Best Concert Venue

The Beachland Ballroom

Whether it's a sparsely attended New Pornographers gig or a sold-out Hives show, the Beachland's boxy, spacious room is the town's best place to see a concert. And it's not just because the Beachland's booking the best bands these days. There really isn't a bad spot in the whole house (there aren't any obtrusive poles or barriers, or twists and turns that obscure views), and the sound is almost always just right (and only occasionally muddy). Beware -- at packed shows, it gets stiflingly hot, and parking can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Any inconvenience is worth it, though, because the Beachland rarely caves in to industry hype, featuring garage rock, alt-country, and hip-hop with top-notch style.