Tampa Bay live music lovers can be found absorbing loud sonics and sweaty sights in venues ranging from cozy rock dens to plush theaters to humongous arenas to moonlit lawns peppered with empty beer cups. Everybody has his or her fave. Here at Creative Loafing, we have dozens of preferred rock, jazz, country, blues and experimental noise destinations. Which made whittling our list of Top 20 concert venues a real bitch, wrought with heated arguments and a near wrestling match between Snider and Tatangelo.
Here's what remained standing after the dust cleared. We've organized the venues according to capacity, listing them from biggest to smallest in each of five categories. But this isn't an end-all declaration. Think of our list as a springboard for a regularly expanding venue directory that will be found on Creative Loafing's awesomely retooled music page, due to drop next week. We'll also share memories there of our favorite gigs, as we do in the list below, and we hope to hear about some of your own booze-soaked recollections. You caught Green Day at the Brass Mug? You were there when Pearl Jam grunge-rocked Jannus Landing? Share your tale in the comments section found online under each venue. Enjoy.
- Ruth Eckerd Hall
- Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
- Progress Energy Center for the Arts (Mahaffey Theater)
- Tampa Theatre
- The Palladium at St. Petersburg College
- New World Brewery
- Dunedin Brewery
- Brass Mug
- Transitions Art Gallery @ Skatepark of Tampa
- Dave's Aqua Lounge