Best of Boston

BEST Music Venue

2017 BEST Music Venue, Large

Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Boston

Harbor views and cool summer breezes augment a listening experience that provides access to big-name acts (the coming months will bring Slayer and Diana Ross) without the hassle of stadium seating. A shifting naming-rights situation may make it hard to… read more»

2017 BEST Music Venue, Small

The Sinclair

Cambridge

With a cozy, intimate vibe and a who’s-who of trendy touring acts (upcoming headliners include Sonic Youth legend Thurston Moore), the Sinclair has in short order made itself the hippest place in town for a show. Expanded offerings have included… read more»

2016 BEST Music Venue

The Sinclair

Cambridge

What better way to take in the latest indie rock than with a side of chicken-liver mousse and steak tartare? That’s the kind of rock ’n’ roll lifestyle you can enjoy at the Sinclair, which reliably draws in many of… read more»

2015 BEST Music Venue

The Sinclair

Cambridge

With top-notch bookings (courtesy of promoters Bowery Boston) and the city’s best-designed concert experience, the Sinclair is the House of Blues, only more intimate; the Paradise, without poles obstructing the sightlines; the Middle East downstairs, with a balcony and style…. read more»

2014 BEST Music Venue, Alt/Pop/Rock

Brighton Music Hall

Allston

The former Harpers Ferry has spent the past few years as the intermediary step between Great Scott and the Paradise, booking national acts on the rise and local acts on the path to national stardom. The recent overhaul of the… read more»

2014 BEST Music Venue, Jazz/Blues

Wally’s Café

Boston

At the crossroads of the next John Mayer and the original Bleeding Gums Murphy stands a music club that could only live in Boston. Still going strong after 67 years, Wally’s is famously where the city’s old-guard musicians meet the… read more»

2013 BEST Music Venue, Small

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, 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»

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»