Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in San Diego


San Diego's music scene reflects its diverse population of creative musicians. From jazz to surf reggae to rock and more, there is sure to be a venue for you to enjoy no matter what type of music you're into. Here are the five best places to watch local bands in San Diego.

The Casbah
Located in Downtown San Diego, The Casbah plays music almost every night of the week and can accommodate up to 200 guests per night. Though the atmosphere is more dive-bar than upscale nightclub, the vibe is top notch. Arrive early for the best chance to see the act in an up-close and intimate setting. Tickets are often affordable but competitive to get for the more popular acts. Note that this venue is ages 21+.

Soma
Soma San Diego has a large main stage, plenty of room to move around even during sold-out shows, and is known for featuring the county's best artists. The venue was once a home base for bands like Blink-182, Stone Temple Pilots, and Unwritten Law. Though the venue does not sell alcohol -- making it perfect for fans of all ages -- patrons can buy snacks, beverages, and merchandise.

Music Box
If you're wanting to listen to tunes in an upscale venue with specialty cocktails and delicious treats, head to Music Box. Watch and listen from any of the Music Box's three floors or VIP area. Waitstaff often take orders from the floor, meaning you don't have to give up a coveted spot if you'd like another drink. The Music Box allows guests ages 18+.

Belly Up
Upbeat and comfortable, the Belly Up has been a longtime favorite for San Diegan musicians and fans alike. The venue is intimate, yet can still accommodate a sizable crowd. The Belly Up hangs speakers from the ceilings, so great sound quality can be heard from just about anywhere in the venue. Arrive early to score free parking and seats. The Belly Up welcomes guests ages 21+.

The Shout! House
If you're looking something unique and fun, head to The Shout! House, a dueling piano bar where musicians on grand pianos banter via piano keys the entire night. Occasionally, a drum set or guitar might make an appearance as well. The venue is interactive, often taking audience requests and roping them in to join the show. Enjoy the improv show with a cocktail and a pizza for fun night out. The Shout! House welcomes guests ages 21+.

Chantae Reden is a San Diego native and travel writer currently covering stories around the globe. Read more city guides on her blog, Chantae.com.