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6 Cities to Move to If You Love Live Music

Jon Fesmire | November 14, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

There are many great cities, both large and small, for those who love live music. As such, this list was tough to narrow down! Here are our six picks for the top cities to move to if you love live music.

New York, NY

New York City has always been about being at the center of culture. After all, it’s the home of Broadway, but you’ll find more than musicals here. New York is home to venues like Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Apollo Theater.

You’ll find popular bands playing all over the city, but you can catch other types of concerts as well.  Get tickets to the New York Philharmonic, or stop in at any of the New York City jazz clubs. Any night of the week, you’re bound to find an amazing show.

Los Angeles, CA

One difference between Los Angeles and New York is that while New York is rather compact, Los Angeles is sprawling. Also, in Los Angeles, you won’t be able to just jump on the subway to get to a show. You’ll have to drive or take a cab. Because of that, you should know where you want to go, and leave plenty of time to get there.

You’ll find large music venues like the Hollywood Bowl and Microsoft Theater, and cozier venues like The Fonda Theater. However, you’ll want to pick your musical experiences by band, more than by location, and you’ll find concerts taking place every night, from top 40 bands to popular Los Angeles acts. Just remember to factor in the price of parking.

Chicago, IL

Chicago is another great city for all sorts of shows, with its share of plays and improv, as well as music. You’ll find famous venues like Metro, the smaller but quite popular The Hideout, and the well-lighted Lincoln Hall. Browse the list of upcoming concerts, and you’ll find that not only is there something new every night, there are many local and popular bands playing.

If you want a change of pace, get tickets to see another Chicago institution, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Jazz and blues have been popular in Chicago for decades, and if you want a taste, check out Kingston Mines, which has been in operation since 1968.

Nashville, TN

Any music lover will tell you that Nashville is synonymous with country music. There’s a reason people call it “Music City.” You’ll find upcoming concerts for much more than just country music, however. From punk to rap, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a Nashville music app to help you find the shows you want to see.

Nashville has more than 150 live music venues, including The Station Inn, The Basement, and Robert’s Western World.

Seattle, WA

It seems that Seattle ends up on many top ten lists, from great cities for artists to great cities for those who love parks and the outdoors. So, it’s really no surprise that Seattle also has a great live music scene.

Back in the ‘90s, Seattle was the heart of the grunge movement, and while grunge may no longer be popular, it continues to attract musical acts. As with the other cities on this list, you’ll find that Seattle has several live concerts every night. That list, by the way, includes local bands, popular acts, and all types of music, from rock to classical.

Popular venues include the legendary Showbox, the comfy Cafe Racer, and Washington’s longest-standing vaudeville venue, Columbia City Theater.

New Orleans, LA

Love Dixieland? Ragtime? Jazz? Blues? Then New Orleans is your city. Dixieland and ragtime may have spread across the country by now, but this is still their home.

Of course, New Orleans has many unique venues. Looking for a sometimes-spooky venue where you can find dancing and local bands? Check out One Eyed Jacks in the French Quarter. For something relaxed, visit Chickie Wah Wah. If you’re more into a large, theater venue, see who’s playing at The Saenger Theater, which has hosted acts like Morrissey, Alice Cooper, and Beck.

Of course, you can always check what concerts are coming up in New Orleans, and you’ll find there’s something nearly every night. See your favorites, but also take time to check out local acts.

There are many other cities in the U.S. with great music scenes, but the ones on this list are tough to beat. Start your search here, but consider other places as well.

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