5 takeaways from Boston.com’s ballot of favourite native music venues


“Completely designed for simple entry to the three requirements at a present: the stage, the beer, and the lavatory.”

B.o.B. at Paradise Rock Membership in 2014; Billie Eilish at what’s now the Chief Financial institution Pavilion in 2019; Concrete Blonde at The Sinclair in 2012; Steve Aoki at Huge Night time Reside in 2019. Kayana Szymczak; Nathan Klima; Aram Boghosian; Chris Lavado/Boston Globe file images

So many venues, so little time. Boston has all the time been an enormous music city, whilst live performance halls and golf equipment come and go. However at any given time there are all the time a handful of locations that appear to face out for people trying to rock out, mellow down, or simply benefit from the vibe.

With that in thoughts, and with live shows lastly coming again (a minimum of for the vaccinated) following the pandemic shutdowns, we requested Boston.com readers which small and huge venues made the highest of their concert-going favorites, and which new or deliberate live performance areas they’re most trying ahead to spending some high quality time in. With a number of hundred readers responding, listed here are the highest takeaways:

1) One live performance corridor appears to have discovered the music venue ‘candy spot.’

It’s solely been open for a number of years, and due to the pandemic was closed portion of that point. However the 2,000-capacity Causeway Road live performance corridor Huge Night time Reside appears to have made an impression nonetheless, turning up as our readers’ favourite giant venue, and in addition among the many prime 5 for small venues. (Guess we must always have been extra particular about which was which.)

Not solely that, however as a result of the shutdown has saved so many individuals from checking it out but, it’s additionally the “new” venue readers are most trying ahead to visiting. Discuss a trifecta.

2) Higher Boston music followers are prepared to drive for nice acoustics.

Boston and Cambridge could have dominated our readers’ lists of favorites, with one notable (and stunning) exception: The Shalin Liu Efficiency Heart within the tiny seaside city of Rockport was the third-most-popular small venue amongst Boston.com readers. “Excellent structure, fabulous acoustics, magnificent view of the Rockport Harbor, plus terrific artists! What extra may you need?” requested David of Ipswich.

3) The place’s the love for TD Backyard and Gillette Stadium?

Just one lone reader named the Backyard as a favourite place to see exhibits, primarily, it appears, as a result of that’s the place U2 goes once they’re right here. As for Gillette Stadium, crickets. Iconic Fenway Park noticed just a little love, a minimum of, ending fifth for giant venues, however for probably the most half it looks as if this explicit trio ought to follow sports activities; the Venues Previously Often known as Harbor Lights and Nice Woods are the fan favorites, even when no one appears to know what they’re referred to as on any given day.

4) Concertgoers are pumped about new locations to see live shows.

Boston.com readers actually miss a number of the golf equipment and live performance halls which have shut their doorways over time — however they’re additionally excited (and fairly nicely knowledgeable) about new venues and ones which have but to open. Pleasure is excessive for MGM Music Corridor at Fenway Park, Roadrunner at Boston Touchdown, and even the brand new Groton Hill Music Heart, scheduled to open in Groton (it’s close to Lowell, kind of) subsequent fall. 

5) Some outdated music followers stay cranky.

“Fenway is horrible. Xfininty is a large problem as is Gillette, crowd administration horrible,” mentioned Peter of Gloucester. “I am going to Austin for the music scene, and I had no concept that Boston had new music venues,” mentioned Justin of Beacon Hill. And Invoice in Avon declared, “I do know of no first rate new venues. For probably the most half, nobody has thrown up a membership with first rate sight strains, good acoustics and a state-of-the-art sound system for the reason that Efficiency Heart in Cambridge about 45 years in the past.” Sigh…

Right here’s what Boston.com readers needed to say about venues giant, small and new:

Favourite small venues:

Winner: The Sinclair

Runners up: Paradise Rock Membership; Shalin Liu Efficiency Heart; Huge Night time Reside; The Grand Boston

Additionally talked about: Center East; Metropolis Vineyard; Membership Passim; Hampton Seashore On line casino Ballroom

The Sinclair is by far the very best small venue. It’s completely designed for simple entry to the three requirements at a present: the stage, the beer, and the lavatory.”

“The Sinclair — nice sight strains and arrange. I’ve seen so many nice exhibits and plenty of artists who had been up and coming on the time. Courtney Barnett, Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, simply to call a number of.” — Robert, Arlington

“The Sinclair. Many exhibits seen there, however my favourite was Slayer since you would by no means see them in a venue that dimension ever once more.” — Bob S., East Boston

Paradise Rock Membership is simply large enough to get crowd and a few larger acts, however sufficiently small to be intimate. It’s small, it’s sizzling, it’s crowded, however with energetic act, it’s implausible. It’s additionally proper on the B Inexperienced Line so it’s straightforward to get to.” — Brian, Amesbury

