charlotte music venues

Top 5 Music Venues in Charlotte, NC

Since many people are enthusiastic about music in Charlotte, NC, it shouldn’t be surprising that the city has a ton of music venues. But, there’s obviously some music venues that are better than others. Here is a list of five of my favorite music venues in Charlotte, NC!

1.) Visulite Theatre

Located in the historic Elizabeth Community, the Visulite Theatre is one of the premier facilities for live music in Charlotte. Just browse through the Visulite Theatre’s upcoming shows and you’ll be able to see they host a variety of artists and genres. As for attending a show at this venue, it’s usually a great experience. Unlike some venues, the Visulite Theatre has a full service bar that actually has fast and friendly service. So, you won’t have to spend majority of your night trying to get a drink. Also, the tiered layout makes it easy and enjoyable to watch a performance from any angle.

2.) Neighborhood Theatre

Located in NoDa, the Neighborhood Theatre was originally a movie theatre known as the Astor Theatre until the 1970s. With a capacity of 956 and an open floor setup, it’s easy to enjoy a show from any location in this venue. Similarly to the Visulite Theatre, the Neighborhood Theatre has a full service bar. While the two theatres have their differences, the Neighborhood Theatre hosts a more eclectic acts.

3.) Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall

If you want a more authentic Charlotte music experience, check out the Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall. Located in uptown Charlotte, the Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall has the layout of a traditional beer garden and has over 91 local beers on tap to choose from. While you can occasionally catch national recording acts, majority of the bands that play at the Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall are local and regional acts.

4.) The Rabbit Hole

Located in Plaza Midwood, The Rabbit Hole offers a smaller, more intimate setting. With a full bar and an eclectic lineup, The Rabbit Hole is perfect for watching your favorite band or exploring different artists.

5.) The Evening Muse

Known as one of the best places to hear acoustic music in the NoDa Arts District, The Evening Muse is an intimate venue that has a capacity of 120. Many people have praised The Evening Muse’s use of architectural dynamics and sound engineer to ensure bands and concertgoers hear crisp and fine-tuned sounds. The Evening Muse hosts an array of artists, from alternative and rock, to country, pop, and even jazz. There’s something for everyone at The Evening Muse.

A Review of The Fillmore Charlotte Music Venue

P1230134

Before you read on, I must begin with this disclaimer: it has been more than two years since I visited The Fillmore Charlotte, so things may have changed significantly since then. However, there’s a good reason why I haven’t been to this venue in two years, and it’s this:

I had a horrible experience that made me never want to go there again. 

As you can probably guess, this is not a positive review. I have been given no compensation to write it. I just wanted to give my honest opinion and offer some suggestions that all music venues in the queen city could stand to benefit from.

As a singer-songwriter, I love attending live concerts. I went to the Fillmore to see Lauryn Hill perform over two years ago. I was on a date with my husband, and it was the first concert I had been to in a while. I was also 8 months pregnant.

The tickets were pretty expensive. I don’t remember exactly how much they cost. I just remember that I thought we had overpaid, especially given the nature of the venue and the fact that Lauryn was super late to her own performance. I had heard that was typical for her though, and I know that’s not the venue’s fault. But still … her reputation for being late is no secret, and the tickets could have been priced accordingly.

We went to Cabo Fish Taco to eat dinner before going to the concert. We arrived about 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start, and the opening acts were horrible. The venue is standing room only, which was problem #1 since, again, I was 8 months pregnant. When you’re short and slender like me, and your belly is about the size of a balloon that’s about to pop, sitting down is pretty much a necessity.

Maybe I’m being high-maintenance here, but I think they should have offered me a chair. For free. There are chairs in the V.I.P. section, but we would have had to spend another $50 just to sit in them, and the section doesn’t even offer a good view of the stage. It’s off to the left side of the room and blocked by multiple columns. Why anyone would pay $25 to get a worse view of a performance is beyond me … unless you’re 8 months pregnant and desperately need to sit down, because you feel like all of your body’s organs are going to slip out of your vagina at any moment.

(#sorrynotsorry for the mental picture…)

No, pregnancy is not a handicap. As someone who had a home birth, I firmly believe that, even though hospitals try to rush you to the maternity ward in a wheelchair like you can’t walk when you’re in labor. But standing room only for a 3-hour concert when your water could break at any moment? Not cool, Fillmore. Not cool.

My husband ordered one alcoholic beverage. Pretty sure he spent like $16 on it. $20 if you count the tip. I guess that’s typical for most concert venues, but still a major disappointment, especially when we had already overpaid for tickets to attend a concert where the performer was late to her own show and couldn’t even sit our asses down in a chair.

In short, my visit to the Fillmore made me never want to go there again, and I haven’t been there since. I hear not much has changed, but I could be wrong. In any case, it did not meet my expectations as being comparable to the Fillmore in L.A. which appears to be amazing. Maybe if I ever make it out to the west coast, I’ll buy tickets to a concert and write another review for what has come to be known as one of the highest-esteemed music venues in the entire U.S.

Until then, I’ll stick to concerts at The Evening Muse.

The Best Indie Music Venues in Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina has a few good music venues for independent artists. Ever since the NoDa arts district came onto the scene, artists have seen a lot more opportunities to showcase their talents. This post highlights a few of our favorite spots in town.

evening-muse

1. The Evening Muse. This is a great intimate venue for small-time artists who are looking to break through the Charlotte music scene. You could pack a crowd of about 100 people, standing room only. I’ve seen a few bands play here, and it’s always an awesome experience. If you want an up close and personal experience, where you can see beads of sweat dripping from the drummer’s face, this is it.

2. Visulite Theater. Another great intimate venue, but significantly larger than The Evening Muse. A few years ago, we took a limousine to the Visulite to see a local band play and it was an awesome time.

3. The Neighborhood Theater. Once again, a NoDa favorite. What I love about the Neighborhood Theater is that the acoustics are amazing, no matter where you’re sitting. A few years ago a group of us went to see some folk artists take the stage. We started the night front and center, right near the stage, and we ended it in the back upper level area. Everything sounded phenomenal from both spots.

These are all great venues, and they all happen to be located in North Davidson. Not surprising, given the growth the area has experienced in recent years.

If you’re ever in the Charlotte area and going to a concert in NoDa, we highly recommend you start your night at one of the bars in the area. Revolution Pizza has an amazing selection of craft beers. Have a drink or two while waiting for a table to open up at Cabo Fish Taco, and then enjoy some Tavaru Tuna Tacos and jalopeno mashers before you finish the night at the music venue of your choice.

NoDa can be especially hard to navigate on the weekends, as parking is limited. If you have the budget for it, definitely rent a limo or party bus, and it’ll be much easier to get around.

Are there any venues you should stay away from? I don’t normally like to criticize, but I did have a less-than-favorable experience at the Fillmore, when going to see Lauryn Hill. Surprising, since the Fillmore in LA is so reputable. But for me, it was overpriced, and seating was limited to a VIP area that was all the way to the left of the stage – not worth paying the extra $25 just to get a chair. (It didn’t help that I was 8 months pregnant at the time, either.)

In short, if you’re going to see an independent or smaller-time artist in the Charlotte area, try to stick to the NoDa area. All of the venues are nice.