As the home of two prestigious music schools and the birthplace of several influential rock bands, there’s no denying that Boston has a lively music scene.
There are tons of talented local musicians in the city. Boston is also a common stop for large national and international touring artists. With concert venues of all types and sizes, Boston has one that fits every need.
Here’s a list of the best concert venues in Boston. Whether your favorite band is in town or you’re dressed up for a night of classical music, you’ll likely be visiting one of these venues.
House of Blues Boston
The House of Blues Boston is one of eleven House of Blues locations. The American chain was founded in 1992 by Isaac Tigrett (co-founder of Hard Rock Cafe) and Dan Aykroyd of The Blues Brothers. In 2003, it moved from Cambridge to its current location beside Fenway Park.
The venue’s southern concept is clear, with southern food in the restaurant and Southern Vernacular art up for display. It holds diverse concerts in all genres for up to 2,500 concertgoers to enjoy.
Address: 15 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
Website: House of Blues Boston
Leader Bank Pavilion
With a dome-shaped open-air design right at the edge of Boston Harbor, the Leader Bank Pavilion is the perfect summer concert amphitheater. It first opened in 1994 and has since undergone several name changes as various banks have acquired rights.
This venue primarily hosts rock and pop acts that are large enough to fill their 5,000-person capacity dome. It’s only open during the summer months.
Address: 290 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
Website: Leader Bank Pavilion
As the principal hall of the acclaimed Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops, Symphony Hall is a well-known name. In fact, it’s ranked among the top three concert halls in the world thanks to its superior acoustics and is a US National Historic Landmark.
Symphony Hall is conveniently located near Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. The venue opened in 1900 and features over 2,500 seats and sixteen Greek and Roman statues lining the walls.
Address: 301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Website: Symphony Hall
The Boch Center is a nonprofit organization that seeks to make art accessible to everyone. It operates two historic theaters in the Theater District, the Wang and the Shubert.
The Wang Theater was founded in 1925 and can hold up to 3,500 people. It reflects the Art Deco style of the time and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Shubert Theater across the street was established in 1910 with a smaller capacity of about 1,500. Both theaters hold music, film, theater, dance, and comedy performances.
Address: 270 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Website: Boch Center
Paradise Rock Club
Since its creation in 1977, Paradise Rock Club has welcomed countless rock fans through its doors. Its location near Boston University attracts college students who can find live music there any day of the week.
The concert venue is standing room only and has a floor and balcony. It can accommodate over 900 people, making it perfect for smaller touring bands and larger local bands that often move on to find great success.
Address: 967 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Website: Paradise Rock Club
As the largest indoor arena in Boston with nearly 20,000 seats, TD Garden has hosted tons of big-name acts that draw huge crowds. Its location is convenient for travelers, as it has been located directly above North Station since its inception in 1995.
TD Garden is one of the most visited arenas in New England. It’s a multipurpose arena with many family events, and as the home of the Celtics and Bruins, major sporting events are held there as well.
Address: 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
Website: TD Garden
Behind a colorful mural in Cambridge’s Central Square lies the Middle East, a restaurant and concert venue founded in 1970.
The Middle East caters primarily to the rock and indie crowd and is separated into the upstairs, downstairs, and restaurant. All provide different vibes and sizes, but the largest is the downstairs, with a capacity of 600. The Middle East also runs the upscale ZuZu restaurant (which has live music) and another concert venue called Sonia, all nearby.
Address: 472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Website: Middle East
The Sinclair in Cambridge’s Harvard Square had its first show in 2013, making it one of the area’s newer venues.
The venue has played host to many touring indie, alternative, and rock musicians. Able to hold around 500 attendees, it’s mostly standing room only with a few seating options on the balcony. In addition to the concert space, The Sinclair has a restaurant with a rooftop patio.
Address: 52 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Website: The Sinclair
Boston University’s Agganis Arena acts as a venue for collegiate hockey games as well as other sporting events, ice shows, and touring concerts for popular musicians.
Agganis Arena held its first event in 2005, and its concert configuration allows over 7,000 people to watch the show. It ranked in the top 15 venues in the world for arenas of its size.
