Baja Bean Co.
Blue Moon Diner
Buffalo Wild Wing
Coupe DeVille's Restaurant
Dürty Nelly's Pub
McGrady's Irish Pub
Fridays After 5
The Jefferson Theater
Michael's Bistro & Taphouse
South Street Brewery
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
Wild Wing Café
The most consistently busy music venues:
The Jefferson Theater: Now in its centennial year of entertaining Charlottesville, the Jeff plays host to some of the hottest acts to roll through town. With slanted floor for sweet sight-lines, plus two bars and two balconies, the renovated-in-2009 Jeff has become a local favorite. 110 East Main St. 245-4980.
Rapture: Rapturians usually prefer DJs to live musicians, but if a band really means business, they'll be able to work their way into the back room. Downtown Mall. 303 E. Main St. 293-9526.
John Paul Jones Arena: In addition to being the toast of the sports world, UVA's 16,000-seat arena brings the legends to town for oversize shows (Red Hot Chili Peppers, DMB, Elton John, Kenny Chesney, and Mama Mia) to draw fans from all over the state. Budget a few extra minutes to drive away once the show's over. 295 Massie Road, near Barracks Road. 883-JPJ-TIXS.
nTelos Wireless Pavilion: The biggest shows of the summer, without exception, are always at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion, the large outdoor amphitheater at the east end of the Mall. Recent standouts include Bonnie Raitt and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Downtown Mall. 434-245-4910.
Coupe DeVille's: This Corner establishment is a clear student favorite, where locals will often cut their teeth alongside bands on shoestring tours. 9 Elliewood Ave. 977-3966.
The Pigeon Hole: Like nearby Coupe's, this place is small, but it opts for more modern music on its terrace facing Elliewood Avenue. (Even if the Old-timers still call it Martha's.) On the Corner. 977-4711
The Garage: Hands-down the smallest musical venue in Charlottesville and maybe the world. An old garage perched facing the western side of Lee Park, it really blossomed this year with recent performances by Hello Rocco and Love Banshee.
in 2012, the Hook zeroed in on several bands as epitomizing the local scene. Check 'em out:
Borrowed Beams of Light
Borrowed Beams of Light's full length debut, Stellar Hoax, proved to everyone that this little "creative outlet" was magic. The exuberance and heart-lifting vocal "ah ah ahs" and "whoa oh ohs" of the songs is fueled by decades of guitar rock. With every song you're gonna dance yourself into a pop frenzy and sing along until you're out of breath. I am still hoping they'll cover Sir Paul McCartney's "Wanderlust," hint hint. –Liz Rhodes, WTJU
For anyone who likes the Andrew Bird/Sufjan Stevens/Iron & Wine type of sound... beautiful stuff from our own local master of the cello & looping pedals! –Jeff Sweatman, 106.1 The Corner
The Fire Tapes
Still fairly new to our local scene, they include a couple of DC-area transplants, and I hear a lot of promise in their Sonic Youth-esque soundscapes. –Jeff Sweatman, 106.1 The Corner
Left + Right
These guys relive the hazy, heroin-addled '90s and deliver primo (not emo) (definitely not screamo) blasts of chunky, melodic fuzz with their hearts on their guitar straps. –Dominic Devito, aka DJ Baconfat on WTJU
The Cinnamon Band
Staunton duo that has played many of the best venues in the country as an opener for Handsome Furs on separate jaunts the past couple of years. And they've got a great series of covers they are doing through their website this year called 12 X 12 (one cover per month) to keep fans interested while they work on their own new album. –Jeff Sweatman, 106.1 The Corner
Ash Lawn Opera
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival
McIntire Department of Music Concerts throughout the academic year, including our favorite, jazz-playin' Free Bridge Quintet. Old Cabell Hall. 434.924.3376
The Municipal Band of Charlottesville
Oratorio Society of Charlottesville-Albemarle
Tuesday Evening Concert Series
The Virginia Consort