Live and In-Person: A Guide to Post-Pandemic Concerts

Live music is back! After many (many) long months of empty stages, empty pits, and empty ears, concerts have returned to Boston. Fans and artists alike are itching to fill their favorite venues once more. If you love live music, you’re in the right place. Boston is one of the best cities to see your favorite artists live and scream-sing your favorite songs. With venues of every size, Boston attracts some of music’s biggest names (and smallest too). Let’s take a look at some of the city’s most popular venues and the upcoming shows that COM students are looking forward to, along with some tips on how to snag tickets for your next favorite show.   

Reminder: All venues in Boston are requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results to enter. Masks are also required once inside. Safer shows mean more shows, so make sure you follow venue protocol.  

Coming to a Stage Near You

Brighton Music Hall (Allston):

Brighton Music Hall is one of the more intimate venues in Boston. With a small capacity and only general admission tickets, everywhere is a good view. Brighton Music Hall is a great spot for indie lovers looking for cheap tickets. 

Upcoming shows: Smallpools, Bad Bad Hats, Anamanaguci

Paradise Rock Club (Near West Campus):

For nearly 50 years, Paradise Rock Club has been one of Boston’s most famous spots for live music. The walls are lined with the names of now mega-famous acts who have passed through there over the years. It’s often frequented by the latest up-and-coming names in the music industry, making it a must-see spot. “I’m hyped to go see 3OH!3 at the Paradise. But, like ironically,” said one student who was absolutely going to see them unironically.

Upcoming shows: bbno$, 3OH!3, Baby Keem

House of Blues Boston (Fenway):

With venues all across the country, House of Blues (HOB) has made a name for itself as a go-to spot for concerts. Boston’s HOB is no different. This venue features a large general admission section and a small standing-room balcony (so buy early if you want a view from above). HOB is significantly bigger than the previously listed venues so expect bigger names putting on bigger shows. 

Pro tip: Eat at the HOB restaurant before a show. If you time it right, you can skip the lines and head straight to the stage.  

Upcoming shows: Lucy Dacus, Surfaces, FINNEAS

Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub (Cambridge):

A tale of two concerts, Middle East is one of Boston’s most interesting concert venues. This one location has two stages: upstairs and downstairs. Tucked behind the restaurant, the upstairs stage offers an intimate space for lesser-known artists (fun fact: the Jonas Brothers played their first-ever concert there). Downstairs feels like a nightclub (because it is) and often features more experimental artists.  

Upcoming shows: TV Girl, AJJ, The Crystal Method

Agganis Arena (West Campus):

BU’s very own Agganis arena isn’t just for hockey games and COVID testing. It’s also its very own concert arena. While they don’t host concerts year-round (you know, because of the hockey games), Agganis still draws in some pretty big names every year that want to host a big-production arena show.

Upcoming Shows: LANY, H.E.R., Twenty One Pilots

TD Garden (Downtown Boston):

TD Garden is the biggest venue in Boston with a 20,000 person capacity. It hosts the music’s top acts at their peak, and they don’t disappoint. TD Garden concerts are more than just the music, they are massive performances complete with light shows, 20 foot high screens, and a small satellite stage that performers often use to help people way in the back feel close to the action. 

“Aerosmith cleaned me out,” said one student who emptied her wallet for tickets. “A home show was worth it though.”

Upcoming shows: Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Aerosmith 

Ticket Tips:

With so many shows from the past 18 months finally being rescheduled and people craving live music, it’s no wonder concerts are selling out faster and faster. Many COM students said they were too late to get tickets to see some of their favorite artists this semester. “I was [going to a concert,] but tickets were sold out,” said one student who shares this problem with so many others trying to return to live music. 

The best way to secure a ticket to see your favorite artist live? Buy early. Follow your favorites on social media and sign up for their mailing lists to get presale codes. Artists often announce tours many months in advance. Stay up to date so you don’t get shut out. 

It’s going to be a busy year for live music in Boston. This is your sign to get out there and see your favorite artist before they eventually break up and you have to wait 15 years for their reunion tour. 

Evan Kielmeyer, Staff Writer

Evan is a second-year graduate student in the Advertising Program here at BU. He received his bachelor’s degree in communication and history from Boston College (and is trying to keep that part quiet from his BU peers). In his free time, Evan enjoys skydiving, motorcycle racing, and lying on the internet. When he’s not doing that, he can be found listening to indie music, watching sci-fi movies, and waving to dogs he passes on the street.  

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