Moving to NYC is tough for more reasons than just finding an apartment. In fact, that part is easy if you let Bedly take care of things since they don’t require brokers or credit checks in order to rent a unit! The tough part then comes after you’ve settled into your beautifully furnished space and are wondering what to do next. Because let’s face it: if you aren’t familiar with the city neighborhoods and each unique scene, it can be difficult to find things to do that don’t include sitting in a restaurant, reaping the benefits of happy hours throughout the city, or binging Netflix in your apartment. A great place to start is by attending some live music shows!
I love living in New York City for many reasons, but making the top five definitely has to be the live music scene. You certainly don’t need to spend an entire paycheck for a night out seeing a big name act at Madison Square Garden, Met Life Stadium or Barclays Center! New York is thriving with live music of all kinds, so there is surely a fit for your tastes. You’re also bound to meet like-minded people, or people with similar interests if you’re at a show for a music genre you love! Start by checking out the schedules for the below venues and seeing what peaks your interest.
Located in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bowl boasts an insane amount of talent that comes through as well as a beautiful venue. The massive dance floor spreads out before the stage, complete with a large disco ball hanging in the center. Bowling lanes line the side of the stage and dance floor. There’s even family bowling on weekends!
Each lane is complete with two plush leather couches and a massive table, so your server can bring you all the pitchers of Brooklyn Blast IPA (an 8.4% beer originally brewed for the Brooklyn Bowl by the next-door-neighbors at Brooklyn Brewery) as well as some of the tastiest fried chicken in New York City, prepared by Blue Apron. Not a fried chicken or beer fan? No need to worry! The Bowl has a full bar (also known for their margaritas) and an extensive kitchen menu.
If bowling isn’t your thing, no problem! You can always purchase entry and dance the night away to the likes of The Wailers, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Drive-By Truckers, or Talib Kweli and his band! The best part about the Brooklyn Bowl is they offer a large range of music to appease the masses, and even if you aren’t familiar with who’s playing, you won’t be disappointed.
Ever want to know what it’s like to party in an airplane hanger? Then head on over to Terminal 5! Situated in Midtown West in Manhattan, Terminal 5 is a massive space perfect for dancing your booty off. A balcony lines the second floor, and there’s even a bar and balcony on the roof for smoking (or enjoying a nice summer evening).
There are several bars throughout the establishment that typically have long lines before the show and between sets, so either wait in line or purchase drinks during the show. The venue has a club-like feel to it, with colored lights and a disco ball shining brightly on the front of the dance floor and stage. Check out their lineup for artists like AWOLNATION, Miguel, Allen Stone, Joey Bada$$, George Ezra, and more!
A popular venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Knitting Factory is just a 15 minute walk from the Brooklyn Bowl. This venue definitely has a more intimate vibe than Terminal 5 or the Brooklyn Bowl, with a dark, underground feel to it. Jam bands, hip-hop artists, and comedians often fill the space. There’s a bar in the front room when you enter, and again in the back room where the stage is. I’ve gotten down to the likes of Andy Frasco and Brother Ali here. Check out their schedule for upcoming shows!
Rockwood Music Hall
Located in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan, Rockwood Music Hall is split into three different stages. It’s an awesome venue for local and internationally touring up and coming acts. Because of this, ticket prices are often cheaper than larger venues such as the Brooklyn Bowl and Terminal 5. You may not recognize the name, but you can be sure to find some aspiring talent during a night out here (and probably some low-key groupie fans touring with the band. Make friends with them. You never know where your night will take you!).
Each stage draws a different crowd and genre of music, therefore ticket prices can also vary between stages. There is a one drink minimum for standing and two drinks for sitting.
Shrine is a very low-key, small jazz bar in Harlem. The set-up makes you feel like you just stepped back into the 1970’s with records lining the walls and a dark atmosphere. Their happy hour is amazing, running 4-8pm daily with select drafts $2-$4 and wine for $5. Also on the happy hour menu is fries and wings for $7!
Shrine is more of a sit-down, date night sort of place. You’ll hear music performances ranging from jazz to acoustic from some seriously talented local musicians. They have a full bar and menu as well.
As the name suggests, Jazz Standard is a jazz bar! Housed below the delicious, must-try BBQ restaurant of Blue Smoke in Midtown, Jazz Standard is a quaint and sophisticated space. Even better, you can order food from the restaurant to your table. I’m not sure there’s any other place in the city where you can get down on some good Southern BBQ while keeping it classy with some jazz and a martini (or your drink of choice!).
Even if you aren’t familiar with jazz music, you can’t deny yourself the experience. Each artist that Jazz Standard brings in has an impressive and exciting resume, so no matter who you see is sure to leave you inspired.
Once you’re settled into your new Bedly apartment, take your roomies and venture out. Since music is something most people can relate to, it’s no surprise that attending shows can lead to a discovery of new artists, meeting new friends, and a night to remember. No matter your taste, try out some of these venues for an unforgettable NYC night!
Photo credits in order of appearance: Escape Here, TickPick, Knitting Factory Facebook, Where Traveler, Thomas Sheflin, Ticket Web