Address: 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Website: Agganis Arena
Brighton Music Hall
In 2010, Brighton Music Hall took over the much-loved Harpers Ferry venue after it closed. It has enough space on the floor for 500 people, giving concertgoers an intimate experience.
Musicians of all kinds are welcome to play at Brighton Music Hall, from national touring musicians to up-and-coming local bands. The majority of the shows at this venue are in the alternative and indie genres.
Address: 158 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Website: Brighton Music Hall
The Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Crossing is one of the oldest theaters in the entire country. The building opened in 1852 as Boston Music Hall, which hosted the Boston Symphony until 1900. It was then used as a vaudeville and movie theater before becoming a live music venue.
The theater was built in beautiful 18th-century Adams style and features a proscenium arch to give 2,700 attendees a clear view of the stage.
Address: 1 Hamilton Pl, Boston, MA 02108
Website: Orpheum Theatre
Boston’s Fenway Park is famous for being the home of the Red Sox and the oldest ballpark in America, founded in 1912. However, not everyone knows that when baseball games aren’t scheduled, it’s sometimes used for concerts.
Acts invited to Fenway have large followings, as there are almost 38,000 seats for audience members to fill. The stage is placed in the outfield along with a floor area and seats, allowing even more guests to enjoy the show.
Address: 4 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215
Website: Fenway Park
Hatch Memorial Shell
The Hatch Memorial Shell in the Back Bay’s Charles River Esplanade was built in 1941. It’s perhaps best known for being the site of Boston’s Independence Day celebration. Each year, the Boston Pops provide a soundtrack to the extravagant fireworks show over the river.
There are also many free summer concerts at the Hatch Shell, featuring artists of all kinds. With room for about 10,000 people, it’s a lovely place to sit and enjoy music with friends and family.
Address: 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108
Website: Hatch Memorial Shell
In 1918, an opera house was built in the Theater District. Almost a century later, in 2010, the building opened as a nightclub and concert venue called Royale.
True to its name, Royale’s grand staircase and elegant chandeliers contribute to the classy vibes patrons feel when they enter. With a decent-sized capacity of 1,200, you’re guaranteed to be entertained whether you’re there to party or enjoy a chilled-out concert.
Address: 279 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Built in 1875, the historic Sanders Theatre is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres and is known for its beautiful architecture and acoustics.
It’s located at Harvard University’s Memorial Hall in Cambridge and serves as a lecture hall and ceremony venue for undergraduates. It’s also a concert hall where student and professional choir and orchestral groups can perform for up to 1,000 audience members.
Address: 45 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Website: Sanders Theatre
Berklee Performance Center
The Berklee Performance Center is the largest theater on the Berklee College of Music campus, with a capacity of 1,200. It opened in 1976 at the old Fenway Theater, a movie cinema that was constructed in 1915.
Shows at the Berklee Performance Center are varied, with world-renowned artists in jazz, folk, rock, and beyond. The space is also used for many university-related events and student concerts.
Address: 136 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Website: Berklee Performance Center
Great Scott in Allston is a pillar of Boston’s underground music scene. Numerous emerging artists played its small 240-person room from 1976 until it shut down in 2020.
After the closure announcement, fans gathered enough money to reopen the beloved venue in a new location. Plans are in motion to give Great Scott a new life in the now-closed Pizzeria Regina in Allston.
Address: 1222 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
Website: Great Scott
Jordan Hall is the main performance building on the New England Conservatory campus. Founded in 1903, it’s the only conservatory building in the United States to be registered as a National Historic Landmark.
The concert hall has about 1,000 seats and is used for performances by students and prominent musicians alike. Chamber ensembles, soloists, and orchestral groups from all around the world have taken advantage of Jordan Hall’s exceptional acoustics.
Address: 30 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115
Website: Jordan Hall
Big Night Live
Established in 2019, Big Night Live is still new to the Boston music scene. It made its home in the recently built Hub on Causeway, an expansion of TD Garden, and has room for about 1,500 clubgoers or concert attendees.
The space has a glamorous and luxurious feel, with red crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and fine art adorning the walls. It welcomes musicians across all genres onto its stage.
Address: 110 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114
Website: Big Night Live