The Top 10 Must Visit Music Venues
#1 New York City - Carnegie Hall
Although, the Big Apple deserves its own top ten list of life altering music venues including Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden and the iconic Radio City Music Hall - Carnegie Hall takes the cake. Constructed in 1891, the hall is still considered as one of the most influential music venues in the world. This first rate music hall hosts an entire range of musical experiences from classical orchestras down to pop sensations. Countless world premieres and memorial concerts are held here every year. Most recently, a commemoration concert was held for the legendary musician David Bowie.
#2 Nashville - Grand Ole Opry
Nashville, Tennessee is a city known for its musical capabilities and narrowing down its numerous noteworthy venues was a difficult task. However, the quintessential Grand Ole Opry trumps them all with it's one of a kind quality. Established in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry was first and foremost a venue meant for radio broadcast. As the venue still conducts radio broadcasts today, it has expanded its horizons to include a stage where some of the greats like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks, and even Carrie Underwood have brought down the house. Its iconic barn backdrop and post show tours give the venue a unique air.
#3 San Francisco - The Fillmore
The historical Fillmore venue is located in beautiful San Francisco just between Japantown and the Western Addition. Legendary impresario and music producer Bill Graham is responsible for making The Fillmore famous as he put together a show by the popular SF Mime Troupe here during the 1960s. Once Graham saw the venue's potential, he procured The Fillmore's lease and proceeded to throw countless iconic rock concerts. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and the Velvet Underground with Nico are just a few of the headliners to grace The Fillmore's stage. The Fillmore's 2017 calendar includes big name bands such as The Dead Kennedys, St.Lucia, Deer Hunter and The Indigo Girls among many others.
#4 Minneapolis - First Avenue
In a nutshell, First Avenue can attribute its popularity and accruement of historical culture to the one and only Prince. Other noteworthy performances by the Replacements, Morris Day and the Timeline, as well as Babes in Toyland have added to the venues recognition but the Purple One is truly responsible for the venues upbringing. Prince claimed First Avenue 9 as his home base and if that wasn't enough he also introduced the world to the venue in his infamous movie, Purple Rain. Not to mention, U2 almost wrote an entire album at First Avenue during a soundcheck, and Lucinda Williams married here in 2009. Presently, First Avenue continues to sell out weekly on jazz brunches, nightly shows, tribute nights, and live comedy sessions.
#5 Los Angeles - Troubadour
Everything from the mid-century signage to the intimate setting will have you weak in the knees over this classic Los Angeles, California nightclub. Built in 1957, the Troubadour 9 was originally meant to be a coffee house but the venue later changed locations and shortly after became a place for the stars. In 1970, Elton John made his musical debut at the Troubadour during six consecutive sold out performances that Rolling Stone claims as one of the twenty most important concerts in Rock history. Ever since, the room has been known as a career maker for singer songwriters and folk musicians alike. For example, in 1968 Richard Pryor recorded his debut album here and if it weren't for the Troubadour's existence, Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles would have never met.
#6 Milwaukee - Pabst Theater
Wisconsin may not be a state known for its musical culture but Summerfest, the largest music festival in the world, is held in Milwaukee every year in July. Launched in 1895, the Pabst Theater is the 4th largest, still operating, performance art venues in the U.S. Anna Pavlova, the prima ballerina, as well as world renowned Pianist Rachmaninoff have both performed on the Pabst Theater stage. The theater's 2016 lineup includes headliners like singers Adam Lambert, Patti LaBelle, comedian David Cross, and storytelling series the Moth.
#7 Chicago - Green Mill
During the roaring 20s Chicago was a city jam packed with gangsters and flappers dancing the night away in smoke-filled rooms surrounded by the sweet sweet sound of jazz. Launched in 1907, the Green Mill club was exactly that and more including an elaborate network of underground tunnels that transported alcohol to it during the Prohibition times. Not to mention, the club was a frequent favorite of the infamous Al Capone. This year marks the club's 30th anniversary of Slam poetry which it began in 1980 on sunday nights and has celebrated the art ever since. However, the Green Mill is still true to its roots and hosts jazz almost every night of the week.
#8 Seattle - The Showbox at the Market
The Emerald City will celebrate the classic venue's remarkable 80th birthday this year coming year in 2018 and the staple shows no signs of slowing down in Seattle's celebrated music scene. The showroom's landmark vertical neon signage is just one of the many elements that contributes to this venue's history, along with the noteworthy roster of musicians who have graced its stage including Nat King Cole, Mae West, Jimmy Durante, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Paul Simon, Death Cab for Cutie, Pearl Jam and countless others.
#9 New Orleans - Preservation Hall
The 55 year old New Orleans venue, Preservation Hall, is a special place meant to preserve traditional N'Awlins Jazz. Do not discredit the building's crumbling facade as the it was built in the early 19th century, Preservation Hall still packs its space seven nights each week. Every night one can catch a Preservation Hall Jazz Band local or something in the like. Keep in mind the hall has no A/C, nor a bar, so BYOB and be ready to sweat the night away listening to historic, once in a lifetime, jazz tunes.
#10 Austin - Hole in the Wall
No one can forget how Austin, Texas was dubbed the live music capital of the world as it is home to countless iconic venues like the 1915 Paramount Theatre, and hard to forget Chitlin' Circuit. Plus, music legends such as James Brown, Billie Holiday, and Etta James have all sang their way through Austin's borders. However, if there was a venue every single person should visit once in their life, it has to be the acoustically supreme Austin City Hole in the Wall Theater, which holds more than one hundred live performances each year and is home to the longest running series on PBS, Austin City Limits.