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Brooklyn Steel (Instagram)
Posted: Sep 07, 2021

Best Venues for Live Music Lovers

  • music
  • concert
  • live
  • live music
  • bars

This is for all of those concert enthusiasts who love seeing a bangin' show.

01

Parkside Lounge

317 E Houston St (at Attorney St), New York, NY 10002

01

Parkside Lounge is a Lower East Side mainstay. At first glance, this place seems like your classic dive bar—in a good way—that sort of weird, neon-lit charm, with the aroma of stale beer and a couple pool table sprinkled throughout. Make no mistake though; this beloved LES spot is so much more. The backroom doubles as a performance venue with live music every night, with anything from spoken word to indie plays. Take note though: most backroom shows have a two drink minimum.

02

The Brooklyn Mirage 2.0

140 Stewart Ave (at Meserole St), Brooklyn, NY 11237

The Brooklyn Mirage 2.0

Avant Gardner, a sprawling 80,000-square-foot complex taking up an entire city block in East Williamsburg, is comprised of three event spaces as well as the glamorous Brooklyn Mirage, which serves as the venue’s focal point. In operation during the summer months, the open-air space features a courtyard as well as a catwalk to outdoor spaces that offer views of the New York City skyline. The lush greenery surrounding the space makes you feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle.

03

Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St (at Bowery), New York, NY 10002

Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St (at Bowery), New York, NY 10002

Bowery Ballroom is a 3-level venue built at 6 Delancey Street just before the Wall Street Crash in 1929—it's one of those places where you can really feel the history. Keep an eye on upcoming acts on their website.

04

Terminal 5

610 W 56th St (at 11th Ave), New York, NY 10019

04

The sleek-meets-industrial Terminal 5 has become a favorite of New York City-concert-goers, and with its recent renovations, its easy to understand why. Located in Hell’s Kitchen at West 56th Street and Eleventh Avenue, the multi-level space boasts 40-foot ceilings, five rooms offering their own unique environment, as well as a roof deck with bar. Housing 3,000 people, past performers have included The Killers, Kaskade, and Passion Pit, among many, many others.

05

Brooklyn Steel

319 Frost St (at Debevoise St), Brooklyn, NY 11222

Brooklyn Steel

While some of the big venue guns like Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center can certainly pack them in, venture further out to and take in all that is Brooklyn Steel, a sprawling 1,800-capacity music hall in East Williamsburg. Brought to you by The Bowery Presents (which owns fellow concert halls Terminal 5 and Webster Hall, among many others), the massive Brooklyn Steel is housed in a former steel manufacturing plant and features a balcony, three bars, and 40 — yes, 40 — restrooms. As far as performers go, Brooklyn Steel sees the gamut, with past acts including LCD Soundsystem, Maren Morris, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Decemberists.

06

Blue Note

131 W 3rd St (btwn MacDougal St & 6th Ave), New York, NY 10012

Blue Note

131 W 3rd St (btwn MacDougal St & 6th Ave), New York, NY 10012

For jazz musicians, performing on the iconic Blue Note stage means you've made it. This historic institution has welcomed the likes of Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and Quincy Jones, and literally everyone who is anyone, on its stage. Tables wrap around the platform, ensuring an intimate performance and rich sound. Check their calendar to see what catches your eye, but know that whatever has been booked is well worth the cover.

07

Irving Plaza

17 Irving Pl (at E 15th St), New York, NY 10003

07

The short strip that is Irving Plaza is home to a number of well-established haunts, and one that is not to be overlooked is Irving Plaza: a historic 1,200-person capacity ballroom. Formerly known as the Fillmore, the multi-level space offers an intimate vibe for both well-known and up-and-coming artists alike; famed acts like The Ramones and The Talking Heads have graced the stage here.

08

The Bitter End

147 Bleecker St (btwn Thompson St & Laguardia Pl), New York, NY 10012

The Bitter End

Touting themselves as the city’s oldest rock club, this historic concert hall opened in Greenwich Village in 1961, and achieved landmark status by the city of New York in 1992. Live music can be heard here every night at this 230-person capacity venue and headliners who have graced the iconic red brick stage here have included Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, and Lady Gaga.

09

Cafe Wha?

115 Macdougal St (btwn Bleeker & W 3rd), New York, NY 10012

Cafe Wha?

115 Macdougal St (btwn Bleeker & W 3rd), New York, NY 10012

Stroll through the Village till you come across Cafe Wha? This inquisitively-named club isn’t just your run-of-the-mill late-night dive, but a favorite stomping ground for classic musicians from the 1960s. Come for the live music, but stay for the history. Musicians like Dylan and Hendrix, as well as American poets like Allen Ginsberg, sought this place out for artistic refuge, and here it still stands for your visiting pleasure. Just be sure to get there early to guarantee a seat and prepare for the Cafe Wha? house band to blow you away. P.s., seeing as it’s located underground, don’t be surprised when you realize your phone has little-to-no reception.

10

Terra Blues

149 Bleecker St (btwn Thompson & LaGuardia St), New York, NY 10012

10

If you’re looking for a night of live music within a romantic, moody setting then Terra Blues has got to be the choice. With live nightly performances by incredible musicians, the smaller space leaves less room between you and the stage, allowing for the sultry blues to really do their thing. As the last remaining authentic blues club in New York, it’s noteworthy for many reasons, including its consistency through the years.

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