A Guide to Charlotte's Live Music Venues
Large or small, dressed up or dressed down, learn how to navigate Charlotte's main stages before you go.
by Bryan Richards Mar 02, 2018
Celebrate our down-home, country roots at this boot-scooting dance bar, which bills late-night acts—very late night, in fact—from notable and up-and-coming country singers.
Local rockers, PBRs, tattoos and biker’s jackets qualify this nautically inspired Plaza Midwood music venue as a legit home of the punk rock generation.
True to its name, local and regional acts at this EpiCentre bar and stage will have you singing and swaying like every track is “Love Shack.”
Known for its purple and blue stage lighting and crescent moon insignia, this cozy NoDa establishment is where you can say you saw them here first.
This 1940s movie theater turned music venue is where NoDa residents go to catch regional touring acts of all musical styles on their way to super-stardom.
With both a dance floor and seated high-tops, this former movie theater in Elizabeth draws regional indie and roots acts, fun tribute bands, and undemanding crowds.
Bands like R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs and Nirvana played some of their early shows on this rock-and-roll dive's venerable stage.
Housed in one of Uptown’s newest theaters, The Jazz Room is a Blumenthal Performing Arts Center venue where you can nod your head along with the coolest jazz acts in town.
This mostly standing-room-only venue in AvidXchange Music Factory is for performers who have millions of listeners on Spotify, but might not have eclipsed the top 40.
Also in the AvidXchange Music Factory, this club-like hall holds 750, making it smaller than the neighboring Fillmore, but big enough for sold-out tours like The Revivalists and Andy Grammer.
Shows and events at Petra’s—trivia hosted by drag queens, drunk spelling bees and variety shows—are as diverse and eclectic as its Plaza Midwood home.
Once an Elizabeth haunt, Crown Station is now a NoDa coffee shop, pub and music venue. Stop in to see local bands, open-mic nights or stand-up comedy sets.
Gnaw on etouffee and sip on a Sazerac while tapping your foot to live jazz music seven nights a week at this popular Cajun restaurant off Seventh Street.
Booking family-friendly acts, indie and oldies revival tours, and classical concerts, this outdoor music venue in Uptown is for those who detest the chaos of massive amphitheaters.
It’s where Eric Church saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time, and it’s where you can check out your favorite national act during their summer world tour.
In addition to staging Broadway musicals, children’s shows and comedians, East Charlotte’s retro venue reels in revival tours as well as popular indie, R&B and country rock artists.
Built in 1955, the historic coliseum, known for being the home of the AHL Charlotte Checkers, also welcomes concerts and comedians.
Here, live music is just half of the show. Surrounded on three sides by a massive condominium, this dive bar’s resilience in the face of development reflects its take-no-prisoners attitude.
Brought to Charlotte by the owners of Plaza Midwood transplant Jackalope Jack’s is the Rabbit Hole—a pop-rock stage with floor room for 350 and light shows to boot.
Escape the NoDa versus Plaza Midwood argument at Hattie’s. Located somewhere in the middle of the two, the dog-friendly dive is a welcoming spot to see karaoke crooning and local bands.
From DJs spinning Latin beats to live jams from Chócala, things get spicy after 10 p.m. at this AvidXchange Music Factory club—one of Charlotte’s más caliente spots for Latin dancing.
Known for its buckets of alcohol and rowdy dance floor, this dueling piano bar in the EpiCentre isn’t just for bachelorette parties—but you’ll probably see one while you’re there.
Classic cocktail lounge meets jazz bar at Uptown’s The Imperial, a hot spot for crowds with more refined palates. Order a Tom Collins, and get your swank on.
Who doesn’t love hoisting beers to cover bands? Sing along to “Sweet Home Alabama” at this Uptown bar also popular for watch parties and drunken spelling bees.
Work off that artery clogging, grease bomb of a burger by getting down to local tunes—rock, country and any other roots-laden music you can think of—at this mainstay off Park Road.
Where the Charlotte Hornets both practice and play, “the Hive” buzzes with craft pours when acts like Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith take the stage.
While other classic Charlotte music venues have fallen, this soulful billiard hall has stood the test of time, still welcoming rockers of all generations.
Opened by three local punk rock musicians, this Central Avenue newcomer aims to preserve the neighborhood’s laid-back vibe with cheap beer and rock music.
Home to the Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina, this main stage at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is made for music, often billing Broadway musicals and touring musicians alike.
Featuring local and regional jazz ensembles, AvidXchange Music Factory’s snug jazz bar serves up signature drinks, desserts, music and spoken word in an intimate parlor-style setup.
Dress to impress when you visit this late-night South End lounge, which, in addition to weekly open mic nights, grooves to hip-hop, R&B and neo-soul.