Massachusetts is synonymous with music. In fact, there is nowhere in the state where notable venues aren't affording music lovers a taste of their favorite genres.
While there are countless such music venues in Massachusetts, the following 10 are considered among the best with regard to the variety and quality of musicians they host, as well as the crowds they draw.
Whether your taste in music is Elton John or you're into pop music a la Ariana Grande, you'll find both kinds of music wafting through the ample seating at TD Garden. Touted as "New England's Premier Sports and Entertainment Arena," this is where the Boston Celtics play their home games. Located at 100 Legends Way in Boston, it's the kind of place you go to see legends, and the kind of place where legends are made.
An outdoor amphitheater featuring both covered and uncovered seating, the Xfinity Center in Mansfield is home to performances by country greats, boy bands, and even a comedian or two during their season. Seating a total of 19,900 fans per performance, the season begins in the late spring and runs through early fall.
Hyannis, Massachusetts is a bustling town in Cape Cod, and also home to the Cape Cod Melody Tent, where top notch musicians perform under its massive canopy. Owned by the South Shore Playhouse Associates, the tent seats 2,250 concert-goers. For more than 60 years the venue has featured as many as 60 shows per season. Their season runs from June through late August.
Featuring blues, gospel, and some old school rock, the House of Blues in Boston should be on the bucket lists of anyone beholden to these genres. And, as if the headlining act isn't enough excitement for one evening, the food and drinks hold their own as well. Start with a cocktail and dinner and stay for the show. But, unlike dinner reservations, you'll want to reserve your concert tickets well ahead of time.
Summer music in Massachusetts takes on an entirely different feel when fans travel to Tanglewood in Lenox. The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood's 2016 season included A Prairie Home Companion and an evening with comedian/Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. That said-don't assume that Tanglewood features only classical music. It affords guests that-and so much more.
While Tanglewood is indeed an experience all its own-after all, it's in the Berkshires-don't fret over missing out on the Boston Pops just because your summer schedule didn't allow the getaway. Symphony Hall in Boston finds the Pops in full swing the rest of the year, with a wide range of performances to satisfy those serious about their classical music to those preferring something significantly lighthearted. The Christmas performances are known throughout New England, with entire families booking the experience for years in a row. Conducted by Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops offer something for everyone.
Located in Worcester, the Worcester Palladium invites a wide variety of performers and features only general admission seating in its theater. An upstairs room features standing only. The Worcester Palladium has been around long enough that The Three Stooges once performed there. In recent years Skrillex, Rob Zombie, Wiz Khalifa and the Wu-Tang Gang have been on the list of performers.
Boch Center (Formerly Citi Performing Arts Center) is probably best known for its musical theater productions, however an eclectic group of well known musicians and singers have performed there over the years, too. The architecture in itself is well worth a visit, and the acoustics are exceptional. Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter are on the schedule for this fall, as is former Fugees member Lauryn Hill-a further testament to the mix of genres.
The Big E features two stages on which a variety of musicians perform. The Xfinity Center is the bigger of the two-with more nationally known performers taking that stage. The Court of Honor Stage features live music all day during specific dates in the summer and fall. Elle King and George Thorogood are on the docket for The Xfinity Arena this fall. Gloria Gaynor and Stephen Bishop will appear at The Court of Honor Stage.
Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music won't satisfy the tastes of all music lovers, but for those who love hearing up and coming classical musicians, it's the place to go. Special programs for children bring both music and music education to life for many New England children. Even those with an aversion to classical music should immerse themselves in music at Jordan Hall at least once.
No matter which genre or genres you enjoy, there's music for your ears in Massachusetts. Visit the links and reserve some tickets, as shows at these venues are known to sell out quickly.