Whether you’re into classical, pop, jazz, or top Broadway shows, there’s no shortage of great live music venues in New York City. Check out these picks of the new (and old) must-see venues for all types of music fans.
Madison Square Garden
Set atop Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, MSG, The Garden—call it what you want—remains one of the top places to play or see a live show. If you’re an artist and you’ve played The Garden, then you know you’ve made the big time. This ironically round Midtown music venue has room for 20,000 music-lovers, and it’s also home some of New York’s favorite sports teams. There’s a smaller theater within the complex that’s great for more intimate events.
Radio City Music Hall
Nicknamed “Showplace of the Nation”, the landmark Radio City Music Hall has welcomed countless artists and housed many productions since its inception in 1932. The awe-inspiring Art Deco décor is as much a part of its legendary status as the performances on its stage. Murals and plush fabrics hang throughout, as well as many grand pieces of art. Today, Radio City is most commonly known for hosting a certain reality show, but its long and storied past includes living idols and legends passed.
Comprising three distinct halls, Carnegie Hall houses both soloists and orchestras. It is also one of the most prestigious classical music venues in New York City and around the world—but that’s not all. Legends of rock, jazz, blues, and world music have rocked these halls, as well.
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
The King of Blues himself offers his name to this Times Square music venue. This supper club is one of NYC’s premier live music venues and has hosted superstars of several genres. The Harlem Gospel Choir performs there weekly, while pop, soul, and hip-hop stars have been filling the bill since the club opened in 2000. From the moment you step in to this jazz club, you can feel the history and all the great talent that has filled the venue. After jamming out, head to the Lucille’s Grill (named, of course, after Mr. King’s beloved guitar). Here, you can enjoy delicious soul food to go along with the tunes.
New Amsterdam Theatre
What would New York be without the Theater District and all if its top Broadway shows? Millions of people flood the streets each year for some of the best productions in the world. The theaters they play in are as storied and impressive as the theatrics that they house. Make sure to really look around each venue to see which story it tells—zero in on the exquisite architectural details and the art that covers the walls. New Amsterdam Theatre holds the record as Broadway’s oldest continuing functional theater. After closing briefly and turning into a movie house during the Depression, it was brought back to life. It’s still very much alive and kicking, and if you love big Broadway shows, it’s one of the best music venues in New York.