Best of Boston

2003 Best Club for Live Music, Small

The Paradise Rock Club

Who says rock is dead? With a club like the Paradise offering its stage to the kinds of acts that will never, ever get air time on MTV (and that’s a good thing), the genre is thriving. Everything about the Paradise is designed for the audience: the acoustics, the lights, the five bars (the lines are never long for a drink), and the long, rectangular space that lets just about everyone get close to the stage. Which is why acts from the Donnas to Ryan Adams have lined up to play the Paradise this year, the club’s 25th in business. With the addition of the adjacent Paradise Lounge, there’s now a smaller stage for acoustic shows by local acts, plus a bar menu for between-show snacks. And unlike other Boston clubs, which stage their shows on the early side so they can turn their floors over to dancing by 10, the Paradise rocks all night long.

969 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-562-8800,