L.A.'s 50 Best Music Venues

The Troubadour, Wiltern and Fonda
The Troubadour, Wiltern and Fonda
All photos sourced from Flickr (left to right): Dave Whelan/Redfishingboat/Alyse & Remi

What's your favorite L.A. music venue? Vote in our Best of L.A. Readers' Choice poll and tell us!

There's hardly any debate that L.A. has the best music scene in America. But when it comes to venues in which to hear that music played live, we are equally blessed. Whether you're preferred concert-going experience is a sweaty dive or a swanky, historic theater, our city offers up a vast array of options every night of the week.

To celebrate that embarrassment of riches, we asked a group of 25 L.A. Weekly writers, editors and photographers to rank their favorite SoCal venues for live music, then tallied the results to come up with this list of our region's 50 best. We asked them to consider sound quality, sight lines, and each place's history and overall "vibe" — as well as more prosaic factors like nearby parking and public transit options, and how easy (and pricey) it is to get a drink. Above all, we asked them to consider each venue's bookings — because even the nicest club in town isn't worth visiting unless you're likely to hear some great music when you get there.

We began working on this list over a month ago, before the city's newest concert venue, Teragram Ballroom, had opened its doors — so even though early reviews of that space give it high marks, it didn't make the cut. And Teragram's not the only worthy venue not represented here; L.A. has far more than just 50 excellent places to hear live music, and we don't mean for this list to imply otherwise. But in our view, these 50 are the best of the best.

We hope this list will inspire you to get out there and see more live music. Because here in L.A., there's never been a better time to do so.

Das Bunker night at Los Globos
Das Bunker night at Los Globos
Photo by Gustavo Turner

50. Los Globos

This Silver Lake institution doesn't have the best sound or lighting. Upstairs, the ceiling is too low; downstairs, the sight lines are poor. Even in the dead of winter, it can get stiflingly hot. But over the years, Los Globos has consistently hosted the kind of music that doesn't always find a home in L.A.'s flashier venues. It's no accident that both A Club Called Rhonda's "pansexual" dance parties and Das Bunker's dress-to-distress industrial nights call Los Globos home, or that the club books more quality underground metal shows than any other venue in town (except, arguably, Glendale's Complex). For fans of music on the fringes of the mainstream, Los Globos is exactly the kind of dive-y venue they can claim as their own — one with friendly staff, cheap (by Silver Lake standards) beer, and a we're-all-in-this-together vibe embodied by the stacks of band gear you'll often find piled up along the second floor wall. 3040 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, www.clublosglobos.com. — Andy Hermann

The Deadly Syndrome performing at the Viper Room
The Deadly Syndrome performing at the Viper Room
Photo by Timothy Norris

49. The Viper Room

Catching a show at the Viper Room is part of the quintessential Sunset Strip experience, with a mystique that largely stems from the venue’s history. When Johnny Depp reopened the old Central club as the Viper Room in 1993, he revived the venue with performances by Tom Petty and Johnny Cash, but also garnered unexpected attention when River Phoenix tragically overdosed and died in front of the club. But what makes the Viper most distinct is its size. The most intimate club on the Strip, the 250-person capacity venue dissolves the barrier between musicians and their fans, and is often where prominent hometown heroes have been known to mingle with the crowd. If the main room starts feeling claustrophobic, there’s a downstairs lounge to retreat to. As with all Sunset Strip venues, parking can be a hassle, especially on weekends, but street parking is available if you get there early; just be sure to read the signs carefully. 8852 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, www.viperroom.com. — Heidi Darby

Crowd-surfing at Alex's Bar
Crowd-surfing at Alex's Bar
Photo by LP Hastings

48. Alex's Bar

One of SoCal's last proper old-guard punk hideaways, Alex's Bar looks like a rockabilly bordello meets Transylvanian blood bank, which is why True Blood was filmed here. Between karaoke nights, Alex's hosts bands you'd see on the OG Warped Tour (when Volcom shorts ruled), and some of today's popular garage-pop acts, like Bleached and Together Pangea. Fat Wreck Chords bands cruise through on their way to L.A.; The Offspring and The Muffs have kicked those heavy red-velvet curtains down, and Jello Biafra is a regular. Parking is in the back (along with the entrance), where people are constantly getting stoned, while the beer selection inside is always ranked among the area's best. Thankfully, the artsy Northeast L.A. crowd doesn't come to the LBC for gigs, so the crowd is relatively hipster-free. This place is necessary, especially if you prefer Good Riddance and BDSM to Girlpool and trust-fund babies. 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, www.alexsbar.com. — Art Tavana

