The 7 Best Live Music Venues in Washington DC

Washington, DC’s music landscape is as diverse as the city itself, with musical talent that has influenced the local scene for many years. Whether you prefer dance, go-go, hip-hop, hardcore punk, jazz, blues, or anything in between, you will probably find it on any given night in the nation’s capital at these live music venues.

  1. The 9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club is one of America’s best big room music venues. This hot spot may be standing room only bur it features a whole lot of atmosphere. The 9:30 Club has been at the top of Washington, DC’s music scene since its inception, hosting soon-to-shine acts and world-famous performers. Don’t miss your chance to see a show here.

  1. The Anthem

Located on the Southwest Waterfront, The Anthem is an acoustically optimized, 6,000-seat concert hall. It’s bigger than the legendary 9:30 Club but more intimate. It’s a musical experience you won’t soon forget, so check out the lineup and plan your visit. You are well-advised to get your tickets in advance, as the shows often sell out quickly. 

  1. Union Stage

Union Stage at The Wharf  is a concert venue on the Southwest Waterfront in Washington, DC

It offers a packed calendar that includes a wide range of acts and performers. It’s an intimate setting where you can listen to the music and order pizza and beer from their Tap Room.

  1. Pearl Street Warehouse

Pearl Street Warehouse on The Wharf is a live musical experience in Washington, DC. If you stroll down cobblestone-lined Pearl Street, you can’t miss the Pearl Street Warehouse. This cozy venue channels the same vibe as legendary music halls around the nation. Here, you can be up close and personal with your favorite country, blues, or rock artist, as every seat is never more than 25 feet from the stage. The venue also offers classic all-American fare, cocktails, and craft brewed beer, as well. 

  1. The Black Cat

The Black Cat is Washington, DC’s haven for all things indie and alternative. DC rock legend Dave Grohl is a part-owner of this venue. While at The Black Cat, visit The Red Room Bar, a go-to for music lovers, scenesters, and influencers alike. According to Slip and fall lawyers in Washington DC, A second performance area, Backstage, offers a more intimate setting for up-and-comers and DJ dance parties. Make sure to get your pre-game on at the veggie-friendly Food For Thought Café and check out DC’s buzzworthy 14th Street scene when the show’s over.

  1. U Street Music Hall 

This DJ-owned basement dance club on U Street Corridor and live music venue regularly hosts popular events such as Werk Ethic, which features ‘80s and ’90s house and techno and Deep Sugar, a classic soul dance night. Capacity here maxes out at 500, so you won’t be lost in a super-huge crowd. However, the venue boasts an excellent sound system and a 1,200-square-foot cork-cushioned dance floor. 

  1. The Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre pre-dates Harlem’s The Apollo. It was closed for more than 30 years, but was restored to its original luster in a huge 2012 renovation. A full spectrum of artists frequent this legendary Washington, DC venue. Pre-show, snap a selfie with the Duke Ellington statue situated just outside the theater.