Virtually every band that steps foot in the United States plays some dates in or around New York City and the City's rock clubs have a history of discovering and showcasing new acts. Most of the venues below are small clubs, pubs, and performance spaces featuring the best of New York's live music scene, including rock, blues, acoustic, cabaret, traditional, experimental and more. There are also a few large concert halls where you can get tickets for the big names in rock.
Some venues may be closed due to recent events in New York City. Call ahead for info.
9C700 E. 9th St. at Ave. C (212) 358-0048
Country and Bluegrass bar with live music every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Hours: Monday to Thurday from 7pm - 4am, and Friday to Sunday from 5pm - 4am. Ages 21 and over. No cover. Subway: F to 2nd Ave.; 6 to Astor Pl.
13 Bar/Lounge35 E. 13th St. (btw. Broadway & University Pl.) (212) 979-6677
Three floor lounge/nightclub with live ecclectic Jazz, Funk, Rock, and Soul music every Tuesday and Spoken Word poetry every Monday. Wed - Sun are DJ parties featuring Brit Pop, Retro dance music, Trance and everything in between. Doors open 7:30pm - 10pm depending on the night, and cover ranges from $0 - $10. Check their website for schedules. Ages 21 and over. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, Q to W. 4th St.
Acme Underground (see events)9 Great Jones St. at Lafayette St. (212) 677-6963
Located directly below the Acme Bar & Grill, the Underground has live rock bands every night of the week. Ages 21 and over. Open 7pm - 4am every day with $6 or $7 cover on the weekend. Subway: B, D, Q, F to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Bleeker St., or N, R to 8th St.
Anyway Cafe34 E. 2nd St (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.) (212) 533-3412
Hosts live Jazz, Brazilian and Russian music. They also serve lunch on weekdays. Open 11am - 2am M-F, and 4pm - 4am on the weekends. All ages. Subway: F to 2nd Ave.
Arlene Grocery (see events)95 Stanton St. (btw. Ludlow & Orchard Sts.) (212) 358-1633
This bar/venue hosts all kinds of rock bands, including many record company showcases. Ages 21 and over. Open noon to 4am, with bands starting at 7 or 8 every night. $3 cover on weekends. Subway: F to 2nd Ave., J, M, Z to Essex St.
B3 Lounge and Restaurant33 Ave. B at 3rd St. (212) 614-9755
A lounge/restaurant serving dinner from 6pm - 12am. The lounge is open from 6pm - 4am and you must be 21 or older to get in. There is open mic Mon & Tues, comedy on Wed, live shows on Thur, and live music and DJs spinning Brit Pop and Techno on the weekend. Subway: F to 2nd Ave.
Baggot Inn82 W. 3rd St. (btw. Thompson & Sullivan Sts.) (212) 477-0622
This small Irish pub hosts all kinds of live music plus an open poetry reading on Saturdays at 3pm. Hours: 11am - around 2am, every day. Ages 21 and over. There is usually a $5 cover only Tuesday through Saturday. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, Q to W. 4th St.
BAM Cafe30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Pl., Brooklyn (718) 636-4139
Directly above the main lobby of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the cafe hosts a weekly performance series with everything from Jazz to Spoken Word to Afro-pop, Latin, Rock, R&B;, Blues, and Experimental music. Thursdays and Fridays are live music, Saturdays are dance parties. All ages. Hours: Wed-Sun (and all performance nights) concessions and dinner 4:30 - 11pm; Sunday brunch 12 - 5pm. There is no cover for shows but there is a $10 food/drink minimum. The cafe also hosts a Gospel Brunch on select Sundays from 2-4pm ($20, less for kids). Subway: B, N, R to Pacific St., D, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave., G to Fulton St.
B. B. King Blues Club & Grill (see events)237 W. 42nd St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.) (212) 997-4144
The famous blues club at Times Square has performers every night at 8pm and 10:30pm and a Gospel Brunch every Sunday at 1pm and 3pm. The restaurant is open every day from 11am - midnight. All ages. Covers charges vary. Call for reservations or reserve online. Subway: N, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7, 9 to 42nd St. - Times Square.
The Beacon Theater (see events)2124 Broadway at 74th St. (212) 496-7070
The Beacon hosts some of the best medium-sized performances of both music and theater. Many people prefer it to some of the larger venues because of its smaller, cozier atmosphere. Box office is open 11am - 7pm, M - F and noon - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday when there is a show. Generally all ages. Subway: 1, 2, 3, 9 to 72nd St.
The Bitter End (see events)174 Bleecker St. at Thompson St. (212) 673-7030
Small space, but has great folk, country, and rock music. Call for show times. Usually 21 and over. Cover: $5-$15. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, Q, F to W. 4th St.
Blarney Star (see events)43 Murray St. (btw. Church & W. Broadway) (212) 732-2873
"Weekly Friday night concerts of Irish traditional music in New York City. Performers include the best local and visiting instrumentalists and singers." Shows at 9pm & 10:30pm. $10 cover. All ages. Dining available. Subway: A, C, 1, 2, 3, 9 to Chambers St.; N, R, 4, 5, 6 to City Hall.
