From U.S. music legends like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana to chart-toppers such as Fleet Foxes and Macklemore, Seattle, Washington, has been a force in popular music since its folk and jazz heyday of the 1920s.
In a city with such a rich scene, there's no shortage of venues, vinyl shops and arenas. Here's where to start your journey through music history.
Columbia City Theater
Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles are just a few of the artists who've graced the stage at the century-old Columbia City Theater. Originally built for vaudeville, this venue was essential to the Seattle jazz boom of the 1940s, before it transitioned to accommodate the 1980s punk scene. Today, the theater serves as an intersection between Seattle's musical past and present, and continues to book the nation's top artists.
Easy Street Records
A major force in the city's music culture since opening in 1988, Easy Street Records has long held a healthy reputation for hawking hard-to-find albums within its mural-splashed walls. The indie record shop has also hosted performances from both local and national musicians As an added bonus, the record shop has an attached cafe where music fans can munch on rock-inspired eats ranging from the Green Day Salad to the Let It BLT.
Street performers at Pike Place Market
Born during the 1990s grunge era, Neumos has thrived thanks in part to the venue's impressive interior (think: high-arching ceilings and lighted stained glass installations). Like an indie incubator, Neumos has continue to foster Seattle's rock culture, hosting critically acclaimed artists like Feist, The Shins, Band of Horses and Vampire Weekend.
The Showbox has gone through multiple iterations since it first opened its doors in 1939, but remains an intimate venue wrapped in Seattle music lore. Through the Jazz Age to 90s grunge to today's neo-folk and hiphop, this hot spot has hosted musicians from nearly every genre. Boasting three bars, a state-of-the-art sound system and near-unrestricted sight lines, the venue mirrors the artists it books: memorable and on the cutting edge.
Seattle Great Wheel