In the past years, Atlanta has come to be known as the capital of hip-hop, so much so that a television show was created just to put this under the spotlight. The music scene of Atlanta, however, does not just revolve around this genre; R&B, soul, rock, blues, gospel, and country are also deeply embedded here. In fact, the city has given birth to many prominent names in the music scene, including but not limited to Usher, Toni Braxton, Janelle Monáe, Ludacris, Indigo Girls, The Black Crowes, Shawn Mullins, and Treephort. Given the fact that it has spawned a number of known acts over the years, it comes as no surprise, then, that its live music scene remains active until today. Check out this list if you want to know some of the best places to enjoy live music in Atlanta.
1. Center Stage Theater
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Located in the midtown area, Center Stage Theater is practically a music icon in the city, having hosted some of the top artists when they performed in Atlanta. Besides serving as a live music venue, Center Stage Theater can also be rented for private events. The good sound and lighting system installed here help ensure that guests will have a good time regardless of whether they’re invited to an intimate gathering or to a concert.
Center Stage Theater
Address: 1374 West Peachtree Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Website: Center Stage Theater
2. City Winery - Atlanta
City Winery is a good option for those who prefer an intimate venue where they can enjoy good music accompanied by food and drink. Wines are made on-site, and food and wine classes are even offered here for those who want a cultural experience to go with their night out to enjoy music. The concert venue itself can accommodate as many as 350 people.
City Winery - Atlanta
Address: 650 North Avenue NE #201, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
Website: City Winery Atlanta
3. Smith's Olde Bar
Smith’s Olde Bar has been around for over 20 years, serving as the favorite watering hole for those who want to enjoy listening to music in a relaxed atmosphere while kicking back a few beers. As the name suggests, country music is played here, as well as acoustic, rock, metal, and hip-hop. Musical acts ranging from David Bowie to John Mayer have graced the stage of Smith’s Olde bar at some point.
Smith's Olde Bar
Address: 1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, USA
Website: Smith’s Olde Bar
4. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Located in northwest Atlanta, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre does not just serve as a venue for musical acts, it also hosts other types of performances such as Broadway shows, opera, and ballet. Refreshments are available here, so you can grab food and drinks before or in-between performances.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Address: 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339, USA
Website: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
5. Apache Cafe
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Apache Cafe offers different musical genres, including but not limited to acoustic, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, funk, world, and electronica. Besides musical performances, spoken word poetry, and live drawing sessions are hosted here as well, making Apache Cafe an artists’ den. Food and drinks are served here, so guests can enjoy a meal or kicking back a few drinks while listening to the performers on stage.
Address: 64 3rd St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
Website: Apache Cafe
6. 529 Music Avenue
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Fans of punk, rock, and metal will love 529 Music Avenue. Originally a small hole in the wall bar, this establishment recently expanded to accommodate more people. Nonetheless, it remains true to its signature: local acts that cater to the tastes of the headbanging crowd. Expect a lot of people coming here, owing to the fact that 529 Music Avenue is one of the better known establishments in East Atlanta Village.
529 Music Avenue
Address: 529 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Website: 529 Music Avenue
For some folks, Einstein’s is a great brunch venue, especially for those who want to dine at a patio while people-watching. For others, it’s the place to head to enjoy good jazz music or tunes spun by a DJ.
Address: 1077 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
8. Eclipse Di Luna
Eclipse di Luna is perhaps best known for three things: delicious tapas, fantastic drink, and live music. Tunes are along the lines of Spanish guitar music and salsa. One of its open secrets is the salsa lessons offered to guests on Thursday nights, so make sure to wear your dancing shoes if you head there during that time. Alternatively, you can listen to the tunes while enjoying the outdoor breeze, as Eclipse Di Luna features covered patios.
Eclipse Di Luna
Address: 764 Miami Cir NE #138, Atlanta, GA 30324, USA
Website: Eclipse Di Luna
9. Terminal West
Terminal West may be a relatively new music venue, but it’s already making a name for itself for being one of the best in Atlanta. Able to accommodate around 650 people, the venue nonetheless retains an intimate vibe that would allow guests to enjoy the music without feeling too overwhelmed about the size of both the place and the crowd. It comes with two bars, so getting a drink won’t be a problem here.
Address: 887 West Marietta St NW C, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Website: Terminal West
10. Eddie's Attic
Of course, no list of the top music venues is complete without Eddie’s Attic, which plays hosts to both up-and-coming and established musicians in Georgia. Among the well-known artists whose roots can be traced back to Eddie’s Attic include John Mayer, Justin Bieber, and Shawn Mullins. Food and drinks are available here.
Address: 515 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030, USA
Website: Eddie’s Attic
Audio tripping in Atlanta
With its rich music scene, locals and travelers alike will not find themselves wanting for choices if they want to spend some time relaxing in the city by watching live music performers. Of course, no two places are alike, and there are some music venues that stand out among the pack, even in an audio-crazy destination as Atlanta. Use this guide to help you find one that best suits your tastes.
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