From rock ’n’ roll to Rock of Ages, Atlanta is a mecca for live music. The city is home to Ludacris and Outkast, as well as Usher and Elton John (he lives part time in the A). With such a strong passion for music in the city, it’s no surprise that when we asked our Facebook fans for their favorite venues, answers were all over the (metro Atlanta) map. So clear your calendars and head out to these live music favorites – five chosen by our Facebook fans and five compliments of the Atlanta.net editorial team.
1. Fox Theatre
The Fabulous Fox was the top choice of Discover Atlanta Facebook fans by a mile. It’s history, beauty and blockbuster lineup of shows draw crowds from near and far, and it’s no surprise with a docket ranging from Broadway musicals to Vampire Weekend.
2. The Tabernacle
Built in 1910, the Tabernacle was originally a Baptist church, and even now after seeing the incredible acts that grace the stage, you’ll feel just as uplifted as parishioners did back then. In 2013, the Tabernacle saw incredible shows, including a week-long stint of Conan O’Brien, as he filmed his show in Atlanta during the Final Four, and a one-night-only performance by Ludacris that blew the doors off.
3. The Masquerade
Located in the Old Fourth Ward, the Masquerade has outdoor and indoor stages, making it the perfect venue no matter the weather. You won’t find Yo-Yo Ma playing here though; the Masquerade’s calendar consists mostly of indie rock, punk, metal and rockabilly.
4. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre has an events calendar that runs the gamut from family-friendly (see Disney Junior Live!) to an audiophile’s heaven (New Orleans! With Aaron Neville and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band). Whether you’re looking for the Rockettes or Travis Tritt, check out the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a host of live music and stage productions.
5. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Located in Alpharetta, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre brings in some of the most popular touring acts in the country. From Fun and Fall Out Boy to jam band heavy hitters Widespread Panic and Phish, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre has a star-studded lineup year in and year out.
1. Chastain Park Amphitheatre
The Chastain Park Amphitheatre has long had a tradition of bringing in the best blues, jazz, R&B and rock artists for its summer concert series. Pack a picnic basket, BYOB and settle in for the likes of Anita Baker, Dickey Betts and Maxwell.
2. The Earl
If there is antithesis to Chastain, it would be the Earl. A small, intimate club, the Earl is an Atlanta icon for live music and was named one of the “10 Best Rock Clubs in the U.S.” by Playboy. Acts ranging from Gogol Bordello to Iron & Wine have taken the stage, which sits barely above the dance floor in this East Atlanta gem.
3. The Buckhead Theatre
Formerly the Roxy, the Buckhead Theatre went through a major renovation before reopening its doors in 2010. In the time since it’s reintroduction to the Atlanta music scene, the Buckhead Theatre has become a no-brainer stop for artists touring mid-sized venues across the Southeast.
4. Blind Willie’s
A staple of Virginia Highland’s nightlife scene, Blind Willie’s is Atlanta’s premiere blues club. Blind Willie’s is located on Highland Avenue in the middle of one of ATL’s most popular neighborhoods and features live music six nights a week.
5. Smith’s Olde Bar
Smith’s Olde Bar is an Atlanta institution and offers some of the city’s best live music in a relaxed and comfortable setting. The intimate 300-person club has hosted the likes of artists from David Bowie to Kings of Leon and Edwin McCain. Situated at the corner of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive, Smith’s rocks the neighborhood almost every night of the week.
With so much music in Atlanta, we wish there were more than 10 spots in the list. Which of your favorites didn’t make the cut? Where are you headed next to get your groove on? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter page!
Born and raised in Alabama, Ashley O'Dell (@AshleyOatlanta) has lived in Atlanta since 2008. She has a love for all things culinary and enjoys writing about Southern food culture on her blog, Dash and Dine Atlanta. When she's not writing, Ashley can be found exploring Atlanta's neighborhoods, restaurants and live music venues.