Seattle is a town known for its music. From Sunny Day Real Estate, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, to Nevermore, the Postal Service, Classic Crime, and Macklemore, Seattle offers a rich music scene from 90’s grunge to indie rock, progressive metal, and hip hop.
While it’s true that many of the venues are bars and geared towards 21+, some aren’t, allowing people of any age to enjoy their favorite musical varieties. This list goes over some of the many Seattle venues that local, touring, and visiting artists and bands call home.
The city that could have been, West Seattle features the “beach life” with a short drive of bustling, downtown Seattle. The peninsula is a bit more laid back, than the busy populace of Seattle’s thriving business district – and has amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula.
Touted as West Seattle’s premier music venue, the Skylark features music of every variety, including indie rock, pop, electronica, hard rock, metal, and jazz. Note: some of their features are 21+, but there are a ton that are all ages.
Both Showbox venues (the Market and SODO) always bring a crowd. The SODO venue features its original beauty as a converted warehouse and has feature articles such as Heart and Taking Back Sunday.
Studio 7 proves and multi-faceted space, featuring artists throughout the week ranging from metal to hip hop to electronica. Their space includes their main club, dual level showroom, and 16 band rehearsal rooms.
Easily one of the largest venues in the area, the Washington Music Theater (WaMu Theater), has featured bands such as Slayer, Kid Cudi, and various music festivals. Their expansive space offers a variety of options from standing, sitting, and hanging out near refreshments if you need a break.
Over Beacon Hill, you’ll find a neighborhood known as Columbia City – and the Columbia City Theater. With the theater in back and the Bourbon Bar in from, this venue features an eclectic history and a past lineup just as varied.
With music seven days every week, the Royal Room was designed to serve the musicians and artists it hosts, and likewise offers an emphasis on creative programming and development and working collaboratively in a community space.
Moving north in Pioneer Square, you’ll want to stop by the Central Saloon. With a history for over 120 years, the Central Saloon not features “the best live rock seven nights a week,” 365 days per year.
Showbox Market is a beautiful art-deco style entertainment spot, with a full bar separate from the floor. Still displaying music for over 75 years, the Showbox Market has proved itself a mainstay in the Seattle music scene.
The HardRock Café near Downtown, Seattle often features live music on their second-floor venue.
The Triple Door is a beautiful music + eating venue. The front offers a delight dining area, while music patrons can sit and eat as they watch a variety of music, featuring artists such as Kaki King and Glockabelle.
The Seattle Theatre Group comprises the Paramount, Moor, and Neptune theaters.
Located under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Highway 99 Blues Club features a 21+ venue and combines the feelings of “southern juke joint”, with that of “old timey” architecture and concept.
Belltown and the Denny Triangle
These two areas are wonderful for bustling around town, and proves Seattle’s 4th most walkable and bikeable districts, according to Walkscore.com.
Offering a variety of daily delights, the Crocodile is touted on Paste Magazine’s list of top 40 music venues in the United States. Back in its years in the 1990’s, it was a swift ride to fame, as it featured many emerging and heavily popular bands throughout the grunge scene.
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is highly regarded amongst Seattle Jazz venues, featuring nightly shows, largely comprising jazz ensembles, pianists, vocalists, and guitarists.
Another stop along the Jazz train, it Tula’s Jazz Club, featuring jazz seven nights a week, plus “great Northwest and American cuisine.”
The Rendezvous Jewelry Box Theater remains an intimate venue, restored to its original 1932 beauty and offers live music and burlesque. Check out either the Jewelry Box or Grotto for daily entertainment!
Many mega-performers come through the Key Arena at Seattle Center, including bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Explosions in the Sky, Queens of the Stoneage, and many other popular artists.
Capitol Hill & South Lake Union
Amongst the best of Seattle’s urban charm, these two typical “Seattleite” neighborhoods are booming with eateries, bars, cafes, boutiques, and entertainment venues. Regardless of where you live, you’re only a short walk away from fun!
Neumos is another eclectic bar + venue, featuring bands such as the Raconteurs, Cannibal Corpse, Iron & Wine, Mudhoney, and a variety of others. They offer three full bars, a second-floor mezzanine, and a balcony overlooking the mainstage.
Though their bookings trend into metal and punk territory, the Highline has been a longstanding, Broadway venue, featuring a food and drink menu.
Another not-always 21+ venue, is Chop Suey. They offer a variety of tastes in music and cuisine (check out their menu!)
El Corazon and the Funhouse strive to provide the “ultimate concert and social experience,” while their staff focus on “excellent customer service and artist relations.” Enjoy a show. Chat with friends. Have a drink.
While the heart of Seattle hosts the majority of Seattle’s music venues, the northend has its fair share, including the High Dive, Nectar Lounge, The Little Red Hen, Sea Monster Lounge, Café Racer and the Blue Moon Tavern.
What are your favorite Seattle venues? And where have you seen your favorite shows?