Top 10 Venues You Have To Visit And Attend In The Detroit Area
Written By: Sid Jones
The Detroit music scene has been evolving into something we haven’t seen before. For centuries, Detroit has been in everyone’s top five cities for music. The Motor City is up there with New York City, Miami, Boston, and Los Angeles.
When someone says, hip-hop Eminem comes to mind. He’s been a huge icon in the Detroit scene for over two decades. Alongside others. Think back to the early 90s and picture the venues he’s played at. Those buildings contain a legacy. A history.
So today, we’re gonna provide you with a guide. A list you need to take with you. Whether you’re a fan of punk rock, rap, country, or you just enjoy sipping a drink with strangers. These places are for you. With entertainment for you and your friends, there’s no telling what you’ll discover in the Detroit area.
Simon’s After Dark
This venue is one of the most interesting places to visit. It’s a smaller venue that packs people in. They offer good food, spirits and house drinks. An environment that is always welcoming and feels like home. Especially for RoxxxTV.
Simon’s After Dark has housed thousands of shows. All featuring different genres. From Anybody Killa to, The Vagrant Symphony. They have held comedy shows as well. Jason Keacher, Bobby Bayn, Bruce Pych, John Mahar and others.
This place offers variety of music and friendly service. Downriver’s own Simon’s After Dark!
4936 Allen Rd,
Allen Park, MI
Visit Simon’s After Dark on Facebook for upcoming events, shows and more!
This venue has been home to many events. From it’s early stages, dating back to 1915. What was once home to showing movies, it has transformed into a live event center. The theater now boasts the largest enameled metal panel Art Deco facade in the Detroit metropolitan region.
Before it transformed into what it is today, it functioned as a church and then a photo gallery. Legend has it that world famous magician, Harry Houdini performed his last act, right here.
The Darkness Performing Live At The Majestic Theatre
If you love history, this place is filled with it. Now, a cornerstone in the Detroit music scene. PopTone, Jen Kirkman, Hatebreed, LP, and even John Carpenter have graced this stage.
If you enjoy snap poetry, or smaller crowds, you can always head next door to the café. A different vibe that only adds to the beauty of this building.
4120-4140 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan 48201
Harpos Concert Theatre
Built in 1939, it was originally known as Harper’s. The vertical sign and original infrastructure remains the same. In 1974, it was turned into a Rock club. This is another building that holds a lot of success and history.
If these walls could talk, they would brag. With all of the success that has walked in and out of those doors, it’s truly remarkable. A museum that comes to life at night!
White Chapel Mosh Pit Harpos Concert Theatre
Warrant, most notably recognized for their song, Cherry Pie recorded their live CD Warrant Live 86-97 right in this very building.
Dead Kennedys, Iron Maiden, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Judas Priest, among hundreds of other icons have performed here.
4238 Harper Ave,
Detroit, MI 48213
A multi-use venue built in 1925. That right there spells out mecca. Matter of fact, this is where the Detroit Music Awards are held each year. The mezzanine and balcony all contain the original seating.
In 2007, The Fillmore was officially announced by Live Nation as being re-branded from it’s previous name, the State Theatre. In 2008, I walked through those doors, and into a room where I would witness one of the greatest performances of all time.
The Insane Clown Posse Hallowicked. My first and last time ever being inside that venue.
An Example Of How Packed This Place Gets!
This venue has also seen the likes of, Dirty Heads, Dashboard Confessional, Modest Mouse, Sleeping Souls, Papa Roach and even Bill Murray.
2115 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan 48201
The Token Lounge
Since 1971, this cozy & energetic lounge has hosted live rock shows with local & national musicians.
I have a lot of fond memories at this venue. I have seen the likes of Nekrogoblikon, Alestorm, Aeather Realm, Hed PE, and others. This live music venue has a great staff and offers some of the best sound for intimate showing.
It’s a simple, yet notable place, with a lot to offer. Seating in the back, main floor at the front. If you’re looking for company, head to the bar, separated from the main stage area.
