10 Best Music Venues In The Midwest

The 10 best music venues in the Midwest vary from large outdoor stadiums to small, intimate venues where fans can get up close and personal with their favorite local bands. All provide a great rotation of talent and an atmosphere that enhances the overall music experience.

  1. Cain's Ballroom. Listed as one of the top 10 best music venues in the Midwest by "Paste" magazine, Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, combines a lively history with a great concert venue. Built in 1924, it features a maple dance floor complete with a disco ball and has hosted the likes of Bob Wills and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
  2. The Lawn. The Lawn at White River Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, is often included as a top music venue in Indiana. It delivers what it promises: a wide, grassy lawn where concert goers can stroll and chat while enjoying the bands as well as the offerings of numerous vendors. The Lawn has been listed among "Pollster" magazine's top one hundred venues in the world, earning it a place as one of the 10 best music venues in the Midwest.
  3. Schubas Tavern. Also given a nod by "Paste" magazine is Schubas Tavern in Chicago, Illinois. Located in Lake View, Schubas was built in 1903 and offers a unique neo-Gothic atmosphere for music from local indie rock bands to honky tonk and jazz. Schubas served as the first Chicago venue for acts like Tori Amos, the Dave Matthews Band and Death Cab for Cutie.
  4. The Starlight Theater. The second-largest theater in the US, the Starlight Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, stages Broadway shows as well as high-profile music acts like Santana and Jeff Beck. The Starlight Theater offers educational programs for budding thespians, as well.
  5. The Verizon Wireless Music Center. The Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana, is the largest outdoor amphitheater in Indiana. It offers 6,000 seats under the main pavilion and a lawn which holds 18,000 general admission attendees. It often hosts large festivals like the Vans Warped Tour, as well as popular acts such as Pearl Jam and Nickelback.
  6. The Magic Stick. Another "Paste" magazine favorite, the Magic Stick in Detroit, Michigan, provides a stage for musical acts as well as a bar and ten billiards tables. One of the best live music venues in Detroit, the Magic Stick has hosted the White Stripes, Mud Honey and other acts both local and national.
  7. The Bottom Lounge. The Bottom Lounge is another well-known Chicago venue. In addition to live music, the Bottom Lounge features a restaurant as well as a rooftop deck and the tiki-themed Volcano Room, complete with rum bar. Acts have included local bands such as Empires as well as acts like The Whigs and The Fleshtones.
  8. First Avenue. First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, began as a bus depot, but has since evolved into a club dedicated to bringing the best musical acts to the Twin Cities area. The venue hosts a wide variety of acts and also gives back to the community by working with several charitable organizations.
  9. The Alpine Valley Music Theatre. With a capacity of 35,000, the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, provides a freestanding stage that allows unobstructed viewing from anywhere in the huge, general admission lawn or the pavilion area, which seats 7,500.
  10. The Canopy Club. Formerly a movie theater, the Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois, is located on the University of Illinois campus. Hosting acts as diverse as The Used, Third Eye Blind and Sufjan Stevens, the Canopy Club is also an important part of the Pygmalion Music Festival.

The 10 best music venues in the Midwest provide an eclectic mix of atmospheres and acts, but are all high-quality and guaranteed to provide a great evening of entertainment, no matter which one you choose for your next musical outing.


Paste Magazine

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