Bottom Line (see events)15 W. 4th St. at Mercer St. (212) 228-6300
Lofty ceilings make this place a natural candidate for musical performances. A mixed bag of music and entertainment, from jazz to country to good old rock and roll by over the hill singers. Double proof of age required! Tickets are generally $15-20. Box office is open 10am - 11pm and shows generally start at 7:30pm and 10:30pm. Drinks and food are available. Subway: N, R to 8th St., 6 to Bleeker St.
Bowery Ballroom (see events)6 Delancey St. (btw. Bowery & Crystie St.) (212) 533-2111
Outfitted in classy Art Deco style, this three-level former shoe store has a downstairs lounge and a 500-capacity concert hall. A cool mid-sized venue for Electronica, Alternative and Indie-rock. Downstairs opens at 7pm, upstairs opens at 8pm with shows starting at 9:30 or 10pm. Tickets from $12 - $30. Age limit varies (16 - 21) depending on the show. The Box Office at the Mercury Lounge is open from 12 - 7pm, Mon.-Sat. (212-260-4700). Subway: J, M to Bowery, 6 to Spring St.
Brooklyn Moon Cafe745 Fulton St., Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718) 243-0424
All ages cafe bistro hosting live Jazz and R&B.; Tues-Sun 10am - 10pm, Fri 10pm - 2am. Open mic on Fridays at 10:30pm for a $5 cover. Subway: C to Lafayette Ave., G to Fulton St.
Brownies (see events)169 Ave A (btw 10th & 11th Sts.) (212) 420-8392
Four to five bands per night come through this local Irish pub turned up-and-coming band factory, covering a broad range of rock styles. Shows are generally 21 and over and covers are $7 - $10. Bands start at 8pm on weekdays and 9pm on weekends. Subway: L to 1st Ave., 6 to Astor Pl.
Cafe Wha?115 MacDougal St. (btw. W. 3rd & Bleeker Sts.) (212) 254-3706
Monday: Brazillian Night, $10 cover. Tuesday: Funk night, $7. Wednesday - Sunday: the Wha? Band plays a mixture of Rock, R&B;, Funk, and Reggae, $5 on Thurs, $10 Fri and Sat. Hours: 8:30pm - 2:30am (weekdays) or 4am (Fri & Sat). They also serve dinner and drinks. All ages. Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, Q to W. 4th St.
Caffe Greco79-08 37th Ave., Jackson Hieghts, Queens. (718) 396-4243
This cafe has "Tuneful Tuesdays" every week from 7pm - 9:30pm with folk and other performers. No cover, all ages. There's also an open mic poetry and performance night every first Monday of the month.
Caravan of Dreams Cafe405 E. 6th St. at 1st Ave. (212) 254-1613
Restaurant with live music of various kinds playing in the evening from 8pm - 10ish. No cover, all ages. Subway: F to 2nd Ave.; 6 to Astor Pl.
Castle-Heights83-11 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Hieghts, Queens. (718) 898-9584
Featuring drink specials and live bands every weekend. Must be 18 years old to enter, 21 to drink. There's also an open mic jam every Monday.
CBGB (see events)313 Bowery at Bleecker St. (212) 982-4052
Since 1976, this club has been serving the best in Punk and alternative rock. Blondie and the Talking Heads got their starts here. CB's (as it's affectionately called) now hosts many different kinds of music, but it's still true to its punk roots. Shows nightly at 8pm. Cover: $5-$10. Ages 16 and over to get in, 21 to drink (obviously). Subway: B, D, F, Q to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Bleeker.
The Charleston Bar and Grill174 Bedford Ave. (btw. North 7th & 8th Sts.), Wiliiamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 782-8717
Features free live rock music every Wed - Sat. Bar hours: Mon - Sat, 3:30pm - 2am. Ages 21 and over. Subway: L to Bedford Ave.
C-Note157 Ave C at 10th St. (212) 677-8142
Open 4pm - 3am(ish) 7 days a week, with bands playing Country, Jazz, Rock and Acoustic music. Usually there's no cover and there's an open mic session on Sundays. Ages 21 and over. Subway: F to 2nd Ave., 6 to Astor Pl.
Continental (see events)25 3rd Ave. at St. Mark's Pl. (212) 529-6924
This small East Village club features up to five bands per night and almost never has a cover charge. Mostly up-and-coming local rock groups looking for a break. Ages 21 and over. Hours: 4pm - 1am, Happy Hour 4pm - 8pm. Subway: N, R to 8th St., 6 to Astor Pl.
Continental Airlines Arena (see events)Rt. 3, East Rutherford, NJ (201) 935-3900
For the really really big (20,000 cap.) arena shows, not to mention NJ Devils games and the Ringling Bros Circus, you have to get out of town. Buses go to the arena from the Port Authority station in Manhattan.
The Cutting Room19 W. 24th St. (btw. Broadway & 6th Ave.) (212) 691-1900
Playing Jazz, Pop, and Funk. Hours: 5pm - 4am M-F, 8pm - 4am Sat. Shows begin at 8pm. $5 - $20 cover. Ages 21 and over. Subway: F, N, R to 23rd St.