The live music scene in San Francisco is thriving, and if you’re a music lover, there are several venues you should check out. The city is big enough to attract international and highly acclaimed acts to its concert halls, but there are also many backroom bars and local hangouts that host excellent concerts.
The Bay Area is known for its eclectic music offerings, from classical to country to pop to reggae, so there’s sure to be someplace in the city where you can kick back and enjoy your favorite sounds. Here are some of the top places to hear live music:
Bimbo’s 365 Club
Bimbo Giuntoli, operator of a top San Fran speakeasy during prohibition, opened this club in 1951, and his family has maintained it ever since. The line-up at Bimbos includes performers from local jazz players to Jewel. With 685+ seats and a parquet dance floor, you can stay comfortable while enjoying the bands that frequent this art deco nightclub with a contemporary edge and an impressive drink menu. Prominent acts to have performed on their stage are Robin Williams, Chris Isaak, The Raconteurs, and Adele.
Great American Music Hall
Constructed just after the great earthquake of 1906 destroyed most of the neighborhood, the Great American Music Hall has played host to music greats such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Van Morrison. Today, you’re likely to see the top names in folk, pop and rock music, including David Crosby and Suzanne Vega, gracing the stage of this two-level venue.
At the center of the Mission District is The Chapel, so named for its location in a former chapel (which actually was a mortuary). You’ll still find the chapel’s peak-roof and large balcony at the back as you listen to the latest and greatest indie rock bands hit the stage. The Chapel has become known for their multi-night residencies with artists like Charles Bradley, Real Estate, Television and more, which makes for a perfect nighttime activity during your trip to San Francisco.
James Brown, Prince, Radiohead, The Grateful Dead, and The Cure are just a few of the legends that have graced The Fillmore. With musical geniuses like these as well as hundreds of others, this venue is still rocking. You’ll feel the history and the palpable energy of the place as soon as you walk in, and performers seem to give it their all when they hit this stage. Don’t forget to grab a commemorative poster as you leave the sure-to-be-sold-out show you attend.
These are just a few of the impressive live music venues throughout the Bay Area. Did we forget your favorite place? Tell us about it!