I’ve been living in New York City for quite a few years. Going back in time a decade, I have vivid memories of small coffee shops and young bars littered around. It was the time when a lot of young people were trying their luck into these commercial and entertainment enterprises. And unlike today, the rent was accessible.
The neighbourhood, as I remember, had a creative vibe flowing through it and most of the venues featured lots of upcoming local acts.
Now the scene has changed. My neighbourhood has changed into a bustling centre with more bars and music venues popping up every day. However, one thing has remained the same throughout. The bars still feature local artists and the venues remain jam-packed.
And that’s the thing about New York City. You can hear bands any night of the week. And it’s not just about my neighbourhood, Williamsburg, this goes for all the 5 boroughs. NYC really has hundreds of venues where you can hear live bands and all of them represent a wide variety of genres – be it jazz, rock, punk or hip-hop.
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Located at 66 North 6th Street in Williamsburg, Music Hall of Williamsburg is run by a local promoter which goes by the name of Bowery Presents. With an in-house capacity of more than 500 people, this venue has shows going for almost all nights of the week.
Fat Cat is a basement bar that offers pool, pong, shuffle, chess, and live music every night of the week. It’s an ideal place to hang out and drink cheap beer while enjoying a live jazz band each night.
Rockwood Music Hall
Located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, this establishment started in 2005 as a small bar and live music venue. With 3 stages and a record label going by the same name, it has featured many a prominent artist like Lady Gaga & Mumford & Sons.
While at the venue, I always head to the balcony with a drink to enjoy the music while it gets crowded downstairs. Also, this place does a free show every weekend. Thanks to OurBus’s last bus from NYC to Washington DC, I not only get to reach home on time, I also have a backup plan for every weekend.