“The ’Dise (Paradise)! So many nice exhibits there over the course of time, and it’s simply the precise dimension to essentially jam with the bands! The Vehicles, OMD, Billy Idol, Jonathan Edwards, Freddy Jones Band, and, in fact, J Geils. Too many to listing. Lengthy stay the ’Dise!” — Lorian, Brighton 

“The Paradise: Dire Straits, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, U2. The Orpheum: Little Feat, Robert Palmer, The Rolling Stones, B-52s. Home of Blues: J. Geils Band, The Vehicles, Greta Van Fleet, Mudcrutch (Tom Petty). How do I select?” — BCD, Cambridge

Shalin Liu Efficiency Heart, Rockport. Excellent structure, fabulous acoustics, magnificent view of the Rockport Harbor, plus terrific artists! What extra may you need? From Yo-Yo ma, to numerous chamber teams, to soloists, to Gaelic music, to essentially good well-liked artists — the programming has one thing for all tastes.” —  David, Ipswich 

“Shalin Liu Efficiency Heart, Rockport Music. Stunning corridor with spectacular acoustics, with the stage’s backdrop of Rockport Harbor and the Atlantic. The Chamber Music Pageant simply ended, which is now changing into a severe worldwide contender of world-class classical music occasions. It’s a spot the place stars are born.” — Winand van Eeghen, Gloucester

The Honors Youth Choir of Refrain North Shore performs on the Shalin Liu Efficiency Heart in Rockport. – Courtesy Photograph

Huge Night time Reside. I’ve seen a number of exhibits, however a standout favourite was Technique Man and Redman. The tiered venue ground makes it so everybody can see — even when leaving in opposition to the again wall. And the maroon VIP cubicles give the place an old-school Sinatra vibe but has the speaker energy to knock you off your ft — actually a gem.” — Joey, North Finish

The Grand is greatest small venue in Boston fingers down. They appeal to the best high quality artists, which ends up in a non-public present vibe in contrast to anything supplied within the metropolis.” — Harrison, Newton

Membership Passim in Harvard Sq.. Passim only in the near past celebrated its sixtieth anniversary. Over these 60 years virtually any musician you may consider in people music has carried out there. Nevertheless it’s not this historical past that makes the membership actually particular, it’s what the membership is doing now. Passim has change into greater than only a efficiency area, it has change into a gathering place for the musical group that has sparked an explosion of creativity and collaboration. Nothing personifies the spirit of group Passim stands for than what they’ve achieved over the past 12 months when the virus upended the music scene on the town. Passim gave musicians a spot to play by means of on-line performances and raised hundreds of {dollars} for musicians locally to tide them over till it was protected for in individual performances to renew.” — Robert, Cohasset

The Hampton On line casino. Easy, uncooked, cool, beachfront location.” — Dan Hogan, Newburyport

Center East, Downstairs or Up. Small, intimate, nice sound, no obstructed view. I’ve seen 1,000,000 exhibits there.” — Invoice, Brighton

“The nicest and most intimate place in Boston to see a present right this moment is on the Metropolis Vineyard, close to the Backyard.”

The T, for Keytar Bear and all the opposite Boston greats! Among the finest guitarists I’ve ever heard was rocking out on a avenue nook simply outdoors of MGH. I don’t know his identify, however he was superb, and made me pleased after I heard him on my strategy to work on the hospital. Hopefully he’s vaccinated and protected!”

Favourite giant venues:

Winner: Huge Night time Reside

Runners up: Chief Financial institution Pavilion; Home of Blues; XFinity Heart; Fenway Park

Additionally talked about: The Orpheum; Wang Theatre; the Hatch Shell; Symphony Corridor; Boarding Home Park in Lowell; Worcester Palladium

Huge Night time Reside supplies probably the most memorable expertise of any large-scale venue due to the standard of artists, and the presentation supplied by the venue.” — Harrison S., Newton

Chief Financial institution Pavilion. Seen a bunch of exhibits right here, most memorable is Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night time Sweats and First Support Equipment.” — Dominique, Woburn 

“Chief Financial institution Pavilion (a.okay.a. 1,000,000 different names) — very hardly ever do out of doors exhibits sound good, however right here with the tent, and nice views, it’s all the time superior. Plus the beers are gigantic right here.” — Invoice, Brighton

“Chief Financial institution Pavilion. There may be nothing like seeing the acts I’ve seen there (Beastie Boys, Stevie Surprise, Janes Dependancy, Jamiroquai) and proper round when the band comes on, the solar is setting and the breeze of the ocean is refreshing.”

“The Pavilion (no matter financial institution has the identify that 12 months) on the Waterfront subsequent to Legals in Boston. Nice small out of doors venue that will get neglected rather a lot.”

Home of Blues Boston for certain. I noticed Dido, The Cult and Huge Head Todd and the Monsters over the previous couple of years. Web site strains and power are unbeatable!”

“Not a fan of huge venues, however I suppose Home Of Blues, merely primarily based on the standard of the artists performing there. I most well-liked it when it was Avalon, nonetheless.”

