This baby's got all bases covered. Good sound? Check. Decent amenities? Check. A bar from which you can see the stage? Check. Another bar? Check. Since the early '90s, the Metro has showcased a splashing of all-ages gigs while presenting a myriad of musical genres across every night of the week. Bravo!
OAF bridges the gap between hangout and venue with style. The two rooms host socialites and punters, divided by a drawing room and two bars. It's well decorated and interesting, and the lighting's great. The bill brings in obscure hip-hop acts and mainstream pop alike.
The Enmore has an old-world feel and offers a nice alternative to a trek into the city. There's seating, a mezzanine, parking... and it's played host to some killer bands over the years – Modest Mouse to Wilco to Divinyls to Queens of the Stone Age – while providing killer comedy too. When the show's over, spill onto Enmore Road for dinner and a drink.
The pearly shells of the Sydney Opera House are synonymous with Australia's image – an iconic and irreplaceable part of Sydney's skyline. Their Music at the House program welcomes a myriad of genres from electronica to mod rock. Then, of course, there are plenty of opera and classical performances on every week.
The Hordern does the job when it comes to bigger audiences. Ample seating wraps around the huge standing area – it's just damn spacious. There are plenty of amenities, the sound suits big gigs and it's easy to get to. Catch a drink beforehand at the Fox and Lion.
It may be a bit out of the way – so planning your journey there and back is essential – but Allphones knows how to house a pop extravaganza. Formerly known as the Acer Arena, this Olympic Park mega venue has played host to some of the biggest rock and pop stars Australia has seen.
With its not-so-flash carpets and RSL-like interior, the Factory is a blank canvas for all kinds of shows, from hot-ticket internationals to fairly big-name local bands. There is serious room to move around with a slightly tiered floor perfect for the vertically challenged. Beer selection is as basic as the décor but if you’re early you can always mix it up at the Vic on the Park around the corner.
This one's for all the blues and funk fans out there. The dark but classy Basement hosts a great live performance. No matter where you're standing you can hear the music, see the band and reach the bar. A great musical experience, be it jazz, blues or rock.
The Beach Road serves all the Eastern Suburbs' indie needs. It comes to life mid-week with free bands, DJs and hordes of punters and backpackers. Dancing, drinking (and a little chin stroking) lead you back into the working week in style.
The trusty Vanguard is an intimate live music venue and restaurant that has long played host to the greats of Australian and international music. It's known widely as Sydney's house of jazz and blues, and boasts a friendly and unpretentious ambience.