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Where are the best small live music venues in Atlanta? [catch a live music show tonight]

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Atlanta has some outstanding venues for live music. These are spots where the sound is superb and the ambiance is pretty darn enjoyable too. For an evening out you can’t beat these best spots for live music!

City Winery  – Ponce City Market’s venue has it all – wine, live music and a speakeasy!

If you’ve spent most of your time in the main building at Ponce City Market, you need to venture to the other buildings. I couldn’t believe how big and beautiful City Winery is! For the longest time, I just knew that there was a terrific collection of wines available – yep the name gave it away. But I was really surprised to learn that they have great musical acts at City Winery in Atlanta too! On my visit we caught the musical act, The BoDeans. You probably know their hit, Closer to Free.

Catch a show / have dinner before at City Winery

One of the things I really liked about seeing a concert at City Winery, is that you have actual seats and they encourage dining while there. Being super short, it is often hard to see when there is general admission at a concert venue or standing room only. I hate that. So, I loved that at City Winery, we had our seats reserved and because it is pretty intimate, you can sit basically wherever and you won’t have a hard time seeing the stage at all.

Excellent cocktails at City Winery’s speakeasy, ABV.

Protip: City Winery has a speakeasy attached to it. And the food and drinks there are outstanding. This is leaps and abounds above your average bar food, I promise. We actually just went there and had drinks and dinner before heading back to our seats for the concert. It is so amazing and we had the entire place to ourselves for nearly the entire time we were at this Atlanta speakeasy. I recommend the burger and a Manahattan!


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The Gaslight (located in Roswell, GA)

Go to The Gaslight for the cocktails, stay for the live music

I discovered this Roswell spot on their very cool Instagram posts. I was intrigued by all the different events they have going on – live music, comedy nights, karaoke, etc. I love tribute bands, but more than that I enjoy hearing a mix of songs from my childhood rather than one band, so I visited this Roswell musical venue on a recent Saturday night when a band that “played all the hits you know” would be there. What I didn’t expect was to be blown away by the cocktails. Above left is the Guns N Roses cocktail with gin. It is so floral and refreshing, I’m surprised that they named it after such a hardcore band.

Oh the truffle fries at Gaslight!! Heavenly

Tip: if you eat half a bowl of these truffle fries at The Gaslight do NOT get on your scale the next morning unless you want to cry. These fries are addictive. But they are good for soaking up booze from the delicious Old Fashioned cocktails they have at The Gaslight. As the bartender to make a special one for you. They are terrific.

You may be surprised when you see that this bar / music venue is located in a strip mall next to a gas station. But don’t let that deter you from visiting The Gaslight. Once inside you will quickly forget the location and just enjoy sipping on a cocktail and listening to the music.

Terminal West – catch up and coming musical acts on the Westside

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Catch a live show at Terminal West in Midtown Atlanta

I do enjoy concerts and live music. But I like it when I know the hits. If you look at the lineup at Terminal West, it is difficult to find a band name I recognize. I’m mostly into 80s and 90s music. So, when I saw that the Lemonheads were going to be performing here, I snatched up tickets. Even though it was a Tuesday night, the place was packed. I was not expecting this music venue to be so crowded on a school night. So, arriving well into the opening act’s performance we found it hard to find a spot to see the stage. Note: there’s not seating here just standing room only.

We made our way to the second floor, really it is a landing area with not much room at all, but that was equally packed with people lined up along the railing, making it hard to see the stage at all. I’d recommend getting to Terminal West early if you are seeing a popular band.

Protip: If you are wondering where to eat before the show, I’d highly recommend 4Rivers Smokehouse! We were blown away by the excellent barbecue options at this Midtown restaurant and luckily it was not far at all from our concert at Terminal West. Check out my article about the best in town barbecue spots here.

Roswell Provisions – Dessert + all the songs you know by heart!

The name doesn’t suggest the cool spot hiding behind an unassuming building in Roswell. But not only is this a terrific spot to grab coffee and dessert but you can also catch some superb live music late at night!

There are lots of great live music venues in Atlanta if you love tribute bands!

You can tell that this is a really old building that has evolved over the years. And I think the owners were brilliant to make it into what it is today – part dessert spot / with lively musical entertainment on weekend nights. It is the perfect end to a date night or night on the town with the girls. It is laid back enough that you don’t feel like you need to get dressed up to visit but you won’t feel out of place if you are.

One of the best parts is that you can sit in the main room or one of the rooms off to the side if you want more privacy and still enjoy  the live musical. The sound is pleasant and not so loud that you can’t talk to your date or friends.

Read about my full Roswell Date Night Crawl here! 

Venkman’s – up close musical performances while you dine

Venkman’s is a great place to catch live music in Atlanta

Venkman’s Chef Nick Mevlin “Georgia is home to world class chicken and all of the meat dishes composed for Venkman’s Saturday Specials are locally sourced and organic coming from ‘Springer Mountain Farms’.”

Venkman’s with its diversity in food, music, and overall aesthetic. Merely a stones throw from the Beltline and Ponce City Market, Venkman’s provides city adventurers with a dynamic stop to not only enjoy food, but great entertainment as well. The live music lineup is top notch and covers an array of genres, with the spotlight being shown brightest on local jazz musicians. However, most of the Saturday brunch meals are accompanied by a folkier vibe, paying homage to a sound that is often said to have started in the mountains of Appalachia.

I really enjoyed our experience with brunch and live music. I noticed several groups out celebrating birthdays at this live music venue in Atlanta. Be sure to make a reservation in advance if you’ve got a large party heading out to Venkman’s during a concert. Trivia: Venkman’s is owned by some of the band members of the musical group Yacht Rock Revue.

Photo credit: Venkman’s

How’s the food at this live music venue? The portions were perfect, a hearty serving of chicken, a handful of pickled veggies, and a splash of the homemade sauce which was a bit like a buffalo vinegar, sweet and sour type of mixture. The fried chicken stood out with a breading that provided a slightly sweeter crunch than one might expect. The result was a taste that bordered on a chicken and waffles flavor, but without the direct presence of the latter food. The pickled veggies had a hint of spice that provided a perpetual cleansing of the palate and joined the beer and chicken together beautifully. Oh, by the way, having a champagne alongside is not a bad idea either.


Tabernacle – Downtown Atlanta concert venue

Though this is far larger than others on this list, holding about 2,000 people you have to admit that a venue that was once a church is a cool spot to see a concert. Though the acoustics are great in here for musical performances the venue also has comedic performers as well such as Ali Wong and Marc Maron. One of the first dates Glen and I had was when we went to see Wang Chung here about a decade ago.

Where will you pick to see live music in Atlanta?


So where will you go for live music tonight? You really can’t go wrong with any of these Atlanta small music venues for a fantastic night out!