Nightlife

A Guide to Charlotte's Live Music Venues

Charlotte’s live music venues offer something for every music fan. Here are some of the Queen City's top music halls, amphitheaters and arenas for your next concert experience.

Spectrum Center- Photography by Kyo Nam

Spectrum Center

Neighborhood: Uptown

Charlotte’s uptown arena was built in 2004 to host the return of NBA basketball to the Queen City and has been the home of some of the brightest stars and biggest names in the entertainment industry since. When LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets aren’t dazzling basketball audiences, patrons can expect national shows and tours coming to the 20,000 seat arena to perform under the brightest lights in the big city. Some of the most notable events held here include the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, the NCAA and ACC Tournaments, as well as concerts by Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and many, many more.

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PNC Music Pavilion

Neighborhood: University City

A signature venue of the summer music season, PNC Music Pavilion comes to life during the warmest months of the year to welcome the most popular touring acts. An ideal place to see acts like Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw or Jimmy Buffet, this 18,745-seat venue will provide you with memories of the Queen City that will last a lifetime.

Bojangles Coliseum - Photography by Cody Hughes

Bojangles Coliseum

Neighborhood: East Charlotte

This 10,829-seat domed venue opened to the public in 1955 as The Charlotte Coliseum and to this day remains as one of Charlotte’s most historic buildings on this list. Famous for having hosted Elvis’ final live performance in 1977, the Coliseum has also been the host of major sporting events such as the ACC tournament as well as several professional wrestling matches and serves as the home base of the Charlotte Checkers. Since 2008 when Bojangles took over the naming rights, it has been nicknamed “The Biscuit” and continues to be host to many mid-sized musical acts. It is also the cornerstone of the newly-minted BOplex, which includes Ovens Auditorium, complete with a new connector and expansion.

Belk Theater

Neighborhood: Uptown

One of Uptown Charlotte’s most prominent venues, Belk Theater is the place to go for Charlotte’s biggest Broadway musicals and performing arts. Operated by Blumenthal Performing Arts, the Belk brings the most highly-anticipated Broadway shows to Charlotte including Hamilton, The Lion King, Les Misérables and much more. You can also catch intimate performances from musicians like Elvis Costello and Diana Krall in this cozy but elegant 2,118-seat venue.

Charlotte Metro Credit Union

Neighborhood: Uptown

There’s nothing quite like catching a show at AvidXchange’s Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on a warm summer night, sitting with your friends on a blanket in the lawn with a full moon above you and the dazzling Charlotte skyline behind you. And yes, lawn seats are often more fun (and less expensive) than their pricier counterparts, but no matter where you see a show here, it’s guaranteed to be a good time. Don’t forget to start and end your night at neighboring clubs like 8.2.0 and VBGB.

Ovens Auditorium - Photography by Cody Hughes

Ovens Auditorium

Neighborhood: East Charlotte

The seated-venue sibling of the BoPlex, Ovens Auditorium packs a mighty punch in a modest 2,455 seat space. Taking the number nine position of 200 theater venues for worldwide ticket sales in 2021, Oven Auditorium has made a name for itself as one of Charlotte’s best Broadway venues. Ovens has hosted many renowned musicals including “Wicked” (and will host Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 The Musical” in 2023), Charlotte Ballet’s annual rendition of “The Nutcracker,” as well as many Opera Carolina and Charlotte Symphony shows. The nearly 70-year-old venue doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and has a packed schedule with everyone from Peppa Pig to Bob Dylan gracing the stage in 2022.

a concert at The Fillmore

The Fillmore

Neighborhood: Uptown

Located inside a converted textile mill in Uptown’s AvidXchange Music Factory, The Fillmore has become a go-to indoor venue for touring musicians. Designed with inspiration from its San Francisco namesake, The Fillmore is a mostly standing-room only venue with some of Charlotte’s best light and sound systems. The hardwood floors, dark red paint and elegant chandeliers will make you feel a bit classier as you crowd surf to your favorite musicians.

The Underground

Neighborhood: Uptown

At just a 750-person capacity, The Underground makes for a smaller and more intimate version of the neighboring Fillmore but brings every bit of the same energy and excitement. If you want to get up close and personal with some of your favorite touring musicians, The Underground is your go-to spot.

