Top Live Music Clubs in Washington, DC

Where to Hear Great Live Music in Washington, DC

The Zombies at D.C.'s 9:30 Club

Theresa C. Sanchez/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Washington DC has a variety of live music clubs featuring a wide range of music including rock, punk, hip-hop, jazz, country, gospel, and alternative. Some of the best spots require advanced ticketing so be sure to check the schedule of performances. From large concert halls to intimate restaurants, the nation's capital offers great musical entertainment.

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9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club features local, national and international live musical performances. Tickets are required and can be purchased in advance. This club is a local favorite with four bars and the largest dance floor in DC.

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U Street Music Hall

Opened in 2010, the live music and dance club are newer additions to the U Street entertainment district. The nightclub features state-of-the-art sound systems, a 1200 square foot dance floor, and two fully stocked bars.

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The Hamilton

Located just a few blocks from the White House, the live music venue operated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group features performances by local, national and international musicians. The restaurant is open 24 hours.

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Blues Alley

Located in the heart of Georgetown, this jazz supper club is the oldest continuing club in the country. Internationally renowned artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., and Ramsey Lewis, have played here.

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Black Cat

 Black Cat is a live music venue featuring local, national, and international independent and alternative music. Tickets are available in advance. There are two performance spaces, the Mainstage and the Backstage, in addition to the no-cover Red Room Bar. Performances are open to all ages.

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Howard Theatre

 The historic theater re-opened in April 2012 after a $29 million renovation and features a wide range of live musical performances. A full dining menu features American cuisine with classic soul influences.

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Gypsy Sally's

Located under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown, the music venue features local, regional and national performers. The dining area offers comfortable seating for 156. There is also bar seating and standing room for 144 patrons. The menu includes casual bar food, sandwiches, and pizza.

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Echostage is the region's newest and largest standing room concert venue, a 30,000 plus sq. ft. space, equipped with top tier sound design and advanced LED visual displays. The massive nightlife destination has attracted the biggest names in the music industry, from Jay-Z to Calvin Harris and Avicii to Tiesto.

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The intimate music venue, with its honeycomb-tiling and minimalist stage, is a no-frills nod to the '80s and '90s club decades that defined an era. The nightclub features two bars, 14 tables, and a dedicated dance floor. Nightly events range from Glow’s signature EDM parties to Latin and hip-hop nights.

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Hill Country Live

The barbecue restaurant showcases American Roots Music found in Texas such as Honky-Tonk, Western Swing, Rockabilly, Roots Rock, Alternative Country, Blues and Americana. Many of Hill Country Live's performances are free to the public.

If you're interested in these spots you may also want to know about the best live music in northern Virginia and the best music venues in Maryland.

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