18 live music venues to check out in Charlotte

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Zac Brown performs on stage at PNC Music Pavilion in 2014. Photo by Robert Lahser.

This piece first ran in 2017 and was updated in 2018.

Despite the closure of some of Charlotte’s most iconic music venues like the Double Door Inn and Tremont Music Hall, you still have plenty of options for enjoying an evening out listening to music.

Here’s a list of Charlotte’s top music venues and what to expect at each one. These are listed from largest to smallest.

Spectrum Center

www.timewarnercablearena.com/timewarner; 333 E. Trade St.; Capacity: 20,200.

This is Charlotte’s largest indoor music venue and it hosts the biggest acts. It’s also the home of the Charlotte Hornets. Formerly known as Time Warner Cable Arena.

PNC Music Pavilion

www.ticketmaster.com/PNC-Music-Pavilion-tickets-Charlotte/venue/114764; 707 Pavilion Blvd.; Capacity: 19,500.  

PNC Music Pavilion, the Charlotte area’s largest outdoor music venue, is in the University City area. Formerly known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and, before that, Blockbuster Pavilion. About half of the seats are general admission lawn seats.

Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre

www.livenation.com/venues/14076/charlotte-metro-credit-union-amphitheatre; 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.; Capacity: 5,000.

Part of the AvidXchange Music Factory, this small amphitheater hosts shows several nights a week in the warmer months. A pretty wide range of artists perform here, but it’s a go-to destination for touring 90s bands.

Coyote Joe’s

www.coyote-joes.com; 4621 Wilkinson Blvd.; Capacity: 3,200.

Coyote Joe’s is the place to go in Charlotte for country music. They opened in 1991 and have hosted the likes of Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt and Garth Brooks. Besides touring acts, Coyote Joe’s also boasts a fine house band and a large dance floor.

Ovens Auditorium

www.ovensauditorium.com; 2700 E. Independence Blvd.; Capacity: 2,460.

Ovens Auditorium, located next to Bojangles’ Coliseum, which also hosts some live music events, is managed by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. It’s a seated venue, with orchestra, mezzanine and balcony sections.

The Fillmore Charlotte

www.fillmorecharlottenc.com; 820 Hamilton St.; Capacity: 2,000.

The Fillmore Charlotte is also part of the AvidXchange Music Factory. It’s a standing-only venue, except for a few VIP seats. As far as genre — anything goes. The Fillmore hosts indie rock, funk, country, tribute bands and much more.

Neighborhood Theatre

www.neighborhoodtheatre.com; 511 E. 36th St.; Capacity: 956.

This NoDa mainstay has a storied past, starting in 1945. Before it was a music venue it served as a movie theater (not always the family-friendly kind). In the 1990s it reopened as a music venue and has been an important part of Charlotte’s music scene ever since.

Neighborhood Theatre. Photo by Daniel Coston.

The Fillmore Underground

www.fillmorecharlottenc.com/theunderground; 820 Hamilton St.; Capacity: 800.

The newest addition to AvidXchange Music Factory, The Fillmore Underground is booking a robust, varied lineup of bands several nights a week.

Visulite Theatre

www.visulite.com; 1615 Elizabeth Ave.; Capacity: 540.

Visulite Theatre hosts touring bands, along with some local bands, on one of the best-looking stages in Charlotte. It also has one of the best lines of sight to the stage, with a large, elevated bar area behind the pit.

Tin Roof Charlotte

www.tinroofcharlotte.com; 210 East Trade St.; Capacity: 300.

Tin Roof, in the EpiCentre, books a rotation of Charlotte bands and artists, along with a smattering of touring bands. Occasionally they also present surprising shows, like an acoustic performance by The All-American Rejects, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the calendar.

The Rabbit Hole

www.therabbitspot.com/rabbit-hole; 1801 Commonwealth Ave.; Capacity: 350.

The Rabbit Hole started serving up live music in Plaza Midwood just a couple of years ago and features funk, fusion, reggae, rock, soul and more.

Hattie’s Tap and Tavern

hattiescharlotte.com; 2918 The Plaza; Capacity: 200

This dog-friendly — and just plain old friendly — neighborhood bar has an outside patio and live music Fridays and Saturdays.

Snug Harbor

snugrock.com; 1228 Gordon St.; Capacity: 150.

Snug Harbor hosts live music several nights a week, plus one of Charlotte’s most popular karaoke parties every Sunday. Each month a local band has a residency, playing every Wednesday and bringing along guest performers each week.

The Milestone Club

themilestone.club; 3400 Tuckaseegee Road; Capacity: 150.

This gritty rock club has been around since 1969 and has seen the likes of Nirvana, R.E.M. and the Dead Milkmen. More than 8,000 bands have graced the graffiti-covered stage over the years.

The Evening Muse

www.eveningmuse.com; 3227 North Davidson St.; Capacity: 120.

This unpretentious, intimate NoDa spot boasts impeccable sound and a stage that’s hosted some of music’s biggest names on the way up.

Evening Muse. Courtesy of Charlotte Observer files.

Petra’s Bar

petrasbar.com; 1919 Commonwealth Ave.; Capacity: 100.

Petra’s is a hidden gem. This cozy neighborhood bar in Plaza Midwood hosts local, regional and touring bands in the main room, and provides comfortable spots to hang out in the back room and patio.

Tommy’s Pub

www.facebook.com/tommyspub/; 3124 Eastway Drive, Suite 710; Capacity: 49

Tommy’s Pub has been around in one form or another since 1951–first, as Central Avenue Bar and Grill, on Central Avenue. In 1977 it became known as Tommy’s Pub and hosted thousands of musicians over the years. It closed in 2016 but reopened in October of 2017 just two miles from its original location. It continues to present music of all genres.

New in 2018

Skylark Social Club

skylarksocialclub.com ; 2131 Central Ave.; Capacity: 100.

This new rock ‘n’ roll bar was opened in January by three local punk rock musicians. Skylark Social Club features local live music on weekends and a full bar that includes domestic beers and rotating local brews and ciders.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. My first concert in Charlotte was in 1985. I was a freshman at UNCC, my dorm neighbor and I went to see Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Full Force and Whodini at the Grady Cole Center. I think we paid 5 bucks.

  2. PNC is one of the worst venues to watch a concert. Their sound system is miserable and the 11PM ordinance will kill your buzz very quickly.

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