The Best Music Venues in America: Readers’ Choice
1. Norva in Norfolk, VA
2. First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN
This downtown Minneapolis club opened in 1937 as a Greyhound depot, but the history of First Avenue as we know it begins with Prince. Throughout the Eighties, he and the Revolution were sort of the house band here – you can see it in all the famous concert scenes in Purple Rain. The club was also a key staging ground for the city’s punk-and-hardcore scene, starring the Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum. Today’s fans still love the no-frills vibe and killer acoustics, even if waiting in line during a Minnesota winter can be a bummer. “Plus,” says hip-hop star Talib Kweli, a regular headliner, “I saw [famous rapper’s name redacted] deck an undercover cop and hop in a cab and get away at the club.”
Fun Fact: Prince reunited with his classic band, the Revolution, including Wendy and Lisa, at First Avenue early last year. Questlove DJed the post-show party.
3. 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
4. Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
5. Metro in Chicago, IL
6. Continental Club in Austin, TX
7. The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA
8. The Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA
9. Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA
10. Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY
Article by Rolling Stone, photo by me.