Music Venues In The San Diego Scene

By Jessica Kane- SoundStage Direct

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Music Venues In The San Diego Scene

Plenty of music venues exist and thrive in the San Diego area. All types of music are available for audiences throughout the year, from big concert venues to more intimate club options. If your taste is specific, there is a club or venue for rock, blues, jazz, hip-hop, electronica or any style that gets your groove on. Don't waste a minute in San Diego without knowing where the hipsters are going to see the best bands play.

For music lovers and California visitors, here is a short list of music venues in the San Diego scene. These are listed simply alphabetically, not based on ranking or trendy favorites. So when the music is over, turn up the lights kids.

Balboa Theatre

This is a local historic site, being built in 1924 for the vaudeville era and during the Hollywood golden age. It lies in the downtown heart of San Diego and now is a performing arts center for the greater community. Since being renovated it attracts talented acts of all styles. There are regular events held at this venue and it is worth seeing how fancy it is inside.


This authentic rock club recently celebrated 25 years of music driven mayhem. The Cashbah is known for booking big name acts on their way to big fame. Legendary groups like Arcade Fire and Nirvana cut their teeth at this San Diego venue. The club holds an intimate 200 people, but also includes a billiards room, classic pinball games, retro video games and a patio for smokers. Nobody rocks harder than the Cashbah.

House of Blues

A music staple club in most major cities, the House of Blues is also hip the San Diego scene. Always a standing room only affair, this venue can fill the house and usually does. Attendees can skip the front lines by choosing to dine in at the adjacent restaurant on the Fifth Avenue block. Lots of great blues, jazz and rock acts come to play here, all year round.

Seven Grand

This one of the last true über-hipster whiskey bars in San Diego. Live jazz plays on the small stage in the back of the bar, what is known as "the Library". Most weekends include ensemble groups and upcoming jazz artists. Being that this is a hole in the wall bar, some music lovers maybe forced to ask for directions. Look for the gigantic spinning street corner signaling signage.


Probably the last surviving all ages venue in San Diego, Soma is too cool for school. This is a wide open warehouse art space that is sectioned off, creating two unrealistically disproportionate spaces to accommodate large scale performers and smaller intimate shows. Most acts are of the indie and alternative crowd pleasers, although you never know who will be showing up at Soma. They are know to be as pop culture as they are cutting edge. Lots of fun for the kiddies.

The Irenic

This venue is a church during the daytime and considers itself the San Diego neighborhood concert club. The Irenic is blessed with some amazingly powerful acoustics, making it a favorite spot that all ages audiences have come to enjoy. All profits from shows are charitable, benefits going to support Street Angels to help teens and young homeless kids in the City of San Diego. Come see what the street is really listening to at the Irenic.

The Observatory

Originally home to the North Park Theatre, this is an ultra cool vintage concert venue. It was built in 1928, but now is renovated completely to include enough room for 1,100 event seats. Located right behind the West Coast Tavern it is a space for concert ticket holders to enjoy the North Park neighborhood gentrification prior to big rock show events. The Observatory is both audience friendly and a classic place for modern concerts in San Diego.

Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number one online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.


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