Alien Ant Farm Performing At The Token Lounge
So if you’re looking to see a new band, or a band you love. In a venue, where you can enjoy beverages, conversation and entertainment, head down to this venue. You won’t regret it!
28949 Joy Rd,
Westland, MI 48185
The Bullfrog Bar and Grill
Another small venue with great staff. They offer great times and high energy, all under one roof. With menus and spirits, great performances and much more.
If you’re looking for the new underground hip-hop, this is the place. With events almost every weekend that offer some of the best performances. Including, GMC Charlie Brown, Maxx Pain, Young Ross, Spephon Daze, and many more.
This venue is notorious for contests, competitions and much more. Including, grand prizes, energetic hosts, it truly is the must-have experience of the Detroit area.
15414 Telegraph Rd,
The Magic Stick
The Magic Stick erected in the early 90’s when the Majestic’s owners removed eight bowling lanes from the second floor alley. They replaced them with ten pool tables and a dance floor.
I love playing pool, so this was a had to see. A live concert and pool tables? That’s my favorite kind of venue. From turntables to tacos, this place has it all. The nightlife of Detroit must be experienced. Your stop should be here!
Repopulate Mars Movement After Party
From headlining shows, to after parties! Make sure you’re swinging through the Magic Stick! It’s a party! it’s a pool hall! It’s Magic!
4120 Woodward Ave
Diesel Concert Lounge
Two stages, two different rooms! The entrance is in a bowling alley that also provides a bar and food. An arcade room and much more!
If you don’t like waiting in the cold, this place is perfect! I’ve enjoyed my experiences here. Diesel is fully loaded and provides some of the best entertainment.
Bridge To Grace Performing Live!
With live performances including, Mushroomhead, Buck Cherry, Helstar, Great White, The ROC and many more. Fun fact, this is where the Lit music video from The Last American Rock Stars was filmed!
33151 23 Mile Rd,
The Crofoot/Pike Room/Vernors Room
This venue, I hold near and dear to my heart. Three stages in three different areas. The acoustics are prime. You can have an event happening upstairs in the Pike Room and still have an event down in the main floor. Without sound interference.
This venue is pure entertainment. Three bars, three rooms, and all of the beauty of Pontiac surrounding this unique building. Including, it’s powerful history.
The Crofoot has survived everything. In 1840, the entire commercial district on both sides of Saginaw from Pike to Lawrence was leveled in a fire. In response to this event, all new buildings were built with masonry construction. Between 1840 and the end of the Civil War, many of the buildings along Saginaw were rebuilt.
In the early 1960s the entire area on the South West quadrant of Pike and Saginaw, and much of the historic property to the south of the Clinton River (Water Street), were demolished for urban renewal. Some members of the Oakland County Historic Society still refer to that area as “Hiroshima Flats.”
Crofoot Block, Pike and Saginaw
This structure has survived it all. And now, artists and bands have taken to one of the three stages. Thanks to the owners who have kept this immoveable piece of history, running.
Machine Gun Kelly, Sick Puppies, Public Image Ltd, Twenty One Pilots, Jimmy Eat World, and even Michelle Obama have all been here. They performed in front of crowds, moshpits and mayhem. Poetic, considering the chaos the building suffered through.
1 S Saginaw St
St. Andrew’s Hall/The Shelter
Oh do I love this venue! It doesn’t matter if you like music, or not. Just stand in front of this two buildings in one monument! This is Detroit history. This is everything you’d want to see, and more.
When I come here, I feel at home. This place is my playground. Not only was this one of the first stages Eminem performed at, but many other legends have walked through those doors.
Limp Bizkit Performing During Their U.S Spring Tour
Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, and even Nirvana have performed here. All of which, are legends and heroes of mine. So, that tells you about the music history. Which is truly an honor.
When you visit Detroit, you need to swing by. Whether if it’s for a show or tourism. It’s more than music. It’s a landmark in Detroit. This is the Eiffel tower, the mausoleum, this is the center of Detroit music history.
431 E Congress St
Detroit, MI 48226
We look forward to seeing you at one of these venues! Especially, if you’re coming out here for a show.
What venues are in your city you’d like to see on a top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure you’re following us on all social media!
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