See also: Alex's Bar Celebrates 15 Years of Punk-Rock Insanity

Music at the Getty
Music at the Getty
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

47. The Getty

Los Angeles’ extended summers typically come with brisk evenings, so bring a jacket (and comfortable footwear — seating is limited) to the Getty Center's outdoor summer music offerings. Host musicians who curate "Friday Flights" blur lines with their aural and visual installations in the architecturally eye-popping space. "Saturdays Off the 405" start warm with a DJ and end chilly with a band. Admission is free and you save $5 on parking after 5 p.m. Onsite food queues can be lengthy, so a homemade picnic — which you can partake of in manicured gardens, enjoying spectacular views — is your best bet. Coming early in August means the kids get to take advantage of the Garden Concerts For Kids series. And during the off-season there is music at least once a month, either in the courtyard or in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, www.getty.edu. — Lily Moayeri

The Baked Potato
The Baked Potato
Photo by Tom Meek

46. The Baked Potato

Founded in 1970 by pianist Don Randi of famed studio hired guns “The Wrecking Crew,” Studio City's Baked Potato is L.A.'s oldest jazz club, sitting along the 101 across from Universal Studios. Its name comes from the menu, which features baked potatoes and nothing but — over 20 kinds, topped with various meats and vegetables. In its early days, the club's 100-capacity wood-paneled room was a hangout for jazz fanatic Clint Eastwood. This is a place by musicians, for musicians, and the sound here is the best of any area jazz venue (though sensitive ears should have earplugs handy). Andy Summers (The Police), Slash, Steve Lukather (Toto) and Joe Bonamassa are just a few of famous musicians who've played here many times. Musical stars in both the jazz and rock worlds can often be found hanging near Don's son Justin Randi at the bar, or out back at the nightly set break. 3787 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City, www.thebakedpotato.com. — Tom Meek

One Trick Pony at the Mint
One Trick Pony at the Mint
Photo by Timothy Norris

45. The Mint

To call this Mid-City landmark intimate would be an understatement; its officially capacity is 200, but with more than 100 attendees it already feels packed. Operating since 1937, the Mint has played host to nearly as many luminaries as, say, the Troubadour or even the Hollywood Bowl, including Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Nat King Cole. Folk, blues, jazz and American roots music are the focus, but the Mint has also played host to noisy psych-rock (The Warlocks), futuristic funk (Bernie Worrell) and everything in between. The narrow space can make the standing-room area a bit awkward, but you can call ahead to book a table or booth for dinner, or show up early to score a spot at the bar. Nearby street parking is ample. 6010 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City, themintla.com. — Andy Hermann

Odd Future plays a surprise show during Low End Theory at the Airliner
Odd Future plays a surprise show during Low End Theory at the Airliner
Photo by Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss

44. The Airliner

Lincoln Heights' best dive bar makes our list for one reason only: It is home to Low End Theory, one of the most influential hip-hop and electronic music nights in North America. Since starting in 2006, LET has been the launch pad for such beat-scene luminaries as Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Daedelus, Shlohmo, Teebs, Matthewdavid and Nosaj Thing, and a laboratory for innovative MCs such as Busdriver, Jonwayne and host Nocando to hone their craft. Local and international stars drop by on the regular to spin surprise DJ sets, try out new material, or just hang out. Thom Yorke hopped on the decks in 2011, and earlier this year Prince was spotted checking out a DJ Spinn set. The second floor sound system, designed by Low End Theory founder Daddy Kev, is one of the best in the city, and the projections, mixed live most weeks by Timeboy and Strangeloop, surpass those of venues four times the size. The tiny club hits capacity quickly, so get there early. 2419 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights, www.lowendtheoryclub.com. — Andy Hermann

The Hard Way performing at the Whisky
The Hard Way performing at the Whisky
Photo by Timothy Norris

