Ready for some hot fun in the summertime? Time to get out of the clubs and catch some fabulous music in the city’s finest outdoor venues. Whether you need somewhere to take a date, the kids, or just hang with friends, these are L.A.'s best places to enjoy our incredible weather and take in an afternoon or evening of live music.
The Greek Theatre
Spend a day in Griffith Park and the night at the Greek. Now managed by the city's Rec and Parks department, the historic venue has been refurbished with improved seating and food options. www.lagreektheatre.com.
Skirball Cultural Center
The Sunset Concert Series at the Skirball happens on select Thursdays throughout the summer, featuring pop, folk, world music and more. All shows are free. www.skirball.org
Santa Monica Pier Twilight Summer Concert Series
A day at the beach turns into a night at the Pier every Thursday night from July through early September. Both newcomer bands and legends have graced the stage, with previous years featuring eclectic performances from the likes of Best Coast, Jagwar Ma and OK Go. Bring a lawn chair and cooler, then kick back in the sand while watching the video screen, or sway near the stage with 15,000 other Angelenos. Free. santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts
Downtown L.A. is grand! For nearly 30 years, California Plaza is DTLA has hosted free daytime and evening performances featuring jazz, funk, Latin, world music and much more. With its unique setting, with a fountain separating performers and audience and the downtown skyline in the background, it's a great place to discover new music, often played by celebrated local musicians. www.grandperformances.org
After a full day looking at inspirational works of art and the gorgeous landscapes of the Getty, why not let your mind unwind with music? The museum's Saturdays Off the 405 series brings an eclectic mix of national musical acts with different styles. Events typically run from mid-May to mid-September. www.getty.edu
The Hollywood Bowl
Tucked away in the beauty and splendor of the Hollywood Hills, the Bowl is one of L.A.'s great cultural treasures. Past Hollywood Bowl season opening performances have included Chaka Kahn, Steven Tyler, John Legend and Journey. Aside from rock, pop, jazz and other performances, the Bowl also hosts the “Summer Sounds” seres for children ages 3 to 9, combining art workshops with diverse musical styles from New Orleans, Hawaiia, Brazil and the Middle East. And of course, the Bowl is the summer home of the L.A. Philharmonic and always features a stellar array of classical performances, as well as orchestral collaborations with pop, rock and electronic acts. www.hollywoodbowl.com
Celebrate sculpture, art and exquisitely diverse music thanks the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's many music series, including “Latin Sounds” series, the “Sundays Live” classical series, and more. Many performances are free with museum admission. www.lacma.org
Downtown L.A.'s Pershing Square summer concert series runs through most of July and August. If you work downtown, lunchtime concerts at the farmers market can hit the reset button, while you can catch noteworthy national music acts on weekends. All performances are free. laparks.org/pershingsquare
Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax
After a shopping trip to the Grove, wander over to the west patio at the Farmers Market for musical performances on select weekend evenings. The eclectic lineup typically features everything from blues and swing to jazz and Motown. All performances are free. www.farmersmarketla.com
Valley Cultural Center
It doesn’t get hotter than the Valley in the summer. Cool off in the evening with VCC’s Concerts on the Green, which features numerous nationally acclaimed tribute bands and a July 4th weekend fireworks show. Performance times and dates vary; check website for details. All shows are free. valleycultural.org.
West Coast Sound's Greatest Hits!
Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time
Why CDs May Actually Sound Better Than Vinyl
The 20 Sexiest Songs of All Time