Things to Do NYC music venues that offer an intimate space to discover artists By Shaye Weaver email@example.com Updated May 2, 2018 2:00 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Smaller music venues can offer unforgettable, intimate experiences that places like Madison Square Garden and larger theaters just cannot match. From the legendary The Bitter End to Lower East Side staple Arlene's Grocery, the city has a wealth of close-up entertainment spaces you can enjoy at a low cost. We've gathered a list of some of the city's great small venues that'll both help you discover new music and enjoy the artists you love. Joe's Pub (East Village) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew H. Walker Joe's Pub, named after the founder of The Public Theater, Joe Papp, has been supporting young artists and providing a space for established ones since 1998 at 425 Lafayette St. Leonard Cohen, Anne Hathaway, Elvis Costello, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Dolly Parton, Mos Def, Neko Case, Addie Brownlee (pictured) and so many more have performed here. publictheater.org Rockwood Music Hall (Lower East Side) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy This intimate space at 196 Allen St. is a place for both emerging artists and those who've made it big, like Lady Gaga, Mumford & Sons and Billie Joe Armstrong. Even though it's a bar, it has a coffeehouse feel and can be tight when there's a sold-out show. Pictured is Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. rockwoodmusichall.com (Le) Poisson Rouge (Greenwich Village) Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris Located on the site of the legendary Village Gate at 158 Bleecker St., (Le) Poisson Rouge isn't just about music -- it also features film screenings, dance and fine art as a sort of "creative asylum" for artists and audiences, its website says. A small space that seats 250 with a capacity of 700, including standing space, it sees both smaller and bigger names, including Kings Of Leon (pictured), Blind Melon, Deerhunter, Kishi Bashi and many more. lpr.com Finally, catch a show at Union Hall Photo Credit: Jeremy Amar Converted from a warehouse (in Brooklyn fashion), Union Hall has great fireplaces, a library, large games, two indoor bocce courts and outdoor garden seating. There's also a downstairs bar that regularly hosts live music and comedy shows. It's lodge-like and cozy, but offers a cool vibe with its variety of shows and drinks. It can get crowded, but it's a good time. (702 Union St. at Fifth Avenue) Terminal 5 (Hell's Kitchen) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola Terminal 5 at 610 W. 56th St. has five rooms with a capacity to fit 3,000 people, and it needs to because it hosts big names like Lana Del Rey (pictured), Camila Cabello, Sum 41, The Kooks and others. terminal5nyc.com Warsaw (Greenpoint) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Laura Cavanaugh Located at 261 Driggs Ave. in the Polish National Home, Warsaw is "where pierogies meet punk," according to its website. It's been a go-to for punk bands, hip-hop artists, DJs and others, including Le Tigre, the New Pornographers, Patti Smith and Courtney Love (pictured). mercuryeastpresents.com Arlene's Grocery (Lower East Side) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mark Mainz Since 1995, Arlene's Grocery at 95 Stanton St. has hosted a variety of acts, but punk and hard rock are its bread and butter. Dashboard Confessional (pictured), Arcade Fire, The Bravery and Lana Del Rey have all played here, and it remains a place that nurtures emerging talent. It used to be a bodega and keeps that look to this day. arlenesgrocery.net Mercury Lounge (Lower East Side) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Cory Schwartz Mercury Lounge, which has an interesting history (it used to house the servants of the Astor mansion, and then was turned into a restaurant and later a tombstone shop) opened at 217 E. Houston St. in 1993 and has since hosted shows for a variety of musical genres. It's been a stepping stone for bands like The Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol, among others. Above, Morning Teleportation performs. Other notable acts from the past include "Pumped Up Kicks" band Foster the People. The small stage gives attendees an intimate concert every time. mercuryloungenyc.com) The Bowery Ballroom Photo Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk Unlike the Mercury Lounge on nearby Houston Street, the Bowery Ballroom presents shows that are 18+ and even 16+. The venue, which is mostly standing room, gives great views of the stage, no matter where you are. Past acts include Car Seat Headrest, Foy Vance, Bastille and Skylar Grey, above. (6 Delancey St., Manhattan, boweryballroom) Pixies Gramercy Theater (Gramercy) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth This intimate concert venue has hosted the Counting Crows, Huey Lewis and the News, The Jonas Brothers, Rufus Wainwright, Spoon and Jay-Z, among others. Built in 1937 at 127 E. 23rd St., it was a movie theater and art house until it was shut down in 2004. Live Nation bought the space in 2006, and it's seen a great many well-known artists even though it's relatively small. mercuryeastpresents.com) The Market Hotel (Bushwick) Photo Credit: Georgia Kral This "DIY" rock club at 1140 Myrtle Ave. has proved itself as a starting place for bands like Titus Andronicus and Real Estate, despite its very humble surroundings. It was shut down temporarily in 2010 when police raided it over its lack of a liquor license, but it returned in 2016. The Todd P venue is known for its avant-garde and indie shows and its welcoming environment. facebook.com/markethotel) Elsewhere (Bushwick) Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner This multiroom Bushwick music hall, which opened in 2017 at 599 Johnson Ave., has already hosted a number of artists from Parquet Courts to No Age and TOMI. During summer season, its rooftop deck will be used for outdoor movie screenings, concerts, art events and more, according to the space's owners. elsewherebrooklyn.com The Bell House (Gowanus) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Anna Webber This space, converted from a 1920s print press warehouse at 149 Seventh St., is a spacious live music and comedy venue that regularly offers all ages shows and 16+ shows. It's played host to a variety of bands (like The Upset, above), quirky events, like the "Harry Potter Yule Ball," charity events, comedy shows and podcast and radio recordings, including NPR's "Ask Me Another." thebellhouseny.com) Brooklyn Steel (Williamsburg) Photo Credit: Getty Images for Pandora/Dave Kotinsky This fairly new concert hall, which has a balcony and three bars, has attracted acts like LCD Soundsystem, Goldfrapp, The Pixies, The Decemberists and other notable artists. Operated by The Bowery Presents at 319 Frost St., it's quickly become a Williamsburg staple. The Bitter End (Greenwich Village) Photo Credit: Getty Images for Bud Light / Dimitrios Kambouris This iconic venue at 147 Bleecker St. is the oldest rock and roll club in the city. Established in 1961, it's hosted legendary musicians like Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and even Lady Gaga, shown, in 2016. Open seven days a week, it showcases singer/songwriters, rock, blues, jazz, funk, alternative, hip-hop, spoken word, a cappella and country. There's also jam sessions and open mic nights for newcomers and aspiring musicians. It's a good place to catch both icons and up-and-coming artists alike. bitterend.com By Shaye Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic First look at Elsewhere’s new rooftop music spaceElsewhere will hold outdoor film screenings and concerts. First look at Elsewhere’s new rooftop music spaceElsewhere will hold outdoor film screenings and concerts. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.