Nashville represents some of the best music venues in the country. Known as Music City, the talent that has performed here or been discovered rival some of the larger cities in America. Thousands of individuals flock to Nashville on a daily basis with the hopes of cracking the music industry. Good news for tourists. That means you’re bound to find some fantastic shows to take in while you’re visiting.
We have a collection of both legendary and local music venues to give you a variety. You can purchase tickets to see some of your favorite bands, or pop into one of the local joints for good food and raw talent.
Grand Ole Opry
The Opry shouldn’t need much in the way of an introduction. It’s a music venue that has been around forever and launched many careers. Before it became a venue, The Grand Ole Opry was a radio show. People began to flock to its location in Nashville to watch their favorite artists perform. Because of the popularity, they had to relocate many times. Even with all the moving, they never lost their fan base. Now, the Grand Ole Opry is located just outside of Downtown Nashville. You can check the listings of upcoming performances to see a wide range of genres making an appearance.
The Ryman Auditorium
The “Mother Church of Country Music,” you can’t make a stop to Nashville without visiting the Ryman Auditorium. Some legendary names have made an appearance on the stage include Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and George Jones. You don’t have to be interested in country music to enjoy a show at the Ryman. Because of its reputation, it has hosted musicians from all genres like the Foo Fighters and Janelle Monae. Don’t miss out on a backstage visit. You can tour the auditorium, see the stage, and get a behind the scenes look.
3rd and Lindsley
A surprisingly intimate setting for live music is 3rd and Lindsley. It doesn’t have the national notoriety of the Opry and Ryman, but locally it’s known as a great place to hear live music. The venue has balcony seating and space for eating. But, its size gives you the opportunity to view the performance well no matter where you sit. It’s an all-inclusive night out with fantastic music. The bands you will see here are up-and-coming. Some artists like Train and Ed Sheeran played here before they became mainstream. Getting a glimpse of exceptional new musical talent is what 3rd and Lindsley is all about.
Acme Feed and Seed
Located on Broadway, Acme Feed and Seed is a massive space dedicated to good food and good music. There are multiple floors, and often the venue will host a variety of talent on one given night. The atmosphere is entirely different than what you will find at other places on Broadway. It’s more relaxed and the right combination of tourists and locals who are out to enjoy Music City. They offer some of the best cocktails if you want to make it a night out. If you visit in the afternoon, the food is delicious and goes well with the live music.
The Bluebird Cafe has been a Nashville institution for decades. It hosts both notable up and coming artists as well as music legends. What makes this so special is the intimate setting. A small stage surrounding by tables for guests to enjoy food and drink. The space was popularized on the hit show Nashville and draws both locals and tourists alike. While you are there you might see a famous face or two enjoying the show with you. Something to be aware of, the Bluebird Cafe will often ask guests to purchase a minimum for a spot at one of the tables. Just be prepared. You might decide to make it your evening out.
Another venue on our list that might not immediately spring to mind, but a worthy contender is Puckett’s. There are four locations in Middle Tennessee: Nashville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, and Columbia. Puckett’s started as a grocery store in Leiper’s Fork. It’s still there and hosts a number of musical guests that are worth checking out. But, since then it’s expanded its operations. Locals love the place because it provides Southern food at its finest. While you are there you can also take in a live show. There are some open mic nights and there is also an events calendar if you want to plan your trip in advance.
One of the last on our list, but certainly not the least is Exit/In. Nashville is known as Music City which encompasses a lot more than just country music. If you have zero interest in taking in something folksy, Exit/In will fit the bill. The entire venue has embraced rock and roll. It’s where Jimmy Buffett got his start. Plus, singers and bands such as Etta James, The Ramones, and the Talking Heads have played shows. You can view their calendar online to get an idea of performances you can expect.
Don’t forget while you are visiting Nashville to come and see Tommy. He will give you a unique perspective on Nashville’s legacy both past and present. And, if you’re in need of more recommendations for live music, he can give you a few pointed.