When you want to hear live music, there’s no need to stand in line for tickets that cost more than your ConEdison bill. Manhattan offers many spots with phenomenal house bands for small cover charge (or for free). If you’re willing to do some exploring or walk through a dimly lit alley, you’re bound to discover a find.
The Village Underground is a dynamic asset to New York’s live music scene. The subterranean bar features quality bands, including well-known house band The Village Underground, and open mic nights. Saturdays feature a DJ-live set hybrid that’s ideal for dancing.
130 W 3rd Street
If you’ve got a jones for R&B, funk and soul, Groove is the spot to find. Live acts can be found every night of the week, and thanks to the rotating cache of house bands and performers, you won’t be disappointed.
125 MacDougal Street
An authentic jazz club, everything about Smalls radiates mellow. The basement space isn’t your typical hole-in-the-wall haunt — it leans toward a cozy, speakeasy vibe that jazz enthusiast will adore. Smalls has a roster for all senses that includes classic harbop, fusion and contemporary blends.
183 W 10th Street
Avant-garde musician John Zorn created this Lower East Side space for cutting-edge shows. The Stone is all about the music — no bar, no mechandise, no phone. The intimate performance space is ideal for getting acquainted with musical innovators.
Avenue C and 2nd Street corner
This Upper East Side stand out might out of place, but the Session 73 has found its niche. The deep lounge space offers an array of velour chairs, comfy couches and tables for two around a small stage. Homegrown bands rule the weekend, but subdued acoustic sets balance the week.
1359 First Avenue