The Best US Cities to Visit for Live Music

by Julia on July 15, 2016

The United States has a diverse and rich history when it comes to music. Countless cities have birthed their very own genres of music, whilst others have spawned some of the greatest musicians of our time. In fact every city in the country has a musical identity, a history that traces back to the very culture and people that have and continue to live there.

Today you don’t need to travel far in the US to find some live music, with every city in the nation hosting live music, from the big names and established stars to the local talent trying to make it big.

For those that love music, heading out to a different city provides an incredible opportunity to taste some new and exciting musical experiences. Whether it’s seeing one of your favourite artists taking in a show at an iconic venue or checking out the local talent at a small show in a cosy venue, there are so many great cities worth visiting for their musical prowess alone.

Here are some of the best cities to visit in the US for live music:


With the appropriate nickname of Music City, it comes as little surprise just how amazing Nashville is for providing an incredible music experience for anyone visiting. Combine this with a welcoming atmosphere thanks to the very friendly locals, and you have one of the best cities worth visiting for live music in the world, let alone the United States.

The home of country music, you won’t need to walk far to take in the sounds of a live performer, be it a solo artist in the streets or a rowdy band rocking out at one of the many Honky Tonk shows that take place most evenings.

When it comes to big shows, the Grand Old Opry is a country music radio show that takes place in the iconic Ryman Auditorium and is a must-see attraction. East Nashville tends to showcase the more independent and aspiring artists, and there is also a strong rock and roll scene in the city – so there is much more to offer than just country music!


When it comes to music of Seattle, most people will think back to the rise of the grunge scene of the 90s that created stars out bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, yet the Emerald City was also the home to legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

Not only that, but many talents have emerged from Seattle in recent years, including the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and rapper Macklemore.

Capitol Hill and Belltown are known as some of the premier locations in the city for live music, with famous venues such as the Crocodile, while Bumbershoot Festival is an annual outdoor festival that attracts many big names along with local emerging talents too.


For live outdoor music performances, nowhere beats Austin, Texas. Home to festivals such as South-by-Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits (ACL), and Fun Fun Fun Fest, the city is provides an incredible selection of diverse music festivals that make the most of the stunning Texas weather.

Yet this isn’t the only live music Austin has to offer – it has earned the nickname as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ after all! From all-time greats such as Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughn, to more recent talent like Explosions in the Sky and Jamestown Revival, Austin has a rich pedigree when it comes to producing their own talents!

You can find a range of artists performing throughout locations in the city, including the Moody Theatre, the Continental Club, and the Paramount Theatre. Quieter locations can also be found around the East Austin area of the city, which can be great for finding smaller, cosy venues with some great local talent performing.

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