Out-of-work musicians are almost as plentiful in Los Angeles as out-of-work actors. Lucky for them, LA draws more than enough stadium-filling performances to help them keep the dream alive while offering plenty of smallish venues where they can showcase their talent. If you want your music grand, orchestral, and outdoors, then head to The Hollywood Bowl. Pack a picnic, a blanket, and your significant other and head on up for a stunning view and some outstanding acoustics. The Bowl plays host to rock shows, classic bands, an impressive Independence Day fireworks show, and the occasional Garrison Keillor radio performance. Another panoramic outdoor attraction is the Greek Theatre, a gorgeous venue in Griffith Park showcasing a lot of nostalgia acts and a recent current of freshness. On the Sunset Strip, the dependable House of Blues draws in big names. Local institutions like the Whisky A Go-Go and the Viper Room draw crowds for their reputations alone, while offering a mix of both established and undiscovered bands. Some adventurous performers and voyeurs take their chances at Mr. T’s Bowl, a seedy former bowling alley in Highland Park. For the freshest indie bands and underground rock, try the Henry Fonda Music Box or The Troubadour. The Wiltern and the El Rey Theatre in mid-Wilshire are local favorites for catching bigger bands at a smaller venue, while The Satellite in Silver Lake and The Echo in Echo Park bring in locals and music insiders with more alternative live music. The Hotel Café is undoubtedly LA’s best loved acoustic venue, with a cozy New York vibe and some impressive names performing nightly. For live music that doesn’t overpower the pub atmosphere, Molly Malone’s is a deservedly popular spot. It’s a great place to see a wide range of great bands (from alt rock to reggae) and then shoot some darts. Those with more, ahem, evolved tastes can often be caught taking in a Friday night performance at the Getty, or a live music-silent film combo at the scandalous Silent Movie Theatre. The famous, cavernous Amoeba Music packs in locals with (free!) live in-store performances–check their marquee for upcoming shows from surprisingly big names. DJs are people, too. Some people even consider them musicians. The most eclectic slate of DJs spins at Verdugo, and the crowd is wildly different from night to night.
LA ROCK BANDS