Where to Find Live Music in Boston

The city is well-known for something. It’s no surprise that Boston is a musically inclined city. It has, after all, had much more time to develop a music culture than other American cities. Despite the several renowned institutions in the Massachusetts capital, it’s worth remembering how musical Boston is, from the street performers on Newbury Street to the Berklee students who walk around with guitars strapped to their backs all over Back Bay.

Here, there’s always someone on stage. On world tours, megastars perform at the Celtics’ TD Garden, the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, an outdoor pavilion, summer live performance staple, and Bruins’ home arenas. It’s impossible to keep track of all of the smaller venues. Here’s where you can see live music in Boston, from top clubs with persona to perfect dives.

The Middle East 

This Central Square-spot, which began as a basic Middle Eastern eatery in 1970 and continued to expand in the 1980s to establish the rapidly growing local alt-rock scene, became a large tour stop for several gatherings. The Upstairs, the bigger Downstairs (the site of a former bowling alley), Zuzu, which showcases innovative artists and the outstanding Soulelujah DJs, and The Corner, wherein bands play for tips and dancers perform, the place has several sections.  Jaden Smith, Chris Cornell, and even Ryan Gosling have all walked these legendary boho streets.


Great Scott, a former frat pub located halfway between Boston University and Boston College, was transformed into an indie rock destination ten years ago, putting it as one of the top small-sized rock venues in the area. It holds a 240-person occupancy and hosts a combination of dance evenings and live music in Boston, such as the Britpop party The Pill. In 2 years, the band performing today may be enormous.

TD Garden

You can watch a Boston Bruins or Celtics game at the TD Garden, but they also hold a variety of other entertainment, like live music, year-round.  Elton John, Ariana Grande, the Backstreet Boys, and Carrie Underwood are among the top performers on display. If you are looking for nightlife in Boston, this is the venue for you. Since it is close to North Station, you can easily reach TD Garden by rail if you are in the city or on the MBTA’s Commuter Rails. 

Paradise Rock Club 

The iconic Paradise Rock Club has given the stage to several major groups’ careers, like U2, who picked the venue for their U.S. debut. Billy Joel, Norah Jones, Coldplay, Maroon 5, and the Black Eyed Peas are among the other well-known performers performing at the club. The club, which is located near Boston University, is a famous destination for prominent local artists and sponsors minor live music in Boston year-round. Since its inception in 1977, the club has been a staple of Boston’s rock-and-roll scene, attracting experienced bands.

Wilbur Theatre 

The hundred years old Wilbur Theatre is dedicated to the Comedy Connection, a popular location for artists and comedians.  Paula Poundstone, Jay Leno, and Norm McDonald all got their start on this famous platform in the Theater District. Amy Schumer, Joel McHale, and Jimmy Fallon are among the comedians and musicians that have performed there. 

Boston is filled with music and art scenes. Check out these venues to find the latest shows. 

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Written by Irene Montez