Written by Jenna Maranga, Creative Planner at FRUKT L.A.
Los Angeles certainly has no shortage of music venues to catch live music each night. From the iconic Hollywood Bowl to that hole in the wall, no-name secret venue down a sketchy alleyway, you would have to try pretty hard not to find music in this city. However, of late, there are a handful of standout spots that will expose even the most frequent of show-goers to new artists and bands.
This cozy and nostalgic East Hollywood staple panders to the Los Angeles hipster-rocker seeking a little more than just the casual hangout. With its nearly invisible storefront (in typical Houston Brothers' fashion), this throwback bar is meant to transport you to another time and place — complete with both classic cocktails and a “Research & Development Bar” (where different mixologists create an original menu nearly every night), burlesque dancers climbing walls and swinging from rafters, and, of course, live music. H&S has become a go-to venue for bands looking to make their first slash in the LA music scene. With monthly residencies for local bands in rock, blues, indie, alternative, punk, and heavy metal it’s hard to frequent this bar without discovering something special that will keep you coming back for more.
While Silver Lake has no shortage of places to check out new music, The Satellite has become famous for its ability to curate some of the best LA and beyond has to offer. With its sizeable stage (that has seen the likes of early Foo Fighters, Beck, and Foster the People to name a few), spacious dance floor, two bars, and back lounge equipped with a pool table and photo booth, The Satellite still manages to maintain its intimacy. Unpretentious and often free, this East Side hangout is known to deliver some of the coolest bands before they break.
A warehouse-style performance space from the 1930s, Bootleg Theater features not only an endless and eclectic lineup of up-and-coming artists and bands, but also spoken word, dance, and theater. With its brick walls, theater space, small stages, outdoor patio, and beer-and-wine bar, this DIY venue is frequented by the hip, indie/alternative folk of Los Angeles. Bootleg Theater sits on a relatively quiet street at the epicenter of Koreatown, Downtown, and Silverlake, making it the perfect location for any music-loving millennial.(Photo Source: SpaceFinderLA)
5,000 square feet of LA’s latest hot spot Highland Park, The Hi Hat is one of the newest venues to bring awesome local—and sometimes bigger-named—bands to the stage. What used to be an old pool hall has now been converted into a bustling, brick walled music hangout, with a few pool tables still intact. In addition to a generous stage setup and bleacher seating in the back, The Hi Hat also has a bar and full kitchen churning out delicious comfort food. Munch on an order of the satisfyingly glutinous “Lord of the Fries” as you listen to your next new favorite band. (Photo Source: BuzzBandsLA)
Sometimes all you really need to hear good music is a good dive bar. The Silverlake Lounge is no exception: a gritty, dark, no-frills institution in LA’s fiercely hip Silver Lake neighborhood. While the Lounge looks like it belongs more in the middle of nowhere than in the middle of LA, don’t let this fool you. An otherwise modest bar, The Silverlake Lounge boasts a bright yellow sign out front, a cozy stage with a shining “SALVATION” display, above average sound, stickered bathroom walls, and decently priced drinks – all the trappings of a cherished establishment. With a handful of free shows each week, it’s the perfect stop for a casual night of music or to support your favorite local friend-band. (Photo Source: LA Weekly)