For music lovers with a serious case of audiophilia there's nothing better than seeing an act live in concert. From the psychedelic shores of California to career-launching stages in New York, America's music venues have hosted iconic artists ranging from The Beatles and Michael Jackson to living legends like Radiohead and Coldplay.
All across the country, historic venues welcome headliners from around the world to rock their storied halls. While U.S. music venues feature something for everyone, these four favorites are sure to have your ears ringing for days with the biggest names in music.
Beacon Theatre, New York
The historic Beacon Theatre was opened in 1929 in the heart of New York City by Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel, the same man who would later go on to open Radio City Music Hall. Originally created as a center for vaudeville, music, theater, movies and other performances, one of the features for which the Beacon Theatre prided itself was its exceptional acoustics, which are still among the best in city. The Beacon Theatre has hosted some of the best concerts in NYC including Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Queen and Radiohead. Other events featured at the theater include shows like Madame Butterfly, a speech by the Dalai Lama and multiple years of the Tony Awards.
The Fillmore, San Francisco
The Fillmore emerged in the 1960s as a central component to the counterculture movement, hosting some of the biggest bands of the era and arguably fostering the emergence of psychedelic rock. More than just a relic of the past or a shrine to outdated hippiedom, this historic venue remains one of the city's handful of stalwart concert halls where major bands routinely grace the stage. The open hall inside is relatively simple, with well-worn floors and cabaret-style chandeliers, and, depending on the act, the broad standing-room-only space in front of the stage hosts everyone from hardcore punks in furious mosh pits to chilled-out suburbanites.
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
As the capital of the music industry, there are plenty of places to catch concerts in Los Angeles. But for the biggest headlining artists and some of the best views of the city, fans flock to the Hollywood Bowl. This outdoor amphitheater in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills is scenically located beneath the iconic Hollywood sign and has been featured in over 20 films and television shows. Performances at the Bowl range from the classical music of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the genre-shattering experimental sounds of Animal Collective. Past performances have included The Beatles, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Blink 182 and Coldplay. In addition to pop and rock concerts, the Bowl also hosts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the annual Playboy Jazz Festival.
The Congress Theater, Chicago
Once a 1920s movie palace, the Congress Theater is both an official landmark and one of the best venues for Chicago events and concerts. The theater is a work of art in its own right, with ornate decorations and a high-domed interior that matches the elegance of some Italian palaces. Inside all that glitz, thousands of fans dance to music ranging from hip hop to house. Performances at the Congress have included concerts by a broad range of artists like Prince, Beastie Boys, Sufjan Stevens, and Skrillex.
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