Los Angeles is known as the City of Stars, and it’s safe to say more than a few stars have graced its numerous stages over the decades. As well as being the center of the film and TV world, LA has a musical legacy that ranges from legendary venues and career-making gigs to rock star hijinks and sordid notoriety; that well-earned tradition is still very much alive and kicking in 2017. Many of the most iconic music venues in the city have been around for years, and maintain their awesome reputations as some of the most epic must-sees in the city.
Speaking of must-sees, Los Angeles is a city that’s full of them. The sprawl of one of America’s largest cities may seem intimidating at first glance, but there’s so much to discover within its urban jungle facade. Whether you’re cruising the streets of South Central, or hiking up the majestic Hollywood Hills, LA is a diverse, fascinating city, making it a perfect destination for that bucket list California trip.
Log on to BUCKiTDREAM and discover what other travelers have encountered there, and once you’re suitably inspired, whip out your own BUCKiTDREAM planner and get ready for a legendary journey through LA’s most iconic music venues!
Rock On at The Roxy Hosting none other than Neil Young during its first week in business, The Roxy has played host to countless musical legends since its doors opened in 1973. The venue is famed for many a live album recording, and appears to have the acoustics of choice for musicians looking to lay down a live set in Los Angeles.
Located on the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood, The Roxy is right in the center of the endless LA festivities, and is one of the most famous venues in the city. It also has a long-standing reputation of giving some of the most famous acts in music their big break; so, if you want to catch the hottest up-and-comers and rub shoulders with the hippest stars, you know exactly where to head.
Address: 9009 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tackle the Troubadour Kick-starting about the same number of careers as The Roxy, the Troubadour can maybe claim the edge when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll history. Janis Joplin played her last ever gig here, mere hours before she died. Elton John played his first gig in America here in 1970. John Lennon got kicked OUT of here for mocking the Smothers Brothers with Harry Nelson. Prince played secret shows, Lana Del Rey and Florence and the Machine played their first LA gigs, James Taylor got his start…the list goes on and on.
The Troubadour has never lost its knack for giving some of the biggest artists in the world their first shot at greatness, and there’s every chance you could catch a future star’s first gig at this intimate, but legendary, Santa Monica Boulevard venue.
Address: 9081 N Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Vamp Up at the Viper Room The rock star lifestyle goes hand in hand with rock star excess, and while LA has more than its fair share of success stories, it also has its tragic tales, too. The Viper Room is probably best remembered as the site of River Phoenix’s untimely death at the hand of a fatal speedball; but despite that, it remains one of Los Angeles’ most iconic venues.
Formerly owned by Johnny Depp, the Viper Room is located close to The Roxy on the sunset strip, and attracts an eccentric mix of locals, celebrities and star struck tourists alike. The sleek black interior has also played host to a number of musical legends over the years, including Johnny Cash and Tom Petty, but these days the Room is more of a hangout for the hottest up-and-coming rock and indie bands in the city.
Address: 8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Occupy the Orpheum One of LA’s most enduring and best-loved venues, the Orpheum commands an unprecedented respect from its patrons; not because the management literally demands it, but because the atmosphere of the place seems to dictate it. Its austere interior houses a Mighty Wurlitzer organ, one of the few remaining pipe organs left in the world. Opening its doors in 1926, the Orpheum has seen many a famous face come and go through its hallowed stage doors; some famous alumni include Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
These days, you can catch all manner of shows at the legendary venue; just remember to respect its hushed interior and ensure your phone is switched off! While it not might be as ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ as the other sweaty, loud venues on this list, the Orpheum is old school, glitz and glamour Hollywood. What could be more rock ‘n’ roll than that?
Address: 842 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
So, you’ve got your LA nights sorted out, but what about your days? Luckily for you, BUCKiTDREAMER, there’s plenty to do in the City of Angels, and the fun doesn’t stop at the music venues. There’s a lot to experience in LA, and the definitive bucket list trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling all the delights that this magnificent city has to offer. Once you’re done in LA, do some California Dreaming in Sunny San Francisco, and share your adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #BUCKiTDREAM.