Concert Venues: Live Tunes & Good Times

By: Jorge Azze

Miami has no shortage of concert venues, and there is a venue for every music fan to have a memorable night full of live tunes and good times. From state-of-the-art performing arts centers to open-air amphitheaters, this city is full of uniquely Miami concert venues.

American Airlines Arena

If you're looking for the biggest acts in music, look no further. The American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, hosts world tour stops for internationally renowned acts such as Beyonce, Madonna, Coldplay and many more. With a concert capacity of a whopping 12,000 people, the waterfront arena on Biscayne Bay is a world-class venue. Libations range from craft beer and smooth wine to something a little stronger. Food options are also plentiful, with unique concession stands like Red Bowl Cart Asian cuisine and Rojo Taco and options for sit-down pre-show dinner at the new Hyde Nightclub through section 114 of the main concourse.

Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is a lush 32 acre park on Biscayne Bay, just blocks south of the American Airlines Arena. The historic park, opened in 1925, boasts a small sand beach, a tropical rock garden and waterfall, and a beautiful outdoor concert venue: the Klipsch Amphitheater. The open-air amphitheater was renovated in 2009, and attracts all sorts of musical acts to Miami in a laid-back festival style atmosphere. It also hosts free monthly concerts, part of the DWNTWN Concert Series, featuring local up-and-coming musical acts. Bayfront Park is a unique Miami music venue but it’s also host to city wide events like the New Year's ball drop and annual holiday celebrations.

The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater

One of Miami's most historic music venues, The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater has been around since 1950. It has hosted legends such as Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, as well as filming special episodes of classic shows like The Dick Clark Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Now operated by Live Nation, The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater draws great acts such as Grammy-winning Bon Iver, Fiona Apple, Wilco and many more. The Fillmore also hosts the annual South Beach Comedy Festival, featuring comedians like Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman. No matter what weekend you're in town, you're bound to find something interesting going on at The Fillmore.

The Stage

Looking for a more intimate music venue, maybe with an outdoor area, a great craft beer selection and a full bar? Look no further than The Stage, located in Miami's Design District. The venue is a local favorite, constantly featuring Miami-based bands such as The Spam-Allstars, ArtOfficial and Afrobeta, but also attracts national acts like KRS-One, Of Montreal and St. Vincent. The Stage also has regular weekly events like Caribbean Breeze Sundays, Karaoke nights and reggae nights. If you want to tap into Miami's local music scene, The Stage is the place to be.

Grand Central

Another great, intimate live music venue in Miami is Grand Central. The relatively young venue was originally a train station, hence the name, and attracts local and national acts into the transformative space that sometimes feels like a jumping dance club and sometimes evokes a small indie venue vibe. Big name DJs like Skrillex and Questlove of The Roots have graced the stage, as well as music legend Lauryn Hill, Swedish pop-star Robyn and indie favorites Explosions in the Sky and Sleigh Bells just to name a few. The venue clearly doesn't pigeonhole itself with one or two genres; it just aims to bring you the best possible musical acts of all kinds.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is the premier performance venue in Miami. The Arsht Center is the largest performing arts center in Florida, and one of the biggest in the United States, and is home to the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet. The massive performing arts center has five separate venues, ranging from the 2,400 seat Ziff Ballet Opera House to the intimate outdoor Thompson Plaza for the Arts. The Arsht Center, built in 2006, also features a fine-dining restaurant, Prelude By Barton G., which will guarantee you'll make curtain call. The venue also features an annual Broadway in Miami Series, bringing in shows such as Les Miserables, The Lion King, Chicago and Wicked.

New World Center

The young, state-of-the-art New World Center is home to the New World Symphony and was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. Located in South Beach, the concert hall seats over 700 people, features a rooftop event space and a public park in front. The public park features the innovative SoundScape area, which broadcasts live and free "wallcasts" of select events happening in the New World Center, as well as the SoundScape Cinema Series, showing movies on the wall Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

UM, Frost School of Music

The University of Miami Frost School of Music in Coral Gables also hosts regular concerts at their Gusman Concert Hall, from talented students as well as professors. The performances range from symphonic conerts, jazz performances, chamber music and more. Putting on over 100 concerts per year, performances at the Gusman Concert Hall are free to the public.

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