The Best Music Venues in America: Readers' Choice
This March and April, our expert panel of artists and insiders picked the best clubs, big rooms and ampitheaters in America. Then, in May, we asked you to choose from the list of 40 finalists and submit your favorite. Read on to see if your favorite venue made the list, then visit our Venues That Rock page for an interactive map and much more.
10: Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY
Opened 15 years ago in a vacant jewelry store and haberdashery on the Lower East Side, the 550-capacity club is a must-play for bands on the way to stardom. David T. Viecelli, agent for Arcade Fire, says it's "another dressing room or two shy of perfection." It's both intimate and grand, with consistently great sound and sightlines, and touches of old-school class, like 84-year-old brass rails.
Fun Fact: Joan Baez’s live album Bowery Songs was recorded during her November 2004 show at the famed venue.
9: Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA
Perhaps the world's only concert venue with a Lebanese restaurant upstairs, the Middle East opened in 1970 and began playing host to rock bands 17 years later. The site now hosts three music venues along with the restaurant; the downstairs club, with a capacity of nearly 600, is the crown jewel, attracting top indie acts to Cambridge's bustling Central Square.
8: The Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA
Few clubs have such an impressive history: The Troub was key to L.A.'s late-Sixties rock explosion and the glam-metal scene of the Eighties, a room where both Jim Morrison and Axl Rose became legends. More recently, everyone from Radiohead to the White Stripes has kept its legacy alive.