The Creative Capital is flush with venues to suit all kinds of tastes when it comes to live music. The city that catapulted the Talking Heads to fame after the members of the iconic band went to RISD in the 1970s, and ushered Deer Tick to David Letterman’s show decades later, has a great ear. You just have to know where to go.
AS220 and the Columbus Theatre are two key choices at opposite ends of the spectrum. Expect the unexpected at AS220, a local arts force that provides a venue for new and aspiring talent playing everything you can imagine, from punk to blues. They also feature live Irish music at their bar in Downcity on Saturday afternoons. On the West Side, the Columbus Theatre is a haven for local and national musicians and it has garnered accolades such as “Best Folk Venue” and “Best New Music Hot Spot.”
Lupo’s and its sister property, The Met – both legends of the area’s music scene – still provide an outlet to young and old fans who love live music. Some weekends teenagers flood either dark, no-frills club to hear up-and-coming bands, while on others their parents’ generation gets to catch a musician that takes them back to their own salad days.
Restaurants throughout the city also offer rotating performances on an occasional or regular basis. The Dorrance often offers jazz, blues or artists playing the Great American Songbook on weekends in a grand formal setting. Local 121 features Wednesday and Thursday night pianists in their subterranean lounge, which was a legit speakeasy back in the days of prohibition.