43. Whisky a-Go-Go

First, a confession: In high school, I often told people the first show I ever saw was Agnostic Front at the Whisky, when in truth it was Bush and Veruca Salt at the Forum. This wasn’t just me pretending to be hardcore (though it was certainly that); it also felt cooler to claim as my first the spot where The Doors and War started off as house bands, where Janis Joplin drank the night she died, where countless metal and grunge bands announced themselves to the world. I didn’t care that it was already past its prime when I first went, and it doesn’t matter now. This iconic spot keeps some necessary grit on the increasingly bourgie Sunset Strip and, not unlike like the wrinkled rockers buying booze at Gil Turner's up the block, reminds us we haven't lived nearly as hard as we'd like to think. 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, www.whiskyagogo.com. — Patrick James

Jagwar Ma on Santa Monica Pier
Jagwar Ma on Santa Monica Pier
Courtesy of Twilight Concerts at the Pier

42. Santa Monica Pier

There’s nothing quite like seeing a concert at the Santa Monica Pier. You’re literally at the very edge of the continent, perched over the water on creaky wooden pilings that sometimes sway with the incoming tide. Even in the depths of summer, the air is always cooler, and in every direction, you’re surrounded by fantastic views, from the flickering lights of downtown Santa Monica to the long curve of the coast sweeping south toward Venice and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Although pricey festivals like Way Over Yonder have taken root on the pier in recent years, music always sounds better when it’s free, especially during the summer Twilight Concerts series, which has featured Charles Bradley, No Age, Patti Smith, Dr. John, La Santa Cecilia, The Zombies, Dick Dale and, fittingly, Best Coast. Parking in the lot under the pier can quickly sell out, and the music can die out quickly in the damp air if you’re too far from the stage, so it’s best to arrive early. Pier entrance is at corner of Colorado Ave. and Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts. — Falling James

Portugal. The Man at El Cid
Portugal. The Man at El Cid
Photo by Timothy Norris

41. El Cid

El Cid feels like a pub you'd visit in southern Spain. It's a proper restaurant on the weekend, where the sangria flows during flamenco shows for tourists looking for that inauthentic L.A. experience. It's also a hidden indie rock gem where hyped local acts like L.A. Witch, Street Joy, and Joel Jerome drop by from time to time. The cover to see a gig is usually $15 or less. There's loads of parking available on Sunset Boulevard, so don't pay for valet unless you're late for a gig. The entire building is designed to look like a 16th century Andalusian tavern, so even if the band flops, it's a romantic spot for a date or a somewhat authentic Spanish experience that even smells like a Spanish alley. 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, www.elcidla.com. — Art Tavana

Fans lining up down the block for an in-store performance by Lana Del Rey at Amoeba Music
Fans lining up down the block for an in-store performance by Lana Del Rey at Amoeba Music
Photo by Timothy Norris

40. Amoeba Music

There may be better rooms at which to see a show in the city, but there's nowhere else to catch a free mini-set from one of the many major bands who have graced Amoeba’s stage. Earlier this year, Death Cab For Cutie played their first in-store in 10 years, and famously, in 2007, Paul McCartney and TV on the Radio played short sets, both of which were later released as live EPs. If rock bands aren’t your thing, there are plenty of DJ sets at night. Mark Ronson, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5, Egyptian Lover, Doc Martin, Z-Trip, and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore have all hopped behind the decks at some point over the store’s decade and a half. The sight lines and sound are OK at best, but considering it's a record store and admission is free, it’s a pretty damn good experience overall. 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, www.amoeba.com. — Daniel Kohn

RIff Raff at the House of Blues
RIff Raff at the House of Blues
Photo by Hannah Verbeuren

39. House of Blues Sunset Strip

Reports of its demolition have circled for years, but for now, the House of Blues Sunset Strip remains standing. The artfully distressed wood that covers seemingly every inch of the place always makes you feel as though you’ve stepped inside a pirate ship. If you find said atmosphere corny, remind yourself that you’re on the Strip, where nearly everything is done with the tourists in mind. Despite its name (and the fact that Steel Panther performs here regularly), the storied venue works surprisingly well for rap concerts, the sound system seemingly well-tailored for all those head-nodding beats and floor-splintering bass. If you’re able to watch from the balcony, we recommend it; you can see the entire stage and your view is less likely to be obstructed. If not, try finding a place just in front of the sound booth downstairs. 8430 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, www.houseofblues.com/losangeles. — Max Bell

