Because of the high concentration of bands calling the place home, Brooklyn has made its name as America’s indie-music capital. The following is a list of reputable live performance spaces. (The mapping in this book doesn’t extend to all of these venues, so check websites for locations.)
The Music Hall of Williamsburg (pictured above) (66 North 6th St, tel: 718-468-5400, www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com) features top-notch or about-to-break indie bands in a large but intimate space, run by the excellent Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan. Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St, tel: 718-302-3770, www.petescandystore.com) is small and fun, with a hip crowd, kitsch decor, good Martinis, and live music every night.
The Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave, tel: 718-963-3369, www.brooklynbowl.com) is a hotspot for hearing up-and-coming bands while you try for a strike and munch on great food. Fada (530 Driggs Ave, tel: 718-388-6607, www.fadany.com) has a darkly lit, laidback French cafe vibe and features great live jazz and world music, from reggae to Brazilian bluegrass. Some say the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave, tel: 347-529-6696, off map area) got its mojo back moving to Brooklyn from Manhattan. For a loud, sweaty and fun experience listening to great bands like MGMT or Neon Indian, or dancing to a DJ set, go to Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway, www.babysallright.com).
In the more gentrified Park Slope, The Bell House (149 7th St, tel: 718-643-6510, www.thebellhouseny.com) has a little bit of everything you could want and packs in crowds with its eclectic mix of live music.