Music venues you need to be shouting about.
Posted: 2 July 2019
When it comes to iconic music venues, we immediately think Wembley or Madison Square Garden, but these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great places to catch live music. We all have hidden gems and underrated bars in our local community that have treated us to outstanding musical experiences. Here’s just a small selection of awesome live music venues you might not have explored yet.
You’ll struggle to find a music venue quite as beautiful as Red Rocks in Colorado. Built into a gorgeous rocky backdrop, the amphitheatre has been entertaining music fans since 1906 with military bands, big bands and opera singers. Recent decades have seen the arrival of contemporary musicians like Def Leppard, Oasis and Stevie Nicks. Now it’s a common stop for artists like Ben Howard, Vulfpeck, Imagine Dragons and Mac DeMarco as they tour the world.
With sticky floors, graffiti covered walls and air thick with sweat, you can’t get more grunge than Cherry Bar. Located on AC/DC Lane in Melbourne, the bar showcases local music seven nights a week and attracts some high-profile clientele. Lady Gaga, Noel Gallagher and Axl Rose are all rumoured to have partied here after gigs, so if you want to hang with the music elite, you know where you need to be.
Paradiso started life as a church before being taken over by hippies, turned into a youth centre and eventually became a premier music venue. Pink Floyd were amongst the first bands to play here in 1968, paving the way for artists like Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys and Muse. Despite the big names that have played here, Paradiso continue to support Dutch musicians with shows taking place almost every day.
For music lovers in the UK, Brixton Academy is a place that needs no introduction. Originally built as a cinema in 1929, it started its musical journey as a struggling venue that Simon Parkes bought for just £1. By the time Simon sold the Academy in the 90s, it was attracting bands from across the world.
Brixton Academy has played host to some of the biggest events in music history including The Smiths’ last ever gig, the UK’s first legal rave and the filming of Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ video. Now you can catch gigs from international artists as well as rising stars.
If you’re looking for a good rock n’ roll time, then look no further than Bulldog Café in Mexico City. The place to be for trendy young rockers, the club has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Another amphitheatre with dramatic surroundings, Dalhalla was originally built to showcase opera with a lime quarry as the backdrop. Fast forward a few years and this outdoor arena has welcomed artists like Bjork, Sting, Deep Purple and Pet Shop Boys.
Best known as the venue where Alan McGee signed Oasis in 1993, King Tut’s is the place to be when it comes to discovering emerging artists. Many bands play here at the start of their careers and for some artists a show at King Tut’s will be their first Scottish gig. Among the bands that performed here in the past are Manic Street Preachers, Biffy Clyro, Florence and the Machine and Hozier.
A bar, nightclub and concert venue all in one. Although La Riviera is known for highlighting local Spanish talent, they’ve welcomed their fair share of established acts over the years. Vance Joy, Catfish and the Bottleman and Snow Patrol are just a few of the bands that have rocked this stage.
Tokyo is home to some of the world’s most impressive buildings and Nippon Budokan is no exception. Built for the 1964 Olympics, the venue has become a hit with musicians after welcoming The Beatles in 1966. Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, Blur, Fleetwood Mac and Queen are among the many artists that have recorded live tracks here, citing the energy of Japanese crowds as a reason for recording in Tokyo. Nippon Budokan was also the location of ABBA’s final live show.
When you’re thinking about cool basement locations, you probably don’t imagine somewhere attached to a stylish hotel. However, when it comes to discovering the next big artists, Drake Underground is a must-see venue. There’s an event on every night of the week offering everything from live music to poetry slams. M.I.A and Vance Joy are just two acts that performed here at the beginning of their careers. Who knows who’ll follow in their footsteps?
Of course, this is only a snapshot of the thousands of amazing music venues around the world. So next time you’re in the mood for live music, why not head out to somewhere you’ve never been? You might just get to witness a superstar in the making.