Pehrspace
Pehrspace

38. Pehrspace

If underground is what you crave, look no further than Pehrspace. This DIY, volunteer-run art gallery and performance space is the the ultimate destination for up-and-coming local musicians and artists, plus secret shows by the likes of The Strokes and, most recently, Dan Deacon and Future Islands, as well as the occasional celebrity guest (hi, Val Kilmer). Every show is $5 cash at the door, all ages, and BYOB. With a capacity around 80 and no stage, it gets humid and real snuggly. By no means is it fancy, but you can shamelessly get rowdy and challenge yourself to not use either of the two inexplicably damp bathrooms. 325 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park, www.pehrspace.org. — Britt Witt

Control night at Avalon
Control night at Avalon
Photo by Kelsee Becker

37. Avalon/Bardot

Thanks to the EDM explosion, swanky new dance clubs have sprung up all over Hollywood and DTLA in recent years — but nearly 12 years after it first opened, Avalon remains the best of the bunch. The beautifully restored theater, formerly called the Palace, has hassle-free entry (if you buy tickets in advance — which you should), a perfect-sized dance floor, lots of levels to explore and mingle, and most importantly, the best EDM sound system in town. Whether they're pumping out dubstep and trap at Control on Fridays, or big-room house and trance on Saturdays, Avalon's speakers — designed by club owner John Lyons — deliver crisp highs and enough low-end whomp to blow your hair back. The venue is also home to Bardot, a stylish lounge that serves a chillout area on club nights and the home of Chris Douridas' School Night on Mondays, one of the most well-curated showcases for up-and-coming bands in town. Both drinks and parking are pricey, so it's not a cheap night out — but even for non-VIPs, Avalon delivers a top-shelf club experience. 1735 Vine St., Hollywood, avalonhollywood.com. — Andy Hermann

See also: Avalon: A Sonic Overhaul and a Look Back

Katy Perry at Staples Center
Katy Perry at Staples Center
Photo by Timothy Norris

Upcoming Events

36. Staples Center

Yes, intimacy is compromised when you're but one in an audience of thousands (and thousands). But if you're heading to our downtown arena behemoth, you're likely less after closeness and more that kinetic feeling of mass communion you get when watching an international superstar with a legion of fellow fans. There is something truly thrilling about entering Staples, which holds approximately 18,000 people, to see performers like Drake, T. Swift, 1D, Queen Bey or any of the other A-listers who can pack, and command, the place. With the rise of L.A. Live, an expanded roster of restaurants (however corporate) have made an evening at Staples a more all-encompassing night on the town, and parking is easier than ever. While underground parking can be steep, the surrounding street-level lots are (usually) reasonably priced; be sure to bring cash for the latter. 1111 S. Figueroa St., Downtown, www.staplescenter.com — Katie Bain

The balcony and ceiling of the Belasco
The balcony and ceiling of the Belasco

35. Belasco Theater

Opened right next door to the Mayan in 2011, this beautifully restored former burlesque house has some of the most ornate architecture of all of downtown's theaters, a mix of Gothic, Moorish and Churrigueresque (don't ask us, we just looked it up) that will take your breath away when you first enter. It's already hosted a diverse array of live music and club events, from Weezer and Sam Smith to Deadmau5 and A Club Called Rhonda. Sound is good from the floor, less so from the balcony, and although the place can get stuffy when it's at capacity, a huge courtyard provides ample breathing room, even when the smokers are out in force. It's accessible by Metro and nearby lots are usually under $20 — although parking can be a nightmare when both the Belasco and Mayan have events on the same night. 1050 S. Hill St., Downtown, belascous.com. — Andy Hermann

Deakin of Animal Collective performs at CFAER
Deakin of Animal Collective performs at CFAER
Photo by Timothy Norris