The Neighborhood Theatre - Photography by Jamey Price

The Neighborhood Theatre

Neighborhood: NoDa

NoDa’s largest performance venue, The Neighborhood Theatre, has a long and storied history in the neighborhood. Having begun life in the 1940s as The Astor Theatre, and briefly existing as an adult performance venue, Neighborhood Theatre was renovated in 1997 to produce the live music venue we know and love today. With a capacity of just under 1,000, the Neighborhood Theatre provides a main stage that welcomes well-known acts like Lindsay Buckingham, of Montreal, and Jason Isbell while also providing a small side stage for more intimate acts and events.

Visulite Theatre

Neighborhood: Elizabeth

This historic club in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood provides one of the most unique stage and seating arrangements in the city. A multi-tiered setup, Visulite provides audiences with a dance floor just below the stage, bar seating that’s on the same level as the stage behind it, and a full horseshoe shaped bar with tabletops filling out the back. What results is an excellent space to watch musicians perform, with multiple sightlines and different ways for you to experience the music, with excellently reverberating acoustics. Make sure you don’t leave the city without seeing a show here.

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The Music Yard

Neighborhood: South End

Come check out Charlotte’s newest boutique outdoor live music venue – and your new favorite place to eat, drink, and jam .The Music Yard is located in between SouthBound and Mac’s Speed Shop on South Blvd. These events are rain or shine and a lot of fun.

The Evening Muse - Photography by Jamey Price

The Evening Muse

Neighborhood: NoDa

No visit to NoDa, Charlotte’s arts and entertainment district, is complete without catching a show at The Evening Muse. “The Muse,” as it’s known to locals, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021. Fortunately for us, Muse owner Joe Kuhlman has steadfastly steered this cozy club in the right direction and it continues to be one of Charlotte’s most beloved music venues. Often recognized as having some of the best acoustics in the city, catching a show here is a requisite experience for travelers and locals alike. You might even see a band play here before they break it big, like Lake Street Dive who played in 2013 prior to producing Billboard hits.

Amos' Southend

Neighborhood: South End

One of Charlotte’s hottest nightlife neighborhoods, South End is a destination for Charlotteans who want to have a good time. Usually, that good time includes a stop at Amos’ Southend, one of Charlotte’s longest running music venues. With a large, standing-room only dance floor flanked by a second-floor balcony, Amos’ is a great place to see shows like The Roots, Cheryl Crow, John Mayer and more. Officially punch your Charlottean card by catching a show at Amos’.

Petra's

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Locally owned and -operated music venues are the heart and soul of any music scene. Emerging musicians need venues like Petra’s in Plaza Midwood to hone their skills and get discovered by local audiences. Without them, the music ecosystem fails. Fortunately for Charlotte, Petra’s is in good hands under the stewardship of owners Perry Fowler (of local band Sinners and Saints) and his wife, Marta Suarez del Real. Petra’s is so well-respected in the community, when the Double Door Inn closed in 2017, the infamous Bill Hanna’s Monday Night Jazz Jam migrated there, continuing a long and storied Charlotte tradition.

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Snug Harbor

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

North Carolina’s Atlantic coast (specifically Ocracoke) is known for being the resting place of the legendary pirate Blackbeard. When you walk into Plaza Midwood’s Snug Harbor, you’ll see Blackbeard’s influence all around, as his flag and flags of other pirates of the time are hung from the rafters like retired jersey numbers at a sports arena. This provides a mischievously ideal stage for some of Charlotte’s best local talent to showcase their musical treasures and have you shaking your “booty.” Don’t let the kitsch fool you, however — Snug Harbor (or just “Snug” as the locals affectionately call it) is an essential piece of the live music landscape in Charlotte.

Skylark Social Club

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Skylark Social Club opened on Central Avenue in trendy Plaza Midwood in 2017 in response to other older and more established live music venues being driven from the area due to sky-high rents. The owners of the club — all local musicians in a local punk band — saw the exodus of some of their favorite live music venues and decided to do something about it. Today, you can find the heart and soul of the local punk scene performing there on any given night as well as open mic nights and karaoke. Can’t find them driving down the road? Look for the Elvis Presely mural as you head into town from East Charlotte.

The Milestone Club

Neighborhood: West Charlotte

To those who say Charlotte is too polished, we present to you The Milestone Club. Opened in 1969 and still rocking today, The Milestone is exactly the kind of rough-around-the-edges music venue that you would expect to have hosted pre-MTV fame Nirvana in the early 90s. Much of the graffiti, stickers and other wall art from that era are still up today, a living testament to The Milestone’s longevity and uncompromising nature. Add some legitimate cool points to your resumé by catching a show here (just don’t wear your best suit or dress).