10) Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street): The closer to the stage, the better the experience. It has multiple levels and chandeliers. There’s an intense party vibe at Terminal 5 as well. One can even party on the roof. Downside: Although the venue is big, it becomes too congested when big names come to town.
9) Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street): The acoustics at Highline are amazing. It’s spacy, especially if the musical guest isn’t very well known. The venue is also known for its gourmet food and extensive menu. Downside: Tickets can be expensive and the service isn’t the best.
8) Roseland Ballroom (239 West 52nd Street): It was once an ice skating rink, so the venue is very colorful and the atmosphere is fun and bouncy. It also has multiple tiers and is more spacious than it appears. Downside: The layout is awkward and the stage is very high off the ground.
7) Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway/West 44th Street). The venue has plenty of standing room, but as has stadium seating towards the back, too. No matter where you sit, you can see the stage. The atmosphere is modern and it’s well lit. Downside: The acoustics can be shoddy.
6) Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street): One can always count on Webster Hall to host cool shows, whether they are big names or unknowns. The atmosphere is more laid back than other music halls. Downside: Drinks are overpriced and the venue has a “dirty club” vibe.
5) Hammerstein Ballroom (311 West 34th Street): Its interior is elegant and classy. The balcony is especially upscale. It has two tiers. The layout makes for great acoustics. One also has the opportunity to get close to the stage as well. Downside: The Ballroom doesn’t book as many shows as it used to, and the tickets can be pricy.
4) Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street): A great venue for small concerts. The setting is intimate. Most of the Gramercy is standing room, but there are seats in the back. Because it was once a movie theater, the floor has a slope, so one can see the stage perfectly from any part of the venue. Downside: The acoustics aren’t the best. The sound can be bouncy and erratic.
3) Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston Street): Like the Gramercy, the Mercury Lounge is very intimate and casual. Fans have the opportunity to stand just inches away from their favorite artists. The venue is a local favorite. The sound is great. Downside: The drinks are overpriced and the stage is cramped.
2) Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey Street): Despite it’s small size, the Bowery has multiple levels, including a balcony. It has a cozy and comfy atmosphere. The venue is another New York City favorite. Downside: The sound system is weak and the tickets can be very pricy.
1) Irving Plaza (17 Irving Plaza): Irving Plaza is a medium-sized, multi-tiered venue with a great sound system. One can stand or sit down and still see the stage, even though it’s on the small side. Both fan favorites and undiscovered artists perform there. The lighting is also great. Downside: Tickets are expensive and shows sell out quickly. Their menu is pricy as well.