It’s no secret that Hollywood is home to some of the most versatile and unique forms of entertainment. With the art of performance and entertainment deeply imbedded in the city’s roots since its early days, the amount of activities and music it has to offer can be somewhat overwhelming at times! If you ever find yourself in “the hills,” here are some of our favorite Hollywood music venues to check out:
8852 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This sophisticated yet grungy music venue is perhaps one of the most historical spots for live music that Hollywood has to offer. Despite its subtle look from the outside, history has been made on its neon-lit stage inside. Originally known as The Melody Room in the 1940s, it attracted a wide variety of mobsters with its melodic jazz shows and laid back environment.
It sports a low-key profile, with a maximum capacity of 250 people, so it feels very intimate. Sadly, on the first day of its opening, famed actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. Despite the early tragedy, the venue pressed on and has hosted many famed actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, and its previous owner, Johnny Depp. Bands and artists such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, and many more have performed at this colorful venue on Sunset Boulevard.
9081 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This historical venue opened in 1957 and helped launch the careers of several famed musical groups, such as Guns N’ Roses and The Eagles. Today, the Troubadour is known for its vast array of music, both local names and famous artists, that it brings forth. From electronic genres to pop and punk rock, this music venue may have just what you are looking for on any given night out in West Hollywood.
8430 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
The House of Blues tops the list of Hollywood music venues not only because of the artists that it attracts, but because of its impressive three-story layout, as well as 1,000 people capacity. The HOB Los Angeles has hosted many famed hip-hop artists and groups, such as Tupac Shakur, Odd Future, and Mac Miller, along with many famous blues and rock groups. The inside sports a nightclub, bar, restaurant, and of course a stage for its musical entertainment.
9009 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This famous nightclub opened in 1973 and was the original home of the Rocky Horror Show performance in the United States. That one fact alone is enough to attract a wide audience to this unique venue. Bands and artists such as Neil Young, Genesis, Prince, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have all graced the stage. Frank Zappa even recorded most of his album Roxy and Elsewhere inside the the walls of The Roxy in December of 1973. And to many, The Roxy will forever be known as the place where John Belushi allegedly partied before his tragic overdose in 1982. Because of these events, this venue has one of the most colorful histories in Hollywood, with the energy of past performances still felt every night in this corner on Sunset Boulevard.
9015 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Situated right next to the Roxy Theatre, this venue features two stories packed with a bar, dance floor, and restaurant. Perhaps not many venues on the Strip can quite compete with the sheer history and celebrity attractions this venue has provided over the years. On its opening night in 1972, then known as the Villa Nova restaurant, Elton John hosted a party and the building started accumulating iconic history from then on. It is even said that John Belushi ate his last meal here. Rumor also has it that Marilyn Monroe attended a blind date here with Joe DiMaggio in 1952.
Over the years, the establishment has served as a major hangout for various bands and their groupies, including John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Poison, and even Elvis Presley.
There are so many Hollywood music venues to visit and concerts to check out on any given night. Get out there and start exploring!
Photo by Stepan Mazurov