11 October 2005

Top 10 NYC live music venues according to...me

10. Webster Hall- well I just have to face it, too many acts I want to see are playing here and there are definitely worse places they could be playing. Bonus points for being so close to my apartment.

9. The Delancey- I feel like this could cease to be a favorite if I happened to go here on the wrong night but each time I've been it's been like hanging out in a friend's basement seeing some good bands. The downstairs is rock & roll...the middle is like the necessary evil you must endure to get upstairs to the sweet roof deck - sweet only if it isn't packed with trendy hipsters but still a good spot to come up out of the dungeon for air.

8. The Continental- screw CBGBs, this place has a better sound system and they don't have to have "save our club" benefit shows to get talented rockers to play here. Oh and if you're going to have someone film your band's performance do it here - the lights, stage, sound...it just all comes together nicely here.

7. Detour- Free/$5 cover jazz in a nicely tiny spot in the East Village. Go sometime when Alex Skolnick is playing there and tip your bartender well for some generous buybacks.

6. The Apollo Theater- I'm not sure how often they have concerts here but the intimacy and small theater setting along with the history of the place...can't be beat.

5. Radio City Music Hall- like you couldn't have guessed it but this place actually is a great spot for shows and if you can't get a seat in the first 30 rows or so the balconies are really darn good.

4. Madison Square Garden- the most famous arena also happens to be the best large venue/arena to see a concert that I've ever been to. Helps that there's not a bad seat in the house and that it seems like every performer really wants to put on their best show when playing the Garden. Duh.

3. Pianos- for up and coming indie rock this place rules. Great sound, great bar, great location...I've never been upstairs but I'll betcha it's grrrreat.

2. Mercury Lounge- fantastic smaller venue that still gets nationally known acts with a great sound system. Seems like a lot of bands that come to play Irving, Bowery and Roseland (or even Summerstage) end up playing at Mercury a few months beforehand so watch their calendar for the next Arcade Fire.

1. Bowery Ballroom- simply the best. They get the most consistently good bands, sound is perfect, there's a nice bar in the basement and then one on the main floor AND the balcony - I wish every concert was at Bowery.


Honorable mention: Brooklyn Lyceum, Irving Plaza, Knitting Factory, Sin-e, Arlene's Grocery, CBGB, Central Park Summerstage

The worst of them all: Hammerstein Ballroom

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pianos + the continental?

Lol- are you on crack?

Anonymous said...

can't believe you left out joe's pub, that's my favorite

Anonymous said...

i can't believe you said Mercury Lounge. A lot of great bands play there but the venue sucks.

Matt said...

once again we can all clearly see that the ONE thing Americans respond to is a LIST.

Anonymous said...

north six?

Anonymous said...

continental. definitely better than cb's.

mike said...

north six is pretty amazing, you really messed that one up

chris said...

good call on the bowery, really my favorite mid-size venue.

...but madison square garden? yes, there really isn't a bad seat in the house, but the sound isn't so hot. very "boomy"

Anonymous said...

you forgot southpaw!

and funny how mercury and bowery are run by the same folks... guess that just a coincidence :)

Florida Perrywinkle, The Media Wave Collective said...

The Knitting Factory is awesome. you did forget a lot of places though


www.mediawave.blogspot.com

Joe said...

this is the dumbest top 10 list... what do you think is so great about the DELANCEY?
Not even honorable mention to North Six? Their bookings are as good or better than any venue in the city.
You need to get out more Matt...

Anonymous said...

Come on down to Cape Town, South Africa. We have our own Mercury Lounge live music venue. But we never get any big international bands here... :( (Okay... some)

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