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5 Best Music Venues in Los Angeles

Explore the city’s best venues, rife with rock history

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It’s possible that Los Angeles County has the richest music culture in the country—possibly the planet. Its diversity and depth can be felt in the songs the city has inspired: everything from Gun N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle,” to Billy Joel’s “Los Angelenos” to Tupac’s “California Love.” As Rolling Stone contributor Frank Schruers told host Soterios Johnson in the California Now Podcast, “The excitement of the L.A. music scene is indisputable.”

The heart of the city’s scene is, of course, the iconic venues where its musicians go to rock. Lovers of live music can enjoy massive shows at arenas like The Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, both of which can seat more than 90,000 fans. For an exceptional acoustic experience, visit Walt Disney Concert Hall. The striking structure, designed by Frank Gehry, is matched only by the near-perfect interior, created in consultation with the master sound architect, Minoru Nagata. The concert hall is also the home of the world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as a 6,125-pipe organ.

Closest to music expert Schruers’ heart, however, are the classic rock-and-roll venues with an intimate feel. On the California Now Podcast, the self-professed fan of “claustrophobic little clubs,” shared his top five places in L.A. to catch a concert. With thousands of shows underneath his belt, Schruers has a deep understanding of the spots where the music sounds crisp, the drinks are cold, and the people know how to party. A drum roll, please? His top five in ranking order: The Greek Theatre, Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy Theatre, The Wiltern, and the Troubadour. Head to the City of Angels to choose your own concert-perfect picks.

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