Boston Concerts: Your Guide to the Best Live Music in Beantown

Boston, MA Tickets

Boston Concerts: Your Guide to the Best Live Music in Beantown

Boston Concerts

Boston, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and thriving music scene, boasting a wide range of concert venues that cater to every musical taste and genre.

As a dominant sports town and a huge hub in the East Coast, you'll always find great things to do in Boston — and it’s also a thriving music location in its own right. Boston is home to several music festivals throughout the year, such as the undisputed king of annual music events, Boston Calling Music Festival and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. These events attract music lovers from all over the world and showcase a diverse range of musical genres. It’s no surprise that one of Boston’s nicknames is actually The Hub of the Universe!

Boston Concerts and Music Scene Through the Ages

While 19th century Boston saw Celtic music thriving due to the waves of Irish immigration, the 20th century was quite the mixed bag, from prestigious orchestras to being a major hub in the global punk rock scene.

Boston’s vibrant music scene was fueled by its prestigious academic institutions and cultural heritage. Iconic venues like Symphony Hall, built in 1900, set the stage for classical music performances, hosting renowned orchestras and conductors. Jazz flourished, particularly in the South End neighborhood, where clubs like Hi-Hat, Savoy Cafe and Wally’s Cafe drew in crowds and talent. Jazz legends like William James "Count" Baise and Duke Ellington became regulars at some of Boston’s top venues between the 1950s and 1960s.

Meanwhile, the folk music revival saw local talent like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform at venues like Club 47 (now Club Passim, in Boston’s neighboring Cambridge, MA). As rock 'n' roll made waves, Boston welcomed acts such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Beatles. Boston was also the birthplace of iconic bands like Aerosmith and The Pixies, while the late 70s and early 80s saw a huge surge in punk rock, particularly in clubs like The Rat and The Channel.

By the late 20th century, Boston's eclectic venues like the Paradise Rock Club and the House of Blues embraced alternative, punk, and indie music, nurturing emerging bands and attracting global stars.

Top Concert Venues in Boston

Fenway Park

Fenway Park is not only the nation’s oldest major league ballpark; it is also a popular venue for concerts. While the stadium is over a century old, inaugurated in 1912, it wasn’t until 1973 that it began hosting concerts, starting with Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. The following show didn’t happen for decades, when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played there in 2003. In the time since, there has been at least one Fenway Park concert every year, with famous artists like Billy Joel, Zac Brown Band, and Lady Gaga playing there. Concert-goers can enjoy the show from the stands or the field, with the stage set up in center field.

House of Blues

The House of Blues is a smaller, more intimate venue located in the heart of Boston. It has a capacity of around 2,500 people and features a variety of genres, including rock, blues, and hip-hop. The House of Blues is known for its excellent sound quality and lively atmosphere. It has hosted many famous musicians, including the Black Keys, Coldplay, and the Foo Fighters.

TD Garden

TD Garden is Boston's largest indoor arena and a popular venue for concerts, whose sports tenants include the NHL’s Boston Bruins and, of course, the NBA’s Boston Celtics. It has a capacity of up to 19,600 people and has hosted many famous artists, including Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and U2. The arena features excellent acoustics and state-of-the-art technology, making it a great place to see a show. TD Garden is conveniently located near public transportation and many restaurants and bars.

Boch Center Wang Theater

Located in Boston's Theater District, the Boch Center Wang Theater is an iconic historic venue known for its grandeur and elegance. Originally opened in 1925 as the Metropolitan Theatre, later it was also known as the Music Hall. It underwent renovations and was renamed in 1983 to honor Dr. A Wang, a computer engineer and inventor. With its stunning architecture and seating capacity of over 3,500, the Wang Theater is the largest theater in New England, and continues to host a diverse array of concerts, Broadway shows, and other live performances, captivating audiences with its timeless charm.

Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion

The Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, situated on Boston's waterfront, is a popular outdoor concert venue with stunning views of the city skyline and Boston Harbor. Originally opened in 1994 as the Harbor Lights Pavilion, it has a capacity of around 5,000, and attracts a wide range of artists, offering unforgettable live music experiences against a scenic backdrop.

Agganis Arena

Located on the campus of Boston University, the Agganis Arena is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose venue known for its modern facilities and versatile design. Opened in 2005, the arena has a seating capacity of 6,000 to 7,200, depending on the event. It hosts a diverse range of events, including concerts, sports games, comedy shows, and other live performances, making it a dynamic and vibrant hub for entertainment and cultural experiences in the heart of Boston.

Wilbur Theatre

Nestled in Boston's Theatre District, the Wilbur Theatre is a historic performing arts venue with a rich legacy dating back to 1914, and it is renowned for its intimate setting and excellent acoustics. With its elegant ambiance and seating for around 1,200 patrons, the Wilbur Theatre continues to be a cherished destination, because it offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of the city.

Paradise Rock Club

The Paradise Rock Club, established in 1977, is a legendary concert venue in the heart of the city. With a capacity of around 900, it has hosted a diverse range of artists, including rock legends like U2 (back when they were starting out), Radiohead, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Arctic Monkeys. The club's intimate setting creates a unique connection between performers and audiences, making every show a memorable and energetic experience. Back in 2010, the venue underwent a series of renovations that included moving the stage, bar and box office, and expanded the artist rooms to include fridges and TV sets — and even added a washer and dryer, as artists were always asking about nearby laundromats!

Event Dates and Pricing Information

Venue Date Price Tickets Available
Brighton Music Hall - MA May 21, 2024 From $26 16
City Winery - Boston May 21, 2024 From $69 22
MGM Music Hall at Fenway Park May 21, 2024 From $6 534
Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre May 21, 2024 From $285 2
The Sinclair Music Hall May 21, 2024 From $40 13
Middle East - Downstairs May 22, 2024 From $251 3
Paradise Rock Club May 22, 2024 From $46 19
Boston Symphony Hall May 22, 2024 From $97 55
City Winery - Boston May 22, 2024 From $81 21
Brighton Music Hall - MA May 22, 2024 From $40 16