By: Allie Herring
I go to A LOT of shows. My family and friends back home literally think that is all I do in this city. But who can blame me when one day you can drop $5 for a show and then the next day see that obscure indie band on the lineup for Bonnaroo. You never know what you are going to stumble across. Another thing that is great about the music scene in Nashville is that you have all these medium to small size venues that create intimate showcases of an artist’s work. Here are some of my suggestions for the best venues in Nashville.
The Listening Room is the kind of venue where the singer casually says, “oh, this next one is gonna be Luke Bryan’s next single”. While there are plenty of songwriting rounds throughout the city on any given night, the Listening Room blows them all out of the park. Here you will discover the next big acts and songwriters coming out of Nashville. I have seen Ryan Griffin, Sam Hunt, Lauren Alaina, and Carly Pearce perform at this venue.
Some may think of Grimey’s New and Preloved Music as just a store, but this local gem offers much more than that. Every once and awhile this cozy record store turns opens its doors to some of the most talented local and unknown artists. In the past I have sat in on some of these small acoustic sessions with artists Mikky Ekko and the Striking Matches. Follow Grimey’s on social media or check the in-store section of their website to catch the next performance.
Another great venue is Marathon Music Works in Marathon Village. I have seen some great shows here over the years like Jon Bellion, Two Door Cinema Club and even the Chainsmokers. Marathon Music works is similar to other great venues like Exit/In and the Cannery Ballroom. Exit/In has a lot of history. Just reading the names on the wall you know you are about to see something special. It’s not like a stadium show at these locations either. You can get up front and center or chill on the wall in the back. Either way you will have a good view of the show.
Some of the best performances I have seen have been at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman is nicknamed the “Mother Church of Country”. The original structure used to be the Union Gospel Tabernacle which explains its stained glass windows and wooden church pews seating. It also holds a special place in country music history as one of the homes of the Grand Ole Opry. Over the years the Ryman has had its share of performers like Elvis Presley and even Harry Houdini. This year you can see performances from Little Big Town, Harry Styles, Father John Misty, and many more. Just check out the events calendar here.
Allie Herring is a senior public relations major at Belmont University. When she isn't in class you can find her at the gym, or front row at one at concerts around town. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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