What started as a simple Middle Eastern restaurant in 1970, this Central Square spot expanded in the late 1980s and pioneered the burgeoning local alt rock scene, becoming a major tour stop for many groups. This address comprises several smaller venues for live performances, including the Upstairs, larger Downstairs (the site of a former bowling alley), Zuzu, which hosts experimental artists and the stellar Soulelujah DJs, and The Corner, where musicians play for tips and belly dancers perform. Everyone from Chris Cornell to Jaden Smith, and even Ryan Gosling, have trod these hallowed bohemian boards.
Boston's live music scene has long been legendary, birthing some of the biggest names in the biz. Aerosmith, Donna Summer, The Cars, Mission of Burma, New Kids on the Block, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Aimee Mann, Dropkick Murphys, and, yes, the band Boston all once called The Hub home—and we've got an ever-changing pool of upcoming talent playing in these parts, thanks to Berklee College of Music. Rock and roll, classical, jazz, folk and even country music can be heard in clubs, bars and halls throughout the city, night after night. From the best nightclubs in Boston to the best record stores in Boston, music is, indeed, what we do. More of a visual art kind of person? You might want to browse through our Boston museum guide.
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