LISTEN Atlanta: 5 Places For Live Music

Listen with your mind. The introductory bass riff. The melodic a cappella tune of a youthful singer. The tuning hum and screech of a violin. The clacking of two drum sticks together. And a 1, 2, 3, 4! There's nothing like hearing live music. What is it about the unfiltered sound that strikes a chord with our souls? You just feel the emotion. The passion. The uncontrollable urge to clap your hands and tap your feet. Whether it be rock, blues, hip-hop, jazz, or classical, Atlanta has got you covered to satisfy your musical hunger. Here are five Atlanta mainstays serving up live music and good times.

Updated: July 11, 2010


Smiths Olde Bar

1578 Piedmont Ave, Atlanta, GA 30324

Smith's Olde Bar is an Atlanta mainstay offering some of the best live music found in the city. Hosting the likes of David Bowie, Train, Pete Yorn, and Fishbone is bound to add to any venue's street cred. It's no wonder that Smith's attracts hundreds of budding indie artists to test their craft and rock out nightly. It has also in recent months diversified acts into hip-hop and soul with up-and-coming artists B.o.B and Janelle Monae. Smith's Olde Bar is definitely a local find worth its weight in gold. Check out their website for nightly events and the calendar of upcoming acts.


Apache Cafe

64 3rd Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

Apache Cafe is one part restaurant, one part art gallery, and one part hip-hop soul emporium. Since opening its doors in 2001, the 1920's era brick building has been a welcome haven to Atlanta's underground hip-hop and R&B community. Offering weekly jam sessions, spoken word open mic nights, and art gallery showcases, there's something for all lovers of the hip-hop soul culture at Apache. But don't just take my word for it, get your groove on at one of their weekly jam sessions and be the judge yourself.


Sambuca Restaurant - Atlanta

3102 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Sambuca Restaurant is an eclectic dinner club hosting some of the finest jazz musicians in the Atlanta area. The sounds of saxophone and piano will draw you in, almost hypnotizing you with its sultry and sensual pitch. Its sprawling floor space and casually sophisticated atmosphere is perfect for after-work relaxing or dancing the night away with friends any day of the week. So you'll want to be sure to check out Sambuca's website for upcoming jazz musicians and vocalists.


Blind Willie's

828 W Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306

Blind Willie's is an Atlanta institution with over twenty years of experience "Keeping the Blues Alive" in the Virginia Highlands. Channeling the true spirit of blues from Memphis, Blind Willie's has stayed true to its roots in offering a sanctuary to keep older musicians working and the culture relevant. It is these soulful stories of pain, love for one's pickup, and your lady running off with your best friend that have earned Willie's numerous accolades over the years. So continue the tradition and check out Blind Willie's six nights a week for blues, booze, and awesome times.


Woodruff Arts Center - Atlanta Symphony Hall

1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in its 66th season has amassed quite the reputation in the classical music arena. Recording over 100 albums during its tenure and performing over 200 concerts a year make seeing the Grammy Award-winning ensemble live a must. The orchestra is multifaceted in conducting diverse monthly concert series and special events to engage the community and bring classical music to the forefront. So show your significant other you have some class and plan a symphony night. Check out their website for concert schedule and ticket information.