Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Los Angeles

It may not have the music city capital moniker, but Los Angeles is a town with a diverse and vibrant music scene. Of course, there are the large concert halls to catch the mega-stars, but talented, up-and-coming acts can be found at various lively venues around the city. So for those interested in an authentic local music scene, check out these five venues around Los Angeles.

Bootleg Theater
Housed in a warehouse-like space, The Bootleg Theater promotes emerging and cutting edge work in music, theater and dance. Bootleg's motto proclaims its shows are "born from the diverse cultural and artistic landscape of Los Angeles." Located in Filipino Town on the edge of downtown L.A., musicians from all genres perform at The Bootleg. This venue is general admission theater for 21+ adults; it has a bar, but no food.

The Echo and Echoplex
The Echo and its downstairs Echoplex have both landed on many critic and concertgoers' "best" lists for seeing new and established indie bands in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Monday nights are often reserved for local bands to shine in the monthly Monday night residencies. These free admission concerts switch between the two venues. The residencies have helps launch bands like, The Airborne Toxic Event, Hanni El Khatib, Foster The People and more.

The El Rey Theatre
Perhaps because I once lived near The El Rey Theatre, I still consider it one of the best smaller venue music clubs in the city. Built in 1936, this art deco, registered Historic-Cultural Monument showcases many emerging bands of all genres. Local artists like The Heirs, Party Favor are in the venue's future, and in the past The El Rey has even hosted mega-artists like Justin Timberlake and Sheryl Crow, who perform sets before kicking off world tours.

The Hotel Café
Located in Hollywood, The Hotel Café once was a former coffee house, but has transformed into a music venue with two stages – the Main Stage (seating around 200 listeners) and Second Stage (seating around 85). Known to cater to singer-songwriters, musicians such as Haim, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Ray Lamontagne are just a few who have performed here. Note, The Hotel Café is a 21+ venue, and doesn't serve food.

The Satellite
Formerly known as Spaceland, Silver Lake's The Satellite has been booking local bands "from across the world and down the block" for 20 years. This neighborhood venue prides itself on showcasing local bands, or even well-known bands who want to try out new material. Like The Echo/Echoplex, Monday nights are monthly residencies showcasing local and indie bands on the verge, and most of these Monday night concerts are free.

Author's bio: Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations.

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