34. Center for the Arts Eagle Rock

As soon as FYF Presents started booking shows here, the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock became the hub for bands you'd hear on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic or at FYF Fest in August. The space itself is intimate but feels enormous, with a high ceiling adorned with wooden Art Deco chandeliers. Gigs sell out quickly, especially if Ty Segall or some Pitchfork hype-band like Waxahatchee is booked. Get their early to grab a good spot, because when it gets crowded, you won't be able to see a thing between the giant pillars and hoards of fedora-wearing hipshits. Besides sight lines, the bathroom is the only other drawback, because there's always a long line. There's no lot, but street parking isn't hard to find, unless you're there for a sold-out show. In that case, you're going to wish you took an Uber. 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, cfaer.org. — Art Tavana

Kamasi Washington and the West Coast Get Down at BluewhaleEXPAND
Kamasi Washington and the West Coast Get Down at Bluewhale
Photo by Rob Gaudet

33. Bluewhale

After years of frustration at how most clubs in Los Angeles viewed jazz and treated musicians, Korean-born vocalist Joon Lee decided to open his own, vowing to to run it from an artist’s perspective. Lee’s commitment to the quality of the music above all else (framed in a elegant, modern space) has granted Bluewhale, in its sixth year of existence, most-favored status among jazz musicians and patrons alike. There is now an endless stream of jazz A-listers from New York and beyond parading through the club’s custom-glass entrance, yet Bluewhale remains the most affordable option to see the very best jazz has to offer, with low ticket prices and no food or drink minimum, making the music accessible to a younger, hipper crowd. It’s too bad the club is tucked away in a nondescript Little Tokyo shopping mall; here’s hoping they can move to a new site sooner than later. 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., Little Tokyo, bluewhalemusic.com. — Gary Fukushima

Nick Cave at the Shrine Auditorium
Nick Cave at the Shrine Auditorium
Photo by Timothy Norris

32. The Shrine

Built in 1926, the Shrine's Moorish Revival architectural style makes it an L.A. landmark. Over the years, the venue has hosted everything from KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas to Hard Summer to the Academy Awards, as well as big-name artists like Nick Cave, Tame Impala and Portishead. This summer, it will add the Low End Theory Festival to the list of noteworthy events that have graced its historic stages. It's easily accessible via the Metro Gold Line and nearby parking is ample. Sound isn't always the best, but the sheer spectacle of the Shrine's architectural details more than make up for it. Whether you're squished between sweaty bodies for an EDM event in the Expo Hall, or enjoying a seated concert in the Auditorium, the Shrine makes for a memorable night out. 665 W. Jefferson Blvd., University Park, www.shrineauditorium.com. — Mary Carreon

Cafe NELAEXPAND
Cafe NELA
LA Weekly

31. Café NELA

Café NELA is located just far enough from the pay-to-play clubs of the Sunset Strip and the self-conscious hipster hangouts of Silver Lake and Echo Park for real music to happen. While the humble Cypress Park beer-and-wine bar doesn’t have glitzy furnishings or a fancy sound system, it more than makes up for any physical shortcomings by presenting some of the most adventurous music in town. Owner Dave Travis has performed for many years in the local underground scene as a cellist in such stubbornly uncompromising bands as W.A.C.O. and Carnage Asada, and he tends to book shows with his heart instead of his wallet, opening the room’s small stage to radical art-jazz experimentalists and guttural hardcore punks alike. Named after its northeast L.A. setting, Café NELA doesn’t have a rich history, yet after opening just two years ago, it’s already getting a reputation as a place where musicians can experiment wildly and take chances. 1906 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park, www.cafenela.net. — Falling James

Mack Sennett StudiosEXPAND
Mack Sennett Studios
Courtesy of Prismatics

30. Mack Sennett Studios

The glamour of old Hollywood is revamped for the millennium at the 100-year-old Mack Sennett Studios. Reopening its doors in 2013, the one-time soundstage in the heart of Silver Lake now serves as a multi-purpose production space, hosting primarily unique, invite-only events (like "Generations of Soul," featuring Raphael Saadiq, B.J. The Chicago Kid, and Lee Fields), as well as the occasional (and quick to sell out) open-to-the-public show. Lucky attendees of these events are treated to valet parking, friendly door personnel, and eye-catching bar staff in a minimally designed environment that makes good use of the studio’s storied collection of items. The stark white, triangular room, which is never quite dark, allows for easy visibility from any angle. While Mack Sennett doesn’t always function as a music venue, it doesn’t hold back on the production when it presents music events. From Los Angeles sons Flying Lotus and Classixx to international heartbreaker Chet Faker, everyone who plays the Studios gets the star treatment. 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake, www.macksennettstudios.net. — Lily Moayeri

