With recording studios dotting almost as many corners as Starbucks coffee shops, it’s no secret that Los Angeles is at the forefront of the music scene. Musicians from all around the world trek to the City of Angels in hopes of becoming the next big thing, providing music aficionados with ample opportunities to boast upon performance, “I saw them before they blew up.” For as many musicians there are making noise in the city, there are just as many venues to experience them live. These venues range from grungy hole-in-the-wall joints to beautiful amphitheaters, and each has their own unique draw.
If you're looking to catch the next up-and-coming indie band look no further than the Echo/Echoplex ; sister venues located in hipster haven Echo Park. While some big names grace the stage from time to time, the atmosphere is that of your local dive bar, where beers and longtime friends abound. Grab a drink, take in some music, snap some shots in the photo booth, and if you get hungry grab a slice of Two Boots Pizza, an insanely delicious slice of heaven located conveniently next door to the venues.
Without question, the Hollywood Palladium is one of the most gorgeous venues you are likely to ever set foot in. From the massive, looming chandeliers to the Art Deco architecture, you’ll swear you’ve been transported back to 1940 when it's doors were first opened. The Palladium is the definition of Old Hollywood; extremely fitting considering it’s located in the heart of Hollywood itself. One word of advice: get there early to avoid the inevitable huge line wrapping around the building. Even i f you can’t, though, it is definitely still worth the wait.
The Shrine consists of two separate spaces - the Auditorium and Expo Hall - providing two completely different experiences satisfying in their own ways. If you have an inkling to sit in the same seat that once welcomed an A-list celebrity, the Auditorium is the place for you. As the past host venue of numerous high-profile events such as the Academy Awards and the the Grammy’s, the Auditorium has certainly been frequented by the industry's most elite. After visiting, you’ll be able to call yourself an A-lister as well.
The Expo Hall may bring back memories of the old days; young, on the verge of boredom, and looking for something to do on a Saturday night when unexpectedly, you get invited to a no-questions-asked secret show in an undisclosed warehouse. That is what the Expo Hall feels like. It is a cavernous, warehouse space giving the impression you've been summoned to an exclusive show where only the privileged are the wiser. The impeccable sound here is an added bonus, as it bounces off the seemingly endless walls and envelopes all your senses.
Located on Hollywood Boulevard, great photo opportunities await at The Fonda . To begin with , the famous stars lining the Hollywood Walk of Fame present themselves (quite literally) at your feet as you approach the venue. As you venture in, light fixtures of every shape and size imaginable are there to greet you, marking the perfect selfie spot in what feels like Alice's wonderland . Once in the main room, dazzling murals grace the walls. It is a sight to behold.
To have a true SoCal experience, you’ll have to take a trip to none other than the Hollywood Bowl . With the rolling Hollywood Hills as a backdrop, the Bowl offers some of the most brilliant vistas pairing perfectly with the music. Enjoy the amazing weather, good company, and top-notch musicians as you bask in the glory of this unbelievable setting. The fact that you can bring your own food and drinks inside the venue is a huge bonus; Grab the makings for the perfect picnic basket from nearby gourmet grocer, Joan's on Third - nothing beats it.