One of my favorite things about being from Nashville is being raised around great music. Music shapes how we’re feeling, it inspires us, and creates memories. That’s why I invest a lot of my free time and money on going to concerts. And, of course, Music City does not lack in interesting venues to visit. Here are a few of my favorite places to see a show in Nashville.
Ryman Auditorium: View from 5th Avenue / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
The Ryman Auditorium
One of the best venues in Nashville is The Ryman. Originally built as church in 1892, this venue has housed many famous acts like Harry Houdini, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, and even held a lecture by Hellen Keller! The Ryman is most known for being home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. The most surprising thing about the Ryman is that it was almost demolished and sat empty for roughly 20 years. Since then, the Ryman has been through many renovations, but builders refinished many of the original materials to keep the essence of this historic venue. Seeing a show at the Ryman is a unique experience: the stain glass windows and beautifully restored church pews insure there is no bad seat to see a concert. Here are some of my picks for upcoming shows at The Ryman.
- Amos Lee—March 9th
- A evening with Carol Burnett—May 21st
- Marina– September 20th
Thirdman Records: Corridor / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
The Blue Room
My personal favorite Nashville venue is focused around one of my favorite things… records! The rebirth of vinyl has often been attributed to Jack White, a musician most known as the front man in the White Stripes. His songs like “Seven Nation Army” can be heard around the world from chanting crowds at any sports event. White’s recording studio and storefront, Third Man Records, where fans can visit to purchase hand-picked music, houses its own venue. The Blue Room is a music venue that represents modernism. Almost an escape from Nashville, the first glimpse of The Blue Room is presented behind a metal door engraved with the Third Man logo leading to a tight corridor, with yellow, blue, and black painted cement walls. White’s unique sense of color and eclectic design aesthetic carries throughout the venue. The Blue Room is named from its three walls painted in a vibrant blue color. One of three walls features a curved wall at the floor that wraps two sides of the venue—A sight for any design lover to see. The stage stands contrasting the walls in a textured white but is often seen with seemingly reflected blue lighting. The white wall not only houses the stage, but also a recording booth that records every live show. At the end of the concert, or comedy show, attendees can preorder a special half black, half blue record of the show that only attendees can redeem, making the Blue Room a can’t miss show! Here are some upcoming events at The Blue Room, although many of the Blue Room Shows are announced the week or even day of the event!
- Julia Jacklin Live at Third Man Records—May 6th
- Record Store Day– April 13th
The Blue Room: Curved Wall / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
Third Man Records Exclusive Live Show Vinyl / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
The Caverns: View on walk to venue / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
The next venue is an hour and a half outside of Nashville, but will definitely convince you it’s worth the drive. The Caverns is located 333 feet underground in the Cumberland caverns. This venue is most known as the home to the PBS program, Bluegrass Underground. Concert goers must make the trek through the cave, and when you reach the stage you’re guaranteed an unforgettable show. You’re drawn in by a large chandelier that hangs overhead. And as you might expect, the acoustics inside the venue are phenomenal! Once inside the large cavern you may be kicking yourself for forgetting your jacket, but this show is an all-around unforgettable music experience. Upcoming Shows at The Caverns include:
- Trampled by Turtles—March 3rd
- The Nashville Celts: St Patricks’ Day— March 17th
- The Mavericks– April 13th
The Caverns Entrance / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
Outside Station Inn / Photo Credit Georgia Ciprian
Sticking with the blue grass theme, Station Inn is the one of the oldest building left among the cluster of the high-rises in the burgeoning Gulch area. The stone building sits on the corner of 12th South and Pine Street, and instantly transports you back to the 70’s. With checkered table cloths, and wood wall paneling you forget you’re the middle of the Gulch. For forty years the very small venue has been known as one the most famous blue grass venues around, which is why it’s one of original buildings standing after the Gulch construction. If you’re a bluegrass fan, then consider this venue a must-add to your concert bucket-list. Station Inn provides an intimate setting where you can experience the music first hand, while providing a larger feel to the music that musicians love.
Upcoming bluegrass shows at Station Inn
- Bluegrass Jam— Sunday March 17th
- Frank Solivan– Friday March 22nd
- Roland White Band- Saturday April 20th
Ascend Amphitheater Entrance / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
Last, but certainly not least is one of the newest music venues in Nashville, The Ascend Amphitheater. What sets this outdoor theater apart is its placement inside Riverfront Park. This fully functioning park that was proposed after a thermal energy plant that incinerated garbage was demolished. The theater is defined by its unique shape that showcases the Cumberland River. The stage features no backdrop to heighten views of downtown Nashville. The building has been forged from materials like limestone and iron that reminds attendees of other structures around Nashville. Another thing that separates Ascend from other venues is its energy efficiency. It features geothermal heating and cooling, 48 bike parking spaces, and has 267 trees! The Ascend has also won many design awards and is listed as the best outdoor venue in Tennessee. This venue shows the way Nashville design is moving and, I’m personally dreaming of sitting on a blanket in the lawn feeling the summer breeze while listening to these bands play:
- Tame Impala– May 2nd
- Billie Ellish— June 21st
- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts— August 8th
Ascend Amphitheater Side Gate / Photo Credit: Georgia Ciprian
Spending time in Nashville, you find there are so many places to see and things to do. Travelers hear that Nashville is the home of country music, but bar hopping on Broadway isn’t the best use of your time anymore. To get a true sense of the Music City, you’ll have to visit some of our hidden gems.
This blog post was written by: Georgia Ciprian