Best Music & Performance

TripSavvy Editors' Choice Awards 2018

Bard on the Beach

 Bard on the Beach

Listen to a classical concert on a historic barge in Brooklyn, or hear sound waves from international acts reverberate off of natural rock features in Colorado. Here are TripSavvy's favorite live music venues and performances for 2018.

Live Music Venues

bargemusic
Bargemusic/Facebook 

Bargemusic: Brooklyn, N.Y. — featured in The Top Things to Do in DUMBO

Hop aboard a 19th-century, one-hundred-foot steel barge to listen to chamber music. The floating concert hall doesn’t travel around, but is docked at the Fulton Ferry Landing in Dumbo. Since the 1970s, music lovers have made a pilgrimage to this unique concert venue to hear an array of performances. If you have kids in tow, you shouldn’t miss the notable Music in Motion series, a one-hour free concert series, which includes a Q&A with the musicians following the concert. The series takes place on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and there is no reserved seating.

Red Rocks Theater
schmez/Getty Images 

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre: Denver, Colo. — featured in Denver's Top Tourist Attractions

This music venue is like nowhere else on earth. In fact, it claims to be the world’s only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre not only creates stunning sound, but is also beautiful, surrounded by dramatic rock formations and perched on a mountain with panoramic views of the Denver-metro landscape. This 9,500-capacity venue has seen some of the most famous musicians in history, from the Beatles to U2, and Red Rocks is also a favorite recording space for live albums.

Historians believe Red Rocks was originally used by the Ute tribe. –Aimee Heckel

Theaters & Performances

Playhouse on the Square and Circuit Playhouse: Memphis, Tenn. — featured in Cheap Things to Do in Memphis

Memphis has plenty of trendy bars and restaurants where locals party on a Saturday night. But those truly in the know head somewhere else: Playhouse on the Square. Owned by Circuit Playhouse, it is Memphis’ only professional theater, and it’s second to none. The venue boasts rehearsal spaces; costume and set shops; and a theater with trap doors and 29 fly lines so actors can fly and delight audiences in productions like Peter Pan and Matilda. In addition to seeing world class theater, visitors also get to enjoy a sophisticated lobby bar and rooftop garden for drinks before plays or during intermission.

 –Alyson Krueger

St. Ann's Warehouse: Brooklyn, N.Y. — featured in The Top Things to Do in DUMBO

Experimental theater-goers know St. Ann's Warehouse as one of Brooklyn—and New York's—premier performance spaces to see cutting-edge and avant garde theater by local and international companies, whether they are already critically acclaimed or new and emerging talents. St. Ann's has been around since the 1980s and has hosted everyone from David Bowie to Cynthia Hopkins to Al Pacino but when it found its permanent home in 2015 at the historic 19th-century Tobacco Warehouse on Brooklyn's waterfront, a new era was ushered in.

St. Ann's can now host up to 700 people in its versatile theater, plus there is a smaller, multi-use studio and an outdoor garden space.