Looking to put on your dancing shoes and get your live music fix in Cambridge this summer? Whether you want some rock and roll with a pint or late night jazz with a craft cocktail, you don’t have to go far to find a full range of tunes on the Left Bank.
Following are a few of our favorite venues for live music and dancing, all situated within four of the city’s most vibrant squares.
Harvard Square: Live Music
First up, you could hear a whole spectrum of music in Harvard Square alone. The legendary Club Passim was the first place Joan Baez ever performed and is a must for all folk fans. Just around the corner, The Sinclair is a hip bar where you can listen to up-and-coming bands while enjoying such eclectic fare as cola-braised pork belly sliders. If a dark jazz club is more your scene, the Regattabar Jazz Club, located on the third floor of the Charles Hotel, is a local favorite for listening to riffs late into the night and is open to all ages.
Porter Square: Live Music
From there you can head down Mass Ave toward Porter Square and stop at the Lizard Lounge, a dim basement club featuring local musicians, open mic nights, and poetry slams. A little further down the road, just across from the Porter Square T stop, TOAD is a neighborhood bar serving up microbrews and live music seven nights a week.
Inman Square: Live Music
In nearby Inman Square, Lilypad is another seven-day-a-week hotspot drawing creative types for events ranging from electronic and classical music to comedy, theater, and yoga. For jazz and BBQ right around the corner, Ryles Jazz Club has been a Cambridge institution since 1919. Or you can stroll down Cambridge Street to Atwood’s Tavern for some blues, Americana and folk music with an extensive beer selection.
Central Square: Live Music
Central Square enjoys its own bevy of musical offerings, including three performance rooms at The Middle East Nightclub that are also used as galleries to showcase local and international artists. A fun-loving, boisterous dive, The Cantab Lounge is a Central Square favorite for blues and bluegrass. Meanwhile Middlesex Lounge provides a chic, urban setting that draws international DJs. Last but not least, The Plough & Stars is a cozy Irish pub where you can post up with a pint and local musicians almost every night of the week.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cambridge’s ever-happening music scene. There’s always a new place to explore and a band to discover, which is why we love to call it home.