With excellent sight lines, out-of-this-world acoustics, and bars on all three levels, it’s no wonder the Bowery Ballroom has held the title of best music club in New York since it opened its doors in 1998. The mid-size Lower East Side rock palace, formerly a vaudeville hall and once a shoe store, boasts a downstairs lounge and balcony seating. Each floor conveniently has its own bar. The spacious main room officially has a 550-person capacity, yet gives off a cozy vibe great for the diverse crowd and wide range of artists sharing the stage here. Need more convincing? Consider this: When R.E.M. decided to play an invitation-only New York show to promote its most recent album, Up, the then-six-month-old Bowery Ballroom was their first choice. Now go forth and get thee to the box office.
Photo credit: Kevin Harber