Recommendations for a gig based trip

Hey guys I’m heading to the states in november for a few weeks and am hoping to hear about some of your favourite places to watch live bands. I’m looking for smaller venues which are usually in or attached to a bar. Doesn’t have to be a bar but not really looking for theatres or stuff like that.

I really want to see some local bands playing original music, I’m not too fussed by going to dive bars etc so any and all responses are greatly appreciated.

I suppose my favourite music to see live garage rock/punk/alternative but I listen to all kinds of music and enjoy watching (listening to?) it all.

I’m open to going anywhere will likely be in southern cal and the south in general for the first part but am open to going to any town in any state to see what’s going on.

Sorry for the length of the post. As payment take some of my favourite aussie bands getting around atm: The Pretty Littles
Pist Idiots
Violent Soho
Marlon Williams (from New Zealand)


Hey - I am percolating on this - but honestly if you are in Los Angeles and want a unique experience - go see Marty and Elaine play at the Dresden. Historic location and they are one of a kind. They are more a jazz/lounge kind of act, but they are amazing in a very LA kind of way. Plus the Dresden is a classic location - both the bar and the restaurant.

McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica is an amazing spot to see a concert. They do a mix of things so not sure they will have your style of music. Also the Largo is a great spot to see shows. They often have surprise shows from very famous performers who want to test something or have a smaller venue. If Jon Brion is playing that is definitely worth it.

Zebulon is another interesting venue as well. I will keep thinking!


I can give you a ton in the north east (Pa, Oh, NY,NJ…) if you make it this way, but a few I’m familiar with in the south east…

Grey Eagle & Orange Peel, Asheville NC.
Circle Bar, DBA and so many more, New Orleans LA.
Cat’s Cradle, Carroboro NC.

I’ll see if I can come up with some more and add on. I’ll check your links out to get a feel for what you’re into but in So Cal (Oh… Largo at the Coronet is a great venue in LA) you could be in position to catch Fu Manchu. One of the best rock shows I’ve seen. Simple, fun, stoner rock.


awesome thanks

Great stuff thanks

If you’re coming to the States for music, of course you have to come to Memphis. I know the Hi-Tone will have the music you want, and then you can cross the street (and walk a very short distance) to the Crosstown Concourse for great food, art, and entertainment. There are a number of places in Overton Square that have great music, and up the street, the Young Avenue Deli regularly has good music (and food) and has a great area for it. Even Beale Street has very fine blues at BB King’s. But really, wherever you are in Memphis, you can’t miss. Just come.


Very cool idea for a road trip! I hope you make it to New Orleans as there is not a city like it in the world, especially for music culture. Check out Tipitina’s, of course, and Maple Leaf Bar. Head to Frenchman St and pick one that sounds good (we saw shows at d.b.a.). And I highly recommend seeing a performance at Preservation Hall!


Love this theme for a trip. The Hi-Dive in Denver is rad. Rumba Cafe or Ace of Cups in Columbus, OH, are also great.


Austin, Texas, is the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Come during South By Southwest music festival in March, and you will find more live music than you can possibly handle. :slight_smile: Gigs are spread out in venues all over town.