Ben Sims DJs at Complex
Ben Sims DJs at Complex
Photo by Dean Paul De Leon

29. Complex

This 200-capacity room sits nondescriptly in its Glendale neighborhood and is easy to miss driving by. But inside is a cozy spot to catch live gigs representing some of the darkest realms of the music world. The venue's frequent goth, industrial, EBM and underground dance music bookings are no surprise, given the ownership’s prior background with Das Bunker. But Complex has also branched out and formed relationships with local heavy metal promoters to present strong lineups of black, death and doom metal as well. Glendale is a little bit of a trek for music lovers on the Westside and many shows do not see headliners hitting the stage until midnight or later. But it's worth the extra mileage and late night to experience Complex's smart curation of obscure acts, excellent sound, a staff whose friendliness betrays the darkness of the room, and one of the best beer selections of any music venue in the region. 808 E. Colorado St., Glendale, www.complexla.com. — Jason Roche

See also: L.A.'s Best Club for Underground Music Is in Glendale

Fans waiting for Flaming Lips at Hollywood Forever
Fans waiting for Flaming Lips at Hollywood Forever
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff

28. Fairbanks Lawn at Hollywood Forever

I first experienced a Hollywood Forever show on a foggy September evening in 2009. The gates of the cemetery opened at midnight and 2,000 or so of us laid down our blankets on the cemetery lawn and drank wine until dawn, at which point a group of monks did a ceremonial chanting ritual as the opening act for Bon Iver, who played a killer set as a pink sun burned off the fog. It was, to say the least, very special. The point here is that few other venues in town are able to lend such moody ambience to a show as the historic site, which has served as the final resting place for Hollywood luminaries since dawn of cinema. The outdoor venue is lush, sound is usually great, ticket prices are reasonable, parking is typically included in the cost, and on-point bookings err on the side of indie rock. (Father John Misty even named a song after the place.) Tame Impala and Modest Mouse highlight this summer's schedule. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, www.hollywoodforever.com/culture. — Katie Bain

Gorilla Biscuits fend off would-be stage divers at the Glass HouseEXPAND
Gorilla Biscuits fend off would-be stage divers at the Glass House

27. The Glass House

The Glass House's no-frills room is as simple as the juice and soft pretzels it sells at its bar. The venue’s cheap tickets, free parking, and ultra-laid-back staff make it one of the most underrated venues to enjoy in the greater L.A. area. Pomona isn’t close, but driving 45 minutes is less painful than paying for an Uber during surge pricing. In terms of booking and overall vibe, the Glass House could best be described as an unpretentious, all-ages alternative to the Echoplex. It's best-known as a mecca for both local and national punk bands, but delivers a consistent calendar of both obscure and high-profile acts in a variety of styles, from The Kills to Tycho to fun. (before they blew up). Bonus for the over-21 crowd: They recently began serving alcohol. 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, www.theglasshouse.us. — Mary Grace Cerni

The Observatory
The Observatory
Photo by Brian Feinzimer

26. The Observatory

Every year, the Observatory and adjoining Constellation Room are hosts to the majority of Burger Records' events, a list that never seems to stop growing. From Burgerama to the all-female Burger a-Go-Go, as well as Burger-affiliated events like The Growlers' Beach Goth party, Santa Ana’s Observatory is a huge supporter of the Southern California DIY scene and a mecca for skate punks, stoners, psych rockers and everyone in between. All of the venue’s bookings are pretty on-point across genres — this June, the Observatory will host Rhye, Action Bronson, Andre Nickatina (for $5!) and even Lil Debbie (if you’re into that). Admittedly, parking is often a pain in the ass, but the Observatory more than makes up for it with reasonable ticket prices, including free shows, and unbeatable intimacy — especially in the 300-person capacity (and that’s pushing it) Constellation Room. For Angelenos, it may be a bit of a trek to get there, but it is well worth the trip. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, www.observatoryoc.com. — Artemis Thomas-Hansard


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