Address: 540 Penn St. NE (Union Market)
How to get there: Take the GUTS Bus to Dupont, hop on the Red line to Glenmont and get off at the NOMA-Gallaudet stop. The venue is about a 10 minute walk from there, directly above Union Market.
Ticket Price: Tickets are generally around $15 (+/- $5) in advance and $20 to $25 day of show
COVID-19 Protocol: Proof of vaccination or 72-hour proof of negative test, must wear masks at all times. Mandatory vaccination policy for staff.
Songbyrd is the perfect venue for seeing indie, rock, or rap artists before they get big. If, on the other hand, you want to see a smaller D.C. band while you’re at it, the venue is known for inviting local musicians to open for their headliners. While Songbyrd was previously located in the heart of Adams Morgan, they have recently moved to the Union Market district of D.C. to be near their record store, Byrdland. The 200-person capacity ensures that every show will be packed with music lovers in an intimate and immersive musical experience. This new venue features a full bar with a more formal concert experience similar to that of Union Stage or other small- to mid-sized venues as opposed to their previous venue’s DIY basement feeling. Though there are no more basement shows at the old restaurant-turned-venue, the core values of Songbyrd still remain: accessible, independent music for the masses.
Upcoming artists playing Songbyrd this semester include Indigo De Souza, Half Waif, Tai Verdes, Tasha, Chiiild, and Slow Pulp.
Address: 1940 9th St. NW
How to get there: Take the G2 bus from the front gates toward Ledroit Park-Howard University. Get off at 4th St. NW & T St. NW. DC9 is a 10 minute walk from the stop!
If you’re a fiend for the metro, take the GUTS bus to Dupont. Get on the Red line towards Glenmont. Transfer at the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop from the Red line to the Yellow line Greenbelt. Ride the Yellow line until Shaw-Howard University and walk five minutes to the venue.
Ticket Price: Tickets are generally around $15 (+/- $5)
COVID-19 Protocol: Proof of vaccination or 48-hour proof of negative test
DC9 is a multifaceted three-level nightclub located in the U Street area. While each floor offers individual bars and music, together they create a full experiential effect. The first floor primarily offers a sit-down environment with a full bar and booths—the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before a show. The third floor doubles as a rooftop deck with mostly standing room and sports a beautiful view of D.C. When you’re ready for the show to start, walk down the narrow stairs to the second floor to experience the performance space, reserved for live bands, DJs, or dance nights. Similar to Songbyrd, DC9 hosts the newest emerging artists in the indie and rap music scene, making it the perfect combination of small performance space and nightclub. The venue itself is cozy and welcoming with multiple disco balls and snare drum lights hanging from the ceiling. Whichever level you’re on, the space is always filled with people ready to socialize and chat about anything and everything D.C.
Upcoming events at DC9 this semester include a 2000s Dance Party, Anjimile, Vagabon, Skullcrusher, Dead Horses, and Runnner.
Address: 815 V St. NW
How to get there: Take the GUTS bus to Dupont Circle, take the Red line train toward Glenmont, transfer to the Green line at Gallery Place, and get off at Shaw-Howard University.
General price range: $20 to $35
COVID -19 Protocol: Proof of vaccination
9:30 Club is the D.C. nightclub. It’s been named the best nightclub in the nation by Rolling Stone more than any other venue, and it’s the most attended club of its size in the world. This is partially due to the incredible acts that the venue pulls (The Smashing Pumpkins performed the first show in 1996 when they opened up the new location in Shaw), and partially to the atmosphere 9:30 creates. The concert space’s wheeled stage can make any capacity feel like a full and intimate crowd, and its lights and energy can make a performance feel like a dream. Even Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump noted that 9:30 Club had “so much character, you wonder if the locals know how lucky they are.” While the venue has gained competition in larger and flashier venues like The Anthem, it remains the go-to for artists of all sizes and genres due to its legacy and irreplaceable vibes.
Upcoming acts include: Tokimonsta, Tinashe, Alec Benjamin, bbno$, JPEGMAFIA, 100 gecs, The Wombats, Courtney Barnett, and many, many, others.
Address: 1811 14th St. NW
How to get there: Take the G2 bus towards Ledroit Park-Howard U from the front gates. Get off at P & 14th streets and walk north up 14th until you get to Black Cat.
General price range: $15 to $20
COVID-19 Protocol: Proof of vaccination or a negative test from at maximum 72 hours prior to the event
If you’re looking for a venue that hosts cloaked artists who worship a dismembered deer head, crowd-surfing skeletons, witchy folk bands, and up-and-coming scream-pop outfits, the Black Cat is the place for you. With origins in D.C.’s rock and punk scene, the Black Cat has expanded to welcome all forms of indie artists into its dark and intimate bowels. Co-founded by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, the Black Cat has seen hundreds of incredible artists perform in its incredibly small and friendly main stage (the famous Red Room is now defunct). The club has hosted classics like The New York Dolls, Le Tigre, and Bikini Kill and modern acts like Donald Glover, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, and so many more. No other venue in D.C. compares in terms of oddity, quality, and sheer enjoyability.
Upcoming acts include: Vundabar, Lewis del Mar, Mod Sun, TV Girl, Dead Sara, Indigo de Souza, Wavves.