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Best Smaller Music Venues in Los Angeles

(credit: Grand Performances)

Capture the energy that only real deal talent can deliver at one of these environment-rich venues, most of which are intimately sized for an up close and personal experience.

el_rey_theater - Wikipedia
(credti: Kristin Dos Santos/Wikipedia)

El Rey Theatre
5515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-6400

The historic El Rey is an art deco theater-turned-live music house. Everything from its sweeping staircases, grand chandeliers, architecture and décor transport you to an era gone by. The space is a visually striking venue that gets further amplified by live music performances by some of the best bands around. Some top bands that have performed here include The Airborne Toxic Event, The Germs, Foals, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, many up and coming rockers, and more. Performances are general admission and standing room only.

hotel cafe
(Credit: Peijean T./yelp)

Hotel Café
623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 461-2040

A coffee shop in its former life, the Hotel Café is a cozy brick-walled space that is revered as the "premier singer/songwriter venue in the United States." Artists of all levels play here, from popular acts like Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Adele, The Lumineers, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Haim, Hozier, Mumford and Sons, Ray Lamontagne, Damien Rice, Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Billy Corgan, Leonard Cohen, Weezer, Alanis Morissette, Tenacious D, Bruno Mars, Sia and many others to rising stars. Music lovers come here for the incredible talent and a sound system that people just can't get enough of.

Related: Best Places To Discover New Music In Los Angeles

(credit: Echoplex)

1154 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-8200

To get to the Echoplex in Silver Lake, you'll need to enter through the alley and descend below the Echo down a flight of stairs. Once there, you'll discover a sprawling industrial basement of sorts with an exposed ventilation system overhead and plenty of room below for dancing to the beat of your next favorite artists set. This venue focuses on new and upcoming music acts and the occasional influential pro. Artists who have played this storied venue include Franz Ferdinand, Sango, The Rolling Stones, and many others.

(credit: Gary Minnaert/Wikipedia)

The Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Since its opening in 1957, the storied Troubadour in West Hollywood has been the scene of many intimate performances. Some have even launched many artists' careers, too. With a bare-bones interior and great sound, The Troubadour has played host to greats like Elton John, Tom Waits, James Taylor, Buffalo Springfield, The Eagles' Don Henley, Van Morrison, Pearl Jam, Fiona Apple, Radiohead, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleet Foxes, The Cure, Sam Smith, Bastille and many others. Today, it continues to be a destination for great acts from around the world.

silverlake lounge
(credit: Scott L./Yelp)

Silverlake Lounge
2906 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-9636

The Silverlake Lounge is a hit or miss spot where you can either see some great acts beginning their rise to fame, or open-mic nights that can be background noise to your fun at the bar. The ultra-small lounge can easily be missed as you're driving on Sunset Blvd. in Silverlake, but just look for the glowing yellow lights of the sign. It's a great spot to grab some drinks and listen in on new talent that takes the stage. The ever popular The Head And The Heart once played here at the beginning of their rise as the hugely popular folk-rock band.

Joy Bitonio has the phrase "Joie de Vivre" tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS LA. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.
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