Top 10 Best Live Music Venues in L.A.: #5-1 | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Top 10 Best Live Music Venues in L.A.: #5-1

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Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge The_Music_Box_Theatre.jpg
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See also: Top Ten Best Live Music Venues in L.A.: #10 - #6

5. Music Box

See also: R.I.P. the Music Box? Legendary Hollywood Venue Shuttered [UPDATE: Short-term?]

News of the Music Box's overnight shuttering this month was met with shock, followed swiftly by disappointment. The gorgeous venue, which opened in 1926, hosted stars like Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich. Even though it was recently renovated, the black-and-white checkered floor and thick red curtains made you feel you were stepping back in time. Perfect setup for shorties or those with a touch of claustrophobia -- wrangle one of the VIP wristbands that allowed you upstairs or hang back beside the elevated main bar. The legendary venue's website is frozen for now, very likely a wink from the old owners. "Can't stop the music," reads a banner. No buttons work, and the music player is paused with the words "Stand by" above. Oh, we will. -Rebecca Haithcoat

4. Walt Disney Concert Hall

Looks this good don't come cheap: the architecture, designed by Frank Gehry, and the acoustics, designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, of the gleaming L.A. Phil's home cost an estimated $274 million. (Actually, the glare coming from a couple of those gleaming panels was so great neighbors complained, and the Gehry Partners had to sand them down.) The auditorium was designed to look like a ship's hull, with the orchestra in the middle. Toyota worked on the principle that concave, rather than convex, shapes are more conducive to concentrating sound; the result of his innovative design is that the sound is pristine from any angle. Note: Don't think just because you're sitting up high you can doze off -- the seating is on a steep incline, and the view down is dizzying. -Rebecca Haithcoat

click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE GREEK THEATRE
  • Courtesy of the Greek Theatre

3. Greek Theatre

Surrounded by towering pines in the heart of Griffith Park, it's easy to forget you're in the middle of a bustling metropolis at this intimate amphitheater. But you're quickly reminded when bands gush (and they almost all do) about how the Greek is one of the most magical venues in L.A. The incredible setting and the not-a-bad-seat-in-the-house design make it worth braving the overpriced stacked parking. And if you can manage a VIP invite, it boasts one of the best backstage bar areas around. -Laura Ferreiro

click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
  • Courtesy of the Hollywood Bowl

2. Hollywood Bowl

It's hard to think of a venue as quintessentially L.A. as the Hollywood Bowl. Nestled in the Hollywood hills with spectacular views of the city -- especially from the cheap seats at the top -- the 17,400-seat venue is the ideal spot for spending a balmy summer evening with a picnic dinner and the sounds of the L.A. Phil, Radiohead or John Williams washing over you. With nine decades' worth of legendary performers gracing its stage and countless movie cameos, its history is palpable. -Laura Ferreiro

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