5 of the best Atlanta venues for the bona fide rock fan

The Tabernacle (Credit: Ryon Horne/AJC)
ryon horne

Athens may get all the credit for being Georgia’s big rock music city, but Atlanta’s music scene continues to thrive.

With local acts scattered at venues around town and national acts making Atlanta a regular tour stop, this is a great place to be a rock fan.

Need your next “go-to” venue? Keep an eye on these places in particular, and rock on!


Maxing out at around 300, the limited capacity of this beloved East Atlanta Village venue transforms any moderately loud show into an up-close rager, adding to the rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere with cluttered walls and dingy digs. The Earl 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 brought up by the same big companies. Get there early for a sandwich and side in the restaurant up front (the burgers rock.)

Location: East Atlanta Village - 488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE; Website: badearl.com; Contact: 404.522.3950

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle has stood for more than a century, starting out as a Baptist church and transitioning into an entertainment venue in the ‘90′s 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 first-come, first-serve seating makes this a comfortable venue even for those who won’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.

Location: Downtown - 152 Luckie St. NW; Website: tabernacleatl.com; Contact: 404.659.9022

Aisle 5

A sweet gem in Little Five Points, the 330 capacity, standing-room only space entered the market a few years ago with plenty of reputation to protect. Born in the space of the 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. This is the perfect spot to see local and national up-and-comers before they make it big.

Location: Little Five Points - 1123 Euclid Ave. NE; Website: aisle5atl.com

Buckhead Theatre

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 as The Roxy — but the rich architecture remains preserved along with its feel-good vibe. Now a Live Nation venue, the 1,600 seater has both a balcony and slanted general admission floor, making it easy for everyone to see and hear the bands. A bonus is the theatre’s location. It’s walking-distance to late-night food favorite, Cafe Agora (318 E. Paces Ferry Road NE,) so you’ll never head home from a show hungry.

Location: Buckhead - 3110 Roswell Road; Website: livenation.com; Contact: 404-843-2825 then press 5 for the Box Office

Star Community Bar

With live music five nights a week, an amateur comedy night and karaoke, Star Community Bar is a local favorite. A roster full of regular local bands, this is a great venue for any music lover looking to dig in deeper into Atlanta’s music scene. From the kitschy to the wild, the loud rock ‘n’ rollers to the quiet singer-songwriters, this haunt in Little Five Points is more than a venue; it’s a community. Make yourself a regular and discover what Atlanta’s quirky music scene is really all about.

Location: Little Five Points - 437 Moreland Ave. NE; Website: starbaratl.bar; Contact: 404-390-3062

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