Politicos, pundits, and power-brokers come to mind when we think about life inside the Beltway, but DC is a vibrant city with much more to offer than all things political! Consider its diverse arts and entertainment scene, for example. Any night of the week, fans of all genres of live music can find concerts in DC to suit their taste in tunes. Read on to learn more about the best venues, plus how to find concerts in DC:
The Inside Scoop
For a closer look at the music scene in the nation’s capital, the Washington Post is a terrific place to start. The Music section is full of the latest local news to keep you dialed in to what’s happening in and around the city. Check out the daily calendar for music sorted by location, genre, and even kid-friendliness. Users can search for events based on an artist’s name, venue, or keyword, or simply consult the Editors’ Pics for the hottest upcoming shows. The Washington City Paper is another helpful resource for music lovers.
Although not specific to DC, Songkick is another handy resource. Built by music lovers for music lovers, it provides a comprehensive way to track your favorite bands so you’ll never miss them live again! Songkick aggregates information – everything from individual venue websites to local newspapers – so you know where and when your favorite artists will be performing. Songkick even links up with Facebook, so you can connect with friends that way.
DC Live Music offers a similar resource, exclusively within the DC metro area. Covering everything from local and international artists to karaoke venues, this website promotes accessibility and appreciation for the live music scene and all of the great concerts in DC. Check out the Festivals tab to find out about upcoming can’t-miss events!
Fans of everything from the performing arts to visual art classes won’t want to miss Culture Capital, a website that collects all things DC arts and entertainment in one central place. It even has categories for Family Events and Free Events so you can narrow your choices.
Straight to the Source
From a rich history of jazz to an edgy electronic music scene, DC truly offers something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite music venues for catching concerts in DC:
- The Kennedy Center
Bolstered by a mission to present the world’s greatest performers, support young artists, and lead the country in arts education, the Kennedy Center has an online calendar full of events for aspiring young musicians to witness firsthand the power of live performance. Classical music lovers will want to keep an eye out for the free summer concert series at the Library of Congress.
- The Lincoln Theatre
The Lincoln Theatre is another fantastic option for finding live music in DC. Past performers have included Emmylou Harris, Neil Finn, Rufus Wainwright, Stephen Marley, and David Gray; this historic venue usually has something for everyone!
A predecessor of venues like the Apollo and the Regal, this DC venue opened in 1910, and amazing performers including Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, and James Brown have all trod upon its storied stage. This theatre is enjoying new life – and a full calendar of events – thanks to a 2012 renovation.
- The 9:30 Club
Check out the 9:30 Club‘s online calendar for buzzed-about events, which have included everything from a secret Radiohead show to the kick-off of the 2009 Alice in Chains reunion tour. Even kids can get a taste of the live music scene at this long-time mecca thanks to their “All Ages, All the Time” policy.
Larger DC Venues
Those looking for current chart-toppers will want to check out the 20,000-seat Verizon Center, which has played host to everyone from Jay-Z to J.T. And if you’re willing to venture beyond the Beltway, try checking out the popular Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, or the Wolf Trap Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia, both of which offer a wide range of contemporary artists in a fun outdoor setting.
People from all over the world flock to the nation’s capital for its diverse culture and events, and concerts in DC are often a shining attraction. Check out the print and online resources listed above, as well as the venues themselves, then get ready to immerse yourself in the thrill of live music in the nation’s capital!
Photo by Matthew Straubmuller