RANKED: My Concert Venue Bucket List

By Zach Hester (Photo by Brad Heaton)

As an avid concertgoer and general live music enthusiast, I’ve had my fair share of chances to step into plenty of different venues across the country. From the “Mother Church” Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, to the Al Hirschfield Theater in New York to Columbus, Ohio’s gigantic Schottenstein Center, a venue for me can make or break a show. 

The atmosphere of the perfect concert venue helps to facilitate a better experience and allows a concertgoer to fully enjoy the show with everyone around them.

On this week’s RANKED, I’m sharing my bucket list of concert venues from across the United States (and one in the UK). Let me know what venues you have been in/want to be in as soon as possible! 

5. Hollywood Bowl 

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Capacity: 17,500

This outdoor venue was crowned one of the ten best in the nation just last year by Rolling Stone. It’s carved into the back of the Hollywood Hills and has held many legendary performances over the years. 

4. Royal Albert Hall 

Location: London, UK

Capacity: 5,544

Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall in London, which was first built in 1871. Over the years, it has played host to almost every kind of event in its great round. It’s a regal, classic venue that is the my only overseas dream and I’d love to see it in person someday. 

3. Madison Square Garden

Location: New York, NY

Capacity: 20,000

My biggest regret of the lone time I’ve been to New York City was that there wasn’t anyone (Billy Joel) at Madison Square Garden to see. This legendary arena is situated in between 7th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan. I hope I can go next time I’m in the Big Apple. 

2. Newport Music Hall

Location: Columbus, OH

Capacity: 2,000

Located on High Street near Ohio State University in Columbus, “America’s Longest Continually Running Rock Club” is still a legend in its own right. Newport Music Hall might only hold around 2,000 people but all those inside know how special it is. It’s a dream of mine to see one of my favorite bands, Twenty One Pilots, here in this, their hometown venue. 

1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre 

Location: Denver, CO

Capacity: 9,525

Red Rocks has been a dream for a really long time. Located just west of Denver, Colorado and built into the side of a beautiful canyon, Red Rocks remains one of the most famous outdoor venues of all time. A travel plan to the “Centennial State” must include a stop for a show in this venue. 


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