Rated in Rollingstone Magazine as the nation’s top music scene in 2008, Baltimore swirls a hefty blend of folk, rap, noise, and several other genres and discretely fills the narrow alleys and amphitheater’s with the sounds of indie-unknowns and rock legends every night. Here is a list of a few of the best spots.
This small and homey bar on the edge of trendy Charles Village is a perfect place to see a more popular indie band in an intimate setting. Bringing acts like Manchester Orchestra, Conor Oberst, The Hold Steady, The Walkmen, and Animal Collective over the past few years, The Ottobar is often considered one of the most unique venues on the east coast.
2549 N. Howard St
The Talking Head:
The smaller, bar section of Sonar is a great place to see up and coming local and national bands. For less than $15 one can usually catch up to five bands in a night while enjoying the company of a few die-hard music enthusiasts.
407 E. Saratoga St.
8 X 10:
The best place to check out the local talent for their frequent open mike nights. Located in the center of the bustling Federal Hill, 8×10 has a relaxed, easy-going vibe—a perfect place to hangout.
10 East Cross St.
The Metro Gallery:
Not always known for being a prominent music venue, The Metro Gallery is the hipster capital of Baltimore’s trendiest neighborhood, The Art District. Across the street from The Charles Theatre, the Metro Gallery doesn’t host a ton of bands, but occasionally will have a gem—like a recent appearance of Angel Deradoorian from The Dirty Projectors. And it should be noted that it’s very possible to go to Metro Gallery without a band being your central focus.
1700 North Charles Street
Charm City Art Space:
Charm City Art Space is one of the many warehouse venues that has sprung up in Baltimore in the city’s rougher neighborhoods. Until recently, The fringy, but artsy Station North was nothing but a passthrough between Charles Village and Bolton Hill. Now it’s a thriving music hotspot.
1731 Maryland Avenue
A cross between a large, mainstream venue, and a smaller club, RamsHead Live! offers the perfect balance. Mainstream, indie, and local bands all play there; and its convenient location in Power Plant Live! and nice facilities offers a very pleasant experience for the audience.
20 Market Place
Power Plant Live!
Merriweather Post Pavilion:
The amphitheater located in the beautiful wooded suburb of Columbia, Maryland, Merriweather provides a pleasant outdoor experience for anyone looking for a laid-back show of a better-known band. It’s a bit of a drive from Baltimore, but well worth it for the scenery alone. Wilco, The Fleet Foxes, and The Walkmen will all be playing shows at Merriweather the weekend of September 23.
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
The Recher Theatre:
This historic venue is located in the heart of Towson and offers a wide array of bands from independent/unsigned local acts to more mainstream acts. It’s a walk from Towson Town Center and various other hotspots in Towson.
512 York Road