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Where to find quality music in Atlanta

Local clubs for those discerning ears

Acg Smiths Magnum
Photo credit: Perry Julien/CL File

Straight up, there are countless factors that contribute to the quality of how great, or how much of a travesty a show might sound: an engineer’s wizardry and skills on the soundboard; a band’s ability to communicate what it wants and what it needs: and, often times, the room itself. All of these factors must fall into alignment to please the most discerning ears in the audience. Here are 11 Atlanta music venues that are praised for their unimpeachable sound qualities.

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Aisle 5 maintains the communal philosophy of its predecessor, the Five Spot, but its guts are brand new. The 2014 renovation brought the space a new stage with an updated sound system, the better to enjoy Aisle 5's roster of indie rock, hip hop, and other music acts. | more...

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Center Stage is the largest of the three venues that make up the Center Stage Atlanta Music Complex. But this 1,050-capacity theater nevertheless boasts an intimate atmosphere, with a stadium-seating layout that guarantees a great view of the stage. | more...

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This 260-seat theater hosts a variety of musical acts. Acoustic music and singer/songwriter material is the venue's forte, but the format is open, and the emphasis is always on hosting an immersive, real-world musical experience. | more...

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Located across from Decatur Square, Eddie's hosts aspiring and accomplished singer-songwriters for live shows almost nightly and is famous for its biannual Open Mic Shootout. The venue features an intimate listening room, a covered patio, a varied menu, and a full bar. | more...

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In the late ’70s, Atlanta almost allowed a telephone company to demolish one of the city's architectural gems. Everybody thinks Gone with the Wind premiered here, but that happened at the Loew's Grand down the street, which did get torn down. A 60-minute guided tour is available. The Fox Theatre hos... | more...

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FULL MENU UNTIL 3AM!

One could make a strong argument that Smith's is the best small-venue music room in the city. An intimate space that lets fans get right up next to the musicians and an eclectic mix of bands are two great reasons to make Smith's a regular stop. Decent bar eats, too.

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As part of the King Plow Arts Center, Terminal West has become the Westside’s premier live music venue, giving equal stage time to hip-hop, indie rock, EDM, pop music, and singer-songwriter fare. Check out the lunch and dinner menu at the venue’s Stationside restaurant next door for plenty of fodder... | more...

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East Atlanta staple for local and up-and-coming rock bands, as well as nationally established indie acts, and grub for the hipster-PBR set. | more...

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The Star Bar, as it's known, hosts a regular lineup of rockabilly and hard-rockin' acts, as well as the city's best free stand-up on Mondays and, tucked away in an unassuming corner, a hidden shrine to the King of Kings, Elvis Presley, complete with an altar and throne. The Little Five Points instit... | more...

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Variety Playhouse is the winner of numerous Best Of awards over the years. | more...

 



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