The City-to-City Music Guide

concert in silhouette

What city is the capital of rock n’ roll: New York? London? Los Angeles? And what about musical capitals like Nashville and Memphis? How do those compare? Then there are cities with well-known thriving music scenes like Chicago and Vegas. Where do you go when you’re in those towns? What about towns you might not think of as music hubs, like Denver or Orlando? What places should you be sure to hit? Over the last few years, we’ve been drawing on the collective expertise of an international array of writers to guide you. Below are the cities we’ve profiled — so far. Let us know which cities you’d like us to cover next in the comment section below!


1991 Austin’s City Council officially branded this Texas city as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” SXSW is just the tip of the iceberg.


It’s almost a cliché that every hot new band busting out on the scene hails from Brooklyn. But where exactly? Some pointers ahead.


Although it’s famed for its blues scene, the town also knows how to rock as evidenced by the locales cited in our rock-centric guide.


The smaller venues in the Mile High City serve up everything from country to cabaret and pop to punk rock.

Disney World

If you’ve already screamed along to Aerosmith on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, here’s where else to go to get your fill of pop, rock, folk, and jazz.

Las Vegas

Should you be ready to step outside Sin City’s showrooms filled with mini-residencies by big-name music acts like Cher, Rod Stewart, and Def Leppard.

Related: “Vegas with ZZ Top: A Tale of Two Brothers”


From the British Invasion to Britpop to Grime, London has always been an epicenter for musical creativity and innovation.

Los Angeles

Possessing the world’s largest natural amphitheater and the ultimate shrine to ‘80s glam rock makes the City of Angels a must-see for music fans.


Elvis, BBQ, and the Blues are all well-represented in “Grind City” which is also sometimes credited as the birthplace of rock n’ roll.


“America’s Friendliest City” has plenty to choose from beyond the Wildhorse Saloon, The CMA Fest, and the peddle taverns of the real Music City.

Related: “The Beatles Go Country”

New York

Like our Chicago guide, we decided to zero in on a genre for the Big Apple — in this case, jazz. As you’d guess, there’s no shortage of options.


“O-Town” (as locals call it) has its fair share of concert halls, nightclubs, and dives for those seeking a more homegrown music experience than Disney.


While it’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as Tokyo, Paris, and NYC, Iceland’s largest city is a treasure of musical excellence.

Photo Credit: Concert image courtesy of Pixabay.

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