This blog post was updated on August 31, 2018.
Los Angeles is a great place to hear live music. There is no shortage of live music venues – small and large – at which to hear quality performances in all genres. While it’s definitely fun to attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or the Walt Disney Concert Hall, nothing beats hearing music in a more intimate concert setting. Here are three of my favorite smaller music venues in L.A.
The House of Blues
8430 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Still going strong, the House of Blues on Sunset Strip welcomes world-class performers in a variety of genres (hip-hop, heavy metal, alternative, gospel, blues, country, ’80s pop, etc.). Don’t be put off by the kitschy décor – House of Blues is the real deal. I’ve attended the weekly Sunday Gospel Brunch, as well as several evening shows (including an unforgettable Devo performance) and left smiling every time. Check out the website to see who will be performing when you’re in town. (Tip: If you’re interested in going to the weekly Gospel Brunch, book your tickets early).
3790 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
As a big fan of art deco architecture, I gasp every time I pass through The Wiltern’s doors. A former movie theater, the Wiltern now serves as a performance and recording space for independent acts (thanks to optimal acoustics, it has earned a reputation for being one of LA’s venues for taping shows). Tiered seating and an open lobby/bar space enhance the concert experience. The Wiltern has a great line-up in store for fall – visit the website to find out more.
The Hotel Café
1623 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
A coffee shop turned music venue, the Hotel Café is my favorite place to hear live music in L.A. This small-but-mighty venue brings in fantastic national talent, many of whom go on to become major label recording stars. It’s a great place to hear a talented singer/songwriter before he or she starts performing at larger concert venues. Seating is very limited, so I suggest purchasing tickets in advance.