So… Where Does the Music Take You in Boston?
Boston offers a wide choice of bars, clubs, theaters and lounges where people can listen to great live music. But do you know which ones they are and what type of events can you attend? You can support local musicians, attend career-launching events and catch your favorite singers on tour. Not to mention the fact that you have your pick of music genres and different types of venues, from the more compact to the more accommodating. So, let’s see what Boston has to offer.
9 Boston Music Venues You Need to Visit
Video description: Krill performing at Great Scott in 2015
Located in Allston, Great Scott is a 240-person capacity venue known for its indie rock concerts. The place suffered a dramatic makeover more than 10 years ago, a change which may have brought upon its great success. It has no backstage therefore the artists are “forced” to make their way off stage into the crowd of fans – which is always nice… for the fans. A great “feature” of the place is that most up-and-comers who perform here end up famous within a year or two.
2. House of Blues
Image description: Street view of the House of Blues Club in Boston
The House of Blues is a franchised music venue, the location in Boston being the first ever location of the chain. This alone speaks of the popularity of the club. About 2500 people can enjoy a music event and, despite being a medium-sized venue, it still is able to welcome big acts like that of Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga.
3. Brighton Music Hall
The Brighton Music Hall is another venue that forcer artists to retreat through the middle of the crowd. Reason enough for you to visit it yet? Although the club itself is rather new, the building was built 40 years ago and served as a music hall for rock bands. Today, the Brighton Music Hall performers are alternative, punk and indie rock bands, touring as well as local artists.
4. The Middle East
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Image description: Artist Rittz taking a picture with the crowd during the Yelawolf concert at the Middle East in December 2014
The Middle East is one of America’s best rock clubs in Boston and in the country. There are two stages on which artists perform – the Upstairs and the Downstairs – and the place operates as a restaurant as well as a music venue. There are rock, alternative and indie concerts, and the ZuZu area offers great dance parties with DJ sets. Fleet Foxes and TV on the Radio are among the bands that have performed here.
5. Paradise Rock Club
Image description: The Vaccines band performing at the Paradise Rock club in 2013
Paradise Rock is one of Boston’s MUST VISIT rock music venues. Need more information? U2 performed here in 1980 and this is the place to attend shows of bands like The Shins, The Radio Debt, OK Go, or Mastodon, Haim and Artcic Monkey. Local artists usually sing in the lounge and there are appetizers and sandwiches to be served.
6. Lizard Lounge
The Lizard Lounge is a basement bar in the vicinity of Harvard Square. The fun thing about it is that it has no stage and that the only thing separating the artist from the audience is the edge of a rug. Visitors can enjoy a very wide variety of music events from all sorts of genres like rock or folk, jazz and others, as well as good food. It is perceived as a warm and intimate space
7. The Sinclair
The Sinclair is considered the main act of the Boston music venues. It was recently renovated and its décor now boasts an antique wooden bar and other such elements, to preserve the character of the area. It has a 525 person limit as it doubles as a restaurant and a concert hall. Given the capacity and the names featured in their acts, it is no wonder that they sell out so quickly. Among the big names to have performed here there is that of the Manic Street Preachers’ band.
8. The Royale
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Image description: DJ Shadow+CORALCOLA performing at the Royale in Boston in 2012
This place has a different kind of design, compared to the other venues that wanted to preserve the old-world regional charm. The massive room is adorned with dripping chandeliers, there are comfortable seating areas, the elegant foyer is made of marble and the sound system is something you would only expect from one of the best music venues in Boston. And if this is not VIP enough, there are balconies where you can retreat to and still enjoy the music from a more intimate setting. The type of music played here? House, dance, indie rock, pop and hip-hip.
9. TT The Bear’s Place
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Image description: Street view of the T.T. The Bear’s Place club
T.T. The Bear’s Place is an underground venue by definition. It often features great yet unknown bands. Among the artists who had their early shows here we name The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and the Pixies. It has a capacity of 330 people. Also keep in mind that once a week you can attend a new-wave party with DJ Chris Ewen.
Here are 9 of the top music venues in Boston to bring you closer to great local bands, rock stars and up-and-comers. Some even serve food! So if you have not been here yet, you must do something to fix this!