It’s one thing to follow a band on their tour across the country, but music fans know that the setting where you experience that magical concert is almost as important as singing your heart out to your favorite songs. Here are a handful of the best spots to catch a great gig across the country.

Pianos (New York, NY)

The calm before the storm

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Rock ‘n roll giants The Strokes got their start in this Lower East Side club with a weekly residency before they hit it big. The venue draws all types of acts, from jazz to indie, and hosts DJ nights as well. In addition to a full bar, there’s a small but mighty menu of bar grub like burgers and fries, fried pickles, nachos, and buffalo wings.

The End (Nashville, TN)

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If you like your music venues dingy and divey, you’ll love The End. It’s been in business for more than 30 years, and offers an, um, “alternative” alternative to the honky tonks and country scene that permeates Music City. Both local and national rock acts play here regularly.

The Roxy (Los Angeles, CA)

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Alongside Sunset Strip staples like The Troubadour, The Roxy (or more formally The Roxy Theatre) is a Los Angeles legend that opened its doors in West Hollywood in 1973. Neil Young, The New York Dolls, Frank Zappa, Billy Joel, and The Clash have all graced the stage throughout the years, and the venue even gave comics like Arsenio Hall, PeeWee Herman, and Jay Leno their start.

Middle East (Cambridge, MA)

With three different stages to choose from: upstairs, downstairs, and ZuZu, the Middle East is a Boston-area institution that’s been rockin’ the Central Square neighborhood since 1987. All three spaces are quite small, so prepare to get up close and personal with your favorite artists … and their most enthusiastic fans, too.

Mohawk (Austin, TX)

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Austin’s mild climate and live music renown combine at this popular venue to make for an unforgettable show experience. Mohawk draws indie rock acts and hip crowds with its roofdeck, indoor and outdoor space, and full bar featuring a selection of craft and small-batch beers.

Schubas Tavern (Chicago, IL)

A cozy old club in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood, Schubas brings in indie rock bands, jazz musicians, and acoustic singer-songwriters for both one-night engagements and monthly residencies. Fuel up before or after the show at the on-site restaurant.