Paste’s 40 Best Music Venues in America

by oz on June 25, 2007


I just got the June issue of Paste Magazine and found their list of the top 40 music venues in the US. I’m sure residents in every locale will have some additions or subtractions.


Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA

Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA

Department of Safety, Anacortes, WA

Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA

Gorge Amphitheater, George, WA

Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA


Continental Club, Austin, TX

Red Rocks, Morrison, CO

The Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA

Largo, Los Angeles, CA

Stubb’s, Austin, TX

Hotel Cafe, Hollywood, CA


Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

Schubas, Chicago, IL

Magic Stick, Detroit, MI

Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO

First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN


9:30 Club, Washington DC

Allen Room at Lincoln Center, New York

Bowery Ballroom, New York

Club Passim, Cambridge MA

Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA

The Living Room, New York

Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

Space, Portland, ME

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA


40 Watt Club, Athens, GA

The Basement, Nashville, TN

Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, TN

The Earl, Atlanta, GA

Eddie’s Attic, Decatur, GA

Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA

The Melting Pot, Athens, GA

The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

Southgate House, Newport, KY

The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA

Tipitina’s, New Orleans, LA

Workplay, Birmingham, AL

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg June 25, 2007 at 2:31 pm

I remember going out to see live music. That was awesome. On an unrelated note, anyone who knows a sitter in the Boston area willing to work until 2:00 AM and help my drunk ass find the bed would be my best friend. (J/K… Wilco Thursday — 2nd live show in a month. Crazy, right!?!)

Adrian June 25, 2007 at 3:16 pm

I can’t really complain about the SF picks. Great American and Fillmore are both great venues. Cafe du Nord is good; Bottom of the Hill has its charms too, so I wouldn’t mind seeing that on there.

For Boston (err Cambridge), I’m surprised that TT the Bear’s and Middle East are both absent. Middle East downstairs is a box, but who hasn’t played there? I practically lived there as an undergrad. I’ll go to a few shows in a week now but it’ll be at a few different venues. I’d actually go to the Middle East multiple nights in a row/ in the same week because they just have (had? I haven’t lived in Boston for a few years) such good booking. And tickets were cheap: most shows were $8-$12.

oz June 25, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Congrats on getting out of the house Greg! I keep dragging my wife to shows around the Bay area against her will. I’m about to start doing solo missions in the near future.

Some Girl From Colorado June 26, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Why is Boulder, Colorado considered Midwest but Morrison, Colorado considered Southwest? Paste magazine doesn’t know what they are talking about.

I might add the Hi-Dive to the list if you are looking for smaller venues in Colorado. Its a lot like Schubas in Chicago. I will be seeing the Great Lake Swimmers there tomorrow night.

chander July 5, 2007 at 9:57 pm


chander July 5, 2007 at 10:00 pm

yaadein my love

chander July 5, 2007 at 10:04 pm

love my

Owen Gray February 11, 2009 at 7:43 am

I live in Athens, GA and it is a shame that The Georgia Theatre would get passed over on this list, especially looking at the history and legacy of shows there; Beck for two nights, David Byrne, and most recently The Fleet Foxes show that they heralded as one of their favorites of their tour. Not to mention the numerous music videos and live concert albums that the venue has hosted, including Derek Truck’s 2004 “Live at the Georgia Theatre,” and John Mayer’s use of the venue in his “No Such Thing” video. I think it’s unfair to list those two venues and leave out The Georgia Theatre. The overall look, feel, and sound of the room make it one of the most iconic and aesthetically pleasing venues not only in Athens, but the United States.

Jerad March 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm

No love for the Pabst in Milwaukee eh? Beautiful architecture, history, great acts and amazing acoustics. Come on!! 🙂

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