The Top 10 Places to See a Live Show in Music City – Opry to the Ryman

If you’re in Nashville, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll have at least one live show or concert on your itinerary. After all, we aren’t Music City for no reason!

Today we’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite places to see a live show in the city. (Are we missing any? Add your favorites in the comments below!)

  1. The Grand Ole Opry

“The show that made country music famous!” An absolute must for country music fans. Every night is a different lineup of performers. Big names like Carrie Underwood or Keith Urban will stop by if they’re in town too.

  1. The Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman was the original house of The Grand Ole Opry, and before that, a church. The architecture still reflects its holy roots with pews for the audience to sit on and stained glass windows. Most big artists stop at the Ryman when they come to Nashville, so if you live in the area, you’re guaranteed to see a show here sooner or later.

  1. The Bluebird Cafe

A lot of today’s top artists get discovered and jumpstart their careers from performing at The Bluebird Cafe. It is located in a random strip mall in Green Hills, so it doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but the space is great it’s a really exciting experience to be able to watch performances of tomorrow’s biggest stars. Reservations are highly recommended here!

  1. Ascend Amphitheater

One of the places to take in a show in the summer. Given that it is an amphitheater, the entire venue is outside and patrons can bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass instead of traditional seats. Behind the amphitheater are the skyscrapers of downtown and Riverfront Park, making a great view.

  1. War Memorial Auditorium

This performance hall was constructed shortly after World War I and is situated in the heart of Nashville’s Capitol. The auditorium seats 2,000 people so is a great place to take in a big show and a lot of Nashville history.

  1. Marathon Music Works

Marathon is a great venue in a great location (next to Antique Archaeology and Marathon Motor Works). The space is huge, with 3 different rooms and tons of bar availability, so shows never feel too crowded.

  1. Cannery Row

So technically this might be cheating, since Cannery Row houses 3 venues – Cannery Ballroom, The High Watt, and Mercy Lounge. But all 3 are owned & operated under the Cannery moniker, and all 3 offer semi-intimate spaces for performances.

  1. The Listening Room Cafe

The Listening Room is truly a unique musical experience. Here you’ll be able to hear the songs of the top performing country artists – performed by the writers and producers from the same studios. It’s a great glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of songwriting and the country music industry, plus the performances are always top quality.

  1. Bourbon St Blues & Boogie Bar

Jazz & Blues are king at this Louisiana themed lounge. The bar usually has bands lined up but also offer an open jam night for local jazz musicians on Monday nights.

  1. Schermerhorn Symphony Center

This beautiful building houses the performances of the Nashville Symphony. Tickets are available for individual shows or the whole season, and they sometimes have free shows.