Intimate D.C. Venues Host Famous Faces, Live Shows

Who doesn't like jamming along to their favorite tunes? Don't deny it. That was you singing along during your workout and in the shower too. It's OK. We aren't Simon Cowell. We don't judge.

Many listen to MP3s, satellite radio or even – gasp – CDs, but nothing beats seeing your favorite performers and bands live in concert. For music fans of every genre, Washington, D.C. has a treasure trove of musical venues boasting big name artists along with up and coming ones on the brink of fame.   

For those who are ready to rock, try the 9:30 Club or Black Cat. If you are looking to get lost in jazz, Blues Alley or Bohemian Caverns are both great choices. Most of these venues offer first-come, first-serve seating so if you want to get close to your favorite singer or band, come early and be ready to wait.

The best part about these venues is they are mainly small and intimate. It won't be like going to Nationals Park, paying a huge sum of money and sitting in the nose bleed section. You will actually get to see artists up close and personal. So get ready to help your favorite singer hit their high note – or at least just sing along with them – at these top D.C. venues.

U Street Music Hall
Photo courtesy of U Street


A DJ owned and operated facility, this basement dance club has one of the best sound systems in the district that will get you moving to the music. Featuring two bars and a 1,200 square foot dance floor, this venue hosts both amazing DJs and...  Read More



Co-owner Farid Nouri wanted to establish a nightlife spot that he would want to go to himself. "Enough energy for a party but a place where people can socialize in an intimate environment." Known as "The Lounge," the club has five areas to...  Read More

Howard Theatre
Photo courtesy of Howard Theatre


First opened in 1910 and geared toward African American musical acts, the Howard Theatre underwent renovations in 2010 and reopened its doors in 2012. Some of the recent shows include Salt N Peppa, Babyface, and Jody Watley. Like many other...  Read More

The Hamiliton
Photo courtesy of The Hamiliton


Named for the Founding Father who was infamously killed in a duel by Aaron Burr, this venue offers guests the chance to eat, drink and listen to great music from a number of different genres. Live shows can seat up to 300 guests and another 250...  Read More



This U Street neighborhood venue promises "Music for the 21st Century" and they deliver by bringing patrons a mix of both local and national acts playing a wide range of musical genres. With a laid back vibe, patrons can hang out at the basement...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Birchmere


This well-known music hall has welcomed many famous faces to its performance stage like Dave Matthews, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack and Aaron Neville just to name a few. The flex stage is where you will find the more dance oriented...  Read More



Walk through the doors of this Georgetown gem and you will be transported back to the supper clubs of the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1965, many well-known artists have played here including Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis. While taking in a...  Read More

Nightclub 9:30
Photo courtesy of gatzy


The official title is Nightclub 9:30 but most know the venue as the 9:30 Club. Some of the most popular names and bands in music perform at this intimate venue. Just scroll through the upcoming shows list and you will be amazed by the talent....  Read More

Bohemian Caverns


Trying to find Bohemian Caverns is not hard. Just look for the oversized saxophone and piano keys that adorn the outside walls. Once you step inside, be teleported back to the 1920s when the club was first established. The nightclub boats being...  Read More

U Street


Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Radiohead and The Strokes are just some of the bands that have played The Black Cat. Since 1993, the club has been bringing patrons the best in live independent music. The 7,000 square foot main concert room hosts...  Read More


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina