemore. Music venues here include everything from The Crocodile for great live local tunes to Columbia City Theater, The Showbox at the Market and Key Arena.

Austin, Texas

The Texas capital bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” with even more live music venues per capita than some of the most well-known spots like New York City, L.A. and Nashville. It all began with the TV show “Austin City Limits” which was followed by the trendy South by Southwest festival. Today, some of the favorite venues for enjoying Austin’s music include Antone’s, Saxon Pub, The White Horse, Continental Club and the Broken Spoke.

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