New York City’s live music offerings are second to none, and right now, Brooklyn is right at the heart of the scene. No matter what type of music you’re craving and what type of atmosphere you want to be in, Brooklyn’s got you covered. To make things even easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight live music locations in Brooklyn, so browse around and pick one (or two or eight) for your next destination. It doesn’t matter which you choose or who you go with – we guarantee that you’ll be in for a good time.
A lot of people agree that this is currently the best place to hang out and listen to live music in Brooklyn (for a good reason). It always features the hottest new bands in town, so you’ll always be up to date with the newest and the hottest. (Disclaimer: because it’s such a popular spot, it can sometimes get difficult to actually watch the musicians play their tunes.) Baby’s All Right also offers gourmet bar fare, creative drinks, and weekend brunch. Entry to the bar and restaurant is free, but tickets for the performances usually cost around $10 to $20.
Hours: Open daily, 5pm to 4am
Spanning three floors and taking on a warehouse vibe, the Music Hall of Williamsburg gives you the opportunity to watch the larger and more well-known musicians who come through the city. From indie rock to electronic, folk and country, there’s no shortage of diverse music that’s offered at this location. In addition to balcony seating, the Music Hall also features a unique plush basement with its own bar (with reasonably priced drinks) as well as huge screens broadcasting the show. No matter where you stand, you’ll get a pretty decent view of the stage. Last but not least, it’s very easy to get to by subway and there are tons of good restaurants close by.
Hours: Open daily, 10am to 9pm
This insane music venue not only offers snazzy music, but also a high-tech 16-lane bowling alley and delicious comfort food provided by Blue Ribbon. In 2013, it was named the 20th best music club in America by the Rolling Stone magazine. You’ll never guess that it’s also a green facility – the concert stage floor was built with recycled truck tires and uses environmentally-friendly LED lights, while the rest of the establishment was built using recycled materials like glass and wooden floorboards. The 600-seat music hall has hosted artists from Guns N’ Roses to The Roots, and the lineups include all genres of music (think jazz, folk, and hip hop all in the same place).
Hours: Weekdays 6pm to 12am, Weekends at 11am to 2am
Located on the same block as the Music Hall of Williamsburg, National Sawdust is a $16 million multipurpose space featuring an acoustically sound concert hall, a rehearsal and recording studio, and a restaurant and bar run by James Beard-winning chef Patrick Connolly. Pass through a dark and glossy lobby, and you’ll be welcomed into something like an eccentric-looking black-box theater that can be configured to seat around 120 to 350 people, with a narrow balcony lining the walls of the room. Although it hosts a myriad of performances from operas to orchestras, this chic venue has earned a reputation for booking rising indie artists before they erupt into headline-making stars. Its schedule is always jam-packed with aspiring artists and musicians, so make sure you regularly check out their calendar.
Hours: Open daily, 10am to 1am
One of the more unusual (but equally interesting) venues on this list, Warsaw is a Polish community center that looks like the inside of an Elk’s Club or a Moose Lodge. As soon as you walk in, you might forget that you’re in Williamsburg for a couple of hours. It offers an old school vibe, high quality speakers and acoustics, and traditional Polish snacks (make sure you try their homemade pierogies and apple sauce). With high ceilings and a spacious main floor, Warsaw fits around 400 to 500 people, making it the perfect place for large parties or groups of friends. Don’t be fooled by the old school feel of the establishment – Warsaw hosts artists from widely diverse genres of music and we don’t want you to become shocked when Fuck Buttons appears onstage alongside super lively visuals.
This isn’t just a venue for live music – it also offers hilarious standup comedy, poetry readings, and performance art. Highlighting a mix of rock and jazz, the Knitting Factory is a spacious outpost of a small national concert venue chain. In addition to all of its artistic offerings, the place also features an attached adults-only restaurant serving delicious food. With gritty décor and a darkened back room, you’ll feel right at home if you know how to appreciate grunge rock. The Knitting Factory also tends to host touring bands over local ones, so if you’re a Brooklyn native looking for fresh perspective, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this.
Hours: Open daily, 6pm to 3am
This steampunk- and Doctor Who-themed music venue and bar features a verywide range of music styles, including Americana, Folk, Blues, Indie Rock, Latin, Country, Bluegrass, R&B, and more. In addition to showcasing live music, The Way Station also hosts a variety of comedy gigs, book readings, karaoke shows, and sci-fi and fantasy movies. It is renowned for its Whovian-themed cocktails, life-sized replica of the Iconic blue police box, and walls adorned with intriguing archaic curios. Serving up five live music nights every week, the intimate venue does not believe in a cover charge, but there is a $5 suggested donation with each performance.
Hours: Open daily, 4pm to 2am
There’s a place for everyone on this list, and if you’re someone who’s searching for dark, loud, heavy, and metal music, Greenpoint’s Saint Vitus is the place for you. You’ll know it as soon as you step into the place and see the huge black mahogany bar, the sea of black clothing, and the pitch-black interior. Although the location is relatively small, a lot of prominent musicians have come by with intimate and exclusive performances. The vibes of this venue are insanely riveting, and the establishment was modeled after metal bars. Tickets to performances sell out ridiculously fast, so make sure you purchase them as soon as you can.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 4am, Sunday 6pm to 12am
If live music is your thing, Brooklyn is definitely the place to be. Check out these trending venues for the best the borough has to offer and you’ll be right at the center of the scene in no time.