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Massachusetts Concerts & Events


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The most populous state in all of New England with a vibrant history, Massachusetts is a vital part of the United States. In terms of entertainment, Massachusetts is known for its sports teams such as the Red Sox, its recreational sites such as Martha’s Vineyard, and its historical sites and museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts. Its additions to music are less formal but profound. Massachusetts’ record of successful artists, trend towards musical renaissance, and support of independent venues will appeal to those who love a niche, energetic concert. Keep reading to learn more about what sets Massachusetts apart from others states in the union when it comes to concerts.

Massachusetts is a mecca of renaissance.

Matt Becker, guitarist of Pile, reflects on the state’s history of musical reinvention: “Massachusetts in general already has an enormous legacy of influential underground music, whether it was 80s and 90s punk and hardcore or the scene that grew out of western Massachusetts in the mid-1980s that spawned one of the most significant and archetypal independent rock movements in contemporary history.” There is another revival happening today. As the concept of community expands, national recognition is less important, so long as one has a local following. In cities across Massachusetts, this holds true. Instead of college radio stations leading the way as they did in 80s and 90s revivals, blogs and discussion threads lead the way today.

This fractioned position has its disadvantages, but bands like And the Kids, Mean Creek, Movers & Shakers, Magic Magic, The Red Heroine, Cuffs, Lux Deluxe, Sun Parade, Bunk, The Blackboard Nails, and The New Highway Hymnal carry the torch. Documentaries like “Ask a Punk” have picked up on this proliferating DIY music scene, too. For concert enthusiasts seeking a renaissance spirit, Massachusetts should be your next stop.

Massachusetts has venues geared towards the independent artist experience.

As explained above, Massachusetts is known for its authentic, DIY, renaissance, revival music culture. It follows that there are plenty of venues geared towards the scene. These spaces include The Red Room at Café 939, The Sinclair, Brighton Music Hall, Middle East Downstairs/Middle East Upstairs, and Great Scott. Each spot holds fewer than 1000 patrons, providing the close to stage experience many fans of independent artists seek out in their concerts.

Middle East is a family-run Lebanese restaurant that open in the 1970s. Over the decades, it has conquered spaces next door to form a sizable venue. Although the place can accommodate fine dining needs, events, parties, and more, concerts are the main attraction. With rooms of a variety of sizes, new musicians can jam at an affordable price, and those with followings can father up to around 600 people. Great Scott is a 240-person venue that is open to all genres, which is rare for a venue focused on independent voices. They have hosted Of Montreal, Wolfmother, Magnolia Electric Company, and others.

Tons of bands and solo artists are Massachusetts natives.

With artists such as the Pixies, Aerosmith, Boston, The Dresden Dolls, The Lemonheads, New Kids on the Block, Donna Summer, The Cars, Evan Dando, Harry Carney, Amanda Palmer, James Taylor, Billy Squier, Speedy Ortiz, Krill, and more from the state, Massachusetts has a strong presence in national music. Rock, alternative, punk, and indie genres are very well represented, being suited to the independent, counterculture of the state’s direction in music. Listeners interested in hearing a great artist before they hit mainstream lines will be impressed by what is available in Massachusetts. Those curious about where these famous artists tightened their sounds and gained clout will be interested in Massachusetts, too.

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