Outdoor Music Venues
Set on an international waterfront, Chene Park Amphitheater draws in dancing audiences from seats to lawn to those docked in the water. Come summer crowds also head north to stretch out on the lush lawns of Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and rolling hills of DTE Energy Music Theatre where the lineups can drift from pop to rock to country and everything in between. One of this summer’s biggest double-bills, The Beach Boys and The Four Tops, hits another outdoor destination, Freedom Hill Amphitheater Aug. 20. Back on the waterfront, Hart Plaza and West Jefferson Park will be go-to festival destinations from the first beats of Movement in May through Mo Pop in July and the Detroit Jazz Festival Labor Day weekend.
Music Halls for Big Gigs
For an overall experience, Detroit’s Sound Board at MotorCity Casino is the place to see a show and stay all night. It’s all worth it to enjoy a morning at the spa. Or, take in dinner and a deep dive into Detroit soul or R&B at the versatile Vegas-caliber Andiamo Celebrity Showroom.
Musicians have had to earn a place onstage at Detroit’s St. Andrews Hall or The Majestic Theatre Center. From medium-sized to mega rooms these are home to bands staking their claim or the fans declaring “I saw them first.”
Small Clubs with Jams
Hardly lacking for larger-than-life arenas, stop by the Detroit Pistons home, The Palace of Auburn Hills, to catch the likes of Justin Bieber or Bruce Springsteen. Also big on major crowd control are Comerica Park or Ford Field, the latter of which just will host a much-anticipated return of Guns n’ Roses. Across the street, the Fox Theatre or The Fillmore offer a slice of history, and give performers a chance to make history.
Looking for a more intimate spot to hear your favorite performer? Small’s in Hamtramck isn’t only a great spot to see and hear live music, it’s also run by musicians including Dave and Melody Malosh. Making waves for a while now, MOCAD offers up the unexpected songwriters among modern art, while Ferndale’s Loving Touch balances local and national up-and-comers between the doors of its billiards and bar room.
These days in Corktown, UFO Factory the art school credibility runs high and ambient rock is served a side of tots, from Laika Dog. Looking to keep it live, loud and mostly local? PJ’s Lager House, Old Miami, Northern Lights Lounge and Tires are also good bets. Head over to Eastern Market for a sonic treat and coffee at Trinosophes, or up town to Marble Bar for classed-up cocktail to go with that punk band or world-class DJ. Jack White brought his Detroit-born Third Man Records right back home to the Cass Corridor last year and added a stage. Judging by its opening and events, this is one small spot to keep an eye on. Over in his former stomping grounds, Southwest Detroit, a new all-ages Detroit music venue, called El Club, is opening this May. It’s all the better to hear you with, Detroit.
- Hart Plaza
1 Hart Plaza, Jefferson Avenue at Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226313-877-8057 Highlight on map | More Details
- Detroit Jazz Festival
1 Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226 Highlight on map | More Details
- MotorCity Casino
2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-237-7711 Highlight on map | More Details
- Andiamo Dearborn
21400 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI 48124313-359-3300 Highlight on map | More Details
- The St. Andrew's Hall Shelter & The Society Room
431 E. Congress St., Detroit, MI 48226313-961-8961 Highlight on map | More Details
- The Majestic Theatre
4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-833-9700 Highlight on map | More Details
- Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-832-6622 Highlight on map | More Details
- UFO Factory & Laika Dog
2110 Trumbull St., Detroit, MI 48216 Highlight on map | More Details
- PJ's Lager House
1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-961-4668 Highlight on map | More Details
- The Old Miami
3930 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-831-3830 Highlight on map | More Details
- Northern Lights Lounge
660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit, MI 48202313-873-1739 Highlight on map | More Details
- Third Man Records
441 West Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201313-209-5205 Highlight on map | More Details