Best Venues: California – Orange County

Who says Los Angeles can have all the fun? Orange County is becoming an increasingly popular stop for bands on tour who want to reach out to new audiences, or even those who want to skip the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles altogether. Smaller venues in the OC are also evolving into homes for new local talent and it’s about time this town gets recognized for its music scene with the Top 5 Best OC Concert Venues.

Best Venues – Orange County

Concert venue aficionado? Have a look at other entries in our ongoing Best Venues series.

Chain Reaction

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Although located in a dimly-lit strip mall off Lincoln Ave, parents shouldn’t have to worry dropping their teens off at this all-ages venue. The walls are completely covered with t-shirts from great punk, metal, screamo, and indie bands who have made their faithful stop to this famous OC concert hotspot.

The Observatory

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Although it’s hard to determine the size of the venue from the outside, The Observatory’s half circle, two-story setup allows even the last-minute arrivals get a good spot and see the performance. But its roster for the next couple of months will definitely result in packed shows so get their early!

The Constellation Room

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Connected to The Observatory is a smaller venue, letting audience members have the chance to get close to up-and-coming talent. This is the best place to catch a show (most often free on residency nights!) with a great roster of indie rock/electro/grunge acts.

The Yost Theater


Santa Ana’s Yost Theater not only functions as a concert venue but hosts a number of private parties and club and DJ events. Although it’s recognized as the oldest theater in Orange County, Yost’s calendar is predominantly filled electronic dance acts, so take your pick at one of their themed events for your next night out!

House of Blues Anaheim

Smack dab in the middle of Downtown Disney, the House of Blues has set up shop. If you don’t want to fork over your last paycheck for tickets to the stadium-sized Honda Center, HOB Anaheim is your next best bet. The Mouse knows how to rock, bringing big names like The Ataris, Bowling for Soup, and HIM into town amongst the Disney princesses and overpriced restaurants. Residents with annual passes can enjoy the parks in the day and a great show at night!

Article by Amanda Erwin

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