Bob Dylan, left, and Tom Petty carry out collectively on the Nice Woods Heart For The Performing Arts in Mansfield in 1986. – Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe file photograph

Nice Woods/XFinity Heart — seen Rage In opposition to the Machine, Web page and Plant, 9 Inch Nails, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Cypress Hill and numerous others there.” — Kevin, Allston

“Nice Woods (can’t preserve observe of all the opposite names). Allmans, Petty, Steely Dan, River Fest, extra Allmans … All nice exhibits, and well-managed by the venue, even the car parking zone. This one is as massive as I do — Gillette and the Backyard are too massive.” — Lorian, Brighton

“Nice Woods, Mansfield or no matter they’re calling it lately. Pearl Jam, WBCN River Raves, Radiohead.”

Fenway Park fingers down is the very best giant out of doors music venue in MA. The Woman Gaga live performance there a number of years in the past was iconic.”

“Fenway Park. There’s actually no have to say extra.” — Joey, North Finish

Boarding Home Park in Lowell. I began going to The Lowell Summer season Music Sequence again within the early years when it was extra of a people music sequence. Although the sequence has modified fairly a bit over time, it nonetheless affords the identical range and excellence within the performers they select, in an intimate and distinctive location. This can be a actually stunning and stylish spot to take heed to music on a summer season night nestled within the Nationwide Historic web site in Lowell. A gently sloping patch of inexperienced within the midst of the town surrounded by the historic mill buildings and the river behind the stage.” — Robert, Cohasset

Boston Symphony Corridor, simply because it’s so steeped in historical past, and affords good acoustics.  We don’t get there usually, however once we do ….”

TD Backyard. My children’ first live performance ever there was U2. It was my 20+ time seeing them stay … they by no means disappoint. I noticed U2 within the outdated Backyard on a St. Patrick’s Day that was phenomenal.”  — Lance, Arlington 

The Hatch Shell on the Esplanade — I’ll always remember seeing Inexperienced Day there in 1994 simply as they acquired well-liked & the plug getting pulled in the course of the present as a result of an enormous melee that broke out.”

The Orpheum, fingers down. The ‘frequent areas’ are a bit beat up, nearly as to indicate proof of rockin’ exhibits of the previous. When you get to your seats, the stage all the time feels nearer than it’s and the sound is great. Nice instances seeing Trey Anastasio, Neil Younger, Lenny Kravitz, and Glen Hansard there previously! Seeing it’s positioned within the coronary heart of Boston, there are quite a few food and drinks choices inside blocks. Merely the very best!” — Mike, Studying

The Wang is a stupendous place to see a present and has nice sound. Dire Straits in 1986 was a particular present.” — Robert, Arlington

“For sit-down venues, The Boch Heart (nee Wang Theatre) is the very best. Noticed Wilco and Fleet Foxes there amongst different nice exhibits.” — Richard, Beverly 

“The Wang … Strolling into that foyer is unforgettable. For the dimensions the sound remains to be pretty first rate. The services are all the time clear. I do want the drink service was just a little higher however it’s arduous to do drinks on an event-by-event foundation.” — Rose G., Somerville 

Worcester Palladium — noticed Sort O Damaging. Venue feels spooky and intimate.” — Rachel, Quincy 

Most anticipated new and upcoming venues:

Winner: Huge Night time Reside

Runners up: MGM Music Corridor at Fenway; Roadrunner at Boston Touchdown; Crimson Lantern, Boston; Music Heart at Indian Hill, Groton

Additionally talked about: Nice Scott reopening deliberate for Allston; Crystal Ballroom in Somerville Theater; ManRay reopening eyed for Central Sq.; The Jungle in Union Sq. 

Roadrunner seems like it is going to be an improve over TD Backyard or Agganis Enviornment, since neither of these venues had been designed for live shows.” — Richard, Beverly 

“The one going up at Boston Touchdown [Roadrunner], as a result of it’s strolling distance from my home.” –– Invoice, Brighton

“The brand new Fenway venue [MGM Music Hall] appears prefer it could be a cool place to drink a $20 beer and watch a present.” — Dave, Boston

Crimson Lantern is someplace I’m excited to take a look at, how the brand new renovations add to an already nice mixture of membership and lounge power. Whereas nonetheless being intimate but additionally offering that nice going-out vibe that’s extra low-key than a standard membership.” — Harrison S., Newton

“The brand new corridor [Groton Hill Music Center] being inbuilt Groton. Positive to be a landmark when it comes to acoustics and visible magnificence. I feel there are two halls there and out of doors live performance potentialities.” — Anton, Rockport 

Nice Scott! I’m excited to see how they replace the Regina area [in Allston]. This can be a venue that received’t be constructed by massive enterprise however by music lovers. I imagine they’ll basically perceive what makes a venue nice and can execute accordingly. I hope they offer The Sinclair a run for his or her cash!” — Rose G., Somerville

Boston.com often interacts with readers by conducting casual polls and surveys. These outcomes must be learn as an unscientific gauge of readers’ opinion.

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