Best Concert Venues in New York City
Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 16:02
Best Shows We've Seen: SM: Polvo (2010).
Good Upcoming Show: Crooked Fingers (2/19)
3. Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St., Capacity: 550
The Skinny: Brooklyn makes another stop on the music tour at this great venue. In addition to a great lineup of acts, the Hall is small enough to offer great acoustics, but big enough to get a good crowd. A modest bar greets you as you enter the venue, and if you're arriving late you can hear the beats slowly build as you walk inside. If you're turned off by the hipster vibe that dominates Williamsburg, you might want to pass, but it's a great venue and there's no shortage of post-show spots.
Best Shows We've Seen
BF: The National again, when (drummer) Brian Devendorff spotted me in the crowd and said he felt like he was playing the North Gym at our high school.
Good Upcoming Shows: British Sea Power (3/22), Sharon van Etton (4/16)
2. Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston St., Capacity: 250
The Skinny: For coolness factor, it doesn't get much better than this. Located right on Houston, Mercury Lounge is a super-tiny venue where you're probably more likely to see the next big band "before they made it" than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Strolling in past the beautiful masses, you'll see a long bar where the industry kids tend to hang. The small concert area is about as intimate a stage as you'll find.
Best Shows We've Seen:
JC: John Mellencamp (1999); SM: tie between Free Energy (2010) and Besnard Lakes (2009).
1. Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., Capacity: 550
The Skinny: The best of the best, when you factor in bands, acoustics, bar scene, vibe, layout – we were unanimous on this one. Right in the beating heart of NYC's music scene, there's a sense that you're part of some "in" crowd any time you're here. Walk in down a flight of stairs and you're immediately in one of the coolest bars in the city. The prices here are reasonable, but again, you probably won't care. When the show starts, you walk up a flight of stairs to the main floor. There's a bar at the back in case you get thirsty while you're rocking out, which is likely. If you need a reminder of how great it is to see a live show, hit this place up – you won't be sorry.
Best Shows We've Seen
BF: "Chamberlain! That or Dismemberment Plan before they broke up. Wow, I danced really hard that night and if memory serves, it was a Monday night."
Good Upcoming Shows: Drive By Truckers (2/15), The Mountain Goats (3/28-30)