Where are the best places to hear live music in Charleston?

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Charleston Music Hall©CharlestonMusicHall

Live music is a constant in Charleston and the best places to hear it are often in walking distance of each other. The Music Farm, on Ann Street, draws mid-level touring acts from bluegrass to rock. The schedule varies, but weekends are almost always booked with a quality act.

On Market Street, Mercato Italian Restaurant hosts live jazz every night of the week from 6 to 10 p.m., free of charge. For more rock ‘n’ roll and jam band scenes, O’Malley’s Grille and Midtown Bar and Grill on King Street both book bands on a near-nightly basis.

If you’re lucky enough to come in town when the Charleston Music Hall has a show booked, the underutilized theater offers the best concert experience in town. Recent performers include Gillian Welch, Keb’ Mo, and Doc Watson.

Off the peninsula, the city’s most consistent live music venue is undoubtedly the Charleston Pour House. The attached El Bohio restaurant serves quality Cuban food and the expansive outside deck features free live music every day of the week from 6 to 9 p.m., before a headliner inside until 2 a.m.

Farther afield, the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center draws most of the major touring acts that come to town. Prince, Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen have all put on memorable shows here in recent years.

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