Countless bands and musicians have risen through the ranks at these intimate venues starting in the 1950s, thanks in part to the high student population.
Annual festivals like Hopscotch, Dreamville, and The Art of Cool are just a few of the events where you can see live music in The Triangle.
Carrboro Music Venues
The town of Carrboro, just outside Chapel Hill, is a destination in its own right for Cat’s Cradle Coffeehouse, a place that has been hosting artists for over 40 years.
It was significant in the career of icon James Taylor but has also hosted a wide variety of acts including Nirvana, Public Enemy, John Mayer, Joan Baez, Ben Folds, and Iggy Pop.
The intimate space can hold 750 people between its two spaces, the Main Room and the Back Room. Events are all ages unless otherwise mentioned.
Set in an 1882 train station, The Station was where blues musician (and Carrboro native) Elizabeth Cotton wrote her famous folk song, “Freight Train,” in the early 1900s.
The building has served as a variety of businesses over the years but has been an important part of the Triangle music scene for decades. It was here that R.E.M. played their first show outside of Georgia in 1980.
The interior features the small stage and bar, which serves cocktails, North Carolina craft beer, and light bites. There are also porches attached to the building.
Chapel Hill Music Venues
The Cave is Chapel Hill’s oldest bar and music venue, named for the cavernous appearance of the space. The bar opened in 1968 and after a brief closure, it reopened in 2018.
Countless bands have taken this stage before hitting it big including The Avett Brothers, Arcade Fire, R.E.M., Superchunk, and Sylvan Esso. There’s no set cover charge but a suggested donation.
Durham Music Venues
The Carolina Theatre opened as the Durham Auditorium in 1926, originally hosting stage performances and movies. It was saved from demolition in the 1970s.
Today it hosts big-name acts and touring productions at the main stage, Fletcher Hall, which can hold over 1,000 patrons. There are also two cinema wings.
Motorco Music Hall
Located in a former automotive garage, Motorco Music Hall is a music venue and restaurant, called Parts & Labor. The Showroom is the main stage that hosts live music, comedy, and films.
Most shows are all ages unless otherwise stated. The types of music vary but include punk, rock, and electronic genres.
The Pinhook is more than just a music venue but also a community space that elevates marginalized voices through performances, art shows, and open mic nights.
Open for over 12 years, it was opened by Kym Register of the country music group Loamlands. Artists like Sylvan Esso and Phil Cook also performed here before hitting it big.
Raleigh Live Music Venues
The Pour House Music Hall
The Pour House Music Hall is a music venue and record shop that supports local musicians as well as touring acts. Opened in 1997, most shows are 21 and over.
Nearly every genre of music has been represented on the stage, including ska, rap, funk, and metal. The space also has two bars.
The Tin Roof is a popular venue with live music every night of the week from country and rock acts. The restaurant also offers Southern cuisine and Sunday brunch.