When you think of a concert, your first thought is likely “who’s playing?” It’s only natural. People flock to wherever their favorite bands are playing; they always have, and they always will. What most overlook, however, is the importance of where an artist plays.
Venues don’t get the respect they deserve, it seems, or at least until you arrive at the show. Only then will questions begin to fill your head, like “what are my shoes sticking to?” “why does a beer cost 12 dollars?” or “why is everyone talking over my favorite song?” The fact of the matter is, the setting plays a crucial role in the overall enjoyment of the show. Different venues augment the show in various ways, whether they allow an artist to crank up their amps and belt out songs into the glorious sprawl of a theater, or let you get up close and personal so you can see the spittle ricochet off the lead singer’s microphone.
As live music junkies, we’ve decided to share some of our favorite venues, starting with a handful from the city that never sleeps, New York, NY. Music venues have an uncanny way of representing (and often shaping) their hometown scene, so it almost goes without saying that the following NYC hotspots are as eclectic as the Big Apple itself.
1. The Bowery Ballroom – This intimate downtown venue is everything it’s name suggests—a ballroom, albeit, one with a stage. It’s wood floors and elegant balcony provide a space rife with fantastic sight lines, perfect for catching artist’s about to take-off.
1. AlunaGeorge, Thu. 9/05
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Wed. 10/02
3. The 1975, Wed. 10/10, Thu. 10/11
2. Radio City Music Hall – One of Manhattan’s most legendary venues, Radio City Music Hall serves as a benchmark that’s surely on any artist’s venue bucket list (that’s a thing, right?), not to mention incredible acoustics. Treat your ears to a show.
1. The xx, Mon. 9/23, Tue. 9/24
2. The Weeknd, Mon. 10/7, Tue. 10/8
3. Rodriguez, Thu. 10/10
3. The Barclay’s Center – Watch out Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn’s brand new arena has an absolutely stacked concert calendar. Check it out while the floors are still nice and shiny.
1. Beyonce, Sat. 8/3, Sun. 8/4, Mon. 8/5
2. Vampire Weekend, Fri. 9/20
3. Pearl Jam, Fri. 10/18, Sat. 10/19
4. Music Hall of Williamsburg – Located in the heart of Brooklyn’s thriving indie music scene, this venue must be on any music fan’s shortlist to get the full New York concert experience, hipsters and all.
1. Pixies, Thu. 9/19
2. Icona Pop, Wed. 9/25
3. The Dodos, Sun. 9/29
5. Webster Hall – Built in 1886, Webster Hall has stood the test of time, maintaining its legacy as a piece of New York nightlife lore. You can feel the history in this vibrant atmosphere, almost to the point where it feels like past generations are cheering along with you.
1. Killer Mike / El-P, Wed. 8/14
2. Haim, Tue. 9/3
3. Jake Bugg, Tue. 9/17
Article by Nicolas White