GEt VIP Pass
Close Panel

DC Area Best Live Music Venues

DC Area Best Live Music Venues

Home > Dc Nightclubs > DC Area Best Live Music Venues

Post Date: January 01, 2012

Washington, DC is not only the most powerful city in the world… it’s a capital of great live music! While often overshadowed by bigger cities, it has produced its share of incredible musicians, including conductor John Phillips Sousa, jazz pioneer Duke Ellington, and soul singer Marvin Gaye. The birthplace of Go-Go, a bastion for hardcore and punk rock, and home to a huge electronic scene, Washington, DC really does have it all!

Below is our list of the best live music venues in DC and the metropolitan area.

9:30 Club

best club for live music in dc

The 9:30 Club is a DC tradition!

815 V Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 265-0930


Hours: Check calendar for concert showtimes

The 9:30 Club has long been a staple of DC nightlife, first opening its doors to the public in 1980. Historically a rock venue, the 9:30 Club has featured plenty of legendary acts over the years, including Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Beastie Boys. For years, it has been regarded the best places to see live music in DC.


2125 Queens Chapel Road, NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 503-2330


Hours: Saturdays, 10 pm – 4 am

Echostage is Washington DC’s largest, dedicated concert venue. The new home of Club Glow, Echostage primarily hosted the world’s largest DJs during its 3 months of being open. Renovations in the first quarter of 2013, coupled with some exciting new partnerships will provide DC with a nightlife-oriented concert experience for all tastes.

Eighteenth Street Lounge

The front door of ESL DC

18th Street Lounge... located above Mattress Discounters!

1212 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 466-3922


Tues-Thurs: 5:30 pm – 2am
Fri: 5:30pm – 3am
Sat: 9:30pm – 3am
Sun: 9:30pm – 2am

Set in an 19th Century Victorian mansion formerly owned by President Theodore Roosevelt, Eighteenth Street Lounge is one of DC’s swankiest nightlife landmarks. Home to live DJ act Thievery Corporation and anything from jazz, funk bands, reggae, Brazilian acts, and more, this lounge is hopping with live vibes!

Learn more about Eighteenth Street Lounge

U Street Music Hall

clubs on u street in dc

Not many photos exist showing the inside U Hall!

1115A U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-1880


*Live shows: 7 – 10 pm
>(check website for calendar)
*DJ nights: 10 pm – 2 am, 3 am on weekends

U Street Music Hall has been setting the bar for underground dance clubs in Washington, DC. Owned by DJ/producers Will Eastman and Jesse Tittsworth, the venue was designed with dance music in mind, boasting perhaps the most heavenly sound system in town. Its no-photo policy and lack of a dress code suggests its customers should be more concerned about the music than with the door policy. “UHall,” as it is popularly known, is also home to numerous live bands and performances.

Learn more about U Street Music Hall

The Kennedy Center

washington dc kennedy center live music

The Kennedy Center: an American landmark!

2700 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 416-8000


Hours: Check calendar for full performance listings

The Kennedy Center is one of the world’s most premier venues for the performing arts. Comprised of three main theaters (the Concert Hall, Opera House, and Eisenhower Theater) and a handful of smaller stages, the Kennedy Center’s live music selection ranges from popular, classical, jazz, folk, and more. The Kennedy Center also regularly hosts theater, dance, and ballet productions.

The Fillmore

best live music dc area fillmore

The Fillmore is one of the area's newest venues.

8656 Colesville Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 960-9999


Hours: Check calendar for concert showtimes

Opened in September 2011, The Fillmore is one of the best new venues in the DC area. In spite of its youth, huge names like Mary J. Blige, Deadmau5, LMAFO, Moby, Black Star, and more have graced its stage. With a great sound system, plenty of floor room, and great balcony views, The Fillmore is a great place to catch a show.

Learn more about The Fillmore Silver Spring

Jiffy Lube Live

nissan pavilion bristow va

The biggest music venue in the area!

7800 Cellar Door Drive
Bristow, VA 20136
(703) 754-6400 ‎


Hours: Check website for concert showtimes

Jiffy Lube Live, formerly known as the Nissan Pavilion, is an outdoor amphitheater with a capacity of nearly 25,000 people, making it the largest music venue in the Washington Metropolitan area. With pavilion seating for 10,000 fans and a huge sprawling lawn, Jiffy Lube Live is a  popular stop for big-name performers and music festivals during the summer. In early 2012 to many fans’ delight, the venue announced it was lifting its tailgating ban.

Wolf Trap

live music in dc wolf trap

The Filene Center at Wolf Trap

1551 Trap Rd.
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 255-1900


Hours: Check calendar for concert showtimes

Located on 13o acres of national park land, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts features numerous indoor and outdoor music venues. Performances are incredibly diverse, ranging from anything between popular rock acts to jazz, ballet and classical music!

Merriweather Post Pavilion

outdoor merriweather dc live music

One of the area's hottest summer venues

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044
(410) 715-5550 ‎


Hours: Check website for concert showtimes

Located in Columbia, Maryland, Merriweather Post Pavilion has seen an incredible assortment of live acts over the years, ranging from Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead to Kid Cudi and Katy Perry. Perhaps best known in recent years as the home to the Virgin Mobile Free Fest at the end of every summer, this 19,000 person outdoor venue’s calendar is always lined with huge names.