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The Triangle music scene: A comprehensive guide to local concert venues

Deerhunter performs at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre as part of the Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept. 6.
Deerhunter performs at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre as part of the Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept. 6.

As a rapidly-growing area, the Triangle has seen an influx in its music scene over the past 20 years. Many new venues have popped up, offering audiences unique musical experiences suited to their tastes. Even the variety of artists has changed, with smaller indie bands finding a place in the Triangle music scene. Below are some of the best ones to check out for music lovers and concert-goers alike:

Red Hat Amphitheater

500 S McDowell St, Raleigh

Opened in 2010 and capable of holding 5,990 people, Red Hat Amphitheater is one of the newer music venues in Raleigh, often housing mid-level artists like Young the Giant and 21 Savage. It has 1,800 fixed seats, 2,700 removable seats, and a lawn space for about 1,000 additional people. The venue runs from April through October, closing for winter weather. Some of the upcoming concerts to check out include The Head and the Heart, Sara Bareilles, Bastille and more. 

The Lincoln Theatre

126 E Cabarrus St, Raleigh

The Lincoln Theatre is a small venue located in Raleigh, NC. Some highlights from past concerts include Bad Suns, New Politics and the Wind & the Wave. Be sure to check them out for smaller indie artists and other musicians like Brent Cobb and Them, Black Uhuru and Ripe. 

The Pour House Music Hall

224 S Blount St, Raleigh

Home to the live music scene in Raleigh since 1997, Pour House Music Hall often holds a unique mix of local and touring bands. They also claim to hold the title of “best beer North Carolina has to offer” for those above 21. Some of the concerts to look out for at this venue include Agent Orange, the Turbo Acs, Queen City Rejects, Poison Anthem and the Vagabonds.

The Ritz

2820 Industrial Dr, Raleigh

Once a disco back in the 1970s, the Ritz is an up-and-coming concert venue for the North Carolina music scene, particularly for indie music fans. In the past few years, thanks to a change in ownership, the venue underwent close to $1 million in renovations, revitalizing the Ritz. In the next few months, the Ritz will hold Catfish and the Bottlemen, Rick Ross, The Kooks, The Neighbourhood, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Gryffin and Lettuce. 

PNC Arena

1400 Edwards Mill Rd, Raleigh

Encompassing 700,000 square feet with a seating capacity of 20,000, the PNC Arena is the ideal venue for bigger, chart-topping artists, hosting upcoming shows with Post Malone and Ariana Grande. It also is known to hold athletic events like hockey and basketball for sporting fans.

Cat’s Cradle

300 E Main St, Carrboro

Located in Carrboro less than a mile from the University of North Carolina, Cat’s Cradle is the perfect intimate setting for a musical evening with a capacity of 750 people. Operating for the past 40 years, it has held famous musicians ranging from Joan Baez to Nirvana. And in the next few months, Cat’s Cradle will house musicians like Seratones, Destroy Boys, Whitney, and Langhorne Slim and The Lost At Last Band.

Motorco Music Hall

723 Rigsbee Ave, Durham

Opened in 2010, Motorco is a music hall split into three sections: the Showroom, for entertainment and performances; Garage Bar; and the restaurant Parts & Labor. Known for alternative rising musicians and for its smaller, 450-person capacity, the Motorco will soon host The Regrettes, (Sandy) Alex G, Kero Kero Bonito, The Japanese Circle and Fruit Bats.

The Pinhook

117 W Main St, Durham

Celebrating over 10 years serving the Durham music scene, The Pinhook is a smaller music venue and bar with a 250 person capacity. Guests are welcome to not only bring in outside food (like Pie Pushers from the floor above), but their dogs to share in the musical experience. Some concerts to look out for include S.E. Ward, Duke-student-led band Hey Champ!, McQueen and Walker Hays.


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