Best of Boston

BEST Music Venue

2013 BEST Music Venue, Small
Photo by Jesse Burke

The Sinclair

Cambridge

Superstar chef Michael Schlow may have brought initial buzz to this new restaurant/music club, but now its lineup of stellar performers—postpunk legends such as the Feelies and Wire, Gen-X faves such as DJ Shadow, and Pitchfork-approved titans like Fucked Up… read more»

2013 BEST Music Venue, Large

TD Garden

Boston

It’s a vaunted sports temple, of course, but the Garden had a banner year for music, with appearances by everybody from the current stars Museto the stalwart Rolling Stones, on their 50th-anniversary tour—plus Justin Bieber, Mumford & Sons, and Coldplay…. read more»

2012 BEST Music Venue, Small

Brighton Music Hall

Allston

Like its predecessor, Harper’s Ferry, Brighton Music Hall is essentially a dive bar with a big stage and cheap drinks—the perfect venue for indie headliners. The 340-person space draws remarkably hot bands, including U.K. soul-folk sensation Michael Kiwanuka, Canadian indie-rock… read more»

2012 BEST Music Venue, Large

Bank of America Pavillion

Boston

It’s hard to beat a concert by the water, and this venue, within walking distance of the Seaport District restaurants, also comes with skyline views. Most important, though, is the diverse lineup of performers—Cambridge-based Passion Pit, Jane’s Addiction, and everything… read more»

2009 BEST Music Venue, Small
2009-musicvenuesmall3

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Cambridge

Somewhere between a band’s first roadie and their first rider, they play T.T.’s, a beer-soaked cranny in Central Square now in its third decade. For about 10 bucks a night, the club gets music geek nation on its feet with… read more»

2009 BEST Music Venue, Large
2009-musicvenuelarge3

Bank of America Pavilion

Boston

Dock all the points you like for the pricey beer, seasonal setup, and occasional ‘Ya Mo B There’ booking, and this harborside venue with the graceful sail-like tent and stunning skyline backdrop still posts the winning score. Wide aisles give… read more»

1993 BEST Music Venue, Sometimes

Green St. Grill

Cambridge

If you’re hep and you follow local rock, you’re here, religiously, on Monday nights. Fixed-price ($8.95) menu, no cover, and happenin’ local bands playing in the small, stageless dining room. Plus the occasional big name swooping in for an unadvertised… read more»

1993 BEST Music Venue, Unlikely

The Middle East

Cambridge

The best by far. There’s music in the restaurant’s back room, in the bakery, in the basement (once a bowling alley). Eclectic bookings, a much-needed showcase for local rock and jazz musicians, and not a milliliter of yuppie pretension. read more»

1992 BEST Music Venue, Small

The Middle East Restaurant

Cambridge

Best now, with its mix of jazz and international music in its back room. And better this fall, when the owners expand into the enormous basement space below the restaurant (once a candlepin bowling alley) to create a 130-person-capacity rock… read more»

1992 BEST Music Venue, Large

The Orpheum Theatre

Boston

It’s stuck at the end of an alley, but the 90-year-old Orpheum, which usually hosts rockers, is fit for the eyes and ears of a king. Just try topping the acoustics in this place, or its lineup of performers. read more»