Live Music Venues in Orange County

Posted June 19, 2014 by Shayna Marks
Observatory OC

There are few things more memorable than dancing the night away while watching your favorite band play. Lucky for us, Orange County has plenty of hot spots to do so. Here’s a rundown of our favorite live music venues, and the kinds of acts you can expect to see at each. Rock on!

Honda Center

2695 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim

Photo credit: Honda Center

When the big acts come to OC, Honda Center is where they head, and for good reason. Located in the heart of Anaheim, this world-class arena opened in 1993 with a concert from the one and only Barry Manilow. Even with room for more than 18,000 music lovers, there’s not a bad seat in the house that the Anaheim Ducks call home. The Honda Center is the perfect spot to take in a memorable concert during a trip to the Anaheim Resort, or even just for a fun night out with your special someone. You can turn the evening into dinner and a show by making a reservations at the Honda Center’s newest restaurant, Puck’s Tavern.

Watch Cher turn back time on Wednesday, July 9; see Katy Perry make teenage dreams come true on Tuesday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 17; or sing along as the Eagles transform the Honda Center into Hotel California on Friday, October 3. For tickets and more acts coming to the Honda Center, check out the schedule.

City National Grove of Anaheim

2200 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim

Amazing location, intimate feel, and big name acts come together at one of the Anaheim Resort’s best spots to see live music, the City National Grove of Anaheim. Sitting right outside Angel Stadium of Anaheim, this beautiful venue plays frequent host to a wide span of artists. With room for 1,700 concert goers, each concert feels like a private show.

Catch the iconic Ted Nugent on Sunday and Monday, July 13-14; 90’s R&B mavens En Vogue on Thursday, August 14; or see funny lady Lisa Lampanelli grace the stage on Friday, August 15. For the full line-up at the City National Grove of Anaheim, check out their website

House of Blues, Downtown Disney

1530 S. Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim

House of Blues Anaheim

Photo credit: House of Blues Anaheim

Downtown Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth’s bustling shopping and entertainment hub, with it’s standout star being the iconic House of Blues. One of 13 locations around the U.S., these intimate concert halls were founded by Hard Rock Café co-founder Isaac Tigrett and former blues brother himself, Dan Aykroyd. The first House of Blues was opened in 1992 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had a maximum capacity of only 180. Anaheim’s own HOB opened in 2001, and has since played host to some incredible acts.

Though visiting acts regularly make appearances, Sunday’s Gospel Brunches are a mainstay at the House of Blues, and are a must-see when you’re in town. Other upcoming concerts include B.B. King on Thursday, August 28, The Pretty Reckless on Saturday, October 11, and Kodaline on Wednesday, October 15. For more events, visit the House of Blues website.

Observatory OC

3503 South Harbor Blvd.
Santa Ana

Observatory OC

Photo credit: Liana Rakijian Photography

For those who like their music venues intimate and their bands almost-famous, the Observatory OC is your go-to venue. Constantly playing host to up-and-coming artists, this newly re-opened spot is arguably one of the hottest spots to see a show in OC. Bands and musicians play at the Observatory, and months later, their names are everywhere. A short drive from the Anaheim Resort, this cozy spot provides a chance to intimately see your favorite new indie, hip-hop, rock, and pop acts.

With shows almost every night of the week, the Observatory has a pretty stacked line-up. Check out OC Observatory's website to peruse upcoming shows, which include the likes of Metronomy, Strung Out, Tove Lo, Flume, and Pennywise.

Chain Reaction

1652 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim

Chain Reaction

Photo credit: Chain Reaction

Orange County has had a thriving punk rock scene for decades, and Chain Reaction has been the spot to see these talented bands as they rise to fame. One of OC’s only all-ages clubs, Chain Reaction has been like a second home to punk bands and lovers since the 1980s. Aiming to always keep prices low, shows at CR are rarely more than $20. If you’re looking to get your rock and roll on, this is the place to do it.

Check out the schedule of upcoming acts on Chain Reaction’s website.

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