- Dacey Orr For the AJC
Athens may get all the credit for being Georgia's big rock music city, but Atlanta's music scene is thriving.
With local acts scattered at venues around town and national acts making regular tour stops in the area, Atlanta is a great place to be a rock fan.
Keep an eye on these local venues for the next "I-was-there-when" moment to brag about.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta
Maxing out at around 300, the limited capacity of this beloved Atlanta venue translates any moderately loud show into an up-close rager, adding to the rock 'n' roll atmosphere with cluttered walls and dingy digs. This is a no-frills space, but that means beer is cheap and the music is right up close -- a real treat as more and more music venues are bought up by the same big companies. Get there early for a burger in the restaurant in front (even the veggie burgers are divine).
152 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta
The Tabernacle has been standing for more than a century, starting out as a Baptist church and transitioning into an entertainment venue in the '90s to coincide with the Olympics. While it struggled in its early years as a music venue, the ethereal stained glass windows and multiple balconies help make this venue one of the best in the city. Plenty of seating makes this a comfortable venue even for those who don't want to crowd around the stage, and the 2,600 capacity means sweaty, packed-in dance-worthy shows can be an option without being the only option.
1132 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta
Aisle 5 is a relative newcomer to the Atlanta scene, but the 200-cap space entered the market with plenty of reputation to protect. Born in the space of beloved (now-defunct) venue The Five Spot, Aisle 5 got an updated speaker system and makeover from its new owners as well as a booking partnership with Terminal West promoters Reverb Entertainment. Already, the venue has proved itself as a spot to see local and national up-and-comers before they make it big.
3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta
When the Buckhead Theatre opened its doors in 1930, it was designed to play host to jazz music and motion pictures. Since then, the venue has changed ownership and names — some locals still mistakenly refer to it by its old name, The Roxy — but the rich architecture has been preserved along with its feel-good vibe. A balcony and slanted general admission floor make seeing the bands as easy as hearing them, and walking-distance proximity to late-night food haven Cafe Agora (318 E. Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta) means never heading home from a show hungry.
Star Community Bar
437 Moreland Ave. NE, Atlanta
With live music from Wednesday to Saturday every week and a roster of regular local bands, Star Bar is a must for any music lover looking to dig in deeper on Atlanta's music scene. From the kitschy to the wild, the loud rock 'n' rollers to the quiet singer-songwriters, this haunt in the Little Five Points district is more than a venue; it's a community. Make yourself a regular and discover a wealth of Atlanta's quirky music scene.