Pittsburgh is undeniably an excellent city for live music and Pittsburgh music venues offer everything needed to support our active and robust music community.

Concerts in Pittsburgh range from large-scale stadium acts to your hipster roommate’s garage band playing a basement show in Lawrenceville. Of course, this means that there’s a venue out there for all concertgoers, regardless of budget or genre choice — especially armed with this guide to our favorite Pittsburgh music venues.

If you’re looking for things to do in Pittsburgh and shows in Pittsburgh tonight, be sure to see what’s happening at each location below.

Pittsburgh Music Venues:

Mr. Smalls TheatreMr Smalls Theater Pittsburgh Music Venue

MRSMALLS.COM

Mr. Smalls Theatre, in Millvale, is an 800-capacity theater show space in repurposed St. Ann’s Catholic church. The interior space boasts high ceilings and picturesque expansive show space for bands of any genre, although you may have to stake out an advantageous spot early to see over the crowd. Expect to wait in line outside before heading in. For a bit of an upcharge, check out the balcony seating. There is also a restaurant and a well-stocked bar.

Venue Size: Mid-Sized

Highlights: Full Bar, Late Night Food, Ample Free Street Parking

Stage AE

Stage AE Pittsburgh Music VenueSTAGEPITTSBURGH.COM

Located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, between Heinz Field and PNC Park, Stage AE is a multi-purpose venue on the somewhat larger side. It has an indoor capacity of 2,400 and an outdoor theater capacity of 5,500. There is a full bar inside and multiple draft beer stations outside. Stage AE is incredibly versatile and immensely enjoyable for live music in Pittsburgh during the summer months, be sure to grab a beer and a seat on the lawn.

Venue Size: Mid-Sized to Large

Highlights: Snack Foods, Full Bar, Outdoor Shows During the Summer Months

Brillobox

Brillobox Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Music Venue

BRILLOBOXPGH.COM

Brillobox, named after an Andy Warhol art installation, is a two-floor bar and music venue in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The upstairs is an intimate show space and dance floor, with a great sound system and a brand-new set of stage lights. If you are hoping to catch a band before they make it big and say you saw them when…, this is that perfect space. Patrons can quickly move between the upstairs venue and downstairs bar, to get a break between bands and grab a bite to eat. Brillobox has also been hosting dance nights since it’s opening, check in regularly to see what types of dance music might be playing each week.

Venue Size: Intimate

Highlights: Beer, Cocktails, and Restaurant with Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Spirit

Spirit Pittsburgh Music Venue

SPIRITPGH.COM

Spirit is another two-level multi-purpose event space and Pittsburgh music venue.  Originally a Moose Lodge, the building was converted to a modern venue in 2014 and has two areas for live music as well as a pizzeria. The downstairs space, Spirit Lodge, has a capacity of 200 and hosts smaller shows and dance parties. The upstairs is called Spirit Hall and has a capacity of 450. The pizzeria is called Slice Island and is reason enough on its own to stop by. Spirit has excellent sound and can host different kinds of music on any given night, whether that be bands or dancing, there is Pittsburgh nightlife for everyone.

Venue Size: Intimate to Mid-Sized

Highlights: Pizzeria, Beer, Cocktails, Outdoor Seating Area

Gooski’s

Gooskis Pittsburgh Music Venues

Gooski’s is Pittsburgh’s classic rock ‘n’ roll dive bar. The setting is dark, smokey, and uncompromisingly itself. The bar is cash only and the rules behind the bar state that you should know what you’d like to order and have your money ready. If you don’t already have an idea of what you are getting yourself into, jags are not welcome. You can get a beer, pierogies, and other bar bites from Timmy, one of the best bartenders in the city. Gooski’s is the most authentic venue in Pittsburgh for rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and metal.

Venue Size: Intimate

Highlights: Pierogies, Beer, Smoking, No Frills/No Nonsense

Howlers

Howlers Pittsburgh Music Venues
HOWLERSPITTSBURGH.COM

Located on Bloomfield’s main thoroughfare Liberty Ave, Howlers is a neighborhood bar and music venue. Another rock bar, Howlers features live music Wednesday through Sunday each week.  The show space and bar are separated by a wall, making it pleasant to move between music and hanging out. The performing space sounds excellent, and their capacity is only 150, allowing patrons to get up close to the performing musicians. As a benefit to performing artists, Howlers will record sets direct to DVD with a live audio stream upon request.

Venue Size: Intimate

Highlights:  Full Bar, Neighborhood Atmosphere

The Mr. Roboto Project

Roboto Pittsburgh Music Venues

THEROBOTOPROJECT.COM

The Mr. Roboto Project is a cooperatively-run show space located on Penn Avenue in Bloomfield.  Roboto strives to create a comfortable and open safe space for people to experience a true DIY (do-it-yourself) community. The Pittsburgh venue, which is run by a board of directors, voted in by co-op members, seeks to provide a site free from racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other types of oppressive language or discrimination. Roboto is all ages, meaning there are no age restrictions, and alcohol and drug-free. It is likely a venue where a lot of Pittsburgh’s young musicians first start playing in front of live audiences and meeting other like-minded musicians.

Venue Size: Intimate

Highlights:  Do-It-Yourself, Community Based, All Ages

Cattivo

Cattivo Pittsburgh Music Venues

CATTIVOPGH.COM

Cattivo is a Pittsburgh music venue nestled among the side streets of Lawrenceville, towards the river from Butler Street. Cattivo is another two-floor venue, with the capability to have bands or dance parties on each floor. Cattivo serves pizza, bar bites, and hoagies. They have a full bar and a significant stage in the basement for larger shows. The unique U-shaped bar upstairs is a great place to hang out while still getting to listen to bands.

Venue Size: Intimate to Mid-Sized

Highlights: Pizza and Bar Food, Cocktails and Beer, Ample Street Parking

Club Café

Club Cafe Pittsburgh Music Venues

CLUBCAFELIVE.COM

Located on the South Side of Pittsburgh, Club Café is a live music venue and intimate show space that is excellent for up-and-coming musicians and touring bands. Club Café’s style is that of a vintage nightclub, there is seating for about 25, as well as standing room, ensuring you’ll always be near to the action. Club Café offers a chill vibe along with cocktails, beer, and snacks. Some drinks can be a little pricey, and they are cash only, so remember to bring extra money along.  The venue is hip but welcoming but get there early to snag a parking spot and a seat.

Venue Size: Intimate

Highlights:  Cocktails and Beer, Pizza and Bar Food, Limited Seating

The Rex Theater

Rex Theater Pittsburgh Music Venues

REXTHEATER.NET

The Rex Theater was initially a vaudeville theater, opened in 1905, in the South Side of Pittsburgh. The Rex is now a live concert, with a standing capacity of around 587 people. Because it can also host seated events and was a theater, the floors are slanted, making it easier to see the stage over individuals in front of you. It is a site with an incredible amount of history, and you can feel that when you enter the high-ceilinged main room with superb acoustics. Two small bars serve up standard bar drinks and cocktails. Again, since this is on the South Side, you may want to plan to get there early to find parking.

Venue Size: Intimate to Mid-Sized

Highlights: Full Bar, Historic, Great Acoustics

In conclusion, no matter what types of concerts or shows in Pittsburgh you’re looking for, these Pittsburgh music venues have you covered. Also, be sure to check out our Pittsburgh events calendar for other Pittsburgh nightlife happenings.

[join] What do you think about these venues? Let us know with a comment here on Facebook. [button text=”Click Here to Leave a Comment” link=”https://www.facebook.com/madepgh/posts/999149323492010″ target=”blank” width=”full” color=”black” size=”small”][/join] This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Aaron Grey

Music Scene Contributor

Aaron co-owns local post-punk record label Play Alone Records, plays bass in local band Wisteria, and DJ's Pittsburgh post-punk dance night Second Skin. Needless to say, Aaron is all about DIY music and loves to contribute content on Pittsburgh